Accountability will save me right?
That’s what I keep thinking but here I am looking at another month that yielded a whole lot of nothing. Unlike last month, I can’t use the excuse of preparing for my GM to be out of the office. Last month was her first full month gone. We held our annual charity event and that sucked up a lot of free time that I might have used for my freelance business but not what has kept me from reaching my goals.
I spent the better part of March (and by better I mean nearly all of it) being sick but it wasn’t until my husband prompted me six days before Easter did I finally go to the doctor. Turns out I have pneumonia. Or I did. A high dose of antibiotics, an inhaler and the ability to work my full time gig from bed and I am finally feeling human again. Unfortunately, Easter and my birthday probably suffered the most from being sick. However, I did learn something from all of that: I don’t like pneumonia. I’ve never had it until now and I’d like to do everything I can to avoid getting it again.
Being sick made me a bit of an unproductive mess in my freelancing business. There’s no denying it. Here’s how the month broke down.
There really was no new work in March. I did secure a speaking engagement but that doesn’t happen till August. I’m excited though to follow up with my contact and meet with her this month to discuss my platform a little more and find out more about the audience I’ll be speaking to. I also reached out to a company that I’d love to guest post for. They offer social media tools and tips via e-newsletters and I think this will be a perfect fit for me. I’ve wanted to do more guest posting; I’ve just been searching for the right company to do it for. I think I may have finally found it.
I managed to squeak out a couple of blog posts on my family life blog and a couple more on a mom’s site that I contribute to but other than that, it was another slow month. One of my e-commerce clients is off to a trade show this week and when she comes back, I’ll be meeting with her to get the design and hosting down for her new site so we can really get the ball rolling.
My other e-commerce client has finally reached the point where I’m more of a consultant or fixer if she has a problem. That makes me both happy and sad. On one hand, I’m thrilled to see her be comfortable enough where she doesn’t need me like she did before. The downside? Less income from this client because alas, she doesn’t need me like she did before.
Still, I love being the one who helps launch a new endeavor and new business. It makes me feel wonderful to see a client up and running (mostly) on their own.
Queries and LOIs
I’m armed with a stack of trade publications that I want to query this month. In February I didn’t feel quite as confident as I do now. I’m not going to limit myself to trade publications though. I still feel like there are a number of digital publications that could use my writing so I’m including a those sites as well. I’m also going to take advantage of my HARO newsletters and reach out more as an expert or source. It’s a space that until now, I’ve overlooked as a means for finding new work.
I’m not surprised at the small amount of revenue that trickled in last month. I didn’t market in February like I should have. March was a none marketing month as well. However, it’s hard to make marketing calls when you have no voice to speak with. That shouldn’t of stopped me though from using email though. Still, a couple of unexpected sponsored posts last month did bring in a chunk of change so I can’t complain too much. I do have some invoices to send out for last month’s contributing work and I’m looking to fill some blog space with some sponsored posts again this month.
This really goes without saying but I’ll do it anyway; if I (or the understood “you”) want to earn any money by freelancing, it’s important to get yourself out there. Even when you’re sick and plagued with pneumonia. While the unexpected sponsored post or ad revenue is nice, it doesn’t make for a livable income by any means.
Another thing that is sticking in my mind are excuses. As I look back on March and February, I see many excuses as to “why” things didn’t happen as I’d liked. They boil down to lack of motivation, being very sick, and not planning for being sick. Valid excuses all of them, well except for the lack of motivation but excuses nonetheless. Even working from bed I didn’t take a day “off” from my full time gig so in hindsight marketing, writing, or posting at least once a week should’ve been just as important to me in my freelance business.
I’m not going to beat myself up too much for catching pneumonia though. Sometimes you get sick and you need to rest in order to get better and be at your best. That doesn’t mean that I’m not disappointed in my March recap or for the many ways I found to excuse the “whys”. It just means that I have to push past the excuses to get things done.
Bruce Nauman, a contemporary American artist once said, “If you really want to do it, you do it. There are no excuses” and he’s right.
How did your March pan out? Did you find excuses to put off success?
image ~ ajajulian