After four months of silence, I stare at a blank page, finally trying to write a blog post again. Four months! It’s hard to believe I spent one-third of 2016 not writing on the blog, and it’s already almost 2017! To make matters worse, guest posts and the interview series did not follow their normal flow either. Totally my bad!
2016 happened. Not one of my best years.
Brazilian political, economical and financial crisis. My complete inability to control my personal and business finance. A huge downtime period. My believing I can embrace the world and take on other responsibilities. And other consequences arising from these.
This is life: full of ups and downs. It’s up to us to always try to learn something, even (or especially) from the downs. And this is what I learned from my bad year:
I always knew better, but never put it into practice. The more I earn, the more I spend. It has always been like that. However, if I don’t learn now, I never will.
As freelancers, business owners, entrepreneurs, you name it, we only earn money if we work. Therefore, vacation, sick leave, days off, dry spells mean no income. It is essential that we prepare in advance for all those situations.
Clients are never too much
We should never stop prospecting. If not to have a wide and diverse client portfolio (agencies, direct clients, overseas clients, local clients), to try to gradually increase our rates. We should never settle.
We must adapt in moments of crisis. There is nothing to do? Adapt to the market. See what it needs that you can offer. Learn a new language or something new, or develop yourself at something you already know so you can offer it as a service.
As much as they can be nice, rewarding and fulfilling, we need to know when it’s too much and when it’s not worth it, for any reason. Is it stressing you too much? Is it really adding value to you as a professional? We should not be afraid of being selfish once in a while; after all, if we don’t think about and take care of ourselves, who will?
Visibility is not always good
Some people will love you, but a couple of people will hate you, misinterpret you, think they know you, when, in fact, they don’t have a clue as to who you are. But that’s life, right? Some people say even Jesus did not please everyone. And I’m well aware that I’m far, far away from getting this close to being compared to him or anyone for that matter. The problem is this handful of people affect us in such a way that can crush us, make us feel terrible, miserable human beings. However, just like with everything else in life, we learn, we adapt, and we move on.
So, yeah… Not a good year, if I consider I had more downs than ups. But since I only really learn with downs, it was, in fact, a good year for life learnings. Now it’s that time of the year again, Thanksgiving is next week, Christmas in a bit more than a month, followed by New Year and, finally, my birthday. And I take the time to reflect upon my rights and wrongs, acknowledge and be grateful for the people in my life and for what I have learned, and move on to 2017 with a new, mature mindset.
Now I’m ready to resume my normal blogging routine, which feels great. Check out the blog’s editorial calendar here and stay tuned for the next posts.
And feel free to share what you have learned in 2016.