How to Create the Freelance Future You Want

There’s still time to achieve your 2019 goals and create the freelance future you want. When 2019 draws to a close, do you want to be proud of everything you’ve achieved in your freelance business or sorry about the things you didn’t do? This may seem like a silly question—because we all want to succeed. But staying on track with the things we know we need to do to achieve our goals is hard.

Imagine your freelance business at the end of 2019—and a few years from now—if you keep avoiding the things you know you should be doing.

Will you be:

  • Looking for a job because you aren’t making enough money as a freelancer to live on?
  • Getting by but unhappy with the work you’re doing and how little clients are paying you?
  • Always stressed out because you don’t know how to turn things around?

It’s Never Too Late to Create the Freelance Future Your Want

Avoid regrets about what you didn’t do and move toward the freelance future you want by setting and working toward SMART goals.

If you’ve set goals for 2019 and have fallen behind, it’s okay.  Most of us have.

By halfway through the year, only about 46% of people are still working on their goals, according to Statistics Brain.

“Achieving our goals is difficult. But it’s not impossible. As long as we stay focused on our goals and do the work, we’ll get there over time,” says Robert Kanaat in The Harvard MBA Business School Study on Goal Setting.

There’s still time to reach your 2019 goals—and to set goals if you haven’t done that yet.  And you can adjust your goals if what you planned to achieve isn’t doable.

In a Mighty Marketer post on goals at the beginning of this year, Ginny Vachon and I stated our goals for 2019.

Now we’re going to share:

  • What we’ve achieved so far
  • Where we’ve fallen behind on our goals
  • What we plan to do to get back on track to keep moving toward the freelance future we want.

8 Ways to Create the Freelance Future You Want

Get tips on getting back on track with your 2019 goals—or getting started.

Click here for The Ultimate Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals for Freelance Success.


How 2 Freelancers Are Doing So Far

Ginny and I are both freelance medical writers. Her company is Principal Medvantage Writing, LLC and mine is Lori De Milto Writer for Rent LLC. It’s been about 6 months since we set our goals for 2019. Here’s what we’ve achieved so far and where we’ve fallen behind.

Ginny’s goals were to:

  1. “Structure my business so that it is less of a one-woman show by outsourcing some tasks.”
  2. “Create a service mission for my company.”
  3. “Do more with those articles I wrote!”

I set one goal:

“Reduce my average workweek from 55-60 hours to 45-50 hours and shift my income from 90% freelancing and 10% teaching/coaching to 80% freelancing and 20% teaching/coaching.”

Both of us set SMART goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Relevant
  • Time bound.

FREE SMART GOAL WORKSHEET 

Use the SMART goal worksheet to start creating the freelance future you want now.

Download your free SMART goal worksheet


Ginny’s Progress and Problems

Ginny has already met one of her SMART goals, is making great progress on the second, and has decided to postpone the third. On her first goal to outsource some tasks, Ginny has outsourced editing, PowerPoint design, illustration, and bookkeeping.

And to help with writing when “deliverables pile up,” Ginny started working with a few other freelance writers as sub-contractors. “I really didn’t want to do this at first, and my experience was only okay in the beginning,” she says. “But I have found a couple of people I know I can count on and I have gotten better at communicating with other writers, which has been awesome. All the advice that Lori gives has been true for me as a freelancer and as a client.”

Creating a service mission for her business so she can help others and leave the world a better place was Ginny’s second goal. So far, she has purchased carbon offsets for all of her air travel, office utilities, and the energy used by cloud computing. An offset is funding for projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, like restoring forests or increasing the energy efficiency of buildings and transportation. “My writing business is nearing carbon neutral,” says Ginny.

She has also started donating to charities as client thank-you gifts. For example, if she learns that a client is wild about dogs, she donates to a shelter. “This has been a nice way to connect with people and it serves to remind us all to think of things bigger than ourselves,” she says. Ginny is still working on creating a mission statement for her freelance business.

A Goal on Hold

A few years ago, Ginny wrote some articles to use as content marketing for her freelance business. As part of her 2018 goal, she posted these articles on her website. She also wanted to publish the articles on LinkedIn, but has decided to postpone this goal.

“While I am sure that it would help me drum up business, I have been having plenty of luck continuing with my current clients, asking for referrals, and maintaining contact with leads as they come in. I just had a referral that I had been sending ‘hello’ e-mails to for two years call me up with a big job,” she says. “For now, the LinkedIn articles thing is on hold.”

When Ginny talks about “having” plenty of luck, she is being modest. Ginny is actually creating her own luck. And following up with interested clients (clients who’ve said they were interested in your freelance services but haven’t hired you yet) is an easy and effective way to build your freelance business.

Other Work on Goals

Each year, Ginny also likes to set a personal goal. Her 2019 personal goal is to “Do 10 pull ups.” While she hasn’t done any pull ups yet, she is training to do this. “I am KILLING it with push-ups and dips. I have no clue whether or not I am going to meet this goal, but I am going to act like I am and just keep going! I’m getting better and stronger,” she says. Her new personal goal is to do at least 1 pull up.

For the third and fourth quarters of 2019, Ginny plans to do more work related to her outsourcing goal, to make her business more efficient and help relieve burn-out from trying to do everything herself. Ginny is also trying some new things to help relieve burn-out, including testing a new bedtime and morning routine. “I love doing three-week experiments,” she says.  “It’s how I figured out that I am not vegan but that high glycemic index foods make me feel bad.”

Working harder to connect with other entrepreneurs and freelancers is another way for Ginny to relieve burnout. “Working from home means that you are alone most of the time. I am working on building connections with others I can support and who can offer me support in return,” she says.  Ginny will plan power lunches with other entrepreneurs and freelancers at least once a month.

My Progress and Problems

My goal for this year was to:

“Reduce my average workweek from 55-60 hours to 45-50 hours and shift my income from 90% freelancing and 10% teaching/coaching to 80% freelancing and 20% teaching/coaching.”

So far, I’m not making much progress on achieving my goal. My average workweek for the first two quarters was 56 hours (first quarter: 57 hours a week; second quarter: 55 hours a week). I’ve made a little progress there, but not enough.

Here’s how I’m doing on my mini-goals for billable hours per week:

 First quarter of 2019:

  • Mini-goal: About 28 billable hours
  • Actual billable hours: 28.25 (right on target!)

 Second quarter of 2019:

  • Mini-goal: About 26 billable hours
  • Actual billable hours: 30

I’ve been working way more this summer (starting in June, which is part of the second quarter) than I wanted to. This is mostly because a big project scheduled to start in April didn’t start until June.

I met some, but not all, of my mini goals for the first two quarters. My work has all been with my highest paying clients. And I did finish updating my Mighty Marketer course, Finding the Freelance Clients You Deserve, and offered it in January. I also developed the course on freelancing I’ll be teaching in the fall for the University of Chicago Graham School’s Medical Writing and Editing Certificate. One mini-goal is on hold for now. I had planned to develop another Mighty Marketer course, but decided to wait on this until I grow my email list.

A New Goal for the Rest of 2019

So for the third and fourth quarters of 2019, I’ve adjusted part of my goal to getting down to 50 hours a week instead of 45-50.

I probably won’t achieve the second part of my goal either this year:

“shift my income from 90% freelancing and 10% teaching/coaching to 80% freelancing and 20% teaching/coaching.”

But that’s okay, because I’m still working toward this. I just haven’t had enough time for this because I’ve been too busy with client work. From late-July to the end of August, I’m planning to spend about 15-20 hours a week focusing on building the teaching/coaching part of my business.

Create the Freelance Future You Want

So that’s what Ginny and I have achieved so far, and how we plan to meet our goals during the rest of 2019.

Whether you’ve fallen behind on your 2019 goals or haven’t set any yet, you too can achieve your goals and start creating the freelance future you want.

“Things take time. says Ginny. “If you’re just starting out, the slow times, can make you think that you’re doing something wrong or things aren’t moving fast enough. Just keep going and don’t let a slow month here or there drag you down,” she says.

Set a SMART goal(s) and break it down into:

  • Small, easily achievable mini-goals
  • The actions you’ll take to achieve each mini-goal.

By consistently taking action, you’ll make progress toward achieving your goal.  The Ultimate Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals for Freelance Success has:

  • Descriptions of SMART goals, mini-goals, and actions
  • Examples of SMART goals, mini-goals, and actions for freelancers
  • 8 Ways to Achieve Your Goals for Freelance Success.

Get it here.

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Learn More About Achieving Goals for Your Freelance Future

From The Mighty Marketer


FREE SMART GOAL WORKSHEET 

Use the SMART goal worksheet to to start creating the freelance future you want now.
Download your free SMART goal worksheet


The Ultimate FREE Guide to Setting and Achieving Goals for Freelance Success

Learn about SMART Goals and 8 Ways to Achieve Your Goals for Freelance Success

Click here for you free guide to goals for freelancers


Goal Setting for Freelancers: How to Focus on What Matters Most in 2019

Are You First in Line When Clients Hire a Freelancer?

6 Tips on Increasing Your Luck as a Freelancer

9 Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Start Getting the Clients You Deserve

Find the Freelance Clients You Deserve with Your 2018 Goal

Other Content

Robert Kanaat, The Harvard MBA Business School Study on Goal Setting

Learn More About Ginny Vachon and Lori De Milto

Ginny

Website

LinkedIn profile               

Me

Website

LinkedIn profile