Final day

I missed my Final Friday post this month, but for good reason: today I’m writing a final Friday post. 2014 was a big year for me and my company. A really big year. I did a lot of work for some truly wonderful clients. I didn’t take it all so personally. I got better at powering through the hard days, the kind when 5 hours produce 3 pages of work. I felt trusted and respected.

I learned a lot. I learned how to work better: how to write and edit and comment and liaise with clients. I learned how to work smarter: how to schedule and plan and figure out (sometimes the hard way) when to say yes and when to say no.

I stopped calling myself a freelancer and started calling myself a business owner. (You would think that as a professional wordsmith I would know how powerful such a shift in language could be. But like my dad, who runs a real estate company and underestimated what a difference it would make to upgrade his office to a professional space in a prominent downtown location, or my friend Matt, a full-time artist and creator whose apartment walls are bare, I sometimes forget to turn a business eye on myself.) When I changed my language, my behavior followed suit: I started running my business like a business. I hired an accountant. I stuck to my savings plan even when I needed the cash. I gave myself a real vacation.

Perhaps most importantly, I took risks. Just this morning a former client wrote to ask after my availability for a small project this month. I hesitated before writing back to say that I’d upped my rates. What if they sent the project to someone else and I lost out on good work? I sent the email anyway. (It reminded me of the title of a book my friend Dave read: “Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway.”) An hour later I got an email from a separate client from whom I asked for a rate increase last week: “Those rates work for us, and actually, we’d like to offer you a higher rate.”

So what am I taking with me into 2015? Confidence. Prudence. Fearlessness.

Thank you for a wonderful year.

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