2014 feels like it has flown by! It was full of major life events, new work experiences, and personal growth. All things I’m about to share with you in my annual End of the Year Review.
Before I dive into the major pivotal moments this year, keep in mind that I share this mostly for my own benefit, as something to reflect back on. However, I also hope you can pick from it, find inspiration, and enjoy what I have to share.
Major pivotal moments
At the start of the year I decided to move my freelance writing efforts onto it’s own domain, Your Freelance Career (YFC). Since its launch I’ve posted a new piece of content every week, Monday morning. Although the blog was just a side project of my writing efforts, it grew to nearly 1,000 subscribers. The blog’s growth has only come from social media and word of mouth. Nothing crazy, but that’s something I’m proud of.
With the launch of YFC, I also launched my complete guide to starting a freelance business called, Start Your Freelance Career. The feat of writing a full guide, recording video tips, and building great resources around it was a major accomplishment for me.
In May my fiance, Anita, and I bought our first house! This was one of the biggest moments of 2014 for me. We held back from moving into an apartment for a couple of years just so we could save as much money possible, and put it towards something we could one day own.
Moving into our first house wasn’t only major for us personally, but also for my freelance business. I now have a proper home office. No longer do I have to work in the same room where I sleep. I have the space for more creative outlets like shooting videos, taking photos, and proper storage space for my supplies and equipment.
Shortly after moving in we also had the surprising opportunity to save our newest family member, Benny! His previous owners weren’t too nice to him, so we took him in and now he’s the happiest, spoiled pup in the neighborhood!
This was my most successful year as a freelancer. I don’t think I had the scarcity mindset once with my freelance work, and that’s such a big achievement. I landed the biggest client of my freelance career, which brought continued, well-paying work that I actually enjoyed doing. I also worked with some great small businesses on their new logos and t-shirts.
I’ll admit I didn’t do as much portfolio worthy work as I’d like, but that’s something I’m going to strive for in 2015. Most of my work was quite small, or it was under a serious NDA. Regardless, I learned so much about myself as a designer, and what I’d like to better focus my time on in the new year.
Here are some of my favorite pieces of work from 2014:
The year isn’t over just yet, so December isn't complete. Also keep in mind that these numbers represented are gross revenue, meaning before fees, taxes, or expenses. To some people, these numbers aren’t impressive, but ever since I started freelancing full-time, this has been the best year for me financially – nearly tripling my annual earnings from last year!
2014 Gross Revenue
I’ve diversified my freelance income quite a bit this year, but the total earnings don’t compare to how much I relied on client work. My guide, Start Your Freelance Career brought in the most revenue in terms of digital products, and Creative Market brings in a small but consistent amount of earnings each month. The sales from my products get put directly back into my business to go towards future investments.
Plans for 2015
Of course there were countless mundane challenges I faced throughout the year, but despite that, it was amazing. I am incredibly lucky to be able to run my freelance business and make a living from it.
I’m going to be making some minor shifts in what I focus my time on in 2015. I’m going to step back on my writing schedule for Your Freelance Career, and focus a bit more on my design work. As much as my growth this year has been from my writing, I feel like my design work has lacked. I’d rather be a well-oiled machine in what I love to do and grind out some awesome design work. I enjoy blogging a lot, but it’s not my absolute passion. I don’t see myself as a blogger, rather, someone that’s found the perfect way to share what I know and how to connect with like-minded people. I'll still write a lot, but only as a byproduct of my design work and personal experiences.
Balance is something I’m striving for. I’m cognizant on the future, but my mindset is on the moment. I’m trying to figure things out as I grow, and I'm happy to share this with anyone interested in joining in on my journey.
Thank you to my clients, my followers, and my extremely supportive family. I hope you also have a productive year! My inbox is always open, so if you have questions or would like to chat, don’t hesitate to reach out.
See you in 2015!