I spent over £100 on hand-soap and realised something

A few years ago, I had these friends. A couple. And they lived in a trendy flat, full of trendy things. One day, we went to their house for lunch and I used their loo. When washing my hands, I used some of their Aesop hand-soap and thought: this must be expensive; this looks and feels so lovely.

And then I thought: how can they afford such nice hand-soap? And will I ever be able to?

At the time, I was able to pay my share of the bills, have coffee out with the baby and go to the pub for a few drinks each week. There were no holidays abroad, barely any meals out and definitely no Aesop hand-soap in my toilet. We were able to live a perfectly fine life but there weren’t many luxuries.

So when I sat down at the end of 2017, I decided that I’d like to earn £100,000 in 2018. I knew that in order for my husband and I to lead a very comfortable life, we needed to earn £64,000 between us and I thought that rounding it up to £100k meant I’d definitely be able to add in some luxury items, without sweating profusely on seeing the price.

At the beginning of 2019, my book The Freelance Mum was published. At the start, I explain my yearly tradition of goal-setting for the following year. I said that towards the end of 2016, I’d written my dream of having another baby and writing for the Guardian and Stylist in 2017; and that all those thing had happened. I talked about the important of visualising what you want for the coming year. I wrote, in my book, that I wanted to earn £100k in 2018.

So a few months after publication, when I was invited to talk on a panel at a Doing it for the Kids event (they run a brilliant Facebook group for freelance parents, and occasional live events) someone put their hand up and said: you mentioned in your book that you wanted to earn £100k from freelancing; did you do it?

And I said no, I didn’t. I ticked off some other boxes but not that one.

Not long after that talk, I launched my first online course. It went well, and the next one did and soon, I’d slightly accidentally launched an entirely new business that was bringing in £10-15,000 a month. We all know there are 12 months in the year so some simple maths and you probably know where I’m leading.

Basically, this year has been financially very good. I am hitting some targets. I didn’t do it last year, as planned, but this year I will. Also, I’m running a business that I love; I’m helping other freelancers and entrepreneurs to fulfil their potential and that brings me joy and deep satisfaction.

It feels like it’s happened quickly but it hasn’t really; it’s been a few years of working hard, feeling quite frustrated at times, but then eventually, seeing results. And I realised that yesterday, when I ordered four bottles of Aesop hand-soap for £108 and didn’t panic. I knew I had enough money in my account to spend this without really thinking.

But afterwards, I took a moment to reflect. I remembered that couple and being at their flat, feeling like a life like theirs was so far out of reach.

It was a reminder to stay strong and clear on your dreams.

So as we approach the end of another year, I urge you to think about what you’d like for 2020. Make a list, on paper. Keep it so that you can refer back to it next year. And you might just find some major dreams have come true.

But if you’d like some helping getting there, you might be interested in my ‘Ultimate business bundle for aspiring entrepreneurs’ – five online courses that will teach you exactly how I progressed from employee to self-employed – starting a business, making it pay, doing your own PR. And then creating passive income streams through books and online courses.

It’s currently on offer for just £299 (over £100 off).

Dream big, work hard.

Annie x

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