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Your freelancing business is vulnerable to disaster

The signs aren’t always obvious. But if you ignore them, you set yourself up for major problems down the line.

Your approach to getting clients and managing your freelance writing business could be broken… and you don’t realize it yet.

I sat on my couch this morning and took in the natural light in the room. I slept horribly last night, so if the house is empty and quiet, I like to indulge in the peace for a few minutes before I start work.

That peace didn’t last very long, however.

I looked over at the wall behind the couch and saw a dark brown drip that had dried on the white wall. And another. And another.

Last night’s thunderstorm apparently pushed some water into my living room.

I didn’t freak out because I knew where it was coming from. There’s a spot on our roof where the wood is rotted and was “sealed” with spray foam by the previous homeowners.

When an ice dam formed on that spot a little over a month ago, water seeped through and into my living room in the same spot.

I had to climb up the ladder and break up the ice. But now rain is getting in.

That’s a problem.

I thought it was okay for now

As we all (should) know, any water damage or leak is bad news.

Leaks don’t get better on their own, and they erode and rot structures over time.

Small leaks can turn into big repair bills.

We learned that with the windows in my office and my son’s bedroom. Not six months ago, we got slapped with a $7000+ bill as walls and floors had to be opened up to replace and repair rotting beams and structure on the front of our house.

The spot on the roof is not cosmetically-appealing. I saw it from the day we first looked at this house.

But the home inspector said nothing about it.

And any contractor who has been on our roof says it’s in good shape.

It may not have looked ideal, but I figured it was holding up fine.

Now I’m going to have to cut out that rotted wood, replace it, and seal it off myself. It’ll be a big project at my expense and risk (it’s two stories up and on a hill).

But I have no choice.

As I sit here at my desk thinking about this, my mind naturally turns to freelancing.

4 Signs that Your Business is at Greater Risk Than You Think

Far too many freelancers approach business this way:

  • I need money.
  • Clients pay money.
  • I need to go get some clients.
  • Now I have clients.
  • Wait until I need money again, and repeat.

I worked this way for years.

But after 16 years as a freelancer, I’ve learned that this approach puts you at great risk of the feast-or-famine income cycle.

You make a lot of money, then you make no money.

Things are amazing, then things are horrible.

This cycle scares most people away from freelancing altogether.

But is it inevitable?


Much like the leak in my roof, you can avoid dealing with this issue if you recognize the warning signs ahead of time.

Signs like:

  1. Your entire income depends on one client.
  2. You have a client who hasn’t sent you work in a little while.
  3. The thought of losing 1-2 of your current clients sends you into a panic.
  4. You’ve ever said or thought, “I don’t know what I’d do if this client fired me right now!”

If any of these sound like you, then you have to make sure you have a system in place to address these concerns… and a strategy that keeps this from happening.

See, success isn’t from landing the big paychecks.

Success is about stringing together the steady paychecks and spreading out the risk.

By building a system where you can get multiple clients and keep them all happy, you eliminate the risk of one client destroying your business overnight.

It’s not complicated

Fortunately, the system itself doesn’t need to be complicated or time consuming.

Far too many freelancers are focused on building brands and chasing followers, thinking this is the key to job security.

It’s not.

The key to job security is to have a process in place to:

  • Find clients
  • Get them
  • Build relationships with them
  • Keep them paying you

If you can do this for 3-5 clients, your income is set, your quality of life skyrockets, and you have more stability than most 9-5ers, even.

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