I deposited money into my savings account!

I deposit money into my savings account! (PalomaCruz.com)For the first time in nearly two years, I actually deposited money into my savings account!

Two years ago I unexpectedly quit my job. I did that without any real idea of what I would do next. I didn’t plan it. I didn’t think about the next step. I didn’t pause. I didn’t overthink it. I just quit.

It’s the first time in a long time that I’ve done something that impulsive. I used to do things like that all the time, but never on that scale. Little things, medium things, but not life altering things.

I quit my job and then it never quite sunk in. I never got that “oh my God, what did I do?” moment. I never had the moment of panic.

It helped that I had no debt and a healthy savings account.

One day I sat down and figure out how long I could go without making any money. Then I started to take freelancing work. And at first it seemed like no one wanted to hire me. And the money kept going out and no money was coming in. And I started to get worried … for a week or so. Then the work started to roll in.

Last year I had the great experience of having the first month where I didn’t have to take money out of my savings to pay my bills. And then a few months later I lost a contract and had to do it again for two months. And I worried again, for two months. And then the worked really rolled in.

And … drum roll … I put money in my savings account this month!

I know that to you this is a boring thing. But to me this is major. It’s a wonderful feeling. And I’m determined to celebrate my victories where I find them.

What great thing happened to you this week?

Pay me, Please

I have come to the decision that I’m not doing any reduced-fee or free projects from now on.

I have the very bad habit of taking on projects (either public relations or social media/web) on a volunteer basis or for which I charge considerably less than normal fees. What ends up happening is that I feel taken advantage of and it all goes to hell in a handbasket from there.

I need to always quote for what my time is actually worth.

The trap I fall into is that I know that I don’t need the money to pay my bills; that’s what I have my full-time job for. But I do want to be paid for my time and expertise.

So that’s one of my new goals: charge what I’m worth instead of what I think they can pay.

Nine Houston companies make Inc. 500 list, reports HBJ

The 29th annual Inc. 500 list was recently released, with nine Houston-based companies making the list. Congratulations!

From the Houston Business Journal story, here are the Houston-area winners:

Read the entire list at Inc.