For years of doing online jobs I still get quite a number of people raising their eyebrows. Skeptical questions are still being asked whether I do really make money online or not. There are those who doubt themselves, too as to whether they can be motivated enough to work from home.
And while some are asking about my daily work habits, others would take the liberty to assume that I am probably an exception to the “freelancing rule”, as if there is an unspoken one.
To be honest, I have not known of a freelancing rule written in stone yet. There are tips, advice, and best practices we can follow but nothing sort of legislated, like a rule of the thumb.
And even for the longest time of doing this I still encounter fellow freelancers who doubt that there is a career in working from home. Of course, it’s a delight to often find it easy to get one project after another from various platforms available on the internet. But really, how is it possible for one to generate a stable income to sustain your cost of living?
Here are a few things you might want to keep in mind in case you’re thinking about building a career as a freelancer:
Wishful Thinking [versus] Reality-Goal-Setting
We can never deny the fact that we often dream very big and sometimes our actions just fall short to achieve them. When we were children, we were asked about our ambitions and most of us just talked about how we wanted to become something very big and monumental.
If we look closely, dreaming so big, that it’s not even closely relevant to what we are doing just distracts us from reality. And when we make wishes, we simply just think if what the outcome should be instead of setting goals and laying out a plan to achieve them.
As an adult, we must realise that targets must be reachable and we must find ways to sustain them. We need to measure our golas according to our current abilitie4s and how much we can stretch our skill sto learn advance skills.
Why Goals Are Vital To Building A Career
Objectives give us a clear vision of what we want to achieve. Thinking of what you want to become is the first step in this goal-setting process. Stephen Covey wrote in his book that in order to achieve anything, we must begin with the end in our minds. It’s a habit that we need to ponder and practice. Think of where you want your career to land and then begin from there. Looking at a successful result will help you understand what you need to do to make it happen.
So, if you are looking to become a successful freelancer, what should you start doing next?
Have a look.
Visualise A Really Big Dream For Your Career
Once you have been selected for a project from any online platform, what you need to do at this point is to think of something big. I am not telling you to visualise an ambiguous idea like “to become successful” but things that will drive you over time. Success is admirable, really, but isn’t it something that comes with anything deeper?
Think of a big target that is possible. You can possibly dream of buying your own house, owning a car, expanding your freelancing career into an online business, etc. If you think these big dreams are very obvious, try coming up with maybe targeting a dream holiday.
When you’ve pictured that in your mind, you can then think of ways to make it happen. Consider the projects you might need to consider to give you the amount of earnings you need, inclusing the deadlines you need to set to achieve this.
Set Three Types OF Goals
Once you are motivated by your biggest dream, you need to design a plan to make it happen. An online career is usually something that comes out of these types of objectives:
You should be able to set a target to reach by the end of your first 12 months in freelancing. Typically, you may want to set your next year’s goals before the end of December. You may also do a review of the previous year’s happening to determine your strong points in achieving particular goals, where you need to improve, and what you can advance. When doing an annual review of your “performance” take note of the number of hours you have worked for every client. You can also design a forecast of what you intend to earn the following year, for every client you have.
Looking at your yearly objectives, you also need to devise a gamne plan each week to help you become aware of your own progress. Create a spreadsheet where you can list all your clients and your rates. At the end of very work week, update your spreadsheet with how much work you have done and the amount of earnings you are expecting come payday. This will give you a comparison of your Weekly Targets against the Actual.
Since you’ve already laid out your weekly objectives and plans, it would be easier for you determine a daily routine. You’ll have a clearer idea how to begin your day and which clients to start working for. However, you may need to keep in mind that any of your clients may have to send in an immediate job requirement for you to complete. Have a room for any schedule adjustments without sacrificing the amount of time you are allotting them for the day. Refer to your spreadsheet to find out how much time you need to spend on a client’s project and plan out a schedule, including personal, meal, and errands break.
Creating these targets will also help you make time for other stuff. Freelancing and making a career out of it doesn’t mean you’ll have to compromise your personal time because you have a greater agenda. No, by setting these daily, weekly, and annual goals, it gives you clarity in setting your schedule (finances and work-life balance).
Dream, Design, and Make It Happen!
Now that you have foreseen where you want to go and what you want to achieve as a freelancer, you can now turn your profile into your most powerful weapon. As your projects are accomplished at a given point in time, do not forget to make a review, and of course update your portfolio. Also, do not go astray from what you want to achieve. Always bear that big picture in your mind.