A Better Operational Playbook for 2021

Most ambitious freelancer writers want to grow their income.

If they’re at $8k a month, they want to be at $10k. If they’re at $10k a month, they want to be at $12k.

And if they’re in the $12k to $15k range, they think they’ll “arrive” once they’re at $20k.

That was certainly the case for me. As soon as I broke through one income ceiling, I started gunning for the next one.

But that’s not always the best way to think about growth. Because with this growth model, there’s no end.

Each level brings new complexities and more stress… and you (eventually) burn out. It doesn’t always work this way. But it happens more often than not.

I’m also not saying you shouldn’t set your sights higher—not at all! But I am suggesting that you choose a different playbook.

A playbook that yields higher income levels and gives you the foundation to grow without more stress, complexity and risk.

The Operational Playbook

The operational playbook is based on three main points.

  1. Choose a short-term target

First, if you truly need to get to a higher income level in the short run, set that level as your goal and create a simple plan to get there. Then, execute consistently.

The key is making sure that this new target is doable in the next, say, three months.

If you’re currently at $10k and you really need to get to $12k a month, that’s a great short-term target.

But if you’re at $10k and you want to be at $20k, that’s too big a jump for now. Make sure the jump is doable in the span of a quarter.

  1. Focus on consistency

Getting to $12k a month won’t be satisfactory if you can’t sustain that income level over time. So focus on maintaining that income level consistently.

Don’t just focus on new clients and new projects. Work on making some of that revenue recurring.

Look at every dollar and ask yourself how you can protect that income. Because there’s no point in bringing more in the door if your business has a ton of leaks from nonrecurring work and/or clients who are flaky or unpredictable.

This process can easily take three to six months—and sometimes longer. But it’s all part of getting to a better place in the long run.

  1. Work on cash flow management

While you’re working on consistency, start working on your cash flow management process—both business cash flow AND personal cash flow.

I’ve found (the hard way!) that it’s much more about how you manage what comes in than about HOW MUCH comes in.

Sure, having a higher income is important. But that’s just one aspect of success.

One of my biggest discoveries over the past few years is that I can live very well on less if I effectively manage what I bring in.

Choose a Playbook That Will Work Over the Long Term

Once you have a decent handle on all three of these items, only then does it make sense to gun for progressively higher levels of income.

And you’ll do it in a way that will dial down stress, risk and complexity—and dial up your satisfaction.



By the way… whenever you’re ready, here are 3 ways I can help you grow your freelance business:

1. Grab a free copy of my book.

It’s called Earn More in Less Time: The Proven Mindset, Strategies and Actions to Prosper as a Freelance Writer. The title says it all. 😉 — Click Here

2. Join my implementation program and be a case study.

I’m putting together a new implementation group this month. If you’re earning $5k+/month (or the part-time equivalent) from your freelance business … and you’d like to grow your income quickly with better clients … just email me at [email protected] and put “Case Study” in the subject line.

3. Work with me privately.

If you’re a 6-figure writer who’s trying to earn more in less time, with less stress, I might be able to help you get there faster than you think. Just email me at [email protected] and put “Breakthrough” in the subject line, and I’ll back to you with more details.