How to use financial pressure to increase productivity.

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

Most people lose faith when faced with financial challenges. Bills not paid, food inadequate, further, 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 hard.

When I quit my job to pursue a writing career, I expected quick earnings, as promised. I dreamed of a bed-to-computer lifestyle; work less and get paid more. 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 I had earned. My bills started piling up: electricity bill, water bill, my internet subscription expired, and my landlord began knocking at my door often. 

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

So, what did I 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 applying for work in sales and marketing companies, industries, glassmaking companies, and others. At one time, while going to seek a company job, I forgot to wear a formal suit and carry my resume. I had quickly forgotten their value. 

The second instinct was to seek low-paying gigs and boost my career from there or even give up on my dreams. I decided to look for low-paying clients and let the “big fish” earn the big money promised. I thought such people had connections and would get clients easily with a handsome pay. Therefore, I sought for low-paying clients and promised to deliver quality content. I knew that they would value my high-quality content for less pay. 

The next automatic thing was feeling humiliated. I saw myself as a failure. I could not update my Facebook status, LinkedIn, Twitter, or even my website. I felt like I did not have anything to say and that my friends would see me as a failure as well. 

Time also seemed to fly to me. Since I was desperate and could not keep my mind straight, I was not able to manage my time productively. 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 creating incomplete articles, proposals, and ideas. I was doing nothing within a day. 

How to turn the financial pressure into positive motivation.

After lengthy self-analysis, I realized two things: 

  1. I spent more time on my computer than before; 
  2. I was ready to work and less skeptical about managing huge projects. 

So I came up with a simple strategy that would 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. 

  • Create a marketing strategy

Come up with a marketing strategy. Ensure that it will lead you in the right direction. Don’t follow every idea online. Find friends who can help you analyze them and give you the best one. 

For me, I set aside days for each activity. That is, I would dedicate a full day to building my website, another for marketing on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, pitching… and so on. I would also set aside days to write sample content and edit them to perfection. I figured that I would do a better job when I dedicated time to it rather than do them at once. I rarely procrastinate. 

  • A friend having similar needs is a friend indeed.

Find friends pursuing the same career and are facing similar problems. In this way, you can see their mistakes and learn from them. It is not easy to identify personal errors. However, when you collaborate, you can view other people’s mistakes and learn from them. Also, it is more comfortable to confront a problem as a team than on your own. I, for instance, tend to procrastinate on lengthy gigs like writing sales copies when I am alone. However, when we work together with my team, we can do a lot of work.   

  • Avoid unhelpful advice.

As much as people may want to help, avoid them. Don’t take advice from people telling you to quit your career. Everyone views things from a different perspective. For others, your job may be hard, and they may think that it is the cause of the problem. They may, therefore, advise you to partake in “real careers” and embark on your journey when you have established your foundation. 

Unless you hit the rock bottom, don’t accept such advice. You will never embark on your profession. Instead, you will be too busy and tired from other work. 

  • Stick to your strategy

After making your plan, stick to it. You may also be determined as I was at the time. Use that energy to work on your career. 

Trust me; it feels better when you are working for a goal than lying in bed the whole day regretting the things you did not do. 

  • Minimize your daily activities and maximize your output.

Lastly, try to minimize your daily tasks as much as possible. For me, it was easier to work on a few huge projects than many small projects. It is easier to plan on a few and concentrate on them to perfection. 

Don’t pressure yourself. You will not be able 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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