There’s no denying business is hard. I would say to anyone asking the most difficult part of self-employment is how it’s constant. Sure I can take a break in the middle of the day to mow the lawn or exercise but every single weekend I will start my day by making sure everything is running smoothly.
Business never gets easier as you constantly challenge yourself to grow. Whether that’s improving your client set, working fewer hours or building processes for the least enjoyable parts; continuing to progress is important for self-development and worth.
Arguably one of the most important aspects of making a success out of my educational business and my bit part freelancing is building that initial momentum. Working hard when nothing seems to be working.
I remember when I started freelancing. My educational business supported 50% of my desired earnings but I still needed to the additional 50%. A full-time job just didn’t give me the time to dedicate to the business. As a result, I quit a very good job and went part-time for a short while which gave me the platform to build my freelance website and my educational business. I used the time off the part-time job to blog, create content for the main business and build the initial momentum which would stand me in a great position in years to come.
My freelance strategy was to target local businesses who had been mis-sold and underdelivered by agencies. My content was strategically focused around the local areas (Wakefield, Leeds) and freelancing. I blogged consistently for the first 18 months and gained local rankings for my primary target keywords. Ironically this is my first post in over 7 months but on average I still receive 2-3 enquiries a week. Momentum matters.
Similarly, when we began the process of moving our educational business from Adsense to a subscription model over 3 years ago I was the primary worksheet creator. I would get up before I drove to my full-time job (4 am sometimes as I prefer the mornings to evenings) and work on new material. My worksheets were incredibly basic but helped drive the initial sign-ups which then grew organically as we added further material. Without that initial momentum, we would not have grown to the level we are at today where we have a dedicated team who create brand new worksheets daily.
The finish line is sometimes difficult to see when you’re just starting out. It’s overwhelming and you may find it hard to gain any type of traction for some time. Never give up. The value of that momentum and those initial months of work will make a difference in the medium to long term.
What are you doing to build your business? Are you overwhelmed with what to focus on and perhaps not even getting started? Doing something is better than not doing at all. Make a start.