Emma Grace (My Oldest)!
Yesterday my 5-year-old daughter Emma came into my office and asked, “Daddy, what are you doing?”
“Why do you have to work all the time?”
At that moment I looked at her and felt like it was important how I answered.
I had a couple thoughts and feelings swirling around… On one hand I thought, Man, maybe I do work too much. Do I tell her, “I’m working hard now so I can spend more time with you later”?
But then I reminded myself that no, I’m not a workaholic. In fact, it’s rare if I work over 40 hours in a week. And I work from home so I see my family in the morning, on my coffee breaks, at lunch and 45 seconds after I stop working.
Of course there are some days I have to put in some longer hours, but it’s the exception rather than the rule. So I realized that this feeling of guilt was not grounded in reality, so I dismissed it.
The other thought I had was to take this opportunity to help my daughter understand that work is actually a good thing. Not a “necessary evil” that must be avoided at all costs.
Today I had to have a hard talk with one of my clients.
He’s an owner of an insurance agency and one of the clients who I have on a monthly retainer. We manage his website, PPC campaigns and do CRO work.
I recently met with his marketing coordinator like I do every two weeks to check in, update them on changes and to get feedback on the quality of leads we’re generating.
For the last three months the feedback has all been positive.
But on the last call she said they’ve only had ONE lead that’s been in their ideal account size. She didn’t make a big deal about it, sort of said it in passing. So I could have let it go. But I didn’t.
I didn’t because I was shocked! For three months I’ve been hearing, “Yes, the leads are good.”
I’m exhausted. But also super happy!
We just moved into our new house two nights ago. And my wife and I hit the ground running with our first home project: converting the 10×20 outbuilding into my new office!
And we’re making good progress. We moved in Friday night. And on Saturday we went to take a closer look at the outbuilding to see what prep work we had to do before installing the new floor.
That’s when we ran into an obstacle… Continue reading
I’m a slow learner sometimes. But when something clicks I go all the way with it.
For example, for the first 5 years of being in business I paid myself sporadically. Basically whenever there was a chunk of money in my business checking account I’d pay myself.
But now, thanks in large part to my beautiful wife (and the fact we’re buying a home this week), I’ve developed the habit of paying myself every two weeks.
I now get paid on the 1st and the 15th of the month (thank you boss!).
And it feels good. I work well with deadlines so knowing that I need to come up with payroll twice a month helps me focus on important things like cash flow, sales and prospecting.
It’s motivation! I’m suddenly inspired to do the things I need to do. Funny how that works.
I even started tracking this on my habit-tracking app (Habit Bull for Android). I’m at 100% if I pay myself twice a month. And for the last few months I’ve been doing great. My goal is to keep this up for at least 12 months.
So just wanted to share this with you because this simple little decision is having a big impact on my life and business.
If you’re a freelancer who gets paid to provide a service like copywriting or design then you likely have just two main activities to focus on: prospecting and client work.
Most everything else is secondary.
Yes, it’s good to blog. And to meet new people. And to update your website.
But none of those things are as important as making sales and delighting your clients (mastering your craft).
If you haven’t mastered those two areas then why waste time on all the other stuff?
You only have so much time in the day. So here’s a simple exercise for tomorrow:
Look at your day and decide how much time you need to spend on client work. Then see if you have any meetings scheduled. Now how much time do you have left over?
If it’s a few hours why not spend it prospecting?
If you don’t need more work then of course you can skip this and just focus on getting your work done.
But if you need to generate more cash flow then stop doing the million other things you’re doing and focus on the ONE thing that will bring in sales!