It's so hard to find a balance between making money and doing what you really want - and to know when you should concentrate on one or the other.
I met with Matt, a business consultant who agreed to help me draw up a freelance plan, hoping he'd get me on the right track. What I realized in the process: by focusing on money and short-term goals, I'd completely lost sight of what was most important to me. Below are the questions he asked that helped me re-discover what that was - and how to get there:
What does writing success mean to you?
*Make a list
*of these, what TWO do you want the most/need to achieve in order to feel personal success?
How do you plan on getting there?
Make a list
*of these, which are you already doing?
*will the things you're already doing help you to achieve those TWO ITEMS you most want to achieve...and make you money so you can keep it up?
*what else can you do to get there?
Map It Out
Now that you know what you want the most, and what you can do to get there, make a 5-year timeline. Start by writing your two most important goals at the end of the 5th year. Now map out a timeline for all five years that will help you get to those two goals at the end.
What I realized during the process was that I'd become so involved with newsletters and other projects that made money, that I hadn't spent ANY time writing my book or brainstorming scenes...or doing research for women's magazines.
Of course, I realize that freelancers need to make money - but there is a balance. So...so long to my old business plan, which revolved around money and efficiency; I've now got one that includes what I really want for myself, and my career...and, yes, some efficiency and financial goals in the mix.