Last week, I got pretty real with y'all on how it felt to achieve what I thought was success only to feel much less than successful. That was the emotional, let's-get-real-and-chat-about-this side of things. Today is the practical, let's-get-into-action side of things!
In the last post, I talked a lot about learning what financial goals were right for me and my family. While Facebook is showing ads for online courses with names like "From overwhelmed to 6 figure salaries: how to raise your bottom line," I want up and coming fremprenuers to know THEIR numbers, THEIR goals. Don't base YOUR success on the trendy definition of success.
If being able to quit your full time job is the goal, then perfect. If it's just being able to take an extra vacation, perfect. As long as you're getting paid for the time and effort you put in, who cares what the final number is? Who cares if your definition of a good living is 40,000 or 400,000?
The goal here is to envision the kind of life and career you want. It's so, so important to be honest with yourself here. Get down to the nitty gritty. Do you want to have a hefty retirement savings? Would you rather hustle hard some months so you can take long vacations overseas? Are you chipping away at debt to live debt free? Do you want your spouse to be able to be a stay-at-home parent? Do you want to build a team to take care of day-to-day tasks so you can focus on creative projects and coming up with new ideas?
Once you've decided what kind of life you want, think long and hard about what you're willing to do to have that life. Can you work on weekends and stay up late without neglecting the people you love and who depend on you? Are you ok with making less income so you have the time to be a room mom? Consider the sacrifices, and decide if they're worth it.
So the next question is . . . how do you figure out what kind of goal will give you the life you want?
There are several things I consider. I look at my previous year and see how many clients I took. Then I reflect on how I felt that year. Was I stressed -- was it too much at one time? How many clients can I realistically take a month? What months were crazy?
Personally, I try to take on less clients around Christmas time and during the summer months that Emma is out of school. I also plan out my vacations ahead of time so I know what months I need to take less weddings. (After taking my work along on too many family trips, this planning became crucial.)
For me, I CAN do more than one wedding on the same day, but the better question is: SHOULD I? When it comes to day of papers and set up and delivery, will that be too much stress, late nights, weekends, etc? Decide if you can handle that work load, and remember: be HONEST with yourself.
I keep a spreadsheet that lists every client I took and what they paid. I then divide the total income by the amount of clients I took and see what the average was. That helps with my pricing. For me, the average client is around $3-5K. That means I am able to take 20-25 clients to reach MY goal without burning out. I'm incredibly lucky to have a spouse who financially covers the necessary items, so I can be much more flexible with my numbers. But, see how helpful it is to KNOW your numbers??
I believe now more than ever that it is ok to be a work in progress. Right now, I'm working on becoming a women who says no, charges her worth and knows what she is physically capable of. When I start to feel anxious about hustling harder or making more or being a better mom, wife, business woman, artist, whatever, I remember what Phillipians 4:19 says:
"my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus."
We are not alone in this.
I'm cheering you on and praying for your success!