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It’s freakin’ mid January already. Can you believe it?

Listen. If this is going to be the year you quit your job to run a high-demand, high-income B2B writing business, you have to find a way to make real, sustainable progress, starting now.

I’m talking about tangible, consistent forward steps — not those flimsy New Year resolutions that die before the month is over.

(Raise your hand if you’ve been trying to lose the same 10 lbs for 15 freakin’ years. Right??)

Look, if your plate is already full and you’re easily distracted like me, carving out a new source of income can be HARD.

And that’s why your goals must be firmly rooted in your WHY if they stand any chance of survival.

What am I talking about?

As I type this email, I’m visiting my parents in Brazil, as I do about twice a year.

My dad suffers from ALS, a disease that gradually paralyzes all muscles and organs. My sisters and I never know if we’re seeing dad for the last time, so we take turns flying to Brazil throughout the year to make the most of the time we have left.

Visiting my parents overseas used to be incredibly hard when I had a conventional, corporate job. Even though my bosses were flexible and understanding, each trip gobbled up my vacation allotment for the year, meaning I couldn’t take long breaks from work for another 12 months.

Plus, I have two little girls at home. Middle-of-the-day school functions, daily quality time, and extended breaks were often impossible. That sucked.

Having the freedom to work when, where, how, and with whomever I wanted was HUGE for me, and what drove me to take the leap to self-employment.

What’s YOUR Why?

Is it being able to travel?
Spend more time with your kiddos?
Watch Dr. Phil in the afternoons?
Break away from toxic office dynamics?
Work with people you actually like?
Have more time for hobbies or volunteering?
Control your own career path and earning potential instead of waiting for a promotion?

Whatever it is, get crystal-clear on it, prontoYour success hinges on it.

‘Cause let’s be real:

We only change when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of changing.

After you’ve pinpointed your WHY with technicolor, 3-D clarity, there are a gazillion ways to make that vision a reality. The hard part is taking consistent, forward steps, without getting distracted or derailed. (I’m preaching to myself too, y’all.)

Today, I’ll share one exercise I’ve found incredibly helpful.

It’s called “Mental Contrasting.” (Props to Sonia Simone of Rainmaker.FM for this piece of wisdom.)

It’s quite simple, but effective. Here’s how it works:

  1. Write out a clear, vivid description of what your life will look like after you’ve quit your job, and you’re running a profitable freelance writing business, full-time.Specifically, what will your ideal day look like? What happens after you wake up? Who do you get to work with, and what projects do you get to work on? What kind of people do you hang out with? When and where do you work? What’s different about your daily routine, relationships, and headspace?(Don’t just think about it — actually write this down, for real.)
  2. Next, write out a clear, compassionate description of where you are today.The compassion element is vital: You’re going to abstain from using “loser” language and calling yourself names. Rather, talk to yourself like you’d talk to a close friend or loved one in the same situation.

Do this once a quarter, or as often as needed to light up your own fire and keep yourself moving in the right direction.

Sometimes, the quest to self employment will feel discouraging. When that happens, revisit your Mental Contrasting exercise and break tasks into teeny-tiny steps. Like, ridiculously, laughably tiny.

Taking on tiny actions tricks your brain into not freaking out and triggering the fear-induced, freeze/flight/flight mechanism that drives procrastination. Keep at it and watch those tiny actions snowball into big changes.

Do you really want this?

Then commit and create space in your life for it. Now.

But, hey — you don’t have to go it alone. In fact, smart entrepreneurs never do.

Take two seconds NOW to join our private Facebook group, where you can connect with peers who are on the same journey, whom you can learn from and send SOS messages to whenever you need it.

Can’t wait to connect with you there and see what you’ll accomplish this year.

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