Do Less, Earn More, and Avoid Burn Out

Emma Gannon’s book, The Multi Hyphen Method, is a holy grail of helpful tips for us freelancers. Sometimes it can feel a little overwhelming as work starts to pile up so I’m going to let you in on some of the best advice from her work.

From maximising productivity to knowing your worth, she certainly covers every area you could imagine! Let’s face it, we all want to learn how to earn more, without the stress and burnout that often comes with it!

Emma Gannon is a writer, broadcaster, podcast host and has been a guest lecturer since 2014. If you are a freelancer, or even just thinking about having a side hustle, and you haven’t read The Multi-Hyphen Method, you definitely need to consider treating yourself to a copy.

Gannon shows herself to be the queen of the side hustle, letting us in on a recipe for success. Speaking of success, Gannon makes a clear distinction between the dictionary definition of success and our own definition. The dictionary will tell you that success is the accomplishment of an aim or purpose, the attainment of fame, wealth, or social status. Is this really all we aim to achieve? The Multi-Hyphen Method demonstrates that by having multiple sources of income, instead of one constant paycheque, we are able to create our own success. I agree with Gannon on this, the amount of determination and self-motivation it takes to work freelance, finding and creating your own projects, means you create your own success, which I think is better than any fame!

The most important chapter of the whole book is chapter 10, ‘Our Relationship with Money’. As a freelancer, there are a few important things to remember when it comes to money. Gannon claims that being open about money can help us earn more money. We have to get rid of this notion that it is rude to talk about money. As a multi-hyphenate, by being nervous surrounding the topic of money, you will find a struggle when it comes to getting work. Sure you will be able to take on projects that have already given you a set commission, however, what about those that don’t?  By shying away from bargaining a price for your work, you limit yourself to fixed price work. This work could be a base minimum wage. You didn’t decide to go freelance to earn a minimum wage!

Gannon offers three really helpful key pointers to help negotiate a fee.

  • Always ask the client first:

Though I forget this sometimes, by asking the client first they reveal a comfortable price they are willing to pay for your services. You never know, it could be higher than what you had in mind! Don’t cap yourself by offering the first price.

  • Ask for more:

No, you are not being greedy if you ask for more! See if there is any wiggle room surrounding the offer. It’s always worth asking. If you still feel uncomfortable doing this, see what addons you could offer to enhance your service, and therefore increase the price.

  • Don’t accept anything too low with the promise of higher fee next time:

Take it from someone who knows, I have fallen for this trick many times. DO NOT accept a low price, on the promise of a higher fee next time. You have no guarantee of further work, and the client could easily reject your services when it comes to the next piece.

Also, a little tip I’ve found when pricing my services, make it clear to your client what you are offering and why it will cost them that much. As a writer for example, you are paying for my time to write the piece, but I also have to consider elements such as SEO, editing, and proofreading that accompany my service. Remember to know your worth, sometimes its not always a simple task and your price should reflect that.

Don’t burn that candle out

Another piece of advice that I took from Emma Gannon was all about Burnout. The Urban Dictionary has labelled burnout as a state of physical exhaustion caused by a prolonged period of stress and frustration. Emma warns us about the tell tale signs of the dreaded candle that’s burnt at both ends.

  • Tasks that are easy become extremely difficult
  • You notice yourself being really cynical about everyone and everything
  • You isolate yourself and feel a huge loss of energy

I have experienced these symptoms many times, but I’ve never had a good process of preventing a burnout. Luckily for me, Emma has a few top tips to get you back on track.

  • Prioritise sleep:

When you’re burnt out, you are exhausted. You need to sleep so your body can rest and recharge to face the next challenge

  • Cancel any plans that cause anxiety:

Why put your body through more stress and strain? If you have something planned that is truly making you feel uncomfortable, cancel it, it’s not worth it.

  • Lie in bed for a few minutes without checking your phone :

We are all guilty of the early morning scroll through Instagram. Maybe we should resist this early morning pleasure and take a few minutes with ourselves. If you’re anything like me and your work revolves around social media, this is important advice. Don’t start your day with something that will make your brain instantly think of work.

Overall, I would highly recommend Emma’s book, The Multi-Hyphen Method. In order to create great work, we need to look after number one, but also know our worth!

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