Freelancer Growth Mindset: What if You Already Reached All Your Goals?

If you're feeling stuck with your blog, business or money, there's still hope. I spent months and even years trying to get out of the business slump I was in, but then found out that the results I wanted were on the other side of a simple mindset change. Here's what I did to make $637 in course sales in just 2 weeks!

Since this blog is a safe place, I’m going to be brutally honest with you today. For the past 18 months or so I’ve been stuck — like really stuck. No matter what I tried, what I did, or how I approached my blog/business nothing gave me the results I was looking for. IT SUCKED.

I felt like all the time, effort and money I’ve spent over the past 5 years of blogging was all a waste. I began to feel like a fraud.

Finally admit you’re struggling

If you’ve been following along with my journey you know that last year my #blogtobiz plan was a failure in terms of reaching my income goal to earn at least 50% of my income from blog through product/coaching sales.

After not having a clear direction I just gave up and went back to what I knew would work: freelancing. I went back to the basics, started pitching new clients and secured more freelance work. This made it easy to pay the bills and I was able to get back to a good routine.

But something was missing.

I had the unsettling feeling that I didn’t really conquer my demons, I just gave up on them and moved on. So in the past few months I circled back to my goal of earning money through affiliate income and selling courses as ways to diversify my income streams.

Expert advice doesn’t work by itself

No matter what courses I purchases, advice I took from friends or coaches and tips I read across the interwebs, NOTHING WORKED. At least not in the way that I’d hoped.

I’m an extremely Type A personality so when someone has a course outlined with videos, workbooks and homework, I’m actually one of those people who does the entire course — worksheets and all.

I spent a lot of time soul-searching and going on countless morning walks, as a way to block out the noise and listen to my gut. I wanted to hear what my inner voice was trying to tell me.

And this is what it said…

What if you already reached your goals? What would you do differently?

How would you treat your freelance business, your blog or your money differently if you already reached all the goals you set for yourself? Would your approach change if you saw the results you were looking for?

For me, the answer was yes (which was surprising to hear from myself), I would treat my business and money differently. How exactly?

As I was having this conversation with myself I realized that my mindset surrounding my blog and my business was the one thing really holding me back from achieving my goals. Instead of treating my business and income goals as something I was successful at, and appreciating where I was at, I was continuously striving for something else, something better, something more.

I HAD to change my mindset and start treating my business like it was already happening, as if I’d already reached a place of abundance —  because, well, I already did.

The results were better than I could have imagined.

Progress takes dialogue not monologue

As part of June’s blogging theme I wanted to talk about a topic that I’m obsessed with: productivity and systems. So I wrote out an entire month’s worth of content topics, ideas for a course and emails to share with my audience.

Basically, it’s what I wish I knew as a newbie freelancer (heck, even as an intermediate freelancer!), as far as organizing client deadlines and generally being productive. I presented it in a way that I would want to learn it and acted as if I was talking to a friend (because, quite frankly that’s what you are).

Often times there tends to be a disconnect with talking TO people who read your blog and talking WITH them.

Dialogue versus monologue. Somewhere along the way I started monologing and not engaging the community with dialogue as much as I should have. That was the first thing that had to change.

ultra productive course screenshot

A growth mindset starts with confidence

Next on my list was the low self-esteem and confidence I had with the products I created. Fortunately I didn’t have any issues with my freelance services, but the same principal applies if you’re struggling to sell your services.

If you have confidence in yourself, what you sell and the services you offer, it will show in how you present yourself. I thought I confidence in what I was doing but little by little, each month I failed or didn’t make sales, my self-esteem was slowly chipping away.

This continued until the point that I became so scared to put myself out there I emotionally disconnected myself from the process and just began churning out content. The problem is, that once you’re not emotionally invested in something anymore, everyone else can subconsciously feel that too.

Why would someone else want to invest in something you’re no longer invested in? That realization was my second wake-up call.

Sell $637 of course sales in 2 weeks

To go along with June’s productivity and systems theme, I wanted to once again try my hand at selling a product. But this time would be different.
How I earned $637 in two weeks

I called the course, Be Ultra Productive but changed my approach quite a bit. Instead of offering if for free, like I’ve done for months in the past, I charged a pre-registration fee of $49 (which increased to $149 after the live training).

I also moved all my courses over to a platform called Teachable (which I’ll blog more about in a future blog post). I hated my original membership site and the way the trainings were presented.

Again, why would I expect other people to buy a course that I personally hated the way it was laid out? It’s a simple question but none-the-less another mindset bombshell that changed my perspective.

Promote your work like you believe in it (duh!)

I know, it’s a novel concept to think that you should actually promote a product or course that you really believe in. But, as I mentioned, I wasn’t always emotionally connected to what I was selling.

Yes, the courses or training I produced were great, and helped a lot of freelancers but there was something missing.

So this time around I backed into by producing something that wasn’t part of a “business plan” or “content strategy”. I created blog posts, Tweetchat content and newsletters based on the upcoming course, not the other way around (creating the course first then producing the marketing content afterwards, which is what a lot of bloggers do).

Offer additional payment options

Bloggers who sell courses or products always stress the importance of offering multiple payment options. But I didn’t think it was really that important. I mean, how many sales was I really missing out on because I didn’t offer PayPal AND credit card payment options?

Well, apparently I was missing out on a lot.

Of the 20 new signups I received for the Be Ultra Productive course, 7 of them purchased the course through PayPal and the other 13 purchased using a credit card only.

If I didn’t offer multiple payment options, I would have missed out on $323 or nearly 45% of the overall sales.

credit card course sales June 2016

In other words, the $99 per month plan I’m using from Teachable.com (that offers two payment options for potential customers) has more than paid off for itself in just the first 30 days.

Market your course they way YOU want

Bucking traditional course marketing advice (or freelance marketing advice), choose a promotion plan that YOU would actually participate in.

Are you seeing a theme here? Choose your own approach, the way you would want to pay, to learn and sold to.

Instead of sticking to traditional marketing advice like, blasting out to your email list, or doing tons of webinars that upsell your product, find a way to promote your work the way YOU want.

I chose to host a #carefulcents Tweetchat that was an entirely dedicated to productivity and business system tips. I did this mostly because I wanted to talk about those things on Twitter and knew other freelancers would too.

careful cents tweetchat

I even landed a new coaching client right after the chat (on top of helping promote the course). Win-win!

I always preach the importance of listening to your gut and being the kind of boss who forges her own path (or his own path), but somewhere in the past 5 years I forgot to take my own advice.

So here’s to practicing what I preach — again!

Make a difference not sales

More than anything though, I don’t strive to make sales I strive to make a difference. I aim to actually offer helpful and practical advice through all of the platforms and content I create. I put a LOT of time and effort into the courses I produce and community that I’ve built over the past 5 years.

I hope this makes sense, even though I took the long way around proving that just a simple change with my mindset helped me earn $637 in course sales in 2 weeks. But more importantly, it helped me bust through my blogging slump and have more confidence in my work.

Changing your freelance mindset to one of growth and abundance takes time, so don’t get discouraged if things don’t change overnight. Heck, it took me five years to overcome my mindset hurdles!

Have you embraced a mindset change recently? What was your “ah ha” moment?

Book Update: New Plans and a New Publisher
Then and Now: Celebrating 5 Years of Blogging

15 comments

  1. Jackie says:

    Thanks for being so candid, Carrie! I have been going through a slump myself. My recent “a ha!” moment was when I realized that my wellbeing was not dependent on any one client. I am ultimately responsible. 🙂

    • Carrie says:

      Yes, it’s so easy but difficult at the same time. We are the only ones standing in our own ways! Glad you were able to come to a good mindset change too, Jackie. 🙂 We can do this!

  2. Emily says:

    This is so inspiring. I feel like I’m getting a free coaching session right here on staying true to my own business goals and visions, coming at my business from a place of abundance, and not letting myself dodge the challenges that inevitably come up with running a business.
    I’m totally amazed that you were able to work through all this and come out with a great mindset, a successful course launch, and the honesty to share it all with your readers. Wow. Just wow. Thank you so much for sharing your lessons with all of us.

  3. Amandah says:

    Thanks for being honest.

    I can relate to buying courses (dropped $1,200 for one of them), taking advice from family, friends and coaches, and articles. Sometimes the results I receive from reading articles and books and participating in courses are lackluster. This is why I’ve suspended purchases until I get to the “root” of the issue.

    My other “aha” moment came from Doreen Virtue’s Instagram page a few days ago. She too wrote that it’s important to affirm that your good has happened, and is happening now. I guess I’m meant to read the message, again.

    Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. Melissa says:

    This is awesome, Carrie! You really are one of the best (if not the best) at productivity and systems, and I’m glad you’re finding your niche again and doing what you love. You believe in systems so much that I believe in them now too, and I was always wishy-washy about them before. You make me believe! Cheesy but true 🙂 And since our coaching call, I’ve improved SO much and I’m so much less stressed. Thank you!

    • Carrie says:

      Melissa, THANK YOU for the kind words. It means a lot to know that I can convert you to becoming a believer of systems too, and that you now have less stress and more productivity with your work. WOOT! This makes me so happy to hear. 🙂

  5. Krystal Hart says:

    Thanks for being so transparent Carrie. My ah-ha moment came when someone commented on the Instagram for my newest brand that they love following me because the advice I give is practical. They actually feel like they can implement it without being a stay at home mom, spending hours doing it or being wealthy. It gave me so much confidence because I felt like my services were substandard to other bloggers I compared myself to. Then I remembered, my original target audience is the working mom with a low budget that still wants to make allergy-free meals for herself or family. I had taken my eyes off the prize! Again, thanks for the confirmation to be true to YOU. The information you share is always helpful.

  6. Roxanne says:

    Wow Carrie, this post is so timely! I’m launching my first course and considering a tweet chat to answer questions related to the course contents. I have lots of offline experience, but online… it’s a like starting over. I feel like I’m bucking the ‘system’ and doing everything backwards – literally everything in your post is a parallel. Thank you for writing it.

    • Carrie says:

      I know right?! I found the advice to do a Tweet chat launch from another blogger friend of mine and thought it was brilliant. Let me know how your launch goes!

  7. Sarah says:

    Thanks for sharing Carrie. I’m so happy for your success. All around me I keep reading about abundance mentality and I probably should dig into more of this as there is a sign I need to. Another thing I heard from Marie Forleo is the quote “How would you act if you were the best in the world.” Similar to what you were thinking about but with a slightly different spin. Something I try to think about from time to time and I’m going to add your thoughts as well. Great job – keep it up. You are making a difference in the lives of so many of us.

    • Carrie says:

      Oh my, I love this advice from Marie Forleo! That’s so good. I’ll definitely keep that in mind as I’m moving forward with my business too. Thanks for sharing!

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