I remember when I was so cheap.
I’d accept $5 for a 500-word article.
I’d turn it in before deadline, and it was pre-written, written, and proofread.
I started freelancing early, and I got a lot of projects. I earned okay, but I had little time for myself and I had bills to chase anyway.
I chased bills every month. It was almost like I was just writing to chase bills.
I remember having P4,000 in my bank account and thinking, oh God, I have so much money! Only because I never had that much money sit in my bank account for more than 3 days tops.
I went on cheap vacations, but I hated coming back and having to work in order to afford the next one.
Then the worst thing happened— I stopped writing for fun. I HATED WRITING. As a wide-eyed writer who used to dream of writing for Hallmark, this was really difficult to admit to myself.
I began to punch 10,000 words a day everyday and worked so hard so I keep earning those $$$.
I made more than my peers, but I was also working 10x harder than they were.
I stopped writing poetry. I stopped writing flash fiction. I stopped blogging about fun things.
My writing became a commodity, and I hated it.
And you know what, all of these things were borne out of one thing– me not knowing the right way to price and market my services, not having a mentor, and not reaching out to use the resources around me.
I was so CHEAP I won’t even invest in my own career. I didn’t have time. I just worked so hard and thought the only way to earn more was to just do more. Along the way, I betrayed my passion.
I KNOW some of my fellow photographers, makeup artists, graphic artists, and web developers feel the same way. I feel you.
The good news is, you can get out of that rut soon.
Now it’s wayyyy different for me. I write for fun. I write to help others. I get paid in different channels. I read more now. I write more now. I manage 3 businesses, and my career has never been better.
And here I am sharing my story because I don’t want my fellow freelancers go through the same thing.
Here are some things that helped me:
- Read, read, read. Make use of free online content. I read a ton of books, watched informative videos, subscribed to medium, digital marketing websites, et cetera.
- Invest in your craft. Invest in top learning and execution materials that contribute to your craft. As a writer, I found that nice notebooks, pens, post-it notes, a board for my ideas, actual books, paid note-taking apps contribute to my productivity.
- Listen to coaches and mentors. Hell, the fastest way to about this is to apply for a 1:1 program. (Maybe the reason you can’t afford it is you are not in one, therefore can’t scale properly, hence you actually need it more.)
- Changed my mindset. I’ve been through a lot of mindset changes and my favourite ones are the abundance mindset and the don’t-give-a-fuck-about-the-competition-mindset. There is no shortage of clients, business, ideas, and your competition has ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with your success.
Looking back, I literally would laugh at how bad I was before when it comes to money. I’d undercharge, over deliver, sometimes the content quality would suffer, I’ve been scammed by “clients”, I’d blow my money on a quick island getaway because I was sooo stressed. I realized I didn’t have to live that way and totally took over and changed my life.
I am hoping the same for you, dear freelancer. 🙂
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