(www.inkthinkerblog.com) — I don’t know about you, but for me, 2008 was a strange year. I started out with big expectations and a crazy idea, and I ended up around the same place I finished 2007. The difference between the end of 2007 and the end of 2008 is clarity. Let me explain.
In 2007, I made about $70,000 and change from my full-time freelance career. If you’re a freelancer yourself, you don’t need me to tell you that that’s not all money in my pocket; that’s gross income. And I broke it all down in a post that tells exactly where that $70K came from (and where it went).
My goal for 2008 was to make $100K, and I started out strong in 2008 by working on my time management skills and freelance efficiency, consulting some experts, and trying to diversify my income sources. But at the end of the year, I ended up almost exactly where I was at the end of 2007. And when I say almost exactly, I mean within $500.
I would have been another $6,000 over, had it not been for an unexpected personal emergency that pushed an invoice into January instead of December, so technically I could argue that I improved, but let’s get real here: I didn’t even get close to my goal of $100K.
The thing is, even though it was $30K more than I made the previous year, it wouldn’t have actually been that much more in the scheme of things. It’s only $2,500 a month more, an extra $600 a week (with a 50-week year). That’s just 6 more billable hours every week. I could had pulled it off.
What happened? I got complacent, I got lazy, and I lost sight of my goal.
Yeah, 2008 was a tough year. It was the fifth anniversary of my brother’s death, which totally sucked. My internet access was virtually nonexistent for the entire month of January. I had a lingering illness that just would not quit over the summer and fall. We lost family members and friends to death. Our dogs began systematically destroying everything we own. My husband’s company closed and he was (still is!) out of a job. The economy tanked.
But none of those are reasons I couldn’t have met my goal. And I’m not being hard on myself here. Honest. In fact, I wish I had been harder on myself last year, when it would have made a difference. As it is, I’m bummed. No, two consecutive years of solid performance is nothing to sneeze at, especially during a recession. But I’m a girl who likes to strive to something more, to challenge myself, and in 2008, I didn’t do that. I let just enough be good enough.
Over the next few weeks, I’m going to talk about what I’m hoping going to do in 2009 to reverse the trend I’ve allowed to develop, and more about how the choices I made in 2008 contributed to the end result.
I’ll tell you now, though, one thing I’m doing to make a change this year is attending White Paper Success Summit 2009, which starts on February 3. I have always wanted to learn how to write white papers, and Michael Stelzner is the best in the biz. For me, registering for the Summit was a no-brainer, especially since I got so much out of Copywriting Success Summit 2008 over the summer. If you haven’t registered yet, now’s the time.
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