The Freelancer’s Business Priorities Wheel is based on a tool which is widely used in coaching: the Wheel of Life. It helps you to measure your current levels of satisfaction in key areas of your life (in this case, your work life), and enables you to identify the areas you need to address first in order to achieve better results and a better balance.
The Freelancer’s Business Priorities Wheel contains 8 sections that represent various aspects of your freelance business. The figure above is provided as an example only, and you may wish to use your own categories. For instance, you may wish to break the Clients category into Direct Clients and Agencies, or to rename it Sales or Customer Service. You may also wish to group Marketing, Online Presence and Networking into one single category. The structure of the wheel is up to you.
How It Works
1- Creating the wheel: Get a blank copy of the Freelancer’s Business Priorities Wheel here. Once you have downloaded the file, label the 8 sections of the wheel according to your top 8 categories.
2- Outside each section/category, write down what a “10 out of 10” would look like, i.e. your goal. Be as specific as you can.
3- Rate your level of satisfaction with regards to what you have achieved so far in each category. Zero means “not satisfied” and 10 means “highly satisfied; I have achieved my goal”. Connect the lines to form an inner wheel. This will give you an overview of the balance you have achieved so far between the various areas of your business.
Example (freelance translator):
If the tyres on your car looked like this, how bumpy would the ride be?
4- Interpreting the wheel: Your aim is now to have all categories scored evenly, above 7 and as close to 10 as possible. If some categories are scored lower than 7, investigate how they may interact with each other in order to identify the area to address first.
For example, in the figure above, the translator felt that she had reached a plateau in terms of her productivity. The wheel helped her to identify Continuous Professional Development (CPD) as an area she needed to tackle first. Her low score in that category could be linked to her low score in the Admin Work category, which could be linked to her productivity having plateaued.
5- Taking Action: Once you have identified the category to address first, determine the action you will need to take in order to get one step closer to the goal you wrote down for that category. How are you going to do it? When are you going to do it?
In our example, the translator decided to spend time online the following morning to search for the next available Project Management course for translators.
6- Committing: On a scale of 1 to 10, 1 meaning “Not committed at all” and 10 meaning “Totally committed”, how committed are you to taking the action you identified in step 5? What will be the benefits of taking that action?
I hope you have found this exercise useful. If you’d like more information about coaching and how it could help you achieve your goals, please click here.
This post was adapted from a post I first published in Coaching For Translators on April 2nd, 2015.