The Truth About Turnover in Self-Employment and Blogging
Today I wanted to write an honest post. A post about one of the scariest and most stressful parts of self-employment. The fear of where the next job is coming from or the fear of covering the mortgage.
Every day I worry about money. I worry about what will happen months down the line. It is an irrational worry. It’s a worry that I can’t control, therefore should not even be thinking about it.
Before Blogging Life
My blog was born nearly five years ago. I didn’t take it seriously until two and half years ago when quit my corporate job. The intention was to build my blog and live off that sole income rather than my corporate job.
I was a senior manager working in London for a telco company. I had been employed for 16 years and had gotten very used to that monthly pay cheque. By the time I left EE that monthly cheque had reached around £3,500 after tax per month. Life was comfortable. We didn’t need to worry about money
Becoming a blogger
The first year of blogging life earned no money, in fact it cost me money! The bills were paid for using my redundancy cheque. The hard work went in to building up my brand name, building the social media followers and writing great content. Then the money started to come in, enough money to pay myself a salary.
Fast forward to now. I am in the third year of running my blog as my job. I am earning more than enough money to pay a salary. Looking back over the past twelve months I am consistently earning more than I need. But its inconsistent levels of money. I record everything on a cash basis, i.e. how much money directly appears in my bank account or PayPal account. You never know how long an invoice will take to be paid so this is the only real way to do my accounting to allow me to pull a true salary.
My months turnover can vary from anything from £1500 up to £3500. The inconsistency is frustrating and worrying. I think because I am still comparing it to that time when I was paid the same amount every month no fail.
Getting ahead of myself
I am working towards trying to feel comfortable. This looks like having a balance built up of at least three months’ worth of salary in my business savings account. At the moment I have one months of money stashed away.
Looking forward I want to have three months’ worth of work agreed or invoiced at any point in time. I keep a spreadsheet of all my work that has been agreed with a column for what has been invoiced and what has been agreed but not yet invoiced. If this adds up to around £5k I am happy.
What I need to see and hopefully writing it will make it more visible is that I am doing okay! I have lots of work agreed for the future and I am getting there with my safety net of 5k in a savings account.
In our household we cannot survive without my income, it pays for half of the mortgage, bills and many other bills we pay for.
I am a member of many blogging Facebook groups and these can be ever so destructive to my mental wellbeing. I hate to compare myself to other but I do it. And I am comparing myself to half a story or an assumption. A story that has been half told and I might make up the rest of the story in my head. A story that has been exaggerated or someone is building up there own ego.
All I want to say is try not to compare yourself to others. Go your own way and focus on what you need to do, not what others are doing. Set a target and aim for it. Know that your income will be inconsistent. Some weeks will pass with few jobs agreed. Other weeks will pass with many jobs agreed.
How do you cope with the inconsistency of turnover? Does it stress you out?