Originally published on September 6, 2016 @ 3:00 pm
You ever just want to give up on freelance writing?
The struggle is real.
Let's face it, we all have days where enough really is enough.
We get too tired. Too stressed. Too worn out. All from going too hard for too long with too little support.
You start comparing yourself to other people. You're happy for their success, but feel as though you're working twice as hard for half the money and even less appreciation. When you get to the end of a long week and you see that you're no closer to any of your goals. Or you look at your family, with whom you haven't spent any real quality time in longer than you care to admit, and you feel like you're letting them down.
People ask me all the time: how do you know when enough is enough? How do you know when you've reached that point?
When do you need to say “freelance writing just isn't for me…time to find another job.“?
And my answer is: when the thought of quitting no longer feels like a punch to the gut.
You see, there is a difference between giving up and letting go. It's important to let things go if they are dragging you down, causing you undue stress, or harms you (either mentally or physically). Giving up entails believing that you cannot achieve something that would make you happy, alleviate your stress, or help you.
Yes, there may come a point where you have to face the fact that the business you wanted so hard to succeed just is not a good fit for you. Maybe the business vision and goals have fallen out of line with your personal vision. Maybe working from home just isn't for you. Whatever the case may be, if you get to the point where you no longer want it to succeed — where the thought of letting it go no longer bothers you — that is the time to let go.
Until then, giving up on your freelance business is the same thing as giving up on yourself. And if you do that, you will always hold it against yourself.
So how to you get out of the slump? How do you keep going when you just want to give up? Here are ten things you can do to revitalize your freelance writing business, reset your mindset, and pick yourself out of the slump.
10 Steps to Pull Yourself Back Up and Relaunch when you want to Give Up on your Freelance Writing Business
- Take a couple days off. Use a day or two to wrap up any loose ends — send out your last few prizes, tell your clients you're taking some time off, schedule some non-promotional posts to run to your business page and your group using a service like Cinchshare or Hootsuite. This will guarantee you the time and space you need to focus on your choice without the pressure.
- Get into your happy place. Whatever you need to do to be happy, get there. Music, dancing, hanging out with your kids. Use this break to do these things and get yourself out of your emotional funk. No major decision should ever be made while you're upset. So take the time you need and do something that will make you happy. Get out of your funk before you even try evaluating your next step.
- Revisit your why. When you started your freelance writing business, you had a reason. Chances are, that reason was not “to get clients” or “to feel underpaid.” Take a moment and refocus on what your why was. Is your why still your why? Perhaps things in your life have changed since you started your business. Do you need to change your why to match?
- Take time to think about what you've accomplished already. Go back to when you first started your business and look at every achievement. Did a client send you a thank you email? Have you made new friends? Did you learn something new? Have you been able to expand your services? Take the time to focus on every single accomplishment you've made since starting your freelance writing business, no matter how long ago they happened.
- Write down a new list of goals related to your re-evaluated why. What is it you really want to do? Because your goal can't possibly be “to make more money.” That's too vague. But maybe you're trying to book 4 new clients every month. Or maybe you're trying to complete a new book every month. Maybe you want to pay for dance lessons for one of your children. Use the QUALITY goal-setting technique to define your list.
- Share your goals. Find an accountability partner and share with them your goals. You want a friend or family member who cares about you and loves you, but is not afraid to push you or hurt your feelings. Your accountability partner will help kick you back into gear when you start heading into a direction unrelated to your goals.
- Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Change never happens when you're feeling too comfortable. Any change, even small changes that you know are good for you, will make you feel uncomfortable for a time. So be prepared. Everyone has a process for facing and accepting change, especially internal change. Just make sure your process does not include avoiding it.
- Take some time to identify challenges. We all know that the going gets tough. You know the going can get tough — that's why you're thinking of quitting. But what is making it tough right now. What are you doing that is hindering you. What are you going to do to change that? What external forces are you facing? How are you going to face them? Do you need to get in some extra training? What type of training do you need?
- Go over your personal branding and make adjustments as needed (or get one set up). Personal branding is so important. Your personal brand is what will help you stand out from other freelance writers who are all offering the same services you offer. What makes someone hire you over another writer who is just as good — or maybe even better? Who do you serve and what problem do you solve for them? Is that apparent through your branding? Now you've got the time, you've got your goals set, so it's time to start putting it all to work for you. Go make some graphics, put together your logo, and get ready to go.
- Relaunch. It is never too late to relaunch. Make an announcement on your business page and your VIP group, schedule a party, send out personal invitations to friends and family asking them to help you celebrate, and go. Jump back in with new purpose, new goals, a redefined why, and new branding.
And don't forget to congratulate yourself for pulling through even when you wanted to give up.
Because you deserve it.
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