On failing forward quickly.

I’m just going to share a few thoughts on the JOY of failing forward quickly.

Maybe this is something only we who have a freelance and/or entrepreneurial streak have in our arsenal of gifts. I always think I have to do or try all the things. I am filled with ideas. I can brainstorm daily. It doesn’t mean they are all good ideas I come up with, but I just flex that muscle quite a bit.

Because if you aren’t creating with an assortment of crystals and fine liner pens, are you really doing it right?

I’d like to share the good ideas on here as well as the things that weren’t horrible failures. It’s not going to become a bitch blog. I simply won’t draw attention to the things that sucked and wasted my time. Why let them waste more of my time? It’s not about my failures either. What I plan to share is about what I learned.

Fact is, there are a ton of blogs and YouTube channels dedicated to, “Top 5 Ways to Earn Quick Income That Pays Directly to PayPal,” or “Earn $250 This Weekend with a Side Hustle!” Nope. I’m just not one of those oh-so-Pinteresting bloggers.

What I do know is I enjoy trying things, experimenting, and tweaking these experiments. But I can also admit when I’m licked. And I am.

I won’t mention ALL the things I tried last month to make “quick money online.” But I certainly tried a few! I was quite spooked at one point, having lost my voice and hearing in one ear temporarily. It was a good experience in that it made me entertain a host of what-if questions. What if I had to make money like this? What do you do if stuck at home? I totally get why there are so many work-at-home-mommy blogs on Pinterest now!

There are a ton of articles about taking surveys and using iBotta to “earn money” out there. Those are the first things you’ll find online when you begin searching the “work from home” type stuff.

I had signed up for Postmates in May, but never had the time to actually start it. The experience probably needs its own full post. But I’ll just briefly mention the failure that it was.

I’m in Wichita, Kansas. At the end of the month, it’s not exactly the most fruitful economic time here. I had that going against me. Also, I went out for three hours one day and made $13. Only one of three deliveries tipped. I got a sunburn. It wasn’t my first day. My first day was great and made me love Postmates because I had all great customers and they tipped. The days in between, I either ran the app and picked up NO pings, or got only ONE ping for a delivery.

I have no idea how many Postmates drivers there are in Wichita, or if it’s the time of the month, or my city’s economy, or what. It just wasn’t a big earner for my time. There was a bonus when I started. It said I’d receive a $150 bonus for 30 deliveries, which I thought was doable. Not at all! I struggled to get the few deliveries I got. The next week, no bonus opportunity showed up in the app.

The Pros? It’s the easiest money you can make. The work is easy. Get a delivery ping, pick it up, check the order, then drive it to the customer. Everyone loves the person who delivers food!

The Cons? It took a ton of time. A delivery would take me 15 minutes, but I’d be waiting 17-45 minutes to get the ping. I got sunburnt (my own fault). I decided the wear/tear plus mileage on my car was too much for what it is worth.

Also, you don’t know where you are delivering to until after you’ve picked up the food. It was a safety concern for me because I want to be able to opt out of certain places I know I don’t want to go to. Or just places where I just don’t want to go for personal reasons.

It made me a few bucks at a time when I could definitely use it; I hardly worked in the month of July. If you want to do Postmates, it’s ideal for you if you are great at car maintenance yourself or have a newer car you own. It’s also great if you have time to kill. Trying to multitask phone calls and emails while waiting on orders was a problem for me, personally. But that may not be an issue for you.

I decided my time is better spent on the Life Coaching & Reiki business I run. I did a fire sale and made just as much — actually more — than I did with Postmates. That was in less time than I spent on Postmates with zero wear/tear on my car.

I’ll keep trying side hustles and let you know how they go!

Why?

Because failure is the best teacher.

I learned the value of side hustles long ago. Will I make my entire annual income from being a writer? I may. I may not.

What I do know is I can’t spend ALL my working hours writing. Oh, my eyes! Oh, the sedentary lifestyle of it all!

I should probably try that dog walking thing…

I’ll share some goals.

I’m working on a Reiki ebook through my Patreon page. Come be a Patron, be the first! (At the time of this writing)

Creating passive income through ebooks is a goal.

Excellent-paying freelance writing gigs that don’t take too much time is also a goal. (Been there, done that in 2006).

Having a side-hustle that doesn’t require staring at a computer screen is a goal. I’m working on jewelry making.

Creating income through my blogs and websites is a goal.

Driving people their Chipotle orders isn’t really on the list. I’ll file that one under, “Stuff I tried that was fun for a minute which then became a total drag.”

Another reason I want to share side hustle info is because I think people want it. I wish the world had been like it is today with so much online opportunity when I had gotten into freelancing in 2006! I would have never left. I was lucky to leave the freelance life at the beginning of 2008, just before the economy crashed.

The economy is changing.

What I see in my own experience and those of my friends is that work is changing. Someone moved our cheese. Time to find the new cheese. Time to try new tactics, fill new niches, and solve new problems. Are 40-hour-a-week jobs proliferating in a time when healthcare costs are rising? I don’t know. What I do see is a lot of under-40-hour-per-week jobs now so companies do NOT have to provide you healthcare. Are you prepared for this? Are you ready for the gig economy? Does it matter how many college degrees we have? Or the decades of experience we have? Not with how things are changing and I feel this on the gut level. I could be wrong. But what if I’m not…?

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Available for freelance work

The craziest thing happened — I lost my voice and partially lost hearing in one ear. This is the freakiest thing that’s happened to me! It’s like those commercials for I-can’t-remember-what that go, “Life comes atcha fast!”

I wish I had a great story to tell, like, “I took a roman candle to the face.” No one who actually knows me would believe it. But it’s just an illness. It will improve. Until then…

I’m more than happy to provide silent work. I’ll be behind-the-scenes copy writing, blogging, and working on my Patreon.

I’ve begun applying for freelance, work-from-home jobs. So if you’re a recruiter or editor, hello!

If you’re looking for a writer, here’s my LinkedIn Profinder info.

https://platform.linkedin.com/badges/js/profile.js

I would love to hear about what projects you’re working on.

Here’s a list of the projects I have going:

  • My life coaching & Reiki Patreon page.
  • The website I founded for my coaching practice, DestinyArchitecture.com.
  • I’m creating my first online summit with friends — as soon as I get my voice back!
  • Getting into my second campaign as an Instagram micro-influencer soon — more info to come. Follow @heatherlarson.
  • Continuing to pour my social media strategy into Pinterest for Destiny Architecture. Did you know you can turn pinning into a job instead of a hobby? It’s an excellent way to drive traffic to your blog! I’ve been doing some new trainings on it, so I’m digging into a huge strategy change.
  • The rest…I can’t quite reveal.

My top 4 tips to gear up for the freelance life

I’m going to hesitate to say “the freelance writing” life and go with “the freelance life” instead.

Here’s why: I’ve never just done freelance writing.

In my freelance life, I’ve certainly done my share of writing for print, broadcast and online publications. I’ve also written several of my own blogs. But I’ve bolstered my freelance writing with other 1099-ish activities like podcasting or house sitting.

Every writer has been a house sitter, pet sitter, dog walker, server, bartender… etc.

Questions? Get in touch with Wichita-based freelance writer, Heather Larson.

My best play for the freelance writing life has been this:

I always have a part-time job.

When I freelanced from 2006-2008, I worked part-time at a radio station in Phoenix. Now it’s 2019, and guess what play I brought out from the playbook? You guessed right — I work part-time at a station again — this time in Wichita.

I currently have two part-time jobs. Last year, it was a full-time and a part-time job. I was working 52 hours a week and that meant one truly long day. I decided to cut back my “day job” hours as a paraprofessional social worker (i.e. sober coach for a treatment center) and work a little extra at the radio station when possible.

There are many benefits to this new lifestyle:

  1. I get coworkers!

This may not seem glamorous to some, but having a “work squad” at two different jobs lifts my spirits immensely. As a sole proprietor, I have no coworkers unless my cats count. This can get lonely.

I ultimately want to join a coworking place, but I have no desire to work too many hours in solitude. Even going to a coffee shop helps. I have a few co-workers to bounce ideas off of, whether it’s for my coaching and Reiki business or my writing business.

2. I’m experiencing less burnout

I started to work less for others and more for myself in December 2018. Since the second this decision was made and my boss approved it, I’ve been living my bliss.

I am fortunate to have bosses who allow me to be me — even encourage me to be my entrepreneurial self.

Feeling less burnt out has made me more productive on the job for others as well as when I am working for me. I’ve signed up for two badge courses at Wichita State University this semester (during fall, I suffered through one that really enjoyed but I was exhausted mentally). I’m also doing more of what I enjoy like yoga as well as what I need to do, like cleaning/organizing.

When burnt out, I was doing neither. I’m two months into this new life and I am (finally) freshening up this blog, for instance. There’s a new energy to my life and I love it!

There was no way I could run my coaching business along with a full-time job and a part-time job. Now I work around 42 hours a week total for others and daily for myself. The longer I’ve been doing this, the more energy I have to put into my own business.

3. Staying with an employer, even part-time, is awesome for career goals

In addition to having a place to report to five days a week and awesome coworkers, keeping an employer — even for the time being — is beneficial for career goals.

I still get sent to trainings, which keeps my skills current. I attended a Workforce Center training last month that strengthened my resume-writing skills. I can use that as a freelancer as I do help write/edit resumes once in a while. It’s also useful to me as a career coach. It’s amazing how all my careers and interests intersect like this over time!

4. The obvious biweekly paycheck

This is the big one and it’s obvious. Friends tell me all the time they are proud of me for turning back to a freelance/part-time life as I work to get my business off the ground. I did it to find more freedom and I am already feeling it!

After friends tell me how proud they are, they tell me how terrified they are to do the same thing. I truly wanted to make “enough” last year to be able to quit working for others entirely this year. Then I realized the cost was too high to keep going that way. I had to change course because I was tired, cranky, and constantly getting sick.

Everyone wants economic security. I do too! I realized if prosperity is what I really want in the long-term, this is the way that will work for me. This is the path to go down where I know I won’t quit. I will try anything to succeed, I will work at odd hours, and I will do what it takes. I can do that for me & my business.

I won’t do that for others.

The accomplishments and monetary rewards are mine. My hard work doesn’t go to buy the flashy cars of upper management. I am willing to make sacrifices to ensure my success. For instance, I go without things like Netflix so that I can put more money into making my business a success. I keep my bills low so I am not trapped in a job working for others for crap I don’t need.

I know it will pay off because I know I won’t give up.

My Writing/Audio Production CV

Update: August 7, 2018 

Please check out my CV below. If you’d like more information on how I can help you with your writing needs, please email me at BestWriterBoss [at] gmail [dot] com.

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Heather Larson learned broadcasting in the late 1990s and branched out into journalism from 2003-2004. After learning SEO content writing, she went out on her own as a freelance writer and podcaster from 206-2008, working from home while completing her Bachelor’s in Liberal Studies from Boston University. Heather returned to corporate broadcasting from 2008-2010, writing news for Westwood One. Aching to get back on the air after graduating college in 2010, Heather moved to Wichita, Kansas to do morning on KDGS-FM, Power 93.9, as one half of the “Hitman & Heather in the Morning” show. Heather took a break from radio four years later to journey into the field of substance abuse treatment for two years before deciding two years later, in 2017, to return to freelancing. (Photo is current as of summer 2017) 

 

Freelance Writer Heather Larson is available for hire! 

With a degree in liberal arts plus background in broadcasting & journalism, Heather Larson is just the freelance contract writer suited to create content about topics such as:

  • Radio & record industry
  • Life Coaching
  • Reiki
  • Health
  • Wellness
  • Alternative healing
  • Pets
  • Consumer interest and reviews of products, services and travel
  • Music and the arts
  • Books, poetry and prose
  • Women’s health
  • Children with special needs
  • Mental health and addiction
  • San Francisco, West Coast, Arizona, Northern California, Scottsdale, Phoenix, Wichita and South Central Kansas news beats
  • Direct Sales
  • Spirituality
  • News, pop culture and current events
  • Trends in all of the above

Types of writing content Heather can create for you: 

  • Blogs
  • Articles
  • Audio
  • Podcasts
  • SEO content
  • Feature-length journalistic articles
  • Interviews
  • Reviews
  • Resumes
  • Sales copy
  • Email blasts
  • Newsletters
  • Brochures
  • Flyers
  • Social media graphics, complete with researched hashtags
  • Content curation
  • Content and social media moderation
  • Letters and mailers

She’s multi-talented! Heather can also offer the following services: 

  • Proofreading
  • Editing
  • Ghost-writing
  • Graphic creation for social media
  • Private transformational life coaching
  • Corporate coaching
  • Coaching for morning radio show teams of all sizes
  • Social media posts
  • Morning radio show prep
  • Radio station liner copy
  • Commercial copy

Education:

Boston University, Boston, MA – BLS, 2010

Paradise Valley Community College Journalism Certificate, 2004

Southwest Institute of the Healing Arts, 100-hour Life Coaching Certificate, January 2017

List of Freelance Clients:

Inside.com

TasteTablet.com

SWEAT magazine, Scottsdale, AZ

The Westerly Sun newspaper

Halogen TV

Northeast Mesa Lifestyle Magazine

Suite101.com

KontaktMag.com

Veg News magazine

Songwriter Universe

Batanga.com

CNET’s Webshots.com

104.7 KISS-FM.com

WFLZ.com

98-7 The Peak.com

Organic Processing Magazine

Skills:

Radio broadcasting, marketing, communications, freelance writing & journalism, content writing, writing with SEO keywords, basic graphic design, social media, use of CMS, Vox Pro, Cool Edit, WordPress, Squarespace, video conferencing, podcasting, blogging, news writing, live events/appearances, morning show production, life coaching, Google forms, Google Hangouts, Mac, PC, Zoom, Skype, HipChat, Asana, Slack, WireCast Play, GarageBand, Canva, iMovie, Periscope, LinkedIn, Yelp, YouTube, Slack, Mighty Networks, Traknet electronic medical records, Facebook Ads.

Writing Samples:

https://heatherlarson.contently.com

Audio Samples/Airchecks on SoundCloud:

 

Websites/Blogs:

Coaching — http://destinyarchitecture.com

Reiki — https://youdeservereiki.com

Writing — https://youdeservereiki.com

CJD — https://curecjd.wordpress.com

Social Media:

Twitter — https://twitter.com/heatherlarson

LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/heatherlarson/

Instagram — https://www.instagram.com/heatherlarson/

Radio Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/ListenToHeather/

Reiki Facebook — https://www.facebook.com/YouDeserveReiki/

Coaching Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DestinyArchitecture/

Facebook group — https://www.facebook.com/groups/892945584183143/

Google+ — https://plus.google.com/u/1/+HeatherLarsonICT

Pinterest — https://www.pinterest.com/destinyarchitecture/boards/

YouTube — https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCze3XaaSlZ7-826ewWdwhaw

YouTube Live — https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCuPtdvlOTFQTlggf1tPAjlg/live

SoundCloud — https://soundcloud.com/heatherlarson

Online Courses:

http://destinyarchitecture.com/courses/http://destinyarchitecture.com/courses/

 

A little book-spiration…

I checked out “The Essential Guide to Getting Your Book Published” from my local library.

I didn’t have the intention of reading the whole thing. I’m hardly at a point where I am ready to get a book published. I’ve got at least three fiction novel ideas swimming around my head. I am actively working on three and allowing the cream to rise. I feel like one will want to be written more than the others, so I am giving my work the time and space to emerge.

Without my own book even close to ready to be shopped around, this book had to come home with me from my local library. I read through some of it and came away with two things:

  • According to the authors, I have one solid habit of a good writer. I read. I visit the library at least every other week (gotta get those 14-day loans). I also download books on my library’s e-reads system. I make good use of the library too, always getting put on the best-seller hold list. Hopefully, I’ll get to read “Nest” before Christmas… I scour what’s hot on iBooks as well as the New York Times‘ Best Seller list. I have a very good writer’s reading habit according to “The Book Doctors,” which is comforting, maybe since my coworkers love to tease me for my overzealous library habits.
  • I’m not worried about my social media game. A lot of writer’s books preach the importance of social media, creating a platform, strategy, promotion, SEO, how to tweet — the works. I’ve been on Twitter forever, though it’s not the same platform it used to be. I’ve been an early adapter of all social media. Perhaps it’s  my years of radio broadcasting and journalism.

But there is something I need to do. I need to blog about writing more. Like most writers, I like to write in the shadows. I write privately, all alone. I hate to share what I am up to with my writing, although I do let a friend read what I’ve got once in a while.

That may be a habit I should let go of in order to promote my work. So I’ll have to work on that.

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Such the book fiend I am, my friend brought me this flyer so I took a photo of it to put it in my phone as a reminder… I’m trying to cut back on buying books! I swear! I keep giving them to friends and trading them in. But we all know…there will always be more books!

If you love books and writing too, follow me on Twitter, @heatherlarson

 

Another post for TasteTablet.com from my unique point of view

Here’s my latest piece for TasteTablet.com, “Why It’s Important To Master Being Alone In Your 20s.”

I love being able to share from my own life experience with their young, female audience. As an alcoholic in recovery who works part-time as a peer mentor at a recovery center, I feel I have a lot to share about taking relationships from dysfunctional to…tolerable. Always being realistic! I like share what I wish I had known in my early 20s with someone else. Thanks to TasteTablet.com for giving me the opportunity to do that!

There's a difference between being "alone" and "isolated."

There’s a difference between being “alone” and “isolated.”

I’d gladly welcome any chance to write about relationships, health, the healing arts, and recovery from addiction. Check out more of my writing work on Contently.