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Business Restructured: a Freelance Writer Learns Her Tipping Point

by Jill Foster on March 4, 2009

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Guest post by Thursday Bram. Thursday offers content marketing through Hyper Modern Consulting, as well as more traditional writing services. She blogs about the shift between freelancing and business through her personal blog Thursday Bram and can be reached at www.twitter.com/thursdayb.

Not too long ago, I ran up against the wall with my freelance writing career. I’ve got great clients, good rates and a ridiculous amount of work — but that wall was keeping me from ever increasing my income beyond its current levels. My wall was simply the number of hours in the day: with a business like writing, where you literally trade your time for money, you’re tied to the number of hours you can work, just like the average employee.

That was my tipping point.

I knew I wanted to keep increasing my income, but I couldn’t add any more hours to my day.

The tipping point
When you start a new business, it isn’t too hard to run up against walls like mine: the structures and systems that help get a business off the ground in the first place, rarely support it as it grows. Recognizing that tipping point can be much harder.

I couldn’t quite figure out why …
I had fully booked workdays, and still had requests to take on further projects. I was pretty stressed by the whole situation — and I couldn’t quite figure out why. After all, the mindset of a freelancer equates more work with a better situation. So what if I was working far more than the 40 hours a week that I had set as a goal when I started my writing business?

It took looking at some other writers’ projects to move me past that idea. I saw another writer mention that she was looking to hire a writer of her own to help with her growing workload. While my first thought was that I should email her and see if I could pick up a little of that work myself, I managed to remember my already overwhelmed schedule.

One thought lead to another and I realized that, hey, I could bring on another writer too.

Plenty of questions: restructuring past the tipping point
Once you’ve realized that there are options beyond trying to take care of every part of your business yourself, there are still plenty of questions to think through. You may be looking at a complete re-structuring of your business: while I originally thought that sticking with freelancing and just handing off projects to a sub-contractor would keep me moving towards my goals, I wound up with a very different business than what I started with. I’m still doing the same sort of work that I enjoy, but I’ve got a new title and new fees.

Check back at Women Grow Business as Thursday shares more on expanding her freelance team.

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