You think I’m full of shit right?
You’ve been slaving away at your side hustle for months and barely scraping by. And here you are scratching your head wondering: how does someone who works less than 40 hours a week – while wranging a rowdy three year old no doubt – earn six figures?
It’s understandable, considering you’ve read tons of crappy blogs promising a bazillion ways you can make easy money in your pajamas. You’re about to roll your eyes as you’re reading this, ready to criticize what I’ve got to say.
You’re no fool. You and I know that. Unlike those scammers out there, this post isn’t about how you can create a blog and earn money in your sleep. Not because there is some upsell at the end of this post, but because the truth is, creating an accidental business still takes a lot of damn work.
Ready to find out how I accidentally created a six figure freelance writing business?
Being Lazy Paid Off
I have a confession to make: I like to work as little as possible. Rather, my son would rather I work as little as possible.
Even if you don’t have kids, there are other things you’d much rather be doing than chasing down invoices, begging for more work or tweaking your website for the umpteenth time. You know, like going to the movies on a Tuesday afternoon, or going for a hike on a Monday morning.
Rather than focusing on income, I looked at what I could do that would give me the most bang for my buck. You know, actions that directly impacted my bottom line —asking for a higher rate or seeking out clients I know would pay me more.
Let high ROI activities become your obsession. Write down every single thing you’re doing and see if any of those actions help you earn money.
If posting images on Instagram isn’t getting you clients, stop doing it.
If reading books about marketing prevents you from sending emails to prospective clients, stop doing it.
If you’ve been perfecting your website logo, stop doing it.
Do what I’ve been doing for years and ask — What is one thing I could be doing right now that’ll earn me money without working more hours?
Curiosity Became My Biggest Weapon
Think about the last time you freaked out about making more money. Was that really productive?
I get it. I spent years freaking out about where my next paycheck was coming from and cried myself to sleep for more nights than I care to admit. One day, I became so fed up after the gazillion rejections exploding in my inbox that I decided to stop worrying and start wondering.
As in, I turned all my business goals into questions:
- Where I can find clients that pay?
- I wonder what industry I need to pursue to increase my chances of getting hired?
- What negotiation tactics can I use to raise my rates?
- How can I pitch an idea that editors will love?
- Is there a way to get paid to write topics I’m personally interested in?
Answering those questions became a game. A fun game that literally paid me. Using curiosity as my super power landed me some really cool opportunities like getting paid to research personal finance topics that were applicable to my life and interview people I’ve admired from afar for years.
Forget Batman. Become a hero by turning curiosity into your superpower.
Money Became a Secondary Goal
It’s easy to get caught up in fancy business terms like “bottom line,” “income projections,” or “profit/loss statements.” However, money doesn’t need to be the main focus of your freelance writing efforts.
Hear me out.
The truth is, my goal has always been on the lifestyle I wanted to create. Once I figured that out, I reverse engineered it by looking at how much I needed to earn to cover my basic expenses. As those goals changed, so did my income.
In my first few years of business (back when it was a side hustle), I wanted to earn enough to prove to everyone I could afford to stay at home with my son and still contribute financially.
The goal then became working less so I could volunteer in my community. Oh yeah, and buying that house by the beach. The more I focused on what I wanted in my life, the more I earned. Six years later, six figures became a reality.
Stop focusing so much on the money for a second and think: what is it that I want? Why do I want to earn six figures?
Use that as your motivation moving forward.
Biz Besties Are More Important Than You Think
Freelance writing is lonely. And this loneliness can cause you to do all sorts of crazy things, like telling yourself it’s not possible to earn a livable wage.
Those voices in your head are lying to you.
Here’s where biz besties come in. These are people who’ve been where you are. They’re coaches, mentors and fellow freelance writers who understand the realities of hustling for a paycheck. Biz besties can show you what’s possible – that you can in fact make it in business.
Where do you find them?
A few places:
- Do a search for your local Freelancers Union group
- Check out Meetup.com
- Facebook groups (don’t get sucked into watching cat videos!)
- Networking events
Forming relationships take time, which is why it’s perfectly acceptable to read books about the craft of creating a sustainable freelance business. Heck if you’ve got a bit of cash to spare, hire a coach or mentor. How do you think the best athletes in the world got to where they are now?
A true biz bestie isn’t going to throw you a line of bullshit. As in — yes, you guessed it — this person will point out the scams that promise you the moon and back. You know, the ones that show you (for a price of course) how you can sit on the beach while you make six figures in your sleep.
It’s easy to fall for those scams, but you already know that creating a thriving freelance writing business means doing a few unconventional things. It’s about being ruthless with your time, prioritizing your life above all else and being curious about everything around you.
Imagine when you tally up all your invoices and seeing that six figure sum on your computer screen.
Go ahead, practice how you’ll react when that happens. Maybe you’ll do a fist pump, or shout from the rooftops, or celebrate quietly by taking a day off in the middle of the week.
You can do do this.
I believe in you.
Now go make it happen.
psst…if you need a loving push in the right direction, grab the freelance writer kit where I show you the exact steps I took to create my freelance writing business, including free tools to make your life easier. Click here or on the image below to get instant access.