If you're a web designer, I'll bet the majority of your time is spent thinking about projects. New projects, old projects, the value of each project, exciting projects you could land, and the satisfying income generated by creating projects.
After 15 years of that, I've ridden every horse on the merry go round and I'm tired of the same old track.
Oh, the thrill of the chase still excites me. A new project right around the corner. The pitch, landing it, that first payment at the start, the finish line at the end - but when it's over, you're going to be chasing another project. Another spin on the merry go round.
Now, don't get me wrong, I love building projects. I love each of my clients, and helping them build their business' gives me a deep and rewarding sense of satisfaction. After 15 years I feel more passionate about helping clients set and reach goals, and using my skills to achieve them than I ever have. What I'm talking about here is the merry go round of depending on the next project for your next paycheck. If you're a freelancer especially, I'm sure you understand.
The funny thing is, I had only felt inklings of the merry go round dizziness earlier this year. Then something happened. Jon and I launched QuoteRobot in June, and all of the sudden the wheel was revealed for the cycle it is. The curtain was pulled back and my eyes were opened. Oh, the sheer unrelenting joy of having a product in the world. What a new and fascinating way to earn an income!
It's amazing to me how QuoteRobot grows every month - people offer suggestions for new features, more people sign up and my income increases, whether I spend hours working on the project or not. Don't get me wrong, I spend the hours, but my income isn't directly related to the hours I work. It's like riding a horse on the merry go round for 15 years and suddenly taking a ride on a unicorn and experiencing freedom for the first time.
Now that I've had a taste, I don't think I can ever go back. I'm re-structuring my entire design business around monthly contracts for ongoing service. The realization of residual vs. project based income is mind blowing.
I haven't stopped doing client work, and the majority of my income is still project based, but I've had a taste of freedom and I'm going to chase it with every spare moment I have.
What do you think?