A bit of a personal post from me today and one which I’ve been flipping between writing or keeping locked up inside and that is because it is to do with the taboo subject of money.
A quick disclaimer: I’m happy to talk about money but I know it’s a tricky subject for some people. Feel free to click away from this post if it makes you uncomfortable.
Money is something which I am constantly trying to talk about more with friends and family and also publicly on my podcast. No, it’s not because I’m a nosy beggar (I promise), it’s because it is something which is becoming more and more important in this landscape of small business, freelancers and multi-hyphenated career paths.
Throughout my business, my journey with money has been up and down and sometimes very inconsistent (maybe this is something I can write about another time). But over the past year, since re-launching my business and services, my income has become more consistent and something I can treat like a salary and more importantly, much higher. This isn’t for one reason or another, but more just the evolution of my business to where it is today.
Flick forward (or back?) to June 2018 which saw the first time my business brought in a five figure sum in one month.
Now, this post is not one of those typical “I MADE X AMOUNT OF MONEY, HERE’S HOW YOU CAN DO IT TOO!!?!”. In fact, this is going to be the complete opposite. I think you should completely ignore other people’s advice when it comes to the nitty gritty of making money.
So why bother reading this? Well I want to document my journey and also give you the reasons why I think your success can only be created on your terms and why you shouldn’t follow the path of others to get there.
How I Did It
Took On More Clients
Summer is always a good time for my design business. People have a bit of time off to work on their own businesses, they want to get things prepared before Autumn comes around and maybe the good weather just keeps people motivated! So this caused a spike in my client bookings and I was actually booked for the whole of June back in April.
As well as being fully booked, a few projects overran and I also picked up some exciting clients who I couldn’t say no too so my calendar was filled to the brim with client projects.
A Little Bit of Luck
Along with my extra work load, I also had some clients who either paid upfront or scheduled their payments early (god bless these lovely people) which obviously boosted the income for that month, even though the work was actually taking place later on.
Chances are that because of this bit of luck, this will cause a spike in my accounts which will then even out over the rest of the year.
June saw a few paid invoices from some work I did outside of my usual design projects. I finally left the house and did a couple of workshops, I did some hourly work for past clients and also started up some monthly design packages. All of these things added up on top of the work I usually do which created a peak.
Why You Should Ignore Me
I Worked Myself to the Ground
I want to be completely transparent, June was an incredibly hard month for me. My friends and family will know that I worked my little bum off and really paid the price for it. It’s hard to complain about stress and burnout when you have such a good month financially which meant the balance between the happiness of the successful month and the guilt of feeling too tired to keep up really played with my mental health.
There are other ways to push your financial boundaries than working yourself into the ground and this method will be much better for you instead of ‘hustling’.
It Might Not Match your Definition of Success
I hate talking about success when it’s such a subjective word, especially when it comes to money. My personal feelings are that I feel successful when I am making enough money from my business to sustain a life which I love. Honestly, this doesn’t require making five figures a month (until I decide I want a yacht, at least).
Think about what your specific definition of success is and work towards that. It might be that you want to be able to pay your bills and save x amount every month or it might be going for six or seven figures. Whatever it is, it has to be yours.
You Can’t Replicate Other People’s Journey
Ok so let’s say five figures IS your version of success and you want a step by step guide about how to make that a reality. I very highly doubt following someone else’s experiences would help. Everyone’s business is completely unique which means your journey is also completely unique. It’s very unlikely that following what someone else has done to a tee will end with the same outcome.
I guess my point overall is that following any sort of ‘How to’ guide when it comes to business is always going to be a tricky path to follow and making money is no exception.
Creating your own goals and making your own path is the only way you will be able to reach it so stop clicking on clickbait ‘I made 5 million dollars working from home’ links and start creating your own adventure.