At some point in every freelancer's journey balance becomes an issue.
The balance between your livelihood and living life on your terms becomes a precarious thing. Almost like teetering on a seesaw when you were a kid. And just like that seesaw, when you have too much of one thing and not enough of the other- you’re stuck.
You’ve been lead to believe that more is better. More clients mean more money which equals more success. But what if I told you that in this case, less could actually be more? If you’re struggling to find the time to spend doing the things you enjoy, rather than the things you dread it might be time to think about balance.
And the key to balance is this: Quality over Quantity.
I know, it sounds simple. That’s because it is. If you’re working from a mindset of I need to do all the things or I’ll never succeed it may be time to step back and reevaluate how you’re doing things and why. Working from a place of scarcity opens you up to bargaining with yourself over what’s really important. And the easiest way to practice quality over quantity is to start with your client load.
Sure. Narrowing down your client load may sound counterintuitive, but the benefits far outweigh the hit to your bank account. And in some cases, can even improve your bottom line.
When you lighten your client load, you’re better able to offer higher quality work to the clients who remain. You can offer packages that better align with both of your needs in a way that doesn’t sacrifice the why that got you started in the first place.
If you want to focus on leveling up your skills but you haven’t had the time, narrowing down your client roster can help you to achieve that next tier. Taking a step back to better position yourself allows you to offer better, more lucrative services- increasing your earning potential in the long run.
It can also save you money. If you’ve gotten to the point in your career as a freelancer where you’re contemplating hiring an assistant to help with your own administrative tasks, it might benefit you to lighten your client load so you have the time and energy to take care of these things.
So how exactly does one narrow down a list of clients?
At one point in my career, I carried contracts for 38 different clients. The question I asked myself was If this client dropped a project on my desk, would I be excited? Or would I dread it? Those clients who left me with a feeling of dread meant they weren’t in alignment with what I want in my business. I did a gut check back to why I started working as a freelancer and realized it was more of a benefit to letting these clients go rather than keeping them on just for a paycheck.
Your gut-check questions may be different than mine. But a few common questions you can ask yourself are: Who do I like to work with? Who makes your life easier? Who is more flexible? In the end, it’s completely up to you who you work with and why.
Whether you freelance full-time or as a side gig, everyone wants to make money. The question becomes at what cost? When you start bargaining with yourself and the reason you started, it might be time to reevaluate. And starting with your client load should be the first step.
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