working from home

Another year is here! Each year, I like to come up with business resolutions. These resolutions are different than my business goals which are more concrete. My resolutions are usually related to working on mindset or self-improvement. Here are some resolutions that can help freelancers level up in 2018:

Implement Like It’s Your Job

All business owners look for the magic cure. We hope that if we read one book, hire one coach, or take one course, that there will be some “a-ha” moment that changes our business forever.

Information doesn’t change our business. Coaching doesn’t change our business either. These investments guide us. Acting on the information is what changes our business. Resolve to act on the information you already have first in 2018. Measure the results and tweak your processes.

Change Your Identity

Freelancing is an excellent introduction to self-employment. Freelancing first makes sense because it gives you an opportunity to test services and markets with very little overhead.

The long-term problem with this business model is that clients look to freelancers to deliver a final product. Clients usually assume they’re paying you for a deliverable only, and that’s reflected in the rate they are willing to pay. Eventually, you hit an income ceiling.

The real deal is freelancers who are subject matter experts are doing much more than just submitting work. You’re giving them your brain. Clients may not recognize (and pay you for) your expertise if you’re identifying as just another freelancer.

For example, I’m a writer who writes financial literacy content. When I’m referred to as a “freelance writer,” it gives the impression that I’m just writing and delivering work. I’m doing much more than writing content. I create content, guides, and curriculum for consumers based on years of experience in the personal finance industry and information learned while getting certified as a financial instructor.

If you’ve been freelancing for a while, 2018 is the year to stop calling yourself a freelancer. It’s not easy. I’m still slowly removing the word freelancer from my vocabulary. Start now.

Stop Doing Stuff You Hate

Be careful of creating a job for yourself that stresses you out more than your old corporate job. I’ve noticed in the freelancing and online business world that people are beginning to talk more about self-care and getting back to basics.

I fear that we get so obsessed with creating a certain lifestyle for ourselves that we forget to actually live in the present. We push our minds and bodies to extremes to earn more at the cost of our own sanity. 

When does the fun part of running a business happen if you’re constantly worrying?

Cut out the parts of your business that you hate and are causing you stress. Cut out the terrible clients that take advantage of you or pay your invoices late.

Building a business you don’t like is not why you set out on this self-employment journey. Removing the dead wait gives you the opportunity to seek out clients and work you do enjoy doing.

Final Word

A new year gives us a fresh start. It’s an excellent time to reflect on your mindset for the past year and decide how you want to run your business moving forward. 

Often resolutions are forgotten by February. Don’t let that be the case this time around when these changes to your business can improve your income and well-being.

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Taylor K. Gordon is a personal finance writer and founder of Tay Talks Money, a personal finance and productivity blog on hacking your way to a happier savings account. Taylor has contributed to MagnifyMoney, The Huffington Post, GoGirl Finance, Madame Noire, and The Write Life.

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