Assessing My Personal, Spiritual and Business Growth in 2017

Assessing My Personal, Spiritual and Business Growth in 2017

What better way to start the new year than to assess your key life areas from the previous one? That’s what I’ll do in this post, covering Personal, Spiritual and Business Growth, with the hope that it will inspire you to do the same.

So, here’s what I did in order to achieve more, get further in life and business, and lay the foundation of what comes next:

Personal Growth

Back in the days, I was focusing too much on the big picture. And while that’s necessary in order to reach your vision, it’s also possible for it to become a distraction from the actual day-to-day tasks that need to be completed.

In 2017 I had the results I wanted in terms of fitness, business, personal goals, some good habits, and more, mainly due to the fact that I was analyzing everything, tracking results, going back to previous months and seeing what worked, and making plans for the next few weeks as well as months.

I focused on the details more than ever and worked in smaller periods of time. I was reviewing my work and progress weekly, then summarizing it monthly. That helped me see exactly which actions led to results, and what I could do more of.

In the end of 2016, I moved to Amsterdam to start a new life in my favorite destination. That involved a lot of uncertainty. Now, a year later this is my home, I have all necessary documents, even moved the business here (more on that below), and embraced the traditions of another culture.

The ultimate escape from my comfort zone, however, happened back in February 2017 when I spent 5 weeks in Thailand. What an experience that was!

During the whole year, I was regular at the gym and that’s not gonna change. I practiced my willpower during some tough times and showed myself that the discipline I create in quiet times helps a lot when a challenge occurs.

Spiritual Growth

Zen Articles: Getting Started with Mindfulness and Minimalism

The two most notable things in that area are that I became more grateful and patient than ever. These really are 2 virtues we all need more of and are something we develop at every stage of our lives. Luckily, I met someone special who had a ton of gratitude and patience on the inside, so he became sort of a role model for me. Seeing someone do what you want to achieve really helps. Even more than just reading about it and setting goals.

The ‘patience’ aspect of one’s journey is key, and I did that by taking things slowly sometimes, even though I felt like rushing it.

But so many entrepreneurs and successful people I read about share that what they regret early in life was being in a hurry to achieve the next thing. That led to bad performance and mistakes which they could have avoided. I learned from that and while it does take a lot of will to do things slower than you’re used to, it’s worth it.

In 2017, I also let go of many things, both externally and internally.

Leaving behind things you’ve been working on for some time isn’t easy, but it’s necessary if you see they are taking you nowhere. That leaves more time and focus for what matters.

I’m also not afraid to let go of people who don’t mean much to me anymore, past goals, or anything else due to change of perspective or direction.

Letting go is important. Don’t forget to practice it in 2018 too!

Business Growth

My income almost doubled for the past year. I learned how to manage my finances better the hard way. Work was always a priority for me and that gave the results I was looking for.

A few months ago I started doing a research and talking to people trying to figure out how to start a business in the Netherlands as a freelancer. Turns out it’s easy, I just needed some time to prepare mentally.

Found an accountant and met with him, opened bank accounts, set an appointment with the Chamber of Commerce in Amsterdam and fixed all necessary documents, and ended the business back home in Bulgaria. As of today – January 1st, 2018 – my online business doesn’t exist in Bulgaria anymore but is registered in Amsterdam, Netherlands.

Of course, that itself is just legal stuff and has little to do with the work itself, but I saw a lot of improvement on that front too. Let’s Reach Success is taken more seriously now, I’m stricter with the guest and sponsored posts I accept, and even more selective with the clients I write for. That just means I stay true to my lifestyle design concept, which is more than just doing remote work.

What’s Next?

I know what I’m after in life next, and in small steps that I’ll take throughout 2018, I’m gonna get closer to it. But all the things I shared above will still be on my mind daily. It’s easy to forget about a new mindset you built, such as being more grateful or prioritizing based on your new goals. So my mindfulness consists of taking super small steps and evaluating my progress every week or 10 days.

Hope you enjoyed that quick review of my 2017. You can do the same now. It doesn’t take much time but can be beneficial to how you approach the new year.

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How I Made $375 with One Article as a Freelance Writer on Clear Voice

clear voice review How I Made $375 with One Article as a Freelance Writer on Clear Voice

There are many sites for freelancers where anyone can build their portfolio, pitch clients and earn money. If you’ve been following my monthly income reports, you know that half of my income comes from sponsored posts on Let’s Reach Success while the other half is from freelance writing.

I’m mainly earning through Upwork which is a great website for newbies and a place where I managed to become a Top Rated freelancer.

However, they don’t pay much, there are a lot of freelancers from cheap countries there who’d charge just a few dollars per hour (or for a few thousand words). That means low-quality clients come there too and it’s hard for me to meet my hourly rate with businesses and individuals who don’t have a budget for content creation.

That made me look for better platforms and sites for freelance writers that pay more. I will be writing about all of them soon. While they aren’t for newbies, it never hurts to create your profile there when you’re starting out and slowly build your portfolio. Because one day you’ll get found on them and they will pay you hundreds of dollars for a single article.

My years of hard work paid off in a new way this month. I made $375 for a 2000-word article (that I enjoyed writing and which didn’t take more than 2 hours to complete). That happened on Clear Voice.

Let’s talk more about that site and how you too can get paid what you deserve.

Freelancing is the best way to get started online. That’s what I did and began without experience. Now, I’m earning over $4,000/month blogging and freelancing as you can see from my lastest income report. I wrote down all the steps I took to get there starting from $0 and created a blueprint: the free course How to Make Money Online Freelancing:

Check out How to Make Your First Money Online Freelancing. A free course I created using Teachable that will help you get your online business start and earn your first dollars from home by offering your services as a freelancer.

What is Clear Voice? isn’t the traditional site for freelancers. It’s a great marketplace where you just create a profile, showcase your work (they have their own CV portfolio feature) and get found.

While you might not receive job opportunities when you haven’t been freelancing for long, it’s worth being there while improving your personal brand as a freelancer.

Of course, the best way for that to happen (which is how I did it too) is to have your own blog. Let’s Reach Success had hundreds of articles on it before I signed up for Clear Voice. So it served as my ultimate portfolio.

If you haven’t set up a site yet, I suggest doing it now.  Here’s how to start a blog that will make money forever (not just by helping you land freelance clients).

The best thing about Clear Voice is that it gives access to quality brands, companies and individuals. As you know, in the blogging world it’s all about networking. But with sites like Upwork, that’s hard.

Big brands are elsewhere and Clear Voice is one example.

How Clear Voice Works for Freelancers

Clear Voice is all about content marketing and can connect creators with agencies and brands. But for the purpose of this post and all of you who are freelance writers and want to get paid more for your services, we’ll talk about how it works for us.

Their goals are to help freelancers showcase their best work, find high-quality clients, get paid what they deserve, build their brand, receive payments quickly, and secure better jobs.

If you think about it, these are all the things we struggle with on other platforms, especially those that include bidding.

Okay, let’s see how Clear Voice works.

For a start, it’s absolutely free to sign up and create your portfolio as a freelancer so go do it now.

From then on, you’ll receive an email with a notification whenever you have a writing opportunity. If it sounds like something you’d do, click the link in your email and hit ‘Apply’ next to the job description.

clear voice email notifications

The rate you see is what you’ll earn after Clear Voice fees (which are around 25% and high but still you get paid much better than expected).

My Experience with Clear Voice Over The Years

Now, let me tell you how I received $375 from Clear Voice, because I myself didn’t believe it until the money arrived to my PayPal account.

clear voice payment

I’ve been registered with Clear Voice for a long time now. Because I’m making changes to my online business (focusing on more quality work and clients, charging more, eliminating old activities, etc.), I was also updating my profile on sites that had potential to get me freelance work.

It’s hard to put the effort when you haven’t landed a job with a certain platform, but I did it anyway.

I’ve been receiving email notifications from Clear Voice for job opportunities but never took them seriously (although I did apply to some).

After updating my profile and adding a ton of my best articles in my portfolio, I applied for one assignment on the topic of relationships. I could see who the client was, trusted Clear Voice for handling payments, and also thought it’s worth giving it a try to see if I can make my first money there.

There are instructions (not too long) with each assignment and you see when you’ve been hired for it. You can always contact support or message the client there, which is great.

Once he reviews it, or after the end date for the completion of the article is over, you receive your money.

Actually, while I was waiting for that client to react (he didn’t get back to me, by the way, but I still got paid as the Clear Voice system clears payments even if the client disappears), I applied for another assignment that seemed like a good fit for me. I wrote an article on how to start a business blog for one brand. It was for around $120 and was 800 words. They paid me immediately.

But the point of this post is to share the case about the other article. It’s not about the $375. It’s about believing freelance writers can make nearly $400 for one task thanks to their reputation in a niche for years.

It’s a common fact that freelancers underprice themselves. It took me years to find the courage to stop doing that and say ‘no’ to clients.

That resulted in doubling my blogging income, which I’ll write about more soon.

Once I got paid $375 for one article for a freelance client, I finally felt appreciated. For years I’ve been struggling with clients reluctant to pay more than $30 for a short article or an hour of my time. And to this day I accept lower rates just because the income of a freelancer is unstable.

This gig, however, helps me rethink it all. Just like when I made $250 from one sponsored post, I stopped accepting anything less than $50 and often ask for up to $100. That means rejecting many opportunities that could make me a few hundred dollars more each month. But thanks to these higher prices I get more serious clients and also increase my income.

PS, Clear Voice did a survey on what people pay or charge per project. You can check it out here.

What It Takes to Get High-Quality Freelance Clients on Clear Voice

Sign up now.

Fill in your profile and portfolio. Here’s how mine looks like.

clear voice portfolio lidiya k

Check out emails from Clear Voice. (It’s okay if the first one arrives weeks after signing up.)

Create your blog and start writing content like crazy in the niches you cover.

Next Level Tips for Succeeding on Clear Voice

Keep updating your portfolio.

Don’t apply for an assignment simply because of the money. It’s not fair.

Feel free to contact support and see how you can get found by clients sooner.

Here are some resources to help you with making it as a freelance writer on Clear Voice:

Make Your First Money Online Freelancing [Free Course] – I created a free course sharing my journey to making more than $4,000/month blogging. It all began with freelancing and you can use this course to follow the steps I took to become a freelancer with no experience and earn my first income online.

How I Became a Location Independent Freelance Writer Want to use freelancing as a way to ditch the 9 to 5 and be location independent? Great. That’s what I did. Check out this article to see the steps I took to build a new mindset, start making money online, leave my country and design the life I want.

How to Start a Profitable Blog – This step-by-step guide to starting a blog is a must for everyone who wants to start earning online and become self-employed. Having your own blog is the first step to building your personal brand as a freelancer.

Blogging Resources – To build a powerful site that turns visitors into buyers and monetize it well, you will need the right tools. In my Blogging Resources page, I’ve gathered the best of the best and the exact tools I’ve used to grow Let’s Reach Success and be able to make a full-time living as a freelance writer.

My Monthly Income Reports – If you’re curious how I make a living online, check out my income reports. I publish these monthly and share all the numbers together with the lessons I learned and the new things I’m working on.

Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing – The income from freelancing is unstable so it’s worth diversifying it. One of the best ways to earn more is through affiliate marketing (it can happen by placing links on your blog, through Pinterest, your newsletter, or else). This step-by-step affiliate marketing strategy course shows you how to increase your affiliate income and make more money blogging. It’s by Michelle from Making Sense of Cents who went from $0 in affiliate income to over $50,000 per month (and also the first online course I’ve ever taken).

Pin this post to inspire others to create profiles on more sites for freelancers like Clear Voice.

Just got paid nearly $400 for writing one article for a freelance client. Learn how this happened and see my Clear Voice review to take your freelance writing to the next level and get paid more: #freelancer #freelancewriting #clearvoice