Do you have a yearly income target? What about a quarterly or monthly target? Maybe just a cross your fingers and hope to break even target?
Do you track your income each month?
When I first became a full time freelance graphic designer, I didn’t track my business income. At any given point in the year I had absolutely no idea how much money my business was making or how close (or far) I was to reaching my yearly income target.
I had set a yearly income target that I thought was pretty good – a nice balance between ambitious and realistic.
But I made one BIG mistake.
I told myself that although it would be nice to hit that income target, I’d be happy if I was making just enough money each month to cover my expenses. And do you know what happened? Every month I made just enough money to cover my expenses!
Every. Single. Month.
My expenses at the time were pretty minimal, so it didn’t take much for me to get there. I proudly told my husband that my business was doing GREAT! I was paying all my bills! Fantastic!
And of course it was fantastic. I was very fortunate to be able to support myself financially. But what I didn’t realise at the time was that I was only reaching a tiny fraction of my earning potential, and I could have been working a lot less and still making the same amount of money!
I had absolutely no idea how my business was really doing, because I wasn’t tracking anything.
When my husband asked me why I was so focused on just paying my bills I became angry and told him I was not costing him a cent so he should be proud of me! I told him that I did have a bigger income target that I was trying to reach, and I would get there eventually, he just needed to be patient while I went through the start-up phase of my business.
But the truth was that I had ZERO chance of hitting my income goal because the only thing I was focusing on my was paying my bills!! That was the only thing I was using to track my business success and it was the only target I was setting for myself each month!
I hoped that I would get to the end of the year, do my tax return and discover that I’d hit the income target that I’d set at the start of the year, but I had no idea how close (or far) to my target I was at any point throughout the year.
I had a some MAJOR money blocks and a subconscious belief that I was only supposed to make just enough money to cover my expenses each month, so I was SERIOUSLY SELF-SABOTAGING MYSELF!!!
So how did I turn this around?
I wish I could say that I only had to make one small change or it happened overnight, but the truth was I had to spend a lot of time working on myself, getting over my money blocks and realising that money is an AMAZING TOOL that can be used to do so much good in the world.
I also had to get really focused on my income target and really believe that I could reach it.
One thing that really, really helped me was TRACKING MY INCOME.
Once I got really serious about working towards my income target for the year, I worked out how much I needed to make each month to hit this target, and then I started tracking how close I was to reaching my target each month.
I tried out some income trackers that I found online, and then I created my own.
Tracking my income each month has made a MASSIVE difference to my business.
At any given time I can see exactly how I’m going and it really helps me to stay on track and stay focused on my target.
If you’re not already tracking your income, I strongly suggest that you DO IT!
To help you, I’m sharing the monthly income trackers that I created so that I could track my own income.
To use them, just print out your favourite design and colour in one image for each $100 that you earn. Each image represents $100, each row represents $1,000 and the whole sheet represent $10,000. If you finish one sheet you can start another one!
I intentionally designed them so that they will work with any amount of money. So you can complete part of a sheet, the whole sheet or multiple sheets.
Stick it somewhere that you’ll see it every day (I have mine next to my vision board in my bedroom!) as it will help you to stay really focused on your income goal and visually track your progress.
And don’t forget to reward yourself when you hit your target!!
PS. To get my income trackers, just head over to my freebies page!