Step 1. I stopped thinking of my business as a hobby.
This is especially important for humans in a creative field! We’re taught in our culture that using creative skills means we should either be a world-renowned artist, or a crafter with Crayola markers and glitter. Refuse to accept those assessments. Redefine it. Making money from your passions is a GIFT. How BEAUTIFUL it is to find joy in your work. This ain’t a hobby, darlin’. This is a BUSINESS.
Step 2. I set goals that I felt were unattainable.
I will admit that coming from an Enneagram 3 this sounds a bit whacky, but hear me out. When we reach for goals outside of our comfort zone, we naturally level-up our focus to try to reach it. You know that quote, “reach for the moon because even if you fall, you’ll land among the stars.” Cheesy, but it’s true. (Also, when I did this I actually ended up hit some of those “unattainable” goals 😎)
Step 3. I asked for help!
Invest wisely in the help you truly need, not another course with a really good sales page. Bring in another set of eyes, even someone to help just 5 hours a week. Oftentimes just talking through your business with someone else can help you find spaces to grow that you hadn’t thought of.
4. I believed I was worth it.
I made 6-figures, even in a pandemic, because I knew I could do it. It’s as simple as that. Truly look at yourself, lean into your best skills, and pep talk yourself every damn day.
Step 5. I narrowed my focus.
You don’t have to master a sales funnel in a day. You don’t have to craft an email strategy over the weekend. You don’t have to find time to make passive products if you’re making money from client work. Be realistic about where you are RIGHT NOW. Perfect that level. Then you can take it up a notch.
Step 6. I started getting enough sleep.
You gotta rest that brain to use that brain!
Step 7. I raised my prices.
Are you under-charging your brilliance? Here is the formula I follow for pricing my services:
- Find your baseline “salary” for how much you need to pay your bills. This number should be determined by BILLABLE hours worked. It’s not realistic to assume you’ll touch client work for 40 hours a week (it’s usually more like 20hrs).
- Add 20% on top of that number to live your life comfortably.
- Add 20% on top of that for your savings account.
- Add 20% on top of that for taxes.
- Add 20% on top of that for business expenses.
- And if you want to hire, add another 20% to pay your support team.
- Set your hourly rate at this number, or estimate full project prices based on that hourly rate.
Step 8. I actually stuck to those prices.
If you estimate a 20 hour commitment to a project, only allow yourself an over/under of about 4 hours. Remember that offering a discount to land a client that not only hurts your business income, but hurts your ability to fund your savings, plan for taxes, and pay your bills.
Step 9. I shared my business wins with family and friends!
If you don’t have a team, working for yourself can get lonely. Talking about your work with your support system, go out to dinner when you land a new client, ask your friends to toast to your success.
Step 10. I regularly flipped through old notebooks, past projects, and previous goals.
Remember how far you’ve come! You’re amazing.