Reframe your narrative to embrace success.
With the tools available to us in 2022, everyone can start writing online. But only a few of them make it big.
I started writing online in 2014, but it took me six long years before I could finally turn it into a full-time profession.
In this post, I’ve listed three subtle mindset shifts that helped me reach levels of success that I never thought was possible. If you’re starting to write online or have been in the game for a few years, read on. I’m sure these tips will be of immense value to your life and career.
1. If you want to succeed, don’t think big. Think small.
Doesn’t make sense? Let me explain.
In 2021, I wanted to establish a freelance writing business. But every time I thought of what it could mean, my brain got flooded with questions like-
- How will I manage TDS and taxes?
- How will I handle 10+ writers at once?
- Will I be able to keep track if I have more than 5 clients?
And on and on and on.
Today, I’ve managed to start my dream business. I currently have three happy clients, a team of five writers, and one content manager. It’s not super successful yet, but I know I’m on the right track and will surely scale it to great heights.
So what changed?
I stopped thinking BIG and started thinking SMALL.
You see, every time you think big, your subconscious understands that you’re not in control of the situation. And to gain back some semblance of control, you try to analyze every aspect of your big step. Then, you get caught up in a loop.
- You list the pros and cons
- You find some “major” flaw that might stop you from succeeding
- The flaw leads to another, which leads to another
- Suddenly, all you can see are the ways it could go wrong. Now, you have no motivation left to start anymore.
When we let fear take control, we get lost in thoughts.
How to get out of this loop? By thinking SMALL.
Instead of worrying about what might happen ten months later, plan what you can do TODAY that will take you one step closer to your dream.
Many things won’t be in your control, and that’s okay. Embrace the uncertainty with curiosity, not fear. Stop saying “I’m worried that….” and say, “I’m excited to see what will happen when…”
So the next time fear about a BIG project starts paralyzing you, replace the fear with curiosity and see what happens. Don’t think of big leaps you’ll take, but plan the next small steps you can take.
And slowly, brick by brick, you’ll build a bridge to reach exactly where you want to be.🤗
2. You don’t owe anyone an explanation of how you choose to spend your time
The weekend was hectic, and I barely had time to rest.
When Monday morning rolled in, I was low on energy and didn’t feel like doing any work.
I decided to take it slow and spend most of my time reading or watching something on the TV.
When my friend (who works in software, and 12-hour workdays are the norm for him) saw me loitering about, he asked, “Is anything wrong?”
I told him I was taking a slow day.
“But why?” he asked.
“Because I don’t feel like doing anything,” I said.
He gave a small eye roll and let out a sigh. Then, he shrugged and said, “Okay.”
I know he didn’t mean to judge. I also know that his work standards are different from mine. I gave up my job and started this freelance writing business only because I wanted to work on my own terms.
But the way my friend reacted made me feel guilty.
I see him working from 11 AM to 11 PM non-stop every day, and most days, I feel guilty for not working hard enough.
But I have to remind myself that every person’s way of approaching work is different. What worked for him needn’t be the universal solution to every person’s dilemma. If I feel like taking a break, I should be able to do so without having to justify the reasons to anyone, least of all, myself.
If you’re looking for a takeaway, here’s one: It’s okay to take breaks; no, you don’t need to justify them to anyone.
Your brain might trick you into believing you’re not doing enough. But breaks help you refresh and come back with renewed energy. They are just as important as ticking tasks off your to-do list. Don’t ignore the transformative power of taking a day (or week) off. You deserve it.
Follow your energy, and do what your body permits.
You should be okay if you stick to the deadlines and client/boss expectations. Don’t let the hustle culture of today fool you into thinking that you’re a failure if you don’t work for 12 hours a day.
3. Plan your content in advance, so you don’t feel trapped or suffocated
Have you ever sat in a salon, waiting for your turn to get your hair cut, and planned your next 48 hours before you leave for a vacation?
Welcome to my life as a full-time writer!😅
When your whole business depends on your online visibility, taking a few days off to go on a holiday can feel stressful.
I know I need to post something every day on LinkedIn. I have to post at least 2 posts per week on Medium, keep my YouTube, Twitter, and Instagram active, and send a weekly newsletter to my subscribers.
How would I manage all of these when I’m on holiday?
That’s where planning steps in. After quitting my job to become a full-time writer, the phrase “plan for a rainy day” took on a new meaning.
If you’re a creator struggling to take a break, here are a few steps I implement that might work for you as well:
- Write down every task that needs to be done off the top of your head.
- Plan your week, fortnight, or month in advance. Create content around these themes and schedule them to be posted accordingly. My favorite scheduler is Hypefury. It’s reliable, easy to use, and syncs across multiple platforms.
- Batch-produce content and space them out while you schedule so your audience doesn’t get overwhelmed.
Now, let’s talk about what to do during the holiday:
- Trust in your scheduler, and don’t stress over things and situations not in your control.
- Be in the moment and enjoy the hard-earned time off.
- If you have a few moments to spare, open your social media profiles to reply to comments and engage with your audience. Don’t stress over it if you can’t find the time for a few days at a stretch.
Online presence is important, but it can’t precede your mental health. Take care of yourself. After all, there’s only one of you.🤗
Did any of these points resonate with you? Do let me know your thoughts in the comments.