I remember when I launched my first service—the Résumé Revamp—back in 2011.
I was living in Paris on a tourist visa. From my room, I had a view of the Eiffel Tower.
The only reason I was able to live in Paris was because I’d decided in April 2011 that I just couldn’t have a normal job.
If you haven’t heard by now, I’M 100% UNEMPLOYABLE.
So I quit my jobs and bought a one-way ticket to the city of lights. (I never claimed to be one for rational decision-making).
Before leaving, I secured myself a nanny job with a family I’d met when I was in Paris a year prior that afforded my rooftop “studio” apartment across the street from Nôtre Dame.
I also scraped together a couple of babysitting and tutoring jobs in order to have enough money to live off of.
But mainly? I was powered by a tank full of inspiration—otherwise known as the best feeling ever.
I knew that living in Paris at age 23 was the perfect opportunity to get inspired, take a risk, and do something crazy.
So I put together my first entrepreneurial offer: résumé revamp service.
At the same time I was…
- Taking online classes
It was exhilarating and utterly fabulous, but I eventually burned out.
I eventually retired the résumé service in late 2012 when I realized that I don’t want to help job seekers. I want to help entrepreneurs!
And now, for more than a year, I’ve been working with clients on crafting personality-infused web copy that helps them land more clients and make more money (which is what we’re all trying to do with our businesses, right?).
But then I did it again.
I took on too much at once and…. burned out.
And now here I am, about to launch another new service that I’m geeked about!
The new copywriting service is coming soon (we booked out this year, but I’ll be accepting new clients in January).
One of the main reasons I created a new service (besides the fact that I had a lightning bolt of inspiration hit me on the head one day) is because I wanted to give my clients everything I’ve got.
I am putting every ounce of creativity and genius in my bones into my 2014 clients.
It’s truly a VIP experience and I could not be more excited!
But if I don’t take care of myself, I’ll burn out.
And that’s why I’m writing this post.
I want to talk to you about how much you can take on at once before you explode.
Because if you’re running a client-based or project-based business, you’re going to try to bite off more than you can chew.
So before you do that, let’s figure out how much you can chew.
And then you must draw a line in the sand.
Once you’ve found your limit, you have to say “This is it! This is all I can do!”
It’s a matter of life and death.
Because when you bite off more than you can chew, you suffer.
Your work isn’t it’s best.
Your clients aren’t treated like royalty (as they should be).
You lose control of your time and start working late nights and weekends even though you promised yourself you wouldn’t do that.
When you bite off more than you can chew, you disrespect yourself. (Tweetable).
You’re not a work machine, babycakes. You’re a human being. Your work is supposed to support your life, not the other way around.
Here’s what you need to do to find your maximum capacity:
1. Get clear on how long it takes you to do your work.
In order to do this, you have to define every step that you take.
This requires writing down your processes, yo.
How long does it take you to complete each step?
Be generous with yourself. Don’t choke your creativity! The muse doesn’t like that (who would?). She prefers space.
2. Get honest about how much you’re making per hour.
Listen—pricing your stuff isn’t necessarily about how much you’re making per hour. It’s about value.
You must create an offer of overwhelming value so that you’re hours are well spent. (Tweet!)
When you first get started, you might not be making a lot per hour when you break it down. Just make sure to keep this in mind as you create anew.
Everything you birth must take care of you 10x fold or you’ll burn out.
And don’t forget to ask yourself the magical question:
How much would you like to be making?
Declare your answer. Even if you don’t know how you’ll do it.
3. Stop wasting time.
I’ve got plenty of first-hand experience in the field of time-wasting.
I can’t tell you how many days I’ve spent on Facebook telling myself I was “working”.
In reality, I was just reacting to the world. I’d spend hours reacting to my inbox, my Facebook notifications, my environment.
It’s easy to waste time if you don’t have a plan.
You’ve got to break down your projects into the smallest parts and then give yourself 2-3 main tasks to accomplish each day.
Go somewhere quiet, turn off your Wifi, and work there until you finish. Use the Self Control app to help you if you need.
4. Take control of your calendar!
This is my favorite step because I’m obsessed with calendars.
When you look at your calendar for the next year, is it an empty canvas or cluttered chaos?
What events are you absolutely committed to? Block them off.
When do you want to take vacation? A long weekend? Be generous with yourself and block that time off! (This is what Pros do!)
How many projects or clients can you take on each month? Block off time for your work.
Now, estimate how much money you’ll earn in the next year based on how many projects you can handle. Is it enough?
If not, it’s time to either…
- Raise your rates
- Make better use of your time
- Get a part-time job or other source of income to support your creative venture
However, if you’re new to the game, I prefer that you prioritize putting yourself out there over freaking yourself out about how much money you’ll be making.
Special end-of-year offer for you!
You can save more than 40% on your copy of From Amateur to Professional until Thursday, November 20, 2013 by clicking here.
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