Cecily details how she emerged like a phoenix from the ashes of almost bankruptcy in 2007 to Leona Helmsley status in three easy, obvious steps:
Target a diverse client base.
This might seem obvious, but it’s true: You can’t put all your freelance eggs in one basket. Not only that, if you’re going to be a solopreneur, you have to make the commitment to spend time both nurturing your current clients and seeking new ones. I now set aside 10% of my time each week hustling to expand my client base.
Come January of each year, I do a reassessment and determine what worked and what didn’t. Then I restructure the five-year plan and set new goals.
Build up financial reserves.
This is still a work in progress for us, admittedly, but we are slowly building up savings with the goal of having six to 12 months of household expenses in an emergency fund. Most Americans don’t even keep that much stashed away. This will not only protect us from financial ruin when (not if) we lose a client—it also gives us the freedom to terminate a client relationship when it’s not working. This is critically important. (To read more about building an emergency fund as an entrepreneur, please read this Women & Co. story.)
Create a business strategy.
When I worked as a Marketing Director, each January I’d review the past year and make new goals based on a five-year strategic plan. I realized that I’d never created a long-term strategic plan for my business—again, something that should have been obvious. So I sat down and created a five-year plan, and then I determined the concrete steps I needed to take to meet my goals. Come January of each year, I now do a reassessment and determine what worked and what didn’t. Then I restructure the five-year plan and set new goals.
Though Ms. Kellogg has white washed her blog over the past two years, with a few strokes and a Google search it’s easy to see that as recently as 2010, her husband was still utilizing his creative side to make ends meet and set a proper fiscal impression on their daughter. I know that many bloggers like to think the Internet has no memory, but the richness of Cecily thinking she can pass this off without anyone batting an e-eyelash is hysterical.
I don’t know why Citibank thinks women need a separate “safe” place to take on such “scary” endeavors as their financial future, or why they didn’t do a proper background check on what a hack their choice of financial guru is, but I will take a stab at the three actual steps Cecily has taken in the past, present and future to ensure financial instability:
- Set up donation button on blog.
- Depend on retired/dead relatives to supplement income.
- Whine on Twitter about not having Christmas. Link paypal account.
I think that about sums it up.