I’m Scared to Fail

I’m scared to fail.

There, I said it! I’ve been in business for over two years now and I’m still scared. Does this stop me? Nope! I know that I’ve got the drive and ability to be successful. This is not just a hobby for me. This is my passion! I’m just not cut out for what I’ve called the cubicle life. I get too antsy too quickly.

I thought about what my passion truly is over the last week. What I realized pretty quickly is that my passion is to work from home as a business owner and blogger. First, I thought about why I felt this way. I came up with the fact that I want to be my own boss. Next, I thought about why I want to be my own boss. For that, I came up with the reason that I’ve always answered to myself and no one else. I want to keep it that way. Lastly, my passion for writing, freelancing and blogging have grown over the last two years.

First, there are always going to be doubters. Second, people will tell me/you that it’s not possible to be successful as an entrepreneur. I respectfully disagree! I see some of my favorite people doing this and being so great at it. In fact, check out Horkey Handbook or Believe In a Budget for proof that people like me (and you) can do this! The keys to success (many of them) are below and they work! Another thing you may be told is that you’re not talented enough to succeed. Believing that is believing in BS! We are all talented in our own amazing ways!

The keys to success (many of them) are below and they work! Another thing you may be told is that you’re not talented enough to succeed. Believing that is believing in BS! We are all talented in our own amazing ways! A big reason I have been able to continue when clients don’t come to me so quickly is that I believe in myself and have the passion for what I’m doing. First thing’s first, what are the keys to success? These are my top four but it’s not an exhaustive list.

Keys to Success

  1. Passion
  2. Drive
  3. Love of yourself
  4. Love of your Brand

Failure is bound to happen from time to time. Success usually follows. Fight for your business, fight for your brand, fight for yourself! When people get you down, pull yourself up and continue on. I’m scared to fail. You’re probably saying to yourself “Rob, how can you still say that after all this?” Easy, I’m still human!

Until next time!

I’m Back!

I’m back!

I cannot believe it’s been two months since my last post. Things have been very busy with a job change and some life changes but it’s finally calmed down.

I’ve been working on doing some other home based things and was thinking today at the gym that I hadn’t posted in a while. When I logged on to see when my last post was, I was shocked! Okay, enough babbling. I’m starting to look for new clients again and reaching out to former ones as well. I said in a previous post that I wanted to be out of the 9-5 by the end of this summer. That sadly isn’t going to happen.

I said I took a new job. Well, I did as a Mortgage Assistant closer to home. It will allow me to not only have a sustainable income but will also allow me to hopefully work more on my freelancing at a reasonable pace. I’ve been looking at different work at home opportunities for freelancers and recently applied again to rev.com. I’m awaiting their response. In the meantime, I’m continuing to try and grow my client base.

I was thinking about something while working out today. It’s great to work your body and your mind, but as freelancers, we need to work out our business too. That is something I have been sadly lacking in lately. No wonder I am looking again for clients! Time to beef things up….A LOT!

Here is my plan of attack:

  1. Start posting at least once a week
  2. Finish automating my e-mail newsletters for once a week delivery
  3. Put an e-mail sign up window here on the website
  4. Get clients

These are SMART goals which I know I can achieve! Time to get started and grow my business yet again. I’m back and ready to kick some serious butt!

Beginning the Transition

 

Beginning the transition to full-time freelance work has been on my mind for a long time. Today at my office job I had an epiphany! When I looked at what I was dealing with each day at my current job, I realized I wasn’t as happy as I am when I’m freelancing.

I’ve made mistakes in the past as a freelancer, we all have but I learned from those mistakes (which were all on me) and am striving to work harder than ever. The best thing about starting the transition now is that I have a small list of current and former clients that I can reach out to thanks to my networking skills. I also just took a new class and will be offering a new service to my clients very soon. It was after taking this class that I found a renewed passion for what I do and I decided to begin pushing myself even more.

To start the transition, I’ve decided to start this weekend by reaching out to new and prospective clients. It’s imperative to get my name back out in the community, begin working again so I can bring in the income needed to sustain myself and pay my bills. It goes beyond that for me, though. I feel truly happy when I’m freelancing and working for myself. There is something freeing about making your own hours, being able to work wherever you’d like, and taking control of your career!

Beginning the transition will be a fun and scary process but I’m ready for it. I know deep down that it will be the best thing for me and those I care about. I want to end my day on a high note as often as possible so my partner and I can just enjoy each other’s company without the added stress. Here is to working hard and succeeding with my transition to freelancing full-time!

Rebranding

Rebranding is something that all small business owners do from time to time. Well, today was my turn. I decided to change up some pictures online and create a new twitter handle just for my business. I want to tackle a few more platforms before the day is out.

Why am I doing this a year in? The answer is simple. I’ve got to create a better presence to grow my business! My next stops are going to be Pinterest & Instagram! The key to rebranding is to think outside the box. I had an epiphany the other day that I was not doing enough to put myself out there. As a result, my client base was not as it had been a year ago. It was time for a change!

Things to do when rebranding:

  1. Think about why
  2. Have a plan
  3. Start the process
  4. Realize that it’s never totally finished

Here’s a link to questions you should ask yourself when you rebrand. I found it to be very helpful!

That’s right….rebranding is NEVER finished. You have to keep growing with your brand. If you don’t the likelihood of success is slim. When I thought about my rebranding (picture changes, new twitter handle), I wanted to showcase what I can do and get away from my personal accounts for my business. To me, it was more professional and showed me in a better light to potential clients. It is important that your clients take you seriously from day one or you many not be able to retain them. It’s a sobering thought, but it’s true.

IF you decide to rebrand, or at least reposition yourself in the freelance world, know that it will take work but it will be worth it in the end. I encourage you to click the link above and then see if even a minor rebranding is worth it for you & your business. Good luck!

Patience

Patience. It is not a word many freelancers want to hear but it is something we should all have.

I have had to learn the value of patience as of late. There were some times recently that I was not sure my business was going to survive. Things with clients started to change which happens from time to time. That is not what concerned me. What did was that I was having a hard time rebuilding what I thought I was losing. Well, patience has paid off.

It was because of my tenacious nature along with the patience I have developed that I have not one but TWO opportunities coming my way! I saw one opportunity on Facebook yesterday and a former client contacted me yesterday with another possible project. I feel bad but I did not get back to the former client until 24 hours later but I hope that is not going to be an issue because I enjoy working with her.

Needless to say, I have a new way of looking at things right now. I am excited again about what is next for my business! I have learned the value of not just patience, but also the value of keeping your network alive and well. For more on that, check out my last entry on the subject of networking.

Call to Action:

I am leaving this entry with a call to action. When you think your business may be floundering, just remember to have patience and network like crazy. You never know what will happen!

Networking

I’m starting to re-learn that networking is a great skill to have, especially when you’re trying to revitalize your business like I’m trying to do. The question I asked myself before I wrote this post was, “how do you network?” I realized I had a few clients and other people I could go right to in my email box!

What if you don’t have anyone quite yet, though? This question is one that the newest of freelancers (writing, VA, etc) will have to grapple with. Well, start networking on social media. Use Facebook, Twitter, heck even Instagram to get yourself going. Talk to your friends and family. Talk to co-workers at the office. One of the best ways to network is to look around at your current job.

When you look at the plethora of people around you as a freelancer, you realize quickly you’re going to have a lot of people. I think it’s time for a quick story:

A few months back, my business started to dry up. I had not done anything about it until a few moments ago when I remembered I had a great network of past clients and social media contacts to draw from!  I looked at my Gmail inbox and said, “let me reach out” which is when my fingers started doing the talking.

Networking can be tough at times but it is a skill I am glad I am remembering how to use. Something may come from it, something may not.The point is that I’m remembering some of the basics again.

Steps to Networking:

  1. Look at your contacts
  2. Figure out why you want to reach out
  3. Look at what you can offer perspective clients
  4. Reach out!

For other great ideas go to one of my favorite websites Horkey Handbook! Gina has some wonderful things on her website from basics to networking!

Enough reading about networking, get out there, send those emails and you WILL start to get some work for your business! Good luck 🙂

 

Restarting my Business

restart

I am restarting my business!

The word restart…It’s not something many people, especially small business owners want to hear let alone say. The fact still remains, sometimes you have to take a break and come back with fresh eyes. That’s right, not only am I back (see my last post) but I am feeling more ready to tackle new and exciting projects from now through the new year and beyond.

When I look at the past 8 months, I realize I needed to step back and take care of the personal things that were going on in my life before I could tackle the business part of my life. I want to be the most successful virtual assistant and writer that I can be. It is never easy when you’re running your own business. I know this…the key is to persevere and NEVER give up! I have taken some hard knocks this past year both personally and professionally, the second was at my office job. The problem with that was that despite my best efforts it bled into my freelance business. This is precisely why I am restarting my business.

Thankfully, I have had some wonderful changes in my life and I am ready to start anew. All that being said, I am starting my pitch process again. In fact, I just sent a video pitch to a potential new client! I am waiting to hear back but I am sure I can tackle anything this new client can send my way!

With this new inspiration, I am ready to take on a new client (or two)! I have to thank a bunch of people that have supported me, from my roommate Jason and my parents to my amazing boyfriend, Mike who believes in me and pushes me to be my best! Thank you!

Onward and upward!

I’m Back!

Hello, everyone! I’m back!

I have been gone since around May of this year. There is a very good reason for this. I was going through a lot of personal things for quite a while and my business needed to take priority. When I look at the last 6 months, I am reminded that even having a job that I enjoy and gain a lot of joy from, it does not mean that I am not prone to bouts of depression.

I am unsure what brought it all on, but there were many things happening around that time and I needed a break. To be honest with you all, I was depressed and in one of the darkest places I have ever been in.

All that being said, I am ready to return and share my journey back to freelancing with you all. Thank you for your support and I am thrilled to be back!

Moving on from a Client

Moving on from a client. It’s never easy especially when that client is the one that started your entire freelance career/journey. Well, that’s what happened to me this week. My first client and I decided to part ways. This was not done lightly nor was it for negative reasons. In fact, it was for a very good reason. She felt that I had grown beyond what she could pay me. She told me that I deserved to be paid what I am worth and with the experience I’ve gained. I am beyond grateful for the amazing gift she gave me as my first client. She helped me set up my career and get it going. I count her as a colleague and friend.

Some of the best things to do when you and a client part ways are to remember that there are other potential clients out there. That’s not to say that the relationship you built with this client is not valuable. On the contrary, it’s more valuable than you may ever know. However, when it comes to the next steps after parting ways I want to offer some advice.

Moving on From a Client? Do These Things:

  • Thank the client for their business (do this right away. it shows professionalism and integrity)
  • Mourn the loss for a bit then move on
  • Start pitching to new clients! That’s right, get your name out there again if you haven’t already been searching to add to your business.
  • Evaluate what went well with the client and what you can do to make your new and other clients happier. Even if the parting was on good terms as mine was, we can all learn from the end of client relationships. Take stock and make changes if you can.

When you move on from a client, no matter the reason, it’s important to remember that it is usually for a variety of reasons. Sometimes it’s just not a good fit, other times it’s because you as the freelancer have grown or the needs of the client have changed. There are so many different reasons but don’t always go to the worst case scenario. Most of the time it’s because of some kind of growth or change on your part or theirs. It’s always wonderful if you, like me are able to count your former client as a friend as well as the client. Who knows, you may even work together again some day.

As always, to our continued success!

 

Hard Work Pays Off

Hard work pays off. That’s right. When you work hard, put yourself out there and you follow up, you can get clients!

My story for this week follows this formula. What formula is that you may be asking? Let me share it.

My Formula

  1. Get a referral from a network colleague
  2. Reach out to the potential client
  3. Set up a meeting with the client
  4. Ace the meeting
  5. Make a great impression
  6. Follow up if need be
  7. Let them get back to you and say they want to hire you!

Yup, it’s not exactly easy or simple but it works. I am speaking from experience this past week. I had an interview with a potential client about a week ago. It went really well and I waited patiently for the client to get back to me. It was not easy, trust me. I wanted to know if I could count this new company as a client. I was excited to get going and do something new and fun. It’s a combo job of both writing and VA work. Well, this week I received an email that my rates were reasonable and that they want to bring me on board. I have another call with the owner this weekend and I am supposed to start on Monday. In short:

Hard work pays off!

When I think about how my business takes some of my time each day, it makes me smile. That means I’m doing something right. There are companies and people out there interested in the work I produce. That is not to say I’m going to abandon those who gave me my first chances. Just the opposite. I want to show not just loyalty to those who gave me my first shots in both VA and writing for pay, but also remember where I started my business, which was from nothing. That’s right. I put up the money for my website, thought of my business name, and worked my butt off to get new clients. I push myself every day to succeed and that is how hard work is paying off for me!

If you want to learn more about my experience as a writer and VA, please look at the website, or check me out on LinkedIn.