It’s weird to realize that the holidays are now upon us; I can’t believe how damned quickly 2014 rushed by. But it’s time to face facts: it’s the middle of December, and that means that it’s time to look back on this year, analyze what I learned, and make goals for 2015.
So, what was 2014 like for me? It was tumultuous, but in a good way. Here’s why.
What I accomplished
I started slush reading for a new magazine.
I joined a writer’s critique group (though I’m currently on hiatus as I get my business in gear).
I hired a business coach.
I made a small profit this year while freelancing. I landed some big clients (like the Yellow Pages), landed some clients very close to my heart (like Trent University), and even got published in a print anthology!
How I changed
I think 2014 was the year that I really started to take myself seriously as a business person. It was the year I realized that the reins to my future were in my own goddamned hands, and that I needed to grab them hard and steer.
Let me back up a bit.
I first decided to freelance way back in 2009, and some of my archived posts talk about the progress I made then towards my goal. So in some ways, I consider myself to have been freelancing for 5 years.
Despite this, for years I was working in-house and freelancing on the side. Even after I was laid off, I still took short-term contract gigs in order to get some stable money coming in. I was on the fence, refusing self-employment opportunities like the OSEB program in favour of contract work.
This year was different, though: I finally got off the fence and stood on the “self-employed” side. No short-term contract gigs because I was worried about major upcoming expenses like my wedding. No waiting and hoping that a stable, permanent job would somehow miraculously be offered to me.
And my god, that change has meant a lot of effort. I thought I networked before when I started to freelance, but I realize now that I was a dilettante at the whole thing. Now I put a lot more effort into networking, and take the follow-up process much more seriously.
However, the biggest change was the fact that I hired a business coach to guide me through this transition. Because I had a coach, I invested in my own personal development to an extent I had never done before. And as a result, a lot of the in-built pessimism and negativity I don’t really discuss online melted away. I’ve consciously learned how to feel grateful and be mindful. I felt like I had more control over myself, and that was (and is!) a really good feeling.
My goals for 2015
So how will this deeper sense of control manifest in the year to come?
I have a habit of making big, grandiose plans for the new year and not following through. But I really do think I’ve made enough changes in how I operate to make the following goals feasible:
- Sign up as a service provider with the Canadian federal government, using this book as my guide.
- Study to become a Certified Copy Editor with the EAC and take the certification test.
- Start selling eBooks and writing resources on this website and through Amazon/Kobo.
- Expand my service offerings to include workshops and content marketing
There are other goals, but these are the ones I feel comfortable sharing for now.
What about you though? What are your goals for 2015? I’d love to hear your comments and thoughts below.