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The Inconsistencies of Self-Employment: Q3 Goals in Review

Last week I was swimming in client deadlines. And to be honest, this week is looking much the same.

It’s a good problem to have, of course.

But it can be overwhelming at times. I’m constantly prioritizing my to do list, and last week’s blog post for Web of Words just didn’t make the cut.

That’s okay though, because there isn’t always time to write about the work. Sometimes, simply doing the work has to be enough.

I wanted to make sure I made time to share an update this week though, since it marks the end of a month and the end of another quarter. A lot has happened over the last few weeks. Taking the time to process it and write it down is my chance to come up for air.

If the third quarter was a roller coaster at Canada’s Wonderland, it would definitely be The Bat. It was like July and August were rolling along, slowly but steadily climbing to the “peak,” otherwise known as September. Then once this month arrived, the real excitement began.

And yes, there have been weeks when I felt like I was going backwards.

There have been days when I felt like I was spinning in loops, getting flipped upside down.

But as soon as I step off the ride, I’m ready to line up and get back on again.

Here’s a look at what’s been going on behind the scenes:


Since this was my first summer as a solopreneur, I wasn’t really sure what to expect. I tried to prepare myself for a drop in income (looking to make up for it with other side gigs here and there). I was pleasantly surprised to find the workflow in July stayed pretty steady, but I definitely felt the summer slumber kick in for August.

Come September, I was feeling discouraged. I was way behind on my Q3 goals, and I didn’t think I’d be able to pull it off.

Then, everything happened at once. (I am quickly learning this is often the case when you’re in business for yourself).

✔ Sign on two new social media clients to monthly contracts.
✔ Book three to four consultations per month. (Didn’t hit the mark in August, but September made up for it).
✔ Get published in three different magazines/blogs/websites.
✗ Blog twice a week for Web of Words. (In July, I changed my editorial calendar to one blog per week).
✔ Relaunch The Reply.
✔ Attend regular networking events. (Networking got quiet in the summer but picked up again this month).
✗ Look into registering for a conference in the fall.
✗ Prepare plan(s) for workshop hosting in the fall.


As predicted, the last few months have been financially taxing. We moved in August, and had to manage all of the extra expenses that came along with that. The summer months also tend to throw the budget for a bit of a loop, between drives to the cottage, patio dates, and weekend getaways. We kept it frugal though and tried to plan ahead as much as we could. So while we missed the mark in some areas, overall, I think we did alright.

 ✔ Continue to track all personal spending and stay on budget.
✔ No retail shopping for July and August — unless using a gift card or buying necessities for new home. (I probably should have been clearer with how I define “necessities”… but each purchase for the new place was carefully considered).
✔ Maintain or increase income through summer months.
✗ Contribute savings goals every month. (Our savings contributions took a hit this quarter, but we should be back on track next month).
✔ Sell unused items for side income.
✔ Buy a new mattress/bed for new house. (One of the best investments I’ve ever made, for sure).


I definitely took advantage of the slower summer months as an opportunity to focus more on self-care. That said, I feel like all of my new healthy habits quickly disappeared when work got busy again in September. Still trying to find the right balance here, and sometimes I wonder if I ever will.

✔ Attend two boot camp sessions per week. (I missed some at the end of the season, but it was a success overall).
✔ Eat more fruits and vegetables.
✔ Follow packing schedule for move.
✔ Get rid of unused and unnecessary belongings. (The purge has been a huge success and still continues…)
✔ Spend time at the cottage with friends and family.
✗ Schedule one date night per week. (We’ve missed too many weeks for me to give a checkmark here).
✔ Prep homemade lunches daily.
✗ No fast food. (This was a bit far-fetched considering the move, so I’m going to cut myself some slack).

I feel like I’ve finally reached the point in my business that I’ve been aiming for since I started. Now, the challenge will be forecasting a new plan of action, which may actually involve growing the Web of Words team in the coming months. I look forward to sitting down and mapping out my goals for Q4. In the meantime, how would you sum up your third quarter? Did everything go as planned? Or did you find some surprises thrown into the mix?


Charlotte Ottaway

Charlotte is the founder of Web of Words. She helps solopreneurs and small business owners create real human connections online through blogging and social media. Her work has been published in Maclean's, Canadian Business, Zoomer, The Globe and Mail, The Huffington Post Canada and other Canadian publications. Better known by family and friends as Carly, she currently resides in Newmarket with her husband and fur-babe. To learn more, check out her portfolio at charlotteottaway.com and follow her on Twitter @charlottaway.