On a few occasions, I caught myself saying, “I wish I hadn’t ever started this thing, and now that it’s public, I can’t just up and abandon the idea in March.”
The shortcomings of the previous two months started to weigh on me. It was late-March and I hadn’t written the February earnings post.
I hadn’t earned anything for the month, and in just over a week I had to announce another short month…
But a ship can’t sail without a gust of wind…
(source: Michael Stidham)
March was dead as a doorknob… Until it wasn’t
I spent the first half of my month with my nose to the grindstone.
Around mid-March I realized I hadn’t closed any new projects, and was still looking forward to 2 big website launches, hoping to get them out the door and off my plate before March ended to land myself in a 5-digit month.
As I sat staring at my computer screen on March 29th… confusedly asking myself what have you done?… an enormously hollow zero staring back at me. It was March 29th, I was preparing the blog post, my earnings were less than next-to-nothing.
I woke up to $650 in my account on March 30th, which drastically reduced my stress. Even $1 would’ve been better than $0.
Anything but $0.
Later that same day another $65 trickled in, then on March 31st another couple chunks… All in all, it didn’t turn out so bad.
In March I ended up pulling $3,675 (USD)
Still well below where I need to be, but with a couple grand here, and a couple more coming my way in the near future, we can start to see how invoices and payments fill up.
This got me to thinking… There are good months and there are bad months, we can’t let a silly little $600 month (or $0 month, for that matter) get in the way of piling on more work.
This really took me out of this fixation I’ve been having on hitting $8,333 per month. It’s all I’ve been thinking about.
Yet when I’m hanging out with friends and the $100,000 comes up (which happens far more often than I’d anticipated, and I’ve been mortified at how low my initial month’s numbers have been), I reference that $8,000 per month goal and there’s no connection to trying to hit a recurring number. No one gives a shit about hitting any monthly goal, they just like hearing “how I’m doing”. To believe that over time, the $24,000 month’s will make up for the the $600 dollar months.
If there’s one place I really didn’t pull my weight in March, it was in the balance between Opening Projects and Delivering Projects. That is to say, I worked hard, and got a lot of work out the door to a bunch of happy clients, but I didn’t stay consistent with the amount of conversations I was maintaining while I was working.
This dip left me with only $660 in opened projects, all of which closed in March, and left me scrambling in the early days of April.
Rather than overload myself with the anxiety of hitting $8,000 per month, I’m just going to keep chugging towards $100,000 and see if I can’t blow this baby up to make up for the slow months. Looking to get better at slow-burning and keeping the more consistent numbers of weekly conversations, estimates sent, hours spent coding, and hours spent doing something creative for the business.
Look after the number of estimates sent, and the dollars should follow. Let’s go.
What could you be doing to earn money “online”? (I hate that term; it’s called earning money)
Something I’ve really wanted to dig into more, is the other options for earning side cash, or making a living online. There is so much potential out there, and as I wrote in the original post announcing $100,000 in 2017, I think it’s safe to say that anyone can earn a living online. Whether you’re a mechanic, or a single mom, or a programmer, or a doctor.
The Internet has brought us to a point where everyone is a brand and through your social media is you. If you want to start a t-shirt company like my friend Stacey you can do that: start posting to Facebook or Instagram today. If you want to build software with no idea how to code like my friend Bryce, you can do that. Start with a spreadsheet, make it work manually, then hire someone to automate the process with the profits you’ve made from the spreadsheet. My friend Jessica took her love for baking and started teaching others to bake (yes! in her home!)
There is endless opportunity to make some side money doing what you love.
I’ve always had a lot of irons in the fire. If you know me, I’ve designed clothes, websites, logos, shoes, . I run a small digital marketing agency, and paint murals in my spare time. I launched a graffiti tour company in South America, and have sold computers, odd electronics, flipped items sourced from Value Village, and built software to get early access to Kanye West’s extremely limited shoes. I also run a small hobby supplies website, a few blogs, and setup goals like earning $100,000 just from freelance work. (you might’ve heard of that one)
Amongst these humble successes are a seemingly infinite number of failed endeavours. I could talk for days of the great ideas I’ve come up with that failed miserably. The point is to get out and do what you love. Share that with people, and see if you can’t convince someone it’s worth something.
Because of this, I’m going to be leaking out bits and pieces of online business information, grass roots ideas for simple products that make sense, small ideas to get your mind thinking about different ways to solve problems in your life and others.
Some of that stuff will be available here on the blog, for everyone to read, while other bits and pieces will go out to a small group of people who’ve shown interest in those types of things. Feel free to opt in to that below.
(source: Michael Stidham)
So with a fairly successful March out of the way, what’s does April have in store for us?
Starting to get a better understanding of the Codeable-specific workflow. While I’ve freelanced on and off for years, tying myself to a community of freelancers is a bit of a change. Every freelance community has it’s own workflow and project cycle (opened > consulted > worked > delivered > revisions > paid > finished), so while some projects are in and out the same day, I can expect the projects I open this month to be paid by next month or shortly thereafter.
This gives me something to work towards, and moving forward I’ll be tightening up my communication to every day or two, to help things move along. When a client disappears, I’ll be able to call in the big guns earlier and shorten that dead airtime.
There are still two decent sized projects which closed in Feb/March but haven’t been paid yet, and I’m starting to enjoy the idea of these earnings compounding over time. Looking forward to see how this year pans out.
March wasn’t too bad, but since I didn’t open much work in March, April has started out lackluster. Having learned from my mistakes, rather than force a bunch of contracts to start, I’m focusing on estimating, and letting some larger ones, and a few more smaller projects roll in and putting faith in the benefits of consistency.