As the end of the year is quickly approaching, most of us who are self-employed are preparing to gather together our business documents in anticipation of the tax season. Did you make the amount of money you wanted to make this year? The answer for me is an emphatical – “no”. Once again I’m disappointed with the financial success of my business/freelance ventures this year. Having been self-employed for about 10 years now, this is not a new discovery for me. It seems to be getting harder and harder to make money these days. My obstacles this year have been the same as past years – accounts receivable problems (in other words clients who owe), and business being slow (I started the year with a bang but it slowed down in the middle, possibly due to my own lack of motivation).
Does any of this sound familiar to you? If you are a small business entrepreneur or freelancer, it probably does. As you approach the end of your financial year, let me share with you some encouraging thoughts.
1 – You are a success whether the numbers say so or not. If you don’t think so, possibly you need to reevaluate what tool you are using for a measuring stick. Are you only measuring your success by the amount of money you’re making? If so, you’re making a grave mistake as success is much more than money. I have to constantly remind myself that success is not always measured by dollars. Yes, I’m in business to make money, however, some successes that don’t pay off financially may pay-off in other ways, or may pay-off in the future.
2- Remember back to why you became self-employed. Most of us did not become self-employed just to make money. In all reality, I made much more money when I was employed by someone else. One of my reasons for becoming self-employed was to work less hours and have more freedom in my schedule. Do I have that flexibility in my schedule? Yes, I do, thus I am achieving one of my goals by having a flexible schedule. When my money is funny so-to-speak, I have to remember and center upon why I became self-employed in the first place.
Have you always dreamed of being a writer and now you are? You are a success simply because you set a goal and achieved it. It doesn’t matter whether you ever become another Mark Twain, Ernest Hemingway or Toni Morrison. But being published means that your work lives on.
3- What other benefits are you getting from your venture? For example, as a bra distributor I sometimes get free product when I sell a certain amount of inventory. I am sure to write these things down not just for accounting purposes, but also that I might realize these to be part of my compensation/benefits package.
One of my ventures has been working as an Independent Contractor for an exchange student program. Although I made less money than I did while working in education, one year I won an all expense paid trip for two to Switzerland. As I look back over the last ten years of “self-employment”, I always count this as one of my top achievements/accomplishments.