One of the biggest challenges working gig-to-gig is feeling that I don’t control my work or income. I can’t force students to book a certain number of classes just because that number would equal out to my ideal income. I can’t always make jobs appear or make my efforts pay off as big as I want them too.
So what’s a girl to do?
Focus on what I can control and how to make those things go as far as possible. I wrote in my post Find Your Hustle about the importance of keeping more than one stream of income.
For example, right now my students are celebrating a national holiday and bookings are way down. How am I going to make up the income of a couple weeks having lower than average booking rates?
Teaching is really my main gig. Of all the streams of income I have right now, it pays the most, and it pays the most consistently. At times like this when that consistency is a little less reliable than normal, I can focus on transcribing. I don’t transcribe that much in an average month because I’m very picky about the jobs I’ll take (I need high-quality audio to ensure I transcribe accurately and produce good work.). Perhaps this month I’ll be a little less picky and more focused on putting in time at the keyboard.
I’ve had a lot more time than usual on my hands with these lowered booking rates. It’s allowed me to give this blog some much-needed love at the time of launch, for example. Even though I’m not counting on the blog for major income it’s still something I value having the time to build and work on so the lower bookings can be taken as a blessing.
This almost goes with adding some extra hustle. Just as you might use the unexpected time off from your main gig to put some love into a project that may or may not be income-generating you can also use this time to check out any new companies and opportunities in your field. Maybe you’ll find a few more gig-providing companies to start a relationship with and further diversify your streams of income.
Ultimately a downturn with one gig might just mean lower income for a period of time. Even if you mitigate the impact by increasing productivity on some of your smaller gigs you need a flexible lifestyle. For example, if you have subscription boxes or other lifestyle expenses you can “skip” for a month or cancel go ahead and cut costs to lessen the impact of a low-income month.
When it comes down to it sometimes you have to just go with the flow and enjoy the time off!