Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Freelance Life: Time to Take Stock and Look Forward

I lost my job just over seven months ago. It was a blow, and a hard one. Not only did I lose the job I felt I was meant for, a job I loved, but it also meant my family would have to make do without the $35,000 I was bringing in annually.

I've mentioned before that, throughout all of this -- the depression, the transition, everything -- my wife has been my rock and anchor. She was the one who encouraged me, and made the suggestion that now was the time to strike out on my own, to do my own thing. To find my passion and move forward. And I did. With her blessing, I bought the equipment I'd need, bought a domain name and built a website, and signed up on the necessary freelance and job sites I'd need to start working as a fulltime freelance voice talent.

When I began, I had a simple goal: make a thousand bucks a month. It wasn't much, but I was supplementing with unemployment and part-time work with another radio station. It would be something to build on. Once I got there.

It took three months to make my first thousand. Not per month. Total. In three months, I'd managed to bring in a thousand bucks freelancing. It was a start. Month four was almost a bust. There was depression. Apprehension. Wondering if it would work. If I really could make it. I started sending resumes out with a little more desperation than I had before. But I kept at it. I altered my goal. Year one: $2000/month. Find an agent. Keep moving forward.

It's been seven months since I lost my job. Just under seven months since I started freelancing. I did the math today, and realized that this month, for the first time, I would not just hit my goal, but I would actually earn what I would have earned in my old job.

Now, I'm not an idiot. Certain things came together this month. A couple big contracts came in that, put simply, I can't count on next month or the month after. But what it does tell me is that it can be done. That I can actually do this, and make a living. That I can actually contribute to my family in a meaningful way financially.

So, in other words, what this gives me is momentum. Now that I've seen it can be done, the goal now is to keep doing it.

So, I have fleshed out new goals for 2017. I'm writing them here, publicly, to provide for myself some accountability. Because goals you keep inside aren't really goals, I've discovered, but some nice thoughts.

So, here they are. And I hope you'll be praying for me and keeping me to them as I go.

2017 Year End Goals:
By December 31, 2017 I will...
-Build on the reputation I have gained (and continue to gain) for quick, quality work and professional service.
-Update my website regularly with new work, demos, and blogs.
-Make contact with at least three potential clients (outside the freelancer websites) per week.
-Contact at least three active or recurrent clients per week.
-Actively audition for at least 30 jobs per month.
-Be in front of my microphone working at least once a day, 5 days a week.
-Invoice at least $3k/month on a regular basis, providing for my family the income lost with my old job.

These goals, particularly the last, are lofty, hefty, difficult... and achievable. This month has shown me it can be done. Now it's time to focus and prove it can be done regularly.