At the beginning of 2018, I took a long, hard look at my business and realized it’s no where near where I want or need it to be. Admittedly, work has been slow. We’ve all been there, right? So, instead of wallowing in self-pity, I took the initiative and asked myself some crucial questions:
- What exactly do I want my business to look like twelve months or five years from now? (My husband and I have some big goals, plus two kids who I love dearly, but those year-round performance dance classes and competitive swim team practices are expensive. Plus, college is right around the corner…if that doesn’t spark a fire under my butt, I am not sure what will!)
- Do I need to make more income? (Um, who doesn’t? See above.)
- Do I need more clients to make these goals a reality? (Yes!)
- Would I like more rewarding/challenging jobs? (This field can get boring quickly if you are translating the same content over and over.)
- Do I want to branch out of my comfort zone and learn a new skill to offer clients? (Jury is still out on that one.)
- Do I need more balance to alleviate the guilt I feel my business takes from time with my family? (1,000 times YES!)
So many questions, so many directions.
While these questions took me all over the map, the exercise really did open my eyes to what I really want from my freelance business. It also helped me narrow down my focus for 2018 to came up with 4 tangible goals all supporting my overall vision. Once I wrote those down (keyword here: WROTE THEM DOWN!), I established guidelines around them using the SMART approach (Specific, Measurable, Action-oriented, Realistic, and Time-Driven). Are they all big and scary? Absolutely. Are they completely doable? With consistent effort and constant reminders about my vision, yes.
But, how in the world do I get started? Well, I figured I would start with one of the industry pros on marketing and signed up for Tess Whitty’s course, The Complete Marketing Course for Translators. With this course, I have started to learn ideas, tools, techniques, and yes, some tricks, to move outside my comfort zone, jump into scary (for me, anyway) opportunities to talk about me and my business (gasp!), and broaden my horizons to effectively build my client base for 2018, a key factor that will drive my success this year.
So, I’ll keep you posted. It’s now March. Have I secured any new clients so far? Nope. But, I have 9 more months to reach my goals for this year. Wish me luck. 🙂