I’ve been working with one client for almost a year and a half now. That’s the longest by far I’ve ever kept one, mainly because most of my clients in the past were small businesses that just weren’t very consistent.
This client has been great, and has worked with me to refine their content marketing and Search Engine Optimization (SEO) strategies.
But yesterday I had to tell them that I need a break. I had taken too much onto my plate and was having trouble staying afloat. Hence, why I haven’t been on this blog as much and haven’t spent nearly enough time marketing it.
It feels strange to say no or stop a good thing. But there are a few reasons why I chose to do this:
1) We Have to Ignore the Good to Pursue the Great
I want to spend much more time on this site. I want to help people become more productive, which doesn’t mean doing more things. It means they do a select few things that yield greater results.
Even though I’ve thought and read about doing more legacy work (as Chris Guillebeau calls it,) I really haven’t. I’ll start a book or a website and move forward with it for a few weeks but then let other priorities get in the way. Like freelancing.
But they are complete opposites. I freelance to make a little extra money and keep up my writing skills. I want to create a business to help others for a long time. The gap in the impact is enormous.
That’s why my three main areas of focus for the next few months are this site, school and my job search. Even though there are many other things going on, I’m putting those three first because they’re the most important for the long-term.
2) I’m Saying No to More Things that Don’t Pay Enough
It’s funny- one of the main things I’m going through right now is a job search. I finish my MBA in May, so I’m figuring out where I’m gonna go afterwards.
When I found the salary for one job I was talking to a recruiter about, I immediately shot it down. I figured there was no way I was gonna work for that little.
The funny thing? I’ve been working for this freelancing client for even less per hour!
I had the mindset that any time spent freelancing is “bonus.” It’s a bonus in addition to what I make at my regular job. And while that’s true, it’s silly to sell yourself short. If you make $30/hour at your job and only $15/hour freelancing, you’re valuing yourself even less than your employer does.
3) I’m Seeking More Growth Opportunities
I was starting to hit a wall with that client. Even though we were starting to take things in a new direction, I question how much I was really learning by working for them.
At 31 years old, I’ve been working long enough to know that I’m not inspired by just making money. But I’m young enough to know that if I learn new skills now, I can carry them with me for another 40-50 years!
So rather than get stuck in the same old positions with my freelancing, I want to branch out. I’m looking at going into the coaching space, where I can help clients better and master a new skill. Coaching is a skill that anyone can benefit from.
Do you have too much on your plate right now? Are there a few good things you’re doing that you should cut out for a while, or even completely?
Personally I think most of us do. Whether it’s a side job or a hobby or chores around the house or whatever. We tend to stay busier than we should, as staying busy takes us away from optimizing our productivity. As many personal development gurus say, busyness is the most accepted form of laziness.
Cut out the good so you can focus on the great.