I wanted to quit freelancing for this year
I never publicly announced that I was quitting freelancing, but I spent the past several months struggling with an internal dilemma. I knew that I wanted to quit freelancing and focuses solely on building a product business. But the fact is my current income is from a single client who pays me well for my time on retainer. It’s hard, near impossible, to give that up. I don’t work THAT many hours in a week, and most people would consider this a part-time job. Yet, somehow, I let it occupy enough of my time that I am “tired” at the end of the day and “don’t have the energy” to work on anything else after. Maybe the problem, or a part of it, was that my actions weren’t aligned with my goal of quitting freelancing?
Something interesting happened, when I decided, ya know what, I’m not going to make a bank breaking app in the next 6 months. So, I’m going to keep freelancing. And that thought, makes me feel better. Like, I can keep working, and freelancing is apart of the mission again. Now, today at least, I feel less tired.
I do want to keep freelancing. But, but I also want to to work on more creative projects, but I also want to be able to charge $200. More importantly, I want to be able to deliver work to clients that I think is WORTH that charging that rate.
I couldn’t quit cold turkey
I went into freelancing pretty cold turkey. I built my portfolio on the side while working full time and took one client during that time as well. But, I quit my job before really trying to find contracts that were worth more than a thousand dollars. In my mind (the setting of most of my internal conflicts), I would be able to quit freelancing and go straight into product businesses. But the reality was that my current income is from client work, and I like income.
This internal dialogue kept me from working on a project on the side of freelancing. Possibly because, a lot of popular start up literature says that the only way to be successful is to throw yourself entirely into one project or you will fail.
MAYBE my problem was hat I kept thinking of it as quitting freelancing, instead of starting to work on a side project. Another problem is that I did start working on a side project, and got overwhelmed with feature creep and underwhelmed by a less than spectacular pre-launch that only had 50 something sign ups. And for some reason, it feels like I haven’t started anything at all. I did not finish that app. It’s still sitting on the shelf at https://majorkey.app/
It’s time to start something new.
I am here: lost
I am lost. It needed to be said, so there it is. I’ve built an image of myself as a builder that can make anything, but I don’t know what to build. This internal conflict of whether I should be freelance, try to build an agency, or try to build a product, has left me in disarray.
I am a floundering entrepreneur and I’m not sure how to fix the situation. I’ve spent hundreds of hours listening to audiobooks and watching youtube videos about launching businesses. And here I am with my proverbial hands in my pockets too afraid to put myself out there. I know that confidence comes after action. I have taken many small steps to get to where I am. Now I need to take the next step down the road less traveled and get my hands dirtier than they have ever been.
I still have all my year of experience, those still happened and can be leveraged to find new clients. I still know how to build products, using web technologies, or other coding languages if I need to.
What can I do?
If I spend the week or two to refresh my portfolio, I will feel confident that I am working towards building products while my website is a vessel that drives inbound client work.
I can make more content that prospective customers would be interested in reading. I can set up social media pipelines to drive people to my current site. That way while I’m working other projects I can take freelance work as it comes up to help pay for marketing and development of side projects (re-invest back into the business).
I can do more research on freelancers and agencies that are charging more and ask them how they are able to find clients while charging that rate. Ask how they are able to justify the value in their work, and what helped them build the portfolio of work that they have now.
I can be more regular in uploading content. I used to say I didn’t care what other people think. I think I was more rude back then, a few people close to me called me an asshole. But, at least I was doing things. I think it’s time for me to start not giving of a f*ck about what other people are thinking of me, and hyper focus on what I think about myself and what I can do to align my actions with my values.
I need to keep making. Keep making writing code. Keep writing words. Keep capturing photos. Keep making videos. Keep building apps. Keep moving forward.
“Write the program” – The 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People (1989), by Stephen R. Covey