Freelancing Horror Story | Why Diversifying is Important

Jun 24, 2015

Hey there, friends! You might notice that things look a little a lot different around here. Obviously, my new design has launched! It’s super exciting, but it’s also apparent that there’s some major cleaning up that has to happen. Please bear with me as I work on adjusting graphics, re-categorizing posts and just generally get the hang of the new look. We’ll be back up and running like a well-oiled machine in no time!

Ok, now that the housekeeping is out of the way, it’s story time!

Let’s rewind back in time to last July. I had just left my full-time job in favor of pursuing my freelancing career. I was definitely scared — there’s no sugarcoating that. But, I felt pretty comfortable, because I knew that I had one big client that would carry me financially while I grew my business. Things would be hard, but I was ready.

Two months later, it was September. Admittedly, I hadn’t placed as much emphasis on growing my business, because I was quite comfortable with the income I was raking in from that one specific client. Things were good… I was coasting. Ty and I were engaged, and we had just made an offer on our very first home. Late in September, we went to sign the papers and finalize our offer. We were so excited!

The very next morning after officially purchasing our home, I woke up and immediately checked my e-mail, as I do every morning. I received an e-mail from my big client, and instantly had a sinking feeling in the pit of my stomach. They were dropping me. They no longer needed me. Thanks for all of your hard work, but you’re done now.

As I’m sure you can imagine, my first reaction was to panic, cry and then call Ty — in that order. I was absolutely hysterical and dumbfounded. I hadn’t made the effort to grow my client base, because I was continuously assured that my one big project was a consistent thing. Now, I had almost no income and we just bought a house! I had no idea what I was going to do.

I hope that story frazzles you at least a little, because it still gives me heart palpitations just thinking of how I felt that dreaded morning. I also hope my horror story can be a warning to you about how important diversifying your income and growing your client base is.

Sure, having one juicy client is a great thing. But you need — absolutely need — to ask yourself what will happen if that client one day just disappears. Where will your work and money come from? I sincerely hope that something like this won’t happen to you. But, believe me, it happens everyday.

When I was dropped by my big client, I figured I had two choices. I could either:

1. Give up and try to find a full-time job again.
2. Hustle like I’ve never hustled before to grow my business in an incredibly short amount of time.

We all know that I chose option 2. And, since that awful day, that’s exactly what I’ve been doing. I’m proud to say that I’ve grown my business significantly in these past nine months, and I’m finally in a place where I feel comfortable. I still have some clients that are bigger than others. But, I know that if one of them ever drops me, I’ll still land on my feet.

So, let this be a lesson to you — diversifying is incredibly important. Yes, it’s hard. And yes, sometimes it feels like you shouldn’t spend your time developing your business when you have real projects in your pocket that need to be completed. But, you absolutely need to make it a priority.

Trust me, you don’t want a day like the one that I had.

Until next time!