These are the three top pieces of advice I would give to any freelance writer or copywriter.
When you are busy it's all to easy to find that weeks, months and even years have gone by since you last stepped back and took a long hard look at your business.
It happened to me for years. I was a freelance copywriter. That's the picture I had in my head. So that's what I did. For years on end I simply looked for work, did work and billed for work.
It wasn't such a bad thing. I made good money and raised my family.
But I wish that I had stepped back a little more often.
I tried sometimes. If I was on a trip or taking a vacation I would take a step or two back and try to get out of the trees and see the wood.
As a result I would shift emphasis a little. Maybe drop a client or two.
But I never stepped back far enough to really see the forest in its entirety.
I never asked myself, "Where am I with my business right now? Is this the direction I really want to take? Am I making the most profitable use of my time? Is this exactly the way I want to be earning my living for the next 20 years?"
These are big questions and it is only in the last five years that I have become serious about asking them.
In fact, I now make a point of stepping way back and looking at the forest on a very regular basis.
I have a file in which I track the performance of the different aspects of my business. Where is the most money coming from? What kind of work am I enjoying most? Am I creating something of value for the future?
I look that that file at least once a week. I take a look at where my work and my income are coming from. And, perhaps most important of all, I look at today's work within the context of where I want to be in five years from now.
That way I can identify the kind of work that is taking me in a straight line towards the achievement of my longer-term goals. And I can identify which work, even if it's profitable right now, is distracting me from those goals.
Above all…I constantly take the long view, of where I am now and where I'm going.
The outcome? My income has tripled over the last two years.
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