The following scenario is common…

  • You begin freelancing.
  • You land your first client.
  • You land your first major client.
  • You’re making more money than you ever did in a salaried position.
  • You’re very happy with work and life.
  • … what now?

The article is about to offer you valuable long-term goals you can implement into your freelancing career. These goals will motivate you to reach the next level.

Set an Income Target

How much money do you want? $4,000 per month? $5,000 per month? $30,000 per month? Whatever the number – commit yourself to earning that much. Monthly usually works best but feel free to set weekly/annual targets as well.

Set the Perfect Client Number

While juggling 15 clients is doable, it can be a bit of an organizational struggle. Instead, narrow your focus if you’d like. Set a goal of only having whatever number of clients you see as manageable so you can give them plenty of attention. This will mean ‘firing‘ clients. It must happen if you’re to get down to that perfect number. Remember – successful freelancers don’t agree to every job and they certainly don’t keep low paying clients in their portfolio.

Get All the Glorious Hardware/Software/Conferences/Whatever You Desire

If you’re killing it as a freelancer, there should really be no limitations on snatching up all the hardware/software/conferences, etc. you desire. What have you been eyeing lately? Set a date at which you will buy it. Set a date to when you’ll finally get tickets to that conference you’ve been considering attending for months. Here are some things you may desire:

Commit to only working a certain number of hours per week

Feeling overworked? Have a goal to only work a certain number of hours each week. To make this a real challenge, commit to keeping the same income (or even increasing it) while working less.

Start an Agency

If you have tons of clients but not enough time, it’s time to build an agency. Maybe it’s time to switch from freelance to more of a business owner role. It’s a fantastic way to multiply your income without necessarily multiplying your hours.

Get an Assistant

An assistant can be wonderful. Set a date at which you want to have an assistant hired. For continued motivation, make a list of everything you would have your assistant do if you had one. That will surely keep your goal in focus.

Teach Others

If you’re successful – you have a story to share. Everyone wants to be successful. So maybe it’s time to set the goal of teaching others. You can set this goal in many different ways. It could be helping a certain number of people each month. Or the goal could materialize in the form of publishing an ebook, starting a blog and/or creating an online course.

What goal(s) align with your future desires?

Each person will gravitate towards certain goals. It’s important you decide what’s important to you and add the corresponding goals to your life.

Not only do goals help make you a better freelancer, they also give you purpose. That’s important, especially if you’re working by yourself. You also want to have something better waiting around the next bend.

So… what’s next for you?


William Lipovsky owns the personal finance website First Quarter Finance. His most embarrassing moment was telling a Microsoft executive, "I'll just Google it."

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