2014 is almost at it’s end and with these final days, I celebrate my first complete year of being a freelance writer and inbound marketing entrepreneur. It has been one of the best years of my life because it made me realise the inherent potential within every human being and how easy it is to tap into… provided you’re clear on your vision and determined in your approach. I wanted to mark this occasion with a few words that will hopefully inspire others to follow their hearts and find their own sense of freedom.
I have always been an entrepreneur at heart. I remember trying to sell mangled cookies to our neighbours as a kid, or flowers that I’d picked from pavement gardens. Friendly community members bought my wares once or twice to support what they thought was a small whim, but there are only so many crappy cookies a person can willingly spend money on. Later, I went on to run an aerobics and personal training business that I took to people’s houses, helping them heave their butts off the sofa for an hour a day. I taught aerobics and pilates classes in the halls of schools and churches, opened up my own pilates and yoga studio, and always wrote in my spare time to earn extra cash. Making my own money was something that I loved and poured energy into, and thus… it was a part of my life that grew.
The Good, The Bad And The Ugly
As with everything, there is no good without the bad, no success without the pitfalls, no lucrative opportunities without the shady, underhanded business dealings of the Internet’s most despicable. The ugliest I’ve had to deal with since becoming a freelance digital content writer has to be writing sordid reviews for escort agencies (it paid really well) and having to deal with people who don’t feel it’s necessary to pay you for work you’ve done, but there are ways around this.
- Requesting 100% payment upfront before you begin – or at least 50%, which is what I swear by
- Sending out hit-men
- Putting all your faith in the law of cause and effect, aka karma
You live, learn and evolve through each experience. I’m still learning and continue to maintain the stance of being a student of life, understanding that I don’t know everything and that I can always improve. It’s the best way to be open to any opportunity for growth, leaving ego at the door and asking what I can take from any experience that can help me further my path and strengthen my skills. I think that has been my ultimate lesson. Learning how to be humble. From this comes the most enjoyable freedom to simply absorb information, without the attachment to “oh, I know this…” or “oh, I do it this way”. Some people thrive on being the knowers of all, but in being so, they lose out on so much awesome information that could honestly be the key ingredient in changing their lives. Just being able to listen to people and how they’ve carved out their own niches in this world is a powerful lesson in itself. It’s that one thing I can say has made me a stronger businesswoman. I don’t know it all and never will! So I might as well sit back, relax and enjoy grasping the free flow of information around me.
The Power Of Intention
If there is ever any doubt in your mind about the power you hold within you, then simply try and put it to the test. Intention – as I’ve discovered – is the most persuasive energy that can change your circumstances in exactly the way you want it to. I have always been a positive person and seen the lighter side of life, but by knowing whole-heartedly that I could succeed I truly saw how my personal intention shaped the success I currently know.
In saying that… it was never about typical “success” for me, it was never about winning recognition or fortune or fame… it was about freedom. It was about having time for me and my family, about being able to go wakeboarding when I wanted to or being able to work from the coast or the bush. It was about having the hours in my day to spend as I wish, knowing that I had to divide them between client and personal commitments. It was about being free to live the life we – as a family – want, while we have the opportunity. I don’t need to tell you, but life is freaking short. I’m heading up to 40 and I can’t remember how I got here. But it doesn’t matter anymore because I’m doing what I love and the better half of my life that lies ahead is going to be full of my personal dreams and aspirations. That is my “success”.
I always knew that this was more important than a job title or salary increase. Life. Living. Freedom. It’s far too important to waste while working to achieve someone else’s dreams.
So how do you… whoever you are… make intention work for you? How do you know and uncover your own freedom? I don’t believe that it’s unique to any one person or career, I believe that anyone can make it happen for themselves, but they have to put in the work!
My advice? Take some time to think about what your “success” is. What do you aspire to? What do you want to do that will make you happy and how can you earn an income doing that? No matter what it is, write down your goals, feel them, know their outcome and then put every ounce of additional energy you have into making them come to life. Sometimes the path isn’t visible, but if you start working towards the destination, it eventually becomes evident. There is no way you can fail if your intention is clear, if you put in the effort and you know in your heart that you will (not can… will) succeed. Never assume that stuff will just happen. You have to make it happen, and only you have the power to do it. You also have to be prepared to work your butt off to get there, but the end result is so worth it!
From my side, I worked a full-time job, held my status as a full-time mom too, but I somehow managed to squeeze out the remaining hours of the day so that I had enough time to offer energy to my freelance exploits. By being honest with the company I worked for, I was free to freelance and earn the additional cash I needed to make ends meet, so everything was ethical and there was no need for lies or deceit. In this safe space, I was able to grow a business.
While other people were watching TV, I was working, while other people were sitting in the pub, I was working. While others were sleeping… some people sleep a lot… I was working. I did this for two solid years of my life, although I had already built up a small client base before then, but for two solid years I was tired. Yoga and my family kept me ticking because there were moments when it wasn’t fun. But I persisted. There were countless times when I forgot why I was doing this, but it wasn’t long before freedom whispered her sweet song in my ear and I found the motivation to carry on. I reached a point where I had built up such a powerful portfolio of clients, that I had to make the ultimate decision. I had to choose between keeping my full-time job or resigning and focussing on my freelance business. No-brainer, obviously… but it wasn’t an easy decision to make. Comfort is a very real and addictive thing! It’s so easy to stick with what you know because it offers sanctuary and no amount of fear. All you have to do is get up every day and repeat what you did the day before and you’ll have that paycheck in your bank account at the end of the month. But it’s that getting up everyday and doing the same thing that sucks the very soul from within us. Leaving my full-time job was the most enlivening moment of my career.
I took a leap of faith and landed on my feet.
Now, more than a year later I am so grateful to the clients I have who have also become special friends. Each interaction offers a beautiful symbiosis that works seamlessly to offer both sides exactly what we want and need. The best part about it is that I’m loving every moment of what I do, which attracts more of the same awesome stuff to my door. I seem to have found my flow, and now this is my comfort zone! But it’s one that also allows me to live my life of freedom!