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How I Doubled My Freelance Income in Two Years (Part 3)

Forget outlines, to-do lists and other money-losing time-wasters. Real planning and preparation involves things, not ideas.

by
Kathy Shaidle

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April 16, 2014 - 2:00 pm
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Yesterday, as part of my series about how I doubled my freelance writing income over the course of about 24 months, I advised you to “Always Say ‘Yes’ (Except Sometimes).”

Today’s tip is also somewhat contradictory:

2. Be Prepared (But Not Too Much)

A while back, a fellow writer asked me to look over the outline/proposal/project scope thingie he’d just prepared for a client.

The client had hired my friend to write the copy for a ten page website.

My friend’s outline was… 40 pages long.

Whereas I’ve written the copy for 40 page websites, and the outline was five pages long. Maybe.

And I only create outlines (or whatever you want to call them) if a client asks me to (and I can’t talk them out of it.)

Otherwise I never write outlines. I’ve never had a business plan.

I do not make to-do lists. I avoid face to face meetings whenever possible.

Don’t get me wrong: My day, and therefore my week, is planned hour by hour, because my regular daily/weekly work routine rarely changes.

(As I said yesterday, my calendar looks like a clown car, and sounds like one too, thanks to the loud honking noises that remind menopausal me about my deadlines, even ones that have fallen on the same day of the week for years.)

However, my idea of “being prepared” involves, say, having two working computers (and mice and keyboards) at hand, at all times. And a LOT of batteries.

(And toilet paper and cat food, so I don’t have to interrupt my work day to restock those and other non-work-related necessities.)

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