2014 – An uphill battle
This year has been a true battle both financially and mentally. But at the same time I have gotten a clearer path of where I want my business to be in 2015. I had really no proper goals for 2014 so I had no idea of where I was heading. So I decided to get an overview of 2014 by writing this review and set some goals for 2015.
The year started
with quite a good first month. By that I mean it was enough to cover the minimum living expenses. I had a couple projects going continuing the collaboration with an ad agency that I started in late 2013. I also finished a web project with one of my own clients. Only problem was that I didn’t manage to set aside VAT payments for 2013 which was due in march. Thankfully I manage to arrange a payment plan.
Around spring time I started to look for other ways to do my business. And kept on thinking that there has to be a better way, and to get paid what I was worth. This led me to Troy Dean at WPelevation! This was the start of a new era in how my mindset changed. I joined his community for about 2-3 months, but unfortunately since business was suffering I decided to leave WPelevation.
But I thought things would turn around when a fairly new design agency, Nordic State, took me onboard as a freelancer, this was in april. And well, I haven’t done any work for them yet unfortunately. I still keep in touch with them, so if something comes around I’ll be happy to work with them
This didn’t mean that I stopped looking for ways to improve my business. From Troy I came across Brennan Dunn and his Double Your Freeancing Rate (DYFR) course as well as The Blueprint. I went through his stuff through the summer and this opened my eyes to more value based pricing. I raised my rate immediately after this!
From spring and through august
things were really slow. The only exception was 4 day freelance engagement for another web agency. And I’m guessing that I got into a denial state of mind and didn’t want to realise that I had to take some action. But I finally came to my senses and terminated my contract for my office and started working from home, I also got myself a summer job delivering mail. So I made it through the summer, but it was a blow to the face, cause by this time I had gotten into a lot of debt and I was behind on my taxes and VAT payments.
The summer was over and so was the summer job, and I knew that I wasn’t ready for going back to being a commodity. So I found myself a part-time job (60%) so that I could focus more on getting my business on the right track and not being to needy when I would get a project.
The collaboration with the ad-agency didn’t pan out as I thought either and I started to realise that the work was getting more and more commoditised, and I started to resent the jobs I got from this end. And as if that wasn’t enough, they started to not pay me on time. After a while (late october) I decided to end this collaboration. It was draining my energy, both the work and not getting paid. I still haven’t gotten the last payment which is about $1700.00.
I started to look at what other distraction I could get rid of. So I cleaned up my inbox and unsubscribed everything that wouldn’t help my business. And subscribed to those who that would. I started following people who has influenced me a lot this year:
- Ramit Sethi / iWillTeachYouToBeRich.com
- Troy Dean / WPelevation.com
- Brennan Dunn / DoubleYourFreelancing.com
- Noah Kagan / OkDork.com
- Brent Weaver / uGurus.com
- Paul Jarvis / Pjrvs.com
- Justin Jackson / JustinJackson.ca
- Liam Veitch / Freelancelift
- Brian Casel / CasJam.com
- Kurt Elster / Ethercycle
- Ben Hunt / WebDesignFromScratch.com
- Nathan Barry / NathanBarry.com
- Paul Boag / BoagWorld.com
- Marie Poulin / MariePoulin.com
- Rob Williams / Let’s Workshop
All of this led me to uGurus and Brent Weaver’s $10K Bootcamp! This has been by far the best investment I have made! Yes, it was a huge investment and I spent my last dollars on it, but it will make huge impact on my business going into 2015.
This fall has been extreme to say the least!
As I mentioned I was behind on my taxes and I also owed taxes from last year. And from september to november I had to come up with $9.5K, and as if that wasn’t enough last years and this years VAT would come on top of that! I was definitely starting to feel depressed and I struggled to get projects done. But I was determined to not give up! Although I truly understand why most people would just throw in the towel and give up. I was considering it, trust me…
I didn’t manage to get enough projects to pay everything by the end of 2014, but thanks to friends and family who believe in me I have paid all the taxes for 2013/2014. And I will also be able to pay of the VAT for 2013/2014 now in january.
I feel ready to start this year fresh and clean!
The plans and goals for 2015
This year I’m no longer a freelancer, I am an Digital Strategy Consultant.
«I want change, and I want to change!» is this years slogan!
I’ve learnt a lot through-out this year and it’s been an constant battle, but I’ve kept on fighting. And you can only go one way when you’re at the bottom, and that’s UP! I’ve never been more ready to start taking my business to a new level. That being said, I need to set myself some goals for 2015.
Business + Career
- Create 3-4 products from my digital strategy consulting services
- Get 5 great result based testimonials.
- Automate processes to save time
- Pay taxes and VAT on time
- Continue to pay off debt
- Create 2 retainer products (maintenance/hosting and SEO/content)
- In general eat a more healthier and balanced diet
- Reduce sugar intake
- Make sure I get at least 6 hours of sleep
Friends, Family and Relationships
- Spend quality time in the weekends with friends and family (no work, all play)
Lifestyle + Travel
- Keep doing consulting part-time at least through-out 2015
- Finish renovating our master bedroom
- Set aside enough money for 3 weddings this summer. One in Spain and two in the northern parts of Norway
- Writing a weekly journal so that I can keep track of where my business is heading and use it as some kind of accountability.
- I will continue gaining new knowledge and educating myself through Freelancelift and going over $10K Bootcamp material
- Only take on projects I feel is going to be a GREAT fit
- Push myself more to go beyond my comfort zone
Whether or not I reach these goals is not the most important aspect, but it’s keeping me focused. And it’s going to be fun to see where I’m at this time next year.
So how has your year been? Any stories to share? I would love to hear them!