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?
Main gig not paying? Give your side hustles some love
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.
Add some Extra Hustle
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.
Stay Fresh on what’s Available
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.
Keep your Lifestyle Flexible
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.
Or, enjoy the Vacation
When it comes down to it sometimes you have to just go with the flow and enjoy the time off!