Ask the Writer: how do you define goals and success? 

With a red background, a gold trophy is wrapped with 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place medals on their ribbons. There is gold star confetti spread around.

I must admit that receiving this question really made me think for a moment. At first, I had this panicky feeling that maybe I didn’t have goals as a freelance writer! However, logic returned, and I realized that I do, in fact, have goals. They just tend to be slightly more subtle than I had expected!

Defining goals in the freelancing world

The gig economy is certainly a different kind of “ladder” compared to the corporate world, so it makes sense that understanding goals and interpreting when you achieve them would be different, too! So, after some thought, here are the ways that I define my own version of success:

  • Having a new lead from a referral: Whenever I have a new customer that says “[NAME] recommended you,” it gives me this happy little jolt! I love the idea that my regulars share my services with those they think can value me. Typically, those referring customers are good ones that I love working with, and it also means that the new lead will be, too!
  • Hitting my monthly financial minimum: Yes, you read that right — minimum, not maximum. I used to set a goal focused on bringing in what I wished I earned per month. And struggling to hit that goal consistently was stressful and frustrating since I rarely met it. So, I switched it up by setting a minimum that covered my expenses and a little extra. Any time I can make ends meet, it’s a good month.
  • Working on only “fun” jobs: There are always jobs that are less fun than others. So, when I have a day where all of the jobs in my queue are fun and exciting, that’s a successful day! I’m happy to report that I’m having more and more of those every month, so here’s to hoping it stays that way!
  • Having jobs and messages waiting for me when I return: Recently, I went on a trip for some much-needed R&R. Since Kelterss started, I had never gone totally offline incommunicado, so I was worried briefly that maybe there wouldn’t be a business when I returned! Not only was my queue bursting at the seams, but I also had nice notes from my regular clients wishing me safe travels and asking questions about my trip! It was such a pleasant surprise that helped ease my concerns.

Success is whatever you aim for

The thing about working in freelance of any kind is that it is personalized to what matters most to you. Success to me is hitting those goals and being able to step back and truly appreciate it.

I could be pessimistic that I’m not a millionaire or famous celebrity since I’ve yet to have my big break as a famous author (okay, so maybe I am a little pessimistic about that…). But I decided years ago to set goals that will keep me working on the hard days and help me see each month, quarter, and year as a success — no matter what’s in the bank account or how many people spell my name wrong.

What about you? Do you have any ways that you measure goals and success? If so, please share them below!

Business content writing

Kelterss View All →

Kelterss is an experienced freelance business writer and holds a Bachelor of Arts in English with a concentration in Creating Writing. Having served over 3 ,200 customers while maintaining a 4.9/5 star rating, Kelterss is looking to focus her professional services in writing product descriptions and blog posts.

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