Horkey HandBook Blog

Reflecting on My Journey: 2 Years from When It All Began!

I think milestones and anniversaries make for the perfect time for a little reflection.

Tomorrow will be EXACTLY two years from when I started looking into freelance writing and emerging myself in the world of online business.

Two years. That’s really not that long ago!

What If I Didn’t Get Started?

Last month, I had my best month ever and grossed almost $25,000.

I grossed about $6,000 per month at my old day job. That’s more than a 400% increase in income. (Mind you my expenses are higher, but that’s by choice.)

And that seriously BLOWS MY MIND.

It’s never been all about money though – but an unlimited income potential was and still is very appealing. I like being able to work harder (or smarter) and see it reflected from an income standpoint.

How could I ever go back to a 4-5% annual raise?

Reflecting on My Journey_ 2 Years from When It All Began!Building an Online Business Is the Hardest Thing I’ve Ever Done!

It hasn’t been easy.

I’ve had many a days and nights when I’ve wondered what the heck I’m doing. And if it’s all really going to work out.

I’ve been overwhelmed and unsure of what direction to travel next.

I’ve felt like a fraud and questioned if I was truly good enough and worth it.

I’ve been fired. I’ve been criticized.

And everything in between.

I basically worked two jobs for the first 6-8 months until I was able to build my business big enough to leave work behind.

I’ve worked early in the morning, evenings and weekends too. At times, my family has probably felt a little put out.

But I try to make up for it. And I’m actually with them a fair amount. I mean, I work from home…

I also am the one to get up with the kids in the morning. And come in for lunch and lay them down for their afternoon naps. We eat dinner together every night. And of course there’s our extensive bedtime routine.

I just sometimes feel guilty that since I’m the mom, I should be their primary caretaker. Totally dumb since my husband, Wade does a stellar job and loves the role. But I digress… 😉

I’d Never Be Afforded the Same Opportunities in Corporate America

Remember that whole Texas trip thing? Yeah, that NEVER would have happened at my old job.

And even though I work a bit more, it’s on my terms.

Again, I see my kids more than ever. And I’m available for school conferences during the day. Or tumbling class, which starts soon.

I’m the one choosing which new projects or clients I want to take on. And the freelancers I choose to contract with. And that rocks!

And again, there’s that whole unlimited income thing.

How You Can Do It Too!

Well, first of all you have to get started.

And then you have to keep moving forward. I’ve talked about it before, but you too should give yourself two years to build your new business.

30 days, a few months or even six months isn’t going to cut it. It takes time yo!

You’re going to have ups and downs. You’re not going to feel like you know what you’re doing. You’re going to want to read everything on the internet. Or have “the perfect website” up before launching (hint: it doesn’t exist!).

If you can, start with good enough. Get a shell of a website up. Take one course. Read one new article per day.

But don’t try to do it all.

And don’t try to be perfect.

And for gosh sakes, don’t let the excuse of a site resdesign or needing perfect samples keep you from getting started or putting yourself out there to be hired.

It’s a bunch of baloney. And it really just keeps people from taking action.

For example, I started Horkey HandBook with a good enough website. I used a free, clean theme and had a pretty horrible logo, but I didn’t let it hold me back.

I didn’t have any writing samples when I started. So I wrote some up.

And posted them on my new, good enough site.

Then over time I tried to make things better. But I didn’t pause growing my business and prospecting for new clients in the process. And you shouldn’t either.

Instead of building the perfect website, start with good enough instead. (Not sure what that looks like? Try our free website building tutorial, 7 Days or Less to Branded Website Success).

Instead of doing an entire site redesign, try improving one or two things each week. And you don’t need to pay a designer (unless you’re loaded, then go ahead). Buy a beautiful theme for $50 instead. $50 beats $5,000.

Are you looking for more ways to get paid as a freelancer? Then download this handy PDF that outlines 7 ways to make money as a freelancer. Give some a try, you never know what it might lead to! Click here to download now and start making more money.

So There You Have It

All in all, I’m more than happy that I took the leap of faith I did. That I started, built a good enough site, got some good enough samples out and prospected my butt off.

Now leads are coming to me.

And that’s weird. But also very cool.

And I hope you take my unsolicited advice to heart. Because it’s all true.

So don’t be scared. Instead take action.

Succeed big time or fail hard.

Don’t try with a half-assed approach. You’ll just be left wondering “what if?”

Why not you, why not now?

Did I light a fire under your butt or do I sound like a pompous ass? Sound off in the comments.

Gina Horkey

Gina Horkey

FOUNDER & CO-OWNER

Gina Horkey is a married, millennial mama from Minnesota. Additionally, she’s the founder of Horkey HandBook and loves helping others find or become a kickass virtual assistant. Gina’s background includes making a living as a professional writer, an online business marketing consultant and a decade of experience in the financial services industry.

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