Create the Life You Want… Not the One You Think You Should Want

Almost two weeks ago, I was on the phone with a reporter from a national magazine, talking about solopreneurship and personal branding. We were having a lovely chat — though I felt like a bit of a spaz; that’s why I’m a writer, you guys — when he asked me about my income.

“I make about $30k a year,” I told him.

“You can live on that!?” he asked.

I mentioned that I was lucky enough to have a husband who made way more money than me, so that I could create a life in which I only worked part-time hours. I told him I was building a career in which I could stay home with my future (as-yet-unconceived) children and not take a huge, unprepared-for blow to my paycheck. And if I needed more money, I said, I could always hustle a helluva lot more instead of sitting back and letting the work come to me (which is my current, lazy-ass m.o.).

He asked me what I’d do if a media company offered me a staff position at $75k.

“I’d turn it down,” I said. “No question.”

“What about $100k?” he asked.

“Nope,” I said. “I never want to give this up.”

Two days later, my bread-winning husband lost his job. [Read more…]

Why You Should Change Your Definition of Success

I started freelancing full-time almost five years ago. At the time, success meant matching my previous income, and saying yes to every project that came my way. As a result, I found myself working nights and weekends, skipping meals, and pushing exercise to the very bottom of my to-do list, where it never got done.

These days, success means being pickier about projects, preparing home-cooked meals with my husband, and having time for both my personal book project and my daily yoga classes. I have the potential to make more money… but the other stuff comes first.

Which is why I love Laura Vanderkam‘s work. In both 168 Hours and her most recent book, All the Money in the World, she shows readers that they don’t necessarily need more time or money to achieve a successful and fulfilling life. They just need to know how to spend what they already have.

In this Q+A, Laura shows us how we should redefine success. [Read more…]

Link Love: November 21

What a week! It started out on a somber note, with an overnight trip down to MD for a cousin’s funeral, but quickly turned around, with a job offer, my very first career coaching teleclass, and some exciting new projects. Excitement!

While I go do my happy dance (again), I’ll leave you to read this week’s link love:

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He Said/She Said: Our Income [Now and Later]

money grab

[Photo via]

My husband and I are…different.

He is rational, while I am emotional. He is cautious and conservative, while I preach the necessity of taking risks in order to move forward. He worries about immediate income — ensuring that we don’t go homeless or hungry — while I give him an ulcer by concerning myself with the future.

Last night, our differences sparked a major argument.

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Link Love: September 11

This week’s link love is quite brief, but that’s probably best. After all, I’m about to set out for two more vineyards (in hurricane/tornado weather no less)! Wish me luck!

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Coffee Break: Let’s Passively Make More $ While We Drink Our Coffee

Things have been looking up here, finance-wise, despite the fact that I still haven’t found another regular gig. I’ve gotten three new clips, with a fourth on the way, and also talked my way into a bit of a “raise.” Huzzah!

It’s not enough, of course, which is why I read the following two blog posts with such interest:

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Coffee Break: Becoming Money in the Bank

coffee break

My husband battled his fears of eventual bankruptcy by supporting my decision to leave my staff job and pursue freelancing full-time. And when I succeeded in bringing in my former staffer income within half a year as a freelancer, I sort of wanted to wiggle my butt and point and scream “In! Your! Face!”

The only thing that kept me from doing so was the knowledge that I still had a lot of debt to manage…debt that I probably should have taken care of before leaving my job.

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My 5 Favorite Things In: What To Charge

what to charge.

Since I’ve started freelancing for a living, I’ve screwed myself over multiple times, mostly by undercharging clients.

It never fails. A new possible client asks for my rates, I panic, and then I proceed to sell myself short. I’m still learning, even as I get a firmer grip on market norms, which is why Laurie Lewis’s What To Charge: Pricing Strategies for Freelancers and Consultants is such a great resource to have on hand.

After the jump, my five favorite things about Ms. Lewis’s book:

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