Are you looking for the secret formula for success in freelance writing and blogging? The answer may lie lurking in the ancient Chinese oracle, the I Ching.
Something like 40 years ago, when I was going through a painful and confusing period of my life, I turned to the I Ching for advice. The one piece of advice that cropped up repeatedly and has stuck all these years was: Perseverance furthers. In retrospect, it was a no brainer. Without perseverance nobody has ever gotten anywhere, ever.
On the 22nd of June, 2012, I wrote My 100th Sihanoukville Cambodia Journal Entry. In it, I included a photograph of a fire that destroyed our local market. The market was rebuilt and the new one was better than ever. Today it is the thriving hub of day-to-day life in downtown Sihanoukville. Perseverance furthers.
In the same blog, I proudly displayed the following screenshot from Google Analytics. At the time (and remember, it was less than a year ago), I really believed I had just about topped out at 1000 visitors per month. It seemed like an astronomical amount of traffic for a little blog and was nearly 5 times the amount of traffic I had been getting a year previously, not long after I started the blog.
Here’s a screenshot I took just today, May 4, 2013 – less than a year later.
When I started freelance writing in 2009, I was working 60 hour weeks and earning less than $1,000 a month. By 2011, I was sometimes making $2,000 and thought I was doing well. In 2012, I set a goal to make $3,000 a month freelance writing and to cut my working day down from 8-10 hours to 6. It took until November to do it, but I did it.
I made 2013 the year to make $4,000+ a month, but upped it to $6,000 when I realized just how low I had set my sights. I’ll be making $6,000 this month and probably next.
Ni Sopheak’s family was so poor they couldn’t even afford to live in a poor Cambodian village, so they moved to the edge of the jungle, where they foraged and hunted for food. When she was 9, Sopheak got lost in the jungle and didn’t emerge for nearly 3 years. One day when we came out of the bank, she cried because she knew she would never be able to get a job as a bank teller. Next week she’s flying to Austria on her first OS trip for the company she’s been working for for a few months. Her starting monthly salary is roughly twice that of a bank teller’s.
Chloe’s first job out of college was for a lawyer. She hated it, but to fill the dead time at work, she started freelance writing. She liked that and continued doing it as she went from job to job. Finally she landed a full-time job writing and editing. Then she landed a better one. Then she took a chance and went to work for a promising start-up. She just returned from an all-expenses paid trip to a resort opening. Last week she interviewed Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson. She gets front row tickets to major social events and is showered with freebies regularly.
So there you have it, the true secret to success — or at least survival. I’ve been around long enough now to know that life has its ups and downs, but no matter what happens, the only way forward is through perseverance.