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How to use financial pressure to increase productivity.

How financial pressure helped me -- a lazy writer -- get my first client.

Financial challenges are the worst nightmares for any person. In this period, problems start piling one after the other. Bills not paid, food is inadequate, and to make matters worse, clients have terminated their contracts.

For most people, this can lead to excessive sleeping and stress eating. However, if taken positively, financial pressure can motivate you to work harder and be more successful.

When I quit my job to pursue a writing career, I expected quick earnings. I dreamed of a bed-to-computer lifestyle; working less and getting more pay. Therefore, I became lazy and spent the whole day in bed watching favorite shows on YouTube and Facebook.

Soon, I ran out of the little money that I had earned. My bills started piling up: electricity bill, water bill, and my landlord started knocking at my door.

In my phone book, I found that only one person was willing to lend me some money, but he also had issues to attend to.

So, What to Do?

For most people, the first instinct would be to give up on the career and seek a new one with quick earnings. I did that.

I started looking for work in sales and marketing companies, glassmaking companies, and others. At one time, while going to seek a job, I forgot the need for an official suit and a resume. That job interview did not go as planned.

The second instinct for me was to seek low-paying gigs and look for better clients after paying all my bills. Deep down, I felt that people who earned big cash in copywriting had great connections and would get clients just by emailing friends. Therefore, I figured that it would take me at least a year before I could find myself such clients despite my high-quality content.

This feeling made me so humiliated at myself, such that updating my Facebook, Twitter or even LinkedIn status was a problem. I did not have anything to say, and I was afraid that my friends would see me as a failure.

I was desperate and could not keep my mind straight; time management was a problem as well. I had so much to do within a day — watch some motivational videos, comment on writing job Ads, plan on websites to pitch, update my LinkedIn profile, update my site, find sites to guest post, and many more — such that I did not have time to make a solid plan. Therefore, I ended up writing incomplete articles, proposals, and disjointed ideas. I was doing nothing per day.

How to Turn the Financial Pressure into Positive Motivation

After lengthy self-analysis, I realized two positive things:

  • I was more focused than before since I did not spend my days in bed anymore.
  • And I was ready to work and less skeptical about managing huge projects.

With this motivation, I came up with a strategy to help me get over the situation.

Here are the five steps that helped me improve my situation; I think they can help you as well.

  • Come Up with a Marketing Strategy for Your Freelance Career

Ensure to find a marketing strategy that will lead you in the right direction. To do this, read as many articles as you can, and choose one idea that’s the best fit for you. This can be an email marketing strategy, using Upwork, or even LinkedIn.

Don’t follow every idea that you find online. Sometimes it’s good to see friends who can help you analyze the marketing strategies and make the right choice. 

For me, I set aside days for each activity. I would dedicate a full day to building my website, another for marketing on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, pitching, and so on. Then, I would write sample contents and edit them to perfection.

I figured that I would do a better job when I dedicated time to doing each rather than doing them at all once. This would make me procrastinate less. 

  • Friends having Similar Needs are Friend Indeed.

Find friends who are pursuing the same goal. Whether they are looking to find clients, learn how to write better copy or even build a successful agency. You should make them your best friends if you have to.

Normally, these are the people who will keep you focused on finding a better way. You can quickly learn from their mistakes, help each other grow, and even help each other stay focused. 

It is not easy to identify personal flaws, but when you collaborate, you can confront the problem as a team.

  • Avoid Unconstructive Criticism.

Don’t take advice from anyone who tells you to quit on your passion. As much as these people may want to help, you should ignore their opinions.

Everyone has different views on everything. Others may see your job as tough to handle — especially when you’re talking about the great internet full of scammers — and they may think that only a few people get a breakthrough.

They may, therefore, advise you to weigh your options and choose a “real career.” A career that has little or no risks and where you will be guaranteed to earn a salary every month.

But unless you hit rock bottom, this is not the best advice for you. You should never give up on your dream, especially when you have so much to lose.

  • Stick to Your Strategy

After making your plan, stick to it. You may also need to find one that will help you move to the next step. If you are facing a financial problem, use that pressure to find a way out. During my darkest moments, I realized that people have more ideas than when they are living their best.

Trust me; it feels better when you are working for a client than lying in bed the whole day regretting the things you could have done.

  • Minimize your Daily Activities and Maximize your Output.

Lastly, schedule fewer tasks per day. This allows you to complete one and revise them to perfection before moving to the next. For me, it was easier to work on a few large projects than many small projects.

If you let the pressure to take hold of you, it will be difficult to concentrate on a single task.

Also, don’t go calling your friends before you come up with a strategy. They will, naturally, advice you to change your career.

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