Some friends and I after a Spartan Race
Today I had a great call with a friend of mine named Brian Appleton. We met in March 2016 after I sent him this short email:
Hi Brian, nice to meet you. I just wanted to introduce myself and see if there was any synergy between you and I. See this short 90-second video I made for you: http://screencast-o-matic.com/watch/cDejqF1oHK
If you want to chat here’s a link to my calendar: http://www.meetme.so/jmonen
It literally took me 90 seconds to make that video and 30 seconds to type that email (Plus about 10 minutes researching him before I did that). So let’s just say 15 minutes total.
And the result?
Earlier this year I was thinking about what skills I need to master if I’m really going to replace my self-employed mindset with a true business owner mindset.
I came up with a list of several skills but the one I felt I needed to focus on the most was negotiation.
After getting into some bad deals I realized my negotiating skills sucked!
So I’ve decided to improve in this area. I’m reading a great book right now called Never Split the Difference by Chris Voss.
Last year I decided to move away from working with clients who only had one-off projects to clients who had monthly ongoing needs.
My thinking was that this was the best way to predictable monthly income. And that’s turned out to be true.
Right now I’m making 81% of my income from clients who I’m working with on a monthly basis. And I love it.
It has definitely not been an easy road though. Like I said, I made this decision last year and after a lot of trial and error I finally feel like I’m hitting my stride here.
It’s a good reminder that even though we usually don’t know how our goals will come to pass, it’s still important to set, and pursue, them.
OK… enough motivational talk. Let me tell you how I got these clients because that’s what you really want to know, right?
I realize I need more margin in my life.
I’m constantly trying to cram too many projects and tasks into my day and it’s not sustainable.
And when I think about it the problem is bigger than just how I schedule my days. It also affects my finances.
For example, if I operate with no margin financially then I create unnecessary stress and pressure in my life. If we have a big unexpected expense and we have no emergency fund then there’s suddenly a major problem in our family.
However, if we have a fully-funded emergency fund (which we define as at least 6 months of living expenses) then the “emergency” gets downgraded from a Category 4 to a Category 1 storm.
I’m an all or nothing type of person.
Most the time it’s a good thing. But sometimes it causes me to make stupid choices.
Like the time I quit writing copy so I could “go all in” on my dream of starting a marketing agency.
I remember this well because it was just last year!
I was working full-time as a freelance copywriter but was going through one of my usual “young-life crisis.”
“I don’t want to be a freelancer anymore. I feel like I’m supposed to be an entrepreneur,” I told my wife. “I want to build something bigger than myself.”