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How my business will change for the better in 2021 and why

In a lot of ways this year I have been perfectly positioned to do well despite a global pandemic.

So maybe this should be a post on how and why I have weathered this storm. I might still write one of those posts.

But moving forward, some things are going to change about how I run this business. And all of them have nothing to do with Covid-19. Some of them have been thoughts in the back of my head for years. Some changes are merely to make sure I don’t become too stressed.

So here’s a list. I hope it inspires and helps you.


1. Pay me

This seems self explanatory but I am not talking about people skipping out on paying invoices for work that is done.

I am talking about people getting a lot of free time and labour from me and thereby not valuing my work, time and energy.

Don’t worry I am still going to be volunteering but if people are going to respect those boundaries around what is and isn’t free, then I need to set and maintain them.

So what will that look like? Well, it means that I volunteer officially for MEAA and I pop into other organisation’s meetings with the MEAA hat on and that even with that there is a limit on my time.

It means that this blog is the only place to find free posts. The free newsletter is where you hear about certain things first & get a monthly update.

Everything else will be paid for via Patreon or directly for my services and time.

Patreon’s pretty cheap for the price of $12 or $24 per year to read a book as it is written, find out about secret projects and to pick my brain and maybe request a few Patron-only blog posts. Thank you to everyone who supports me via Patreon – it really means a lot to me.


2. Less editing, more journalism

I don’t mean I am stopping completely with the editing work. It has been wonderful to do it over the last year.

But I am a bit tired and I am itching to do more journalism work so I am going to focus on getting more of that work which means more pitching for it.

And I am going to limit my editing clients to one per month in 2021. If you need mentoring that is a completely different kettle of fish.

So it is going to look like this:

EditingOne client per month
Journalism22 pitches per month on average
MentoringFour clients per month

3. Getting some help

What I mean by this is that I am going to continue to do some things that have worked really well for me this past year.

I have a weekly accountability chat with fellow freelancer and shenaniganist Creatrix Tiara. We have helped each other get through the year and put on some amazing projects and tackle our to do lists.

I have a fortnightly brainstorming session with fellow freelance journalists that we are planning to continue in 2021. It’s great because we encourage each other. Props to Alana an amazing freelancer who had the idea first.

At the start of the year a bunch of other freelancers and I banded together to start working on a project but unfortunately it didn’t get funding to get off the ground. But we got a lot out of working with each other.

But I also might hire a virtual assistant.


4. More secret projects and collaborations

I can’t tell you what they are because they are secret for now. You can find out more if you are on Patreon.

But I plan to do more of these because even if they don’t get off the ground, I end up forming relationships with a bunch of really cool people. And when they do succeed it makes dreams come true and I am all for that.

So more awesome cool things, hopefully with funding to support it.


5. More book writing

I want to finish Gin & Tonic. I want to send it to an agent. It’s going slower than I would like and the next book is already in my head as well.

I want to build a sustainable habit of getting the book writing done because things do happen in my life to disrupt any sort of pattern but things also need to get done. So definitely more book writing.


So that’s how I envision the business changing. I view my work as having to evolve and change and adapt with me and that has been key to surviving as a freelancer both before and during Covid-19. I am no stranger to crises.

If you run your own business, how do you envision your business moving forward? Not everything has to work according to the growth model of business – how is your business going to change to suit your needs?

Marisa is a globetrotting freelance writer, journalist and editor with cat for hire (her, not the cat). She is currently based in Melbourne.

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