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The one big lesson I learned from years of roller-coaster income
My heart was pounding when I quit my job for the last time.
I knew I wasn’t ready, but I knew I couldn’t do this shit anymore.
I’ve worked for myself for over a decade.
It was made very clear to me early in my early twenties that office life was not going to do it for me.
I jumped into full-time freelance life more out of necessity than anything else.
I had a portfolio of illustrations.
I had seen some people take an interest.
I had something to hold on to.
I simply had to make it work.
But I wasn’t prepared.
I didn’t have 6 months of emergency funds socked away.
I just had a ‘whatever it takes’ mentality.
Because of that, I found a way to make it work.
I knocked on doors, and I approached people to find design work.
There were no other options.
I found work with some great clients, from Kraft to Wired Magazine and, eventually, Google.
But my income never stabilised until later in my thirties.
Before then, it was up and down like a rollercoaster on loose rails.
I’d go weeks with no income coming in, and it was stressful as hell.
I’ve been through that pain so many times.
A part of me is now acutely attuned to avoiding this.
Like a callus built up on a finger after months of guitar string work.
Now, looking back, there was always one thing at the core of why things unravelled:
I wasn’t consistently making enough people aware of how I could help.
You may want to read that again.
People need to see your offer, not once, not twice, but repeatedly.
It takes time for people to warm up to you and your proposals.
If you want clients in four months, you need to be consistently getting your offer in front of people today.
It’s about understanding the lag effect and being willing to be consistent BEFORE you see results.
When you show up enough, and you have something of worth, you will get responses.
You will enjoy wins.
This applies to any business, whether you’re selling your design service, selling courses, or simply looking to bring in newsletter subscribers consistently.
Most people don’t get this.
They quit because they didn’t stay in the game long enough for the lag effect to reveal results.
Make people aware of how you can help.
Go against that icky feeling that says you shouldn’t promote too much.
If you, your product or service can help, you must.
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