How to Make Your First Six-Figures When You Have No Idea What You’re Doing
If you’re reading this blog, please know that I think you’re one of the luckiest SOBs on planet earth.
And here’s also what I think - I think that if you stumbled across this post you might not feel like the luckiest SOB alive. Which is a shame, because your first six-figures are the easiest. The most playful. The first $100K where you don’t have to learn how to break all your own rules - the stupid nonsense rules you started to follow when it became time to “scale” your business.
But right now, you don’t see it that way.
In fact, making the elusive “six-figures” freelancing or working for yourself or building a business, is probably your 5-year plan. And it does not feel easy. Or playful. Or like rainbows and butterflies 🌈🦋
First, aiming for six-figures within 5 years is stupid.
We’re talking about dedicating five years of your LIFE to making $100K. This is not a lot of money, people!!! Your time, your life, your dreams, even the time spent re-organizing your sock drawer is worth more than spending the next 5 years trying to make six-figures.
The real issue with giving yourself too much time to accomplish small goals (and yes, I repeat — $100K is a small goal) is that you make it way, WAY harder than it needs to be. Something you can accomplish in a few months, becomes your QUEST, your life’s mission, the ring you’re responsible for getting to Mordor. (You’re welcome, Lord of the Rings fans). And because of this, this easy income goal takes f*cking forever to actually accomplish because that’s as high as you’ve set the bar.
That’s heaven, right there folks. $100K. That’s all there is (insert eyeroll).
I mean it’s not 100% your fault that you think that. There is Facebook group on top of Facebook group DEDICATED as a holy shrine to hitting $100K as the be all, end all, with no real plan to go bigger.
However, if you really want to hit six-figures fast, there are a few beliefs about said six-figures that you’re just gonna have to embody. And the sooner the better.
First, a six-figure year is not THAT interesting.
It’s just easy - and honestly the bare minimum you need to bring in to make working for yourself worth it.
Second, in order to make $100K quickly you have to knock the idea of it down from it’s pedestal. You have to believe it’s easy. That six-figs is chump change.
You really have to have your come-to-Jesus moment that $100K is ONLY $8,333 (and 33 cents) a month.
That’s ONE client.
Maybe 2 clients.
That’s it. 3 clients. You can most certainly close 3 new clients on retainers that are LESS than $3k each this month.
Now, think about it. If you haven’t yet hit six-figures you are only 1-3 clients away from crushing your six-figure monthly income goal THIS month.
This does require you to stop being a chicken shit about some things 🐓🤷♀️
For starters—you gotta stop acting like asking for more money for your services is the equivalent to burying a body in the backyard.
OWN YOUR RATES first and foremost. Mind you, I don’t mean suddenly charge $10K for a six-pack of blogs. I mean stop undercharging like some little freelance Oliver Twist, shivering in the corner with his laptop, hoping for another scoop of porridge into his PayPal.
The easiest way to raise your rates is to understand that you do not get to keep every dollar that comes in. There is CEO pay, there are company expenses, there are taxes. Now look at what you’re charging.
Suddenly, it seems a lot easier to charge like a normal human who needs to pay their rent, buy groceries, have a nice car, go out to dinner, have money in savings, have a business bank account, and NOT worry about money, so you can grow.
Just a little more bravery when it comes to owning your rates. And a lot more bravery when it comes to consistency in your marketing, and you’re right there at the six-figure mark. You CAN go from zero clients to a couple clients worth $8,333.33 THIS month.
With all that being said, if you haven’t yet made six-figures…
I wouldn’t focus on the “six-figures”part.
I wouldn’t wake up everyday and obsess about your goal. Especially if you’re stressed about money and you’re already kind of a drag.
(Don’t get offended - nobody is fun when they’re stressed about cashflow.)
At this stage you have to experiment, you have to go in the opposite direction of rules, and goals, and bullshit. You have to be the life of the motherf*cking party in your business. You have to be insatiably curious. When I made my first six-figures (I know this sounds like an “I walked 10 miles uphill in the snow” story) I was a freelance copywriter who didn’t even know what a “copywriter” was until about six months after I started working for myself.
It was a client who broke the news to me that my “official” job title was copywriter. And that I could stop joking that “I sell words” for a living. In hindsight, I think that made them uncomfortable.
I was just doing stuff I liked. And charging for it.
And since I didn’t even know what my title was, you can safely bet that I sure as shit didn’t have an income goal.
To be honest, I hit my first six-figures accidentally. I definitely surprised myself. But once I hit my stride it was pretty easy - and I was having fun.
Responding to Golden Cover Letters, taking calls, really relishing in the joy of having my own “business.” I was on cloud 9 about my “business” before I had any clients. I was on Craigslist in the middle of the night scooping up clients just because I was curious and I felt like a professional badass.
Even though what I was doing hardly looked “professional.”
But it was MINE. And I loved it.
It is safe to say that I played my way to my first $100K year.
If you have not yet hit $100K in your business — LET GO OF IT AS A GOAL.
And if you’re one of those people who has been trying to hit six-figures for the last 8 years, you gotta do the math. You’ve spent YEARS simply trying to make $8,333.33 a month. You’ve spent 96 months trying to make a measly $100K.
Divide those numbers in a calculator.
Let go of this goal, start seeing opportunity everywhere, don’t be too proud to pick up clients from anywhere and everywhere, and be PROUD AS PUNCH of your business.
One morning you’ll roll over to pay a Verizon bill or some shit and realize there are wayyy more zeroes in your bank account than there used to be.
And by that point you’ll already be bored with six-figures and onto the next ;)
You could have your first $8K month by next week. 😉
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