How To Work On Your Business As a Freelancer

Apr 26, 2024

here’s working in your business and working on your business. Working for clients, administration, taking meetings. this is work that needs to be done to keep business going.

So when do you work on things to get your business GROWING?

I have also recorded this e-mail as a podcast. If you'd rather listen to this story, you can listen to The Boss Level episode 5 on Spotify.

So many freelancers I speak to get stuck. Stuck in routines, stuck working for the same-ish clients, stuck on the same income year after year. In a way this is a logical trap to fall into. Most freelancers start working for themselves not to grow a massive business empire, but just to break free from working for a boss.

When you start freelancing, everything is new and exciting. After a few years, however, the urge to challenge yourself and to grow will inevitably kick in. The thing is, it’s hard to break out of patterns you’ve grown accustomed to.

I’ve fallen into the same trap. Being ambitious, I have always wanted to grow my business. The number 1 metric I used to focus on was my yearly revenue. Working really hard for my clients, there was little time to come up with anything better than: work more hours. So I did and it quickly led to burnout and feeling unfulfilled.

In 2019 I fired my two biggest clients. This coincidently also was the year I read the book Peak Performance, which I recommend reading. This book is written by Brad Stulberg and Steve Magness. A former professional athlete and a former high end business consultant. There’s so much golden nuggets of information in the book. at that time what I needed to hear was: take a step back, implement periods of rest to grow. I like bodybuilding, so when they compared business and your brain to muscle growth, things started clicking. 

So I fired my 2 biggest clients and ‘bought back’ time to reflect on my business. 

I’ll break down the 5 things you’ll need to do in order to make sure your business grows according to your plans. Having some time ‘off’ from working ‘in the business’, I came up with some new ideas. First I wanted to narrow down who I worked for when freelancing. So I defined my ideal client and would from then on out only focus on that client. I also started posting on LinkedIN, sharing Google Ads knowledge. And I decided I wanted to write a book on freelancing, which I started with not much later in 2020. 

If this inspires you, these are the 5 steps I recommend you take

  1. Create targets
  2. Create projects, write down todo’s
  3. Go on workations
  4. Block time in your calender
  5. Get a coach (or peer group)

Let’s break down this list.

1. Create targets

You’ll need a goal to aim at. What is it you want to achieve? Better paying clients? More clients? A side-project like an online course to supplement your freelance business? Determine what you’d like to chase and stick a monetary target to your ideas as well.

2. Create projects, write down todo’s

A goal without a plan is just a dream. So break down your main target into projects and todo’s. I personally use the tool Notion for project management. I even write my LinkedIN posts and podcast scripts in it.

3. Go on workations

This is optional, but for me workations have been tremendously impactful. Mostly I book a workation every quarter. Almost every time I take a specific project with me, like creating a course, writing a book or working on a strategic plan of some sort. I wrote most of my book Super Freelancer while on workation in Denmark.

4. Block time in your calender

Workations can be kickstarters for projects, but you can’t rely on them. To grow your business, you need to work ON your business at least on a weekly basis. Back when I was working for the agency where my career started, we always worked on our own marketing for four hours per week with a team of three people. I recommend doing the same. Block half a day in your calender for working on personal branding, creating products or meeting with people.

5. Get a coach (or peer group)

Talking about meeting people, I recommend you employ a coach for your business. While freelancing can be mastered on your own, growing a business often takes expert knowledge. I strongly recommend investing in a coach. Someone who’s done ie before and take take you through the steps you need to take. An alternative is to join a group of peers. Maybe you can join an exisiting mastermind or you can recruit people with similar ambitions into a Discord group and scheduling weekly meetings. 

And that’s it! Since scaling down my freelance business, to work ON my business, I have launched a book, created a course, written 600+ posts on LinkedIN, co-founded two new companies and invested in a start-up. 

You can do the same. Create time in your calender (and brain), go read Peak Performance and grow that business.


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