Yesterday, during what seemed to be my 100th pushup, my trainer said something interesting…
“I know you’re beat. You don’t want to do this. It’s time to find the fun and keep going.”
My first reaction was something like &##$&#. But then I saw her point – and realized the application “find the fun” has to freelance copywriters.
You see, owning a business is hard work. I’ve discussed before how some people think it’s all puppies and rainbows when they first start out. And then reality hits.
You have to pay taxes – even if that money was earmarked for something “more important” like a new laptop.
You have to do the writing – even if you’re tired, stressed and want to zone out in front of the TV.
You have to invoice clients – even though you would rather stick a needle in your eye than open your QuickBooks file.
You have to deal with late vendors, flaky clients and other irritating things.
Not to mention, you may love your business 99.9 percent of the time. But that .01 percent? Well…working as a Walmart greeter sounds more enjoyable.
The reality is that your freelance copywriting business will never be perfect. You won’t love it all the time. But you can certainly find the fun and silly in every situation.
Were you hit with a huge tax bill? A friend of mine likes to remind me that paying taxes is a good thing. It means you made so much money that the IRS wants some too. Celebrate your success! Heck, you could even have a “I have to pay taxes” party!
Worried about how you’re going to pay taxes next year? Turn a scary unknown into a fun challenge. Pencil out different ways you can prepare — like setting aside 15 percent of all income into a special “taxes” account. At the same time, you can set up a fun challenge like when you save X for taxes, you’ll take a couple days off. Or buy that laptop you really need.
Hate dealing with bookkeeping? Hire a super-fun accountant or bookkeeper to help. My ex-E.A., Eva Rosenberg, helped me most of my career. Eva has the remarkable ability to make the most grueling tax conversation fun and enjoyable. I always came away from our conversations feeling inspired – and that was worth every penny I paid her.
Are you exhausted and need a break? Build in a couple hours (or a couple days) of “just for you” time. Do whatever you feel like, whether it’s reading a book, getting a manicure or enjoying lunch without your laptop nearby. Once you’ve had some fun, your writing will flow much more easily.
Do you hate to sell? Think of ways you can reward yourself for every gig you land. Maybe you can get a massage, or purchase something that makes your heart sing. It may even make sense for you to partner with agencies or design firms that can send a continual flow of referral work. That way, you can focus on what you love without having to worry about selling to clients.
Having a bad day? Stop what you’re doing and immediately focus on the positives – even if the only positive you can think of is, “Well, I brushed my teeth today” and “My cat didn’t wake me up at 3 a.m.” Depending how deep you are in your negativity hole, it may take some time to move from cranky into happy. Stick with it. It makes a huge difference.
Some aspects of our businesses are always going to suck. There’s no way around that. What we can do is control our reaction. We can search for the silly fun hidden at the center of our serious situation. Once we master training our brains, work (and life) will seem so much easier. Really.
What about you? How can you “find the fun” in one of your current freelance copywriting challenges?