The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2021 - 29

BUSINESS PRACTICES By Corinne McKay
freelance goal-setting! Now
is a great time to look ahead
as the economy, at least
in the U.S., appears to be
picking up as the pandemic
winds down. I've had a
significant uptick in work
over the past few months,
and I've heard similar
reports from many of my
online course alumni.
Goal One
Your Income
Setting Goals for Your Freelance
Business: An Important Job
Satisfaction Tool
The following was originally published on Next Level: The ATA Business
Practices Blog. This initiative by ATA's Business Practices Education
Committee provides information for both freelancers and company
owners to use in all aspects of their careers, from improving their privacy
protections to planning for retirement. Visit: www.atanet.org/careereducation/next-level.
I
've
been teaching
business classes for
freelance translators for
about 15 years, so I've seen
" under the hood " of many
freelancers' businesses. The
truth is, when we talk about
goal-setting in our freelance
businesses, many freelancers
have amorphous goals ( " earn
more money, " " find better
clients " ) or no goals at
www.ata-chronicle.online
all, because their business
management strategy
consists of two steps:
y Translate what falls in
the inbox
y Hope that, at the end of
the year, that work adds up
to enough money
This sounds like an
extreme example, but I can
assure you it's not. Most
freelancers are not actively
pursuing work they enjoy
and are good at; nor do they
know how much money they
need to earn per hour or per
day to meet their financial
goals. Just by reading this
column, you're ahead of the
vast majority of what one of
my former students called
" rudderless " freelancers, so
let's dive into the process of
Hopefully you enjoy your
work as a freelancer. I've
been a freelancer since 2002,
and I feel more excited about
the job now than when I
started. However, the main
reason I freelance is to make
money, so my first freelance
goal is to earn what I want
to earn.
On this goal, it's easy to
get tripped up before you
begin: you can't meet your
income goals if you don't
know what they are. I use
a simple worksheet1
with
students in my classes to
help them determine the
gross (total) income level
they need to achieve and how
many billable hours they
anticipate working. I think
that every freelancer's goal
should be to achieve a similar
level of financial security to
someone with a salaried job.
If you're not there yet, it's
important to acknowledge
and make your peace with
how much you need to earn
to get there. The worksheet
should help you do that.
You can set various types
of income goals:
y Increase your total income.
y Increase your income from
a specific type of client:
American Translators Association 29
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The ATA Chronicle - November/December 2021

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