Freelancing is like a dance – and it’s imperative that you lead. Knowing where you are headed as a freelancer is of the utmost importance.

An easy mantra for freelancers is that the client comes first. After all, if you want to get the most out of life, here’s the formula: Help others get what they want and you’ll get what you want.

Though this is only savvy advice if you first know yourself.

What do you want to get out of your freelancing career? What are your hopes/goals/dreams? It’s important you identify these. Or else someone will set them for you. And the result of that may not be ideal. It’s important to think of yourself first, otherwise you may end up in a foreign place.

Anyone who provides a service understands that if they do a good job – they will be asked to do more. It makes sense that the employer would want more… you. You may have started freelancing so you could be a writer. But then as time goes by, you may be asked to manage a team of writers. Then you may be asked to run the PR team. Then you may be asked to manage the entire division of the company. If any freelancer is unclear on their vision, they will end up being pulled far from what they intended to do and will find themselves in a completely different world. Know that if you don’t decide your mission, someone else will decide it for you. I can promise you that. The following post will help you determine your definiteness of purpose.

What is your dream?

What do you want to do with your freelancing career? It’s important to determine your dream so then you know when you’ve achieved it.

Make sure to think long-term with this dream. That way you know exactly what you are aiming to do for years to come. Think big. No excuses for why you cannot see years into the future. It’s very important you do so.

How many hours do you want to work?

This is really important. Because if you’re not careful, you may end up working nearly all of your waking hours. Plus, if you don’t set a number of hours, you’ll likely take every gig that’s thrown your way. Sure it may not pay as much as your current gigs but if you work a little longer each day, you’ll be able to make an extra ‘x’ each month.

I understand how riveting that can be. But you will soon get burned out. I know everyone says it but it’s true. Set a max number of hours per week you will to work. Then, in order to earn more money, focus on earning more per hour instead of working more hours. It’s much better to instead work fewer hours for higher pay. Ask for raises, swap out low paying clients for higher ones, etc. until you reach a dollar amount that makes you comfortable. As many freelancers will tell you – don’t sell yourself short!

What is your income target?

How much money would allow you to live your target lifestyle? When setting an income target, think ahead to the future. You may not have many expenses now but what if you later want to buy a home? Or have kids? Or get into the sport of sailing? Peer into the future.

Once you have a target in mind, you’ll hit it. And the rest is icing on the cake!

Where are you headed as a freelancer?

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