Originally, on my blog calendar, I had: “Desk Essentials” written for today’s post. But I have other matters on the brain. Don’t worry, I can still share my desk essentials. They are:
- AHAVA Deadsea Water Mineral Hand Cream
- Chapstick MixStix in Vanilla Candy Cane Milkshake
- Eucalyptus essential oil
That’s honestly it — but if there’s a strong desire for me to go into my planner, great pens, and my lava lamp, I’m happy to oblige.
Today, I want to talk about balance. I remember during the first few days of a job I had, I was in a meeting with the CEO and she told me work/life balance wasn’t actually a real thing.
That should have been one giant red flag, but I knew what she meant. As my life as a solopreneur forges ahead, I’m very much aware that my work has taken over my life.
This week has been another one for the books, and I feel like I say that every week. In one of the networking groups I’m in, someone was talking about billable hours for freelancers.
Most people were saying you can’t comfortably get 40 billable hours in a week because as a freelancer, you’re doing more than just tasks. You’re also doing your own accounting (creating, sending, and tracking invoices), and marketing (sending resumes, making potential client calls).
Many in the group agreed that on a good week, 20 billable hours was a full week. I can agree, and I can definitely live on 20 hours a week (financially speaking).
This week has felt particularly busy, so much so, that I nearly had an anxiety attack Tuesday afternoon. I felt like all of my clients needed me at once and I was so exhausted I wasn’t able to provide the quality work they deserve.
But, I pushed ahead, went to yoga, and the next day, I vowed to get to bed early. I was asleep by 10:30 and I felt so much better the next day. I also blocked out my Thursday night to meet a friend at a free event near downtown.
It was at a vegan beauty salon and for a $5 donation, we got a little goodie bag at the door (with lip scrub inside), a mini manicure (I went with a “cake pop” pink), a hair style (I got a waterfall braid), and complimentary cocktails.
It was honestly just what I needed — a small break and a reward for really busting it this week. This morning, I realized I’d been working with my head down and wasn’t sure how many billable hours I’d put in.
41. 41 hours will be billed by the end of this week (I’m on track to put in about 8 this weekend), and I also had two fixed rate projects. It’s enough work in a single week to cover half of my monthly bills.
It’s a lot. And on the one hand, it’s been a tiring week. But, it’s also everything I love to do — social media audits, creating social media content, coming up with keyword-rich blog post ideas, and teaching blog classes.
I know overload is a problem many solopreneurs, entrepreneurs, and even those in the corporate world face. We’ve become a 24/7 society and we’re all just trying to keep up.
Right now, I’m saying yes to almost everyone that needs work — unless the pay is too low and/or the emotional stress of the job won’t be worth it. Also, if you need SEO but have no website, that’s a no from me.
Otherwise, I’m trying to accommodate as many clients as I can for a few reasons. 1. What if this stops? and 2. I’m going to London in March and need extra $$.
But I’m also quickly learning that if I’m not at 100%, that’s not fair to my clients, so aside from being a Digital Marketer, a Solopreneur, an Accountant, and a Salesperson, I’ve also got to be my own advocate and realize when it’s time to say no for my own benefit, and for those I work for. A writer with no sleep is not much good.
I really hope this doesn’t come across as complaining, because I hope this is ALWAYS a problem I have! I hope I never have to tap into my list of “things to do when I have no work” – trust me.
This is more about finding a balance that works for most of us (I know I can’t please everyone, especially when I’ve got one client in Switzerland and one in England). A big part of that, is not checking my email every hour because then I just end up getting about 0 things done… but that’s another conversation for another day.
I feel really great about everything I’ve gotten done this week, and about my weekend outlook. Truthfully, next week looks a little lite and I know that’s okay because of all the work I did this week. Getting used to the ebb and flow of contract work is new for me, but I’m open to finding comfort in that space.
Today, I’m working from my bed — actually propped up. I’ve got a content audit to do and some graphics to make, and I’m watching a season of “The Wonder Years” (remember that show?). It ain’t a bad way to spend a Friday, I’ll tell you that!
I hope you all have a great day and a fun weekend 🙂