A Little Housekeeping pt 2

I wrote a post in January analysing my earnings progress through 2015. I said I would come back and update my progress. We’re halfway through 2016 now so how am I getting on?

In January I totalled up all of the money I earned and all of the hours I worked to produce this wonderful chart:

 

Hourly Rate by Month for 2015
Hourly Rate by Month for 2015

 

This chart shows clear progress throughout the year but I seem to have plateaued at the back end.

I wrote a post a little while ago about my plans to invest in myself and my career as a freelancer, you can read it here. The main point was that I planned to become an Infusionsoft Certified Partner.

I completed my certification in January this year. It wasn’t cheap and it wasn’t a walk in the park but I passed. I can now call myself an ICP, which is shorter than Infusionsoft Certified Partner but unfortunately looks to some people like an abbreviation for Insane Clown Posse. If you’ve heard of the ICP (clowns, not software) then you’ll know why that is a problem. If not, treat yourself to some idiocy here.

During 2015 I became more and more involved in Infusionsoft. I saw the potential for higher earnings if I became qualified so I bit the bullet and took the course. How did that work out for me? Did it help me break through that plateau at the end of 2015? Take a look at the chart below:

 

Hourly Rate by Month July 2016
Hourly Rate by Month July 2016

 

Yeah baby! The chart is heading in the right direction. You can see a summary of the key details in this table:

 

2015 2016
Average hourly rate $23 $36
Highest hourly rate $32 $46

 

My average rate for the year to date is $36/hr so I’m consistently beating my best rate from last year. It’s great to see that my investment in the Infusionsoft certification has lead to me securing higher paying contracts. To be honest, I am very pleased with my continued progress. However, I want to share another chart with you.

I have been tracking my total monthly earnings as well as my hourly rate and this tells an interesting story. I have spoken before about the variability that comes with being a freelancer and you can see the facts of the matter clearly in this chart:

 

Monthly Earnings to July 2016
Monthly Earnings to July 2016

 

Although my hourly rate has been slowly climbing, my total monthly earnings have been up and down like a yo-yo. Thankfully for me the amount has never dropped to a level that I can’t live on. Essentially, a bad month is OK and a good month is awesome!

What all this means is that I actually work less hours to earn the same amount. Now, that’s a nice situation to be in but what if I could manage a consistent number of hours each month? Then my total earnings would be increasing in line with my hourly rate. How cool would that be?

 

Scrooge McDuck
That’s how cool

 

Not all of this is within my control. I have regular clients that provide a lot of work one month and not so much the next. However, I cannot wash my hands of all responsibility. If I was out there hustling every day for new clients then I would probably have that consistent level of work.

The fact that I am earning enough to live the lifestyle I want makes me kind of lazy about getting out there and hunting for clients. On the other hand, it does allow me time to focus on other side projects, one of which is nearly complete.

I think the lesson to take away is that my goal for the next 6 months should be to get a consistent amount of work. My side project is part of my plans to address that. I’ll do another review at the end of the year to see if it was successful.

Do you have any thoughts on this? I’d love to hear them, drop me a line.

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