One of the Most Underrated Freelance Hacks of All-Time - Paying for Transformation

4 min. read
March 8, 2024

If you aren’t getting the results you want, pay more.

Wait, let me back up. Have you ever realized while you’re still in the moment that you’ve changed?

I’m not talking about a trippy out-of-body experience but a strange dual awareness, like being in the middle of an experience and at the same time watching it unfold from the outside like a scene in a movie.

More specifically, I’m thinking of situations where I’m cognizant that a past version of me would have responded one way even as a newer version of me sidesteps that predictable choreography and does something healthier and wiser.

This happened to me in May 2020 as I considered dropping $6,948 on a coaching program.

For years, my thinking went like this: “It’s expensive. I can save money doing it myself. Besides, motivation has never been my problem. I’m not the sort of person who needs coaching.”

(Remember that last bit about not needing it because we’ll circle back to it in a moment.)

My default became Approach A:

  • Approach A: 20 hours spent consuming free content, zeroing in on what I believed was the right approach and crafting content strategy, plus 2 hours writing a LinkedIn post
  • Approach B: 2 hours of learning from a LinkedIn expert, plus 20 hours spent writing 20 posts

Approach A wasn’t all bad. At least I was solving problems proactively.

However, the downside was the 10, 20, or 30 hours I spent figuring out what to do I could have spent actually doing it and getting the results.

Eventually, I recognized that my two defaults, to save money and to find the “right” approach, had become quite expensive, in terms of true momentum sacrificed.

So when I had that opportunity to join that coaching program in May 2020, I turned my resistance inside out to see what was inside:

  • Was my intuition picking up on a past pattern and telling me to avoid a past mistake?
  • Or, was fear pretending to be prudence and encouraging me to play it safe?
  • Could the program expose me to new ideas and strategies, any of which could be worth significantly more than $7K over the next 12 months?

Very conservative math told me I was likely to come out ahead, and as I listened to the math more than my fear of losing $7K, I had that strange dual awareness I mentioned earlier.

“I’ve changed, and I’m becoming better at this very moment.”

A specific transformation had become more important than worn-out ways of thinking and problem-solving.

The ”I’m not the sort of person who needs coaching” story I told myself was no longer serving me. Like my favorite Bi-Rite tshirt I won bobbing for apples as a kid, it didn’t fit.

I set it aside, paid the deposit for the program, and made my full investment back in 3 months.

And get this: The program was okay, but it wasn’t great.

That’s the open secret I want to leave you with today.

However much time you spend searching for the “right” tool or program is time you aren’t spending getting results.

The same can be said for time you spend consuming free content and doing whatever it is on your own—or more likely, ignoring the advice because it was free.

We don’t, in fact, need the “best” template, course, or program to get the results.

Results come through decisive action, consistent execution, and incremental improvement.

When I caught myself “straying” from the coaching curriculum, I’d blow a whistle in my own face: “Back in line, young man! You will finish this program.”

Remember those six levers I mentioned in the last email—positioning, packaging, pricing, pipeline, psychology, and process?

Whichever of those you need the most right now, here’s the sure-fire way to get results:

  • Give up the search for the perfect plan, regimen, or solution.
  • Find a “good enough” option quickly and pay for it.
  • Focus on potential ROI, not initial expense.
  • Stick to the plan.

Why pay for it? When we pay, we pay attention. We show up at our level of investment, and free advice is too easy to ignore.

One of the most underrated business hacks of all-time is forking over your hard-earned dollars.

When you’re ready, here are ways I can help you:

  1. Free Money. A pricing and money mindset guide for freelance creatives. If you’re unsure about your freelance pricing, this is the book for you.
  2. Morning Marketing Habit. This course will help you build an “always be marketing” practice, become less dependent on referrals, and proactively build the business you want with the clients you want. My own morning marketing habit has enabled me to consistently make  6 figures as a freelancer.
  3. Custom Business Roadmap. Gain clarity, confidence, and momentum in your freelance or consulting business.
  4. Business Redesign. Raise your effective hourly rate, delegate with confidence, and free up 40 hours a month.
  5. Clarity Session. It’s hard to read the label when you’re inside the bottle. I've done well over 100 of these 1:1 sessions with founders, solopreneurs, and freelancers who wanted guidance, a second opinion, or help creating a plan.

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure for more info

Austin L Church portrait photo.

About the Author,
Austin L. Church

Austin L. Church is a writer, brand consultant, and freelance coach. He started freelancing in 2009 after finishing his M.A. in Literature and getting laid off from a marketing agency. Freelancing led to mobile apps (Bright Newt), a tech startup (, a children's book (Grabbling), and a branding studio (Balernum). Austin loves teaching freelancers and consultants how to stack up specific advantages for more income, free time, and fun. He and his wife live with their three children in Knoxville, Tennessee.


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