Before I get started, let me remind you this is probably going to be a beer injected post in true Mark Pepper fashion (I HAD to rub it in.) I admit it, I did have a couple of beers and that’s when the ingenious idea for this post hit me while sitting on the coach, suckling the precious amber liquid of a Peroni (Forza Italia.)
Freelance writers need to pay attention to statistics more so than schedules!
Whoa! Where did this thought come from?… Well, it’s like this; most of us work from home and by doing so we end up juggling household (sucks,) kids, pets, husbands, wives and perhaps a part-time job.
The problem with this is that it is very easy to become a slave to your own business as deadlines loom and clients knock on your virtual door. But here is how I see it. You can bust your butt all you want and still end up chasing your tail most of the time because you are booked to the rafters.
Suddenly your dream becomes a prison that holds you captive in its very walls. Did you really want this when you were dreaming of freedom, running your own business from home? I bet you did not!
We want freedom, not slavery!
So how can we as home-based entrepreneurs switch from being a slave to our own self-imposed schedule to doing business with the right balance of work and play?
The answer might surprise you. You have to concentrate on statistics and not chase your tail. Let me explain this in detail; most of you probably set a daily target of working a set amount of hours to accomplish set amount of tasks. While this is pretty normal, it is also the fastest way to becoming your own slave.
The reason being; you can waste a lot of time making time pass.
We can chat, tweet, blog, comment, email, bid and market all we want but if the BOTTOM LINE is not right, chances are you are probably wasting your time with the wrong tasks!
- What is your daily income target to reach your yearly goal?
- How much money do you need to earn weekly to do likewise?
- How many days are you prepared to work?
- How do you deal with family ‘emergencies?’
Learn to pay attention to demographics and your business will move ahead in leaps and bounds:
Daily income targets: In order to be in absolute control of your business you need to know your statistics. Where are you at? How much money did you earn today? Did it take you two hours to reach your daily income target or ten?
Unless you know your numbers, you will ALWAYS be chasing your tail.
Weekly income target: Are you on track this week with your income? Perhaps you took a day off out of the blue (why not,) and now you need to catch up. Always keep your week in mind when allocating income because there will always be unexpected reasons for taking time out.
- Your kids will not pay attention to your schedule.
- Your spouse will not pay attention to your schedule.
- Your pets will not pay attention to your schedule.
So why should you? Don’t make life harder than it is ought to be. Remember, you started this business to live a dream – so live it!
Concentrate on your targets instead and you will look at business with a new set of eyes.
How many days are you planning to work this week? The beauty of freelance writing is that you ARE your OWN boss and not the slave of your clients. This means that your targets (income) determine how many days you work this week.
Sure we all have deadlines, but usually we plan these week by week due to the nature of our business. Be prepared to be flexible and claim some YOU time every now and then. A good way to do this is by booking yourself 80% of your billable hours. Doing this will always leave room for new ‘urgent’ client tasks while also giving you plenty of room for YOU time.
Plus if you do this right you will always earn your target income even if you are not booked out.
Family emergencies and what this means to a freelancer: Up until about 4 months ago I was chasing my tail like everyone else. I never knew of the importance of working to demographics and keeping a close eye on income targets, rather than being chased by money.
If you want to learn what made me REALLY open my eyes, click on the banner on this page.
Fact is that I can keep busting my butt and feel guilty for not indulging my birds when they need more attention than normal – or I can (and do) take time out and play with them as I intended when I started my own business. Since I have already reached my daily target income for today, I can do this guilt-free and enjoy the best of both worlds as we freelancers really must do to validate being in business from home.
So the question is, have I reached my income target today? You bet and that’s exactly why I can enjoy a beer while typing this post. As a matter of fact, I always measure the success of my business on the monies earned during a particular calendar month. It’s what keeps me on track and hasn’t failed me in all the time since going full-time back in January 2008.
How do YOU measure YOUR business?