Words by Kim Goulbourne, "Bourn"

The Year of No Clients Q1

A Rough Start

Year No Client Q1

3 months ago I made a promise to myself that I would not take on any freelance client work in order to focus solely on my own projects. Now almost at the end of the first quarter of 2017, I wanted to share an honest update as to where I stand currently.

Saying no is hard

When you make these types of promises to yourself, this is when you get tested the most. So far, I’ve had to pass on quite a few projects because of this commitment I made to myself. I’ve had to say no a lot and it hurt every time. Yesterday I had a moment of uncertainty and wondered if what I was doing made sense. While it felt wrong, because how dare I pass up on an opportunity to make money, I knew it was right because I don’t enjoy that type of work anyway.

Establishing a brand is tricky

I don’t fit into any typical boxes out there. I’m not trying to build an agency nor a single product and my projects don’t intersect at any obvious, common theme. As you can imagine, it’s been tricky trying to define my brand and the future of it. While I think my soon-to-be released website is definitely pretty close to my vision, I’m excited to see how it will evolve over time.

Social media is confusing

I’ll be honest, using social media to grow my brand is still confusing for me (despite having spent 2 years building a social media product). What I have yet to grasp is how people build massive audiences in short periods of time without some weird hack that’s only unique to them. While I’m more focused on quality and not quantity, it’s hard to not occasionally feel like all my efforts are pointless if it’s not moving the needle. I’m still trying to find what I enjoy most about social media because I think it’s only then will I ever truly begin to master it.

Making money is a different beast

I’ve only launched one project so far this year and while it wasn’t a huge success, it gave me a taste of what it will take to make money doing what I love. I need to be better at marketing and I need to focus on growth. In light of this, I added one last focus to this year that wasn’t fully captured and that’s Marketing. I’ve also given myself some leeway to not always have a revenue model on every project but they all need to have a solid marketing plan. The theory is, if the product is good, the money will come, if it is marketed well.

“Whenever you feel like quitting , think about why you started”

I’ve had quite a few moments this year already where I’ve felt like giving up. To just give in to the 9–5, climb the ladder, make money and retire. These moments only last a few seconds though because the thought of that terrifies me. I want so much more out of this life and the freedom to pursue anything I want. There’s no way I could give up now.

What progress have you made towards your 2017 goals? Let’s keep each other accountable.

Don’t stop creating,
– Kim Goulbourne aka “Bourn”

Go to post page
View Full Journal arrow