Drugi jezik na kojem je dostupan ovaj članak: Bosnian
By: Bor Klemenc Mencin, Freelancer
It was a gentle December night. A couple of lone snowflakes, carried by a light breeze, were playing around in the crisp cold air. They lay down softly on a thick blanket of snow that adorned the street, calling to mind the finest Italian marble. All the houses along the street were sleeping and dreaming about the things that houses dream about. All except one, which drowsily struggled with a glowing light coming through its top window…
It was me. I was working.
After a long time, I finally got a chance to do something other than advertising. I was asked to help prepare an ICO campaign. Unfortunately, the project got off to a slow start, but I’m looking forward to working on it as soon as it’s back on track. There were some other things, though. Aside from ongoing long-term projects, I’m taking part in probably one of the hottest pitches in Slovenia right now. And remember the client I thought had bailed on me back in October? Well, turns out she came back and now the project is well underway. Pretty, pretty, pretty good…
But everything wasn’t peachy. I ran into a little trouble with time management. A couple of late responses by some of my contacts and a bit of poor planning on my part resulted in me having basically nothing to do one week, then having my hands completely full the next one. I was able to handle it, but still, I should make it a point to avoid these kinds of mishaps in the future because abruptly switching from zen mode to stress mode really isn’t my thing.
December was also the month that I finally burnt through my savings. Until now, I’ve been living off what I managed to save up to September, but the holiday season did a wonderful job of burning a hole in my pocket. Thankfully or regretfully (depending on which one of my somehow-suddenly-financially-savvy buddies you ask) I managed not to get sucked into playing The Crypto Craze™ so everything I earned in the couple of months after September is safely tucked away on my business bank card – a card I’m sure I’ll be flexing a lot from now on.
The end of the year also meant I had to take a look at all the ongoing long-term projects and determine which ones to keep and which ones to quit. There are some inconsistencies when it comes to profitability per project, but as of now, I haven’t yet come to a definite conclusion about which one(s) to let go. All I can say is I’ll definitely be making some changes in the next couple of months.
However, profitability isn’t the only metric determining if things are going according to plan or not. December also marked the end of the first fiscal quarter of my freelancing career and so I was forced to prepare a business report for the shareholder. So let’s take a quick look, shall we?
The Q1 report based on the goals defined at the outset of my freelancing career:
- FREEING UP TIME TO DO MORE OF THE THINGS I LOVE – half-check
I do find myself having more time on my hands, however, I haven’t really been doing more of the things I love (unless you count playing video games and hitting the “Snooze” button more often).
- HAVING THE FREEDOM TO CHOOSE MORE PROJECTS I WANT (NOT NEED) – no check
I admit I wasn’t really that picky when it came to taking on projects. I did a few I wanted to do, but not nearly enough. It was more of a first-come, first-served type of arrangement and I was just sort of winging it.
- EARNING AT LEAST AS MUCH AS I DID BACK IN THE AGENCY – check
After doing the math, I can say that, on average, I’ve been earning in the ballpark of my former agency salary.
In addition, I’m sharing a couple of noteworthy observations:
- I have no medical way of proving this but general stress and anxiety levels are definitely down from September.
- It’s been an absolute blast playing different roles on different projects, some of which have forced me to come out of my comfy Copywriter shell, which is definitely a plus.
- In this short timespan, I’ve met a myriad of new interesting people, who I probably wouldn’t meet if I hadn’t gone through with this thing.
- I’m happy to have had the chance to catch up with some friendly faces I haven’t seen in awhile, businesswise.
- So far, I’ve managed to keep busy without advertising or proactively offering my services to potential clients.
And here’s a couple of not-so-worthy observations:
- Unfortunately, even though I’ve kept myself quite busy, I haven’t got any really cool projects to show for it. At least for now.
- I got involved in some projects that haven’t gone according to plan. I’m still waiting to start working on them, even though they were supposed to start weeks or even months ago.
- In a way, I needed a break and deliberately took it easy these couple of months, but now my chilled out amygdala seems to be intermittently pumping “productivity guilt” into my unsuspecting conscience.
Now, with every New Year come New Year’s Resolutions and 2018 is no different. Because all of my New Year’s Resolutions are somehow connected to my freelancing career, I don’t see a reason why I shouldn’t share them with you. Plus, I heard somewhere that making them public helps you stick to them when push comes to shove. Given that this year I have the opportunity to state them more publicly than ever before, 2018 should be extremely successful in this regard. So here goes…
My New Year’s Resolutions:
- Learn a new skill.
With more time on my hands, learning something new is now actually feasible for me. I’ve been thinking of going for something that’s kind of related to what I’m doing (e.g. coding) or something that will be good for my overall well-being (e.g. meditation).
- Get in shape.
Ain’t that a classic? Believe it or not, I’m not in it for the beach bod. I mean, if it happens I’ll be the last person to mind, but it’s more about feeling better and letting off steam.
- Develop a daily routine.
Not having to wake up at 8 a.m. during the week is awesome, but it comes with setbacks. I want to build up a stable routine that will help me be more organized and productive. The end goal is to be able to cultivate some kind of deep work habit.
- Read more books.
Another classic. Until now, I haven’t really read books on advertising, but recently I got my hands on a good one, which made me think I should probably read more of those to see what it is that I’m actually doing. Plus, I have a long book list that’s gathering dust in my notes app.
- Try out a freelancing platform.
So far, I didn’t find the time, but I’ve been meaning to try my luck on Upwork or Guru. If I manage to get a good fee and if it works out I might eventually shift to doing most of my work through these platforms.
- Complete at least one personal project.
With more time on my hands, I should be able to actualize at least one of the ideas that have been tumbling in my noggin for the past X months.
- Don’t feel bad about not achieving all of my New Year’s Resolutions.
Just keeping it real.
To all those who celebrated – I hope you had a good one and I wish you a great start of 2018.
To all those who have yet to celebrate – have an awesome celebration.
See you in a month.