The Freelancer's Guide to DIY-ing A Basic Contract


I almost DIDN'T write this blog post. Why? Two reasons:

1. I was afraid of what my lawyer friends would say when they saw the title to this blog post. Would they say "leave the contract-writing to lawyers!"?

2. I wasn't sure if you'd be interested in this sort of topic. I've written about blogging, branding and marketing in general -- but not something business-y like this.

As with every blog post that I write, I struggle with doubts. Is this blog post relevant? Will people hate it and then hate me? Do I know enough to write about it?

But eventhough the doubts were overwhelming -- I can't help but think about the person I used to be. I used to be a freelancer, too. And while I don't claim that THIS blog post will solve all your freelancing troubles, I hope it will help.

Anyway, enough rambling by me. Let's get down to the topic at hand: DIY-ing your own contract as a freelancer.

Do I really need a contract, even if I'm a small-time freelancer?

When people hear the word 'contract', they usually think of an official document that only professionals or the big shots bring out for big big projects. Signed with an expensive pen and then placed in a briefcase. (Preferably dark brown leather, kay.)

Well, today I want to give you another perspective on contracts and why you need them even when you're just starting out in your freelancing business.

A contract is a form of communication between two parties. You and the client.

Picture this: You have a business where you provide services. A potential client contacts you and wants to meet up to discuss 'the project', aka what you're being paid for.

So you meet up with the client at a nice cafe, and you guys talk about the details of the project. What to do, when to do it, etc etc. Then both of you go your separate ways.

Is that it?

What if someone forgets something? What if the client forgets that she has to make the 2nd payment after you've done a certain task? What if you forget something important that the client mentioned?

After a (good) client meeting, the freelancer will always be on a high. Someone likes my work and wants to pay me. Oh yeah baby. (I noe how dat feel) The client will feel excited for the project to start too. And the details of the meeting will feel so VIVID.

But after a day or two, after you've come down from the high, the details will be less fresh.


That's where the contract comes in! It's a recorded version of whatever it is you and your client have discussed and agreed on. You basically turn your words during the meeting into written form, so that both you and the client can refer to it again and again.

So back to the question just now: Do you really need a contract if you're just starting out?

YES, yes you do. And I have two reasons for saying so:

  1. Having a contract for every client is considered the BEST practice. Even if you're a small-timer, why not adopt this practice from the beginning so that you could start your business right? You can adjust the length of your contract to suit the size of your business/project.
  2. When you do as the professionals do, you'll look like a professional too. If only professionals use contracts, then hop on the lorry! When you bring out your contract, your client will get the impression that you're serious about the project and they'll feel more confident in your abilities. A clear and fair contract will help you build trust with your client.

You may ALREADY have a contract in place...

When you're liaising with your client over WhatsApp or email, you'd definitely have mentioned a few things that your client NEEDS to know. For example, Payment must be made before 10 pm or The client must provide the correct details. These need-to-know things are the terms and conditions (T&C). So in effect, you already have a contract with your client.

If it's just a simple buy-and-sell kind of transaction, there aren't that many T&Cs. But if you're a freelancer, you usually provide services that are more tailored to your client's situations. That means that your services are more complicated than just buy-and-sell.

The more complicated your services, the more T&Cs you and your client need to agree on.

I'm not saying you're doing it wrong when you use WhatsApp or email to 'come to an agreement' with your client. I'm saying, if your services are complicated, it might be EASIER to have everything, all the T&Cs in one document.

That kind of contract will be the focus of this blog post.


Things go right, but they also always go wrong.

OK, I'm a pessimist. But when I offered freelance designing services, things went wrong MORE than they went right. And it sucked big time because I was so excited for the projects!

The cause? Failure in communication.

Sure, we had client meetings. Over the phone, in-person at a nice cafe. The initial discussions were so awesome -- I even convinced myself that I'd definitely be bestfriends with my clients down the line. (Such wishful thinking.)

But down the line — it became clear to me that my clients and I were expecting DIFFERENT things from the projects. 

  • One client expected me to do more than what we originally agreed on. 
  • One client disappeared near the end of the project and wanted to resume around 2 months later. Also, no compensation.
  • Another one disappeared also. 


And you know what? I take responsibility for things going wrong. 

As the freelancer, it was my responsibility to ponder things like... 

  • How do I make sure that the project runs smoothly?
  • How do I make sure my client and I are always on the same page?  How and what do I communicate?
  • How do I perform my service in the best way possible?
  • What do I need from my client?
  • How do I protect my own interests? 

It’s NOT the client’s job to think about all this. They don’t go into the project thinking: What do I need to do? 

So yeah, despite my initial resentment towards them (I’m only human), it was ultimately my fault because I didn’t have a contract in place. I should have known better, they literally teach me this in university. Sigh.


The contract prevents and cures

Kay, the contract — YOUR contract — is not a magic wand. When you and the client sign the contract, it doesn't literally bind both of you to the terms and conditions. No one will be struck by lightning if you breach a T&C.

BUT, like I've said before: Projects fail due to failure in communication. It’s pretty safe to assume that most people aren’t evil witches. They were just expecting different things.

What the contract does is that it PREVENTS miscommunications. Everything important is put on paper for both you and the client to read. Now it’s not gonna be a matter of Who said What.

The contract also CURES. During the project, you owe the client something (your work). The client owes you something (money or compensation). 

If any of you doesn’t fulfill what is owed, you have something to fall back on: the contract! I’m gonna talk a bit about how you can enforce your DIY contract at the end of this blog post.

You won’t only be at this ~small-time freelancer~ stage forever.  The more your business grows, the more you need to protect yourself.


Let's rewire how we think of contracts.

1. A contract is 90% business and only 10% legal.

The biggest misconception when it comes to contracts is that only lawyers know what to put in the contracts.  

For example:

Other people: Aina, draft a contract between our company and Company X. We want to start the project in 2 weeks kthxbye.
Me: Okay... But what is the project about? What kind of terms do you want? What are the people involved supposed to do? What’s the timeline? How is the payment being made?   

Since the contract is a recorded version of what was agreed between people in the project, the lawyer WOULDN’T know what to put in the contract. (Unless they were present during the discussions too!)

Even if you don't want to DIY your contract and want to hire a lawyer to create one for you, your lawyer will still be asking for your input. Your input is the MOST important part of the contract.

2. Forget the fancy legal words.

When I draft contracts at work, I use fancy legal words. But that's because I'm representing a corporation. The parties involved are companies, so the language that's expected to be used is more fancypants.

But if you're dealing with clients on a one-to-one basis, your contract should be in words that both of you understand easily. If you use fancypants language HERE, your client could feel like you're being shady.

Stick to the point. And use bullet points if you want to, it's fine.

3. A contract should be fair, it's not only for you.

Even if YOU prepare the contract and not the client, it doesn't mean that each T&C should be to your advantage only. I mean, you can make it like that, but your client wouldn't be too eager to sign on the dotted line, yaknow?

A lot of people think that having a contract means you get to cancel all the risks, but that's not how it works. There will always be risks to your business and your contract is supposed to eliminate those that can be REASONABLY eliminated.

For example, there's always a risk that you wouldn't get paid by the client. So how do you handle that?

  • Reasonable: Each client must put in 20% deposit from the total fee. And pay in instalments after every stage of the project.
  • Unreasonable: Each client must pay 100% in advance before the project starts.*

*Unless you're really in-demand, most clients won't agree to pay 100% upfront because then it will be a risk to them.

There's a lot of give and take here. You want to minimize risk, the client wants to minimize risk. So do expect to negotiate on some of the T&Cs because both of you need to agree on ALL the T&Cs.

4. Contract first, THEN project. 

I used to think that I can figure out the contract as we go along the project. NOPE! Wrong way of doing it. (What can I say, I'm an impatient lady.)

The contract is has to be agreed upon by you and the client BEFORE the project starts. That means all the hard-thinking parts must be done before you start doing any kind of work.

Yes, you can tweak the contract along the way if you need to -- but everything should already be in place already.


What to put in your freelancer contract: the Must-Haves.

A contract can be long or short. Again, it depends on your project. If it’s a complicated and long project, it makes sense to have a longer contract so that you and client can thoroughly know what to do. 

But regardless of how long or short the contract is, I’ve listed below the must-haves. These freelancer contract must-haves are important because they’re directly about your project, so do allocate some time to think them through. Even if you hire a lawyer, they'll be asking you the same things.

DISCLAIMER: The advice I’m giving in this blog post is general. Since I’m not your lawyer, I don’t know the specifics of your project. So please treat this post as a guideline rather than a specific advice for your specific situation.

Therefore, I need to mention this, please don’t hold me responsible for any issues in your contract or project. 

If you want to be sure, I recommend hiring a lawyer to develop a contract (or contract template) that’s tailored for your business. It’s a great investment especially if you do a lot of freelancing. Protect yourself! 

OK, now that the disclaimer is out of the way — let’s get cracking!  


1. Roles & responsibilities


This part covers the things you and your client are supposed to do for the project. All the things. 

Eventhough the roles and responsibilities are obvious and make you go, umm duh?, never assume you and your client have some sort of telepathy and you know exactly what each other are saying. (It rarely happens that way)

So yes — this is the first thing you should start with. Defining the things you and your client will do/are responsible for. 

What I like to do is to have two columns side-by-side. One is for your responsibilities and the other is for the client’s responsibilities. It helps to compare them like this because you can see if the client has to do something in response to you and vice versa. Like this:

Your responsibilities Client's responsibilities
Provide questionnaire to determine client's ideal kitchen before project starts Answer questionnaire and email to designer before project starts
Provide 3 kitchen design options to client for consideration Choose 1 design option and give feedback

For example, you have to provide 3 design options for the kitchen to the client. In response to that, the client has to choose 1 design out of the 3 options.

This helps the client be aware of his/her responsibilities throughout the duration of your service. You need their participation and cooperation, rather than just ‘get the payment and do the job’.  

Should you include every single task that you have to do for the project? In my opinion, yes. No task is too small to be included. The reasons are two-fold: 

  1. It gives the client an accurate picture of exactly what you’re doing. No more remarks like, “Well, I could have done this myself!”.
  2. It helps you provide an accurate Project Timeline, which is another point that we’ll be talking about after this. 

2. Scope and limitations


The next important thing to include in your contract is the scope and limitations of the project. Basically, what IS and IS NOT covered in your service to the client? 

In my experience, this is the part where freelancers and clients often fight over.  

Freelancer: Umm no, that’s not included in the package. 
Client: What do you mean not included? I’m paying you to do it! 

As much as there are clients who purposely ask for things they know aren’t included (they like to try their luck), it’s your job as the freelancer to set limitations.  

OK, let’s use the previous example. (In fact, we’ll just use the example for the rest of the blog post okay) 

You’re a freelance interior designer and you only design kitchens. You need to define the scope and limitations of your interior design service.

SCOPE - things that are included:  

  • One home kitchen (dry or wet) If both, the fee is different.
  • Includes designing, researching layouts, researching products and styling products. 

LIMITATIONS - things that aren’t included:

  • Does not include cleaning/ decluttering BEFORE and AFTER the project. 
  • Does not include DIY-ing existing furniture.

At this point, you may feel like you’re being too negative. Oh, I don’t do that. No, I don’t do this. It feels like you’re always saying NO to the client and isn’t that bad customer service?

Setting limitations is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s healthy for the project and your relationship with the client.

  1. Both of you know upfront what the client is paying you for. No unpleasant surprises down the line.
  2. You get to focus on what you’re really awesome at: your service! If you’re an interior designer, you can’t be sidetracked by cleaning. 

3. Project timeline


Ah, we’ve come to another part of the project where there is often so much misunderstanding. 

(BTW, I’m sorry if I sound jaded and negative. I’m just speaking out of experience at my work and business — the timeline is always a hot topic.) 

To a client, the project should start as quickly as possible and finish, like, yesterday.  

Sometimes, you can’t blame then. They’re just very very excited for the results. (Which is very encouraging!)

But on other times, their impatience comes from.... 

  1. Not knowing exactly what you do as the freelancer. 
  2. Not knowing how much time certain tasks take.  

So it’s also your job as the freelancer to inform them these things and set REALISTIC expectations. 

How long will the whole project take?

The first important thing to address is the project DURATION. 

Unless your arrangement with the client is on an ongoing basis, you need to have a definite duration for how long the project is going to take.

For example, for your interior design service, you’ve estimated that it would take 2 weeks at the very most.  

For you: This is good because you know how many clients you can book for every month. (4 weeks / 2 weeks = 2 clients)

For the client: This is considerate because the client can make the necessary arrangements. For example, the client won’t be able to cook in her kitchen for 2 weeks, so she can order takeout in advance / not buy so many groceries.

How long will EACH task take?

The next important thing is stating the time allocated for each task. Your client needs to know how long you'll take to do each task listed in the 'Roles and Responsibilities' section.

You may feel like this is unnecessary because you’ve already told the client the duration of this project. Like, what else do I need to tell? 

But like I’ve mentioned before, the client wants everything to be done yesterday. Or better yet, before the last dinosaur on Earth hatched out of its egg. (Random hyperbole)

This is because the freelancer hasn’t informed them how long things actually take.  

For example, your client for your interior design service may feel like: 

Why can’t she just come over to my house after signing the contract and start on my kitchen? 2 weeks is too long! This should just take, like, a weekend to finish.

But in actuality, you need at least 2 days to research kitchen styles properly, 1 day to come up with design drafts, and so on and so forth.

When you let them know how much time certain tasks take, they’ll appreciate the creative process so much more. And as a result, they’ll appreciate what they're going to get from you so much more.

Putting it all together for a Project Timeline...

The last thing to do under this part is setting up a Project Timeline. The Project Timeline is a a start-to-finish look at what’s going to happen in the project.

Starting from Day 1, you combine the responsibilities (yours and the client’s) with the days allocated for each ‘task’. I have two ways you can visualize this timeline: 


Timeline Task
Day 1 Go over the questionnaire for ideal kitchen together to finalize the vision
Day 2 - 3 Develop 3 design options for the kitchen by researching and outlining layout
Day 4 Present 3 design options to the client for consideration and request client to make final choice
Day 5 Send client a 3D look of the kitchen based on design chosen, for approval

...and continue this till the end of your project!


Freelancer DIY contract.png
You can use Google Drawing or Lucidchart to make nice flowcharts! I used Lucidchart for the flowchart above.

Any option you choose, make sure the Project Timeline can be easily understood by the client!


4. Payment methods


Freelancers need money. Freelancers need to get paid. But you’d be surprised at how reluctant most freelancers can be to include this in their discussions with the client. 

This is what your contract can do for you: Ensure you get paid by the client.

It does this by....

  1. Informing the client WHEN you should be paid. 
  2. Informing the client HOW you should be paid. 

Let’s take a look at it one-by-one.

When and how often can you say "ka-ching"?

You can inform the client WHEN you should be paid by creating a PAYMENT SCHEDULE. A Payment Schedule is a timetable for payment. Here's what it looks like:

Event Payment
Upon signing of the contract 10% of the total Fee = RM100.00
Upon sending of the 3D image of the kitchen 20% of the total Fee = RM200.00
Upon confirmation of order with kitchen cabinet/furniture supplier 50% of total Fee = RM500.00
Upon confirmation that work is completed 20% of total Fee = RM200.00
TOTAL RM1,000.00

(Yes, this is what I use even at work)

The first thing to do for your payment schedule is to decide how often you get paid... 

  • Payment in lump sum or instalments? 
  • Upfront or at the end of project? 
  • Deposit or no deposit? 
  • How many instalments? 

Look at your own needs as a freelancer and decide the frequency of payments accordingly.

The most prudent practice is always to take a deposit at the start of the project, especially if your project duration is long. It’ll let you know how interested the client is in the project and lets you have some extra cash to buy your supplies. Also, if by the end of the project the client disappears, at least you’ve gotten some payment. Better than nothing.

So, assuming you’re taking a deposit and want your client to pay by instalments, it’s time to figure out what events in the Payment Schedule will trigger payments.

OK, let’s go over that again.  Events in the Payment Schedule will trigger payments.

For example, when I send my client the 3D image of the kitchen based on the design they had chosen, the client will pay me 20% of the total fee. The trigger here is the “send 3D image”.

Both you and the client must be totally onboard with this. Payment is a sensitive issue so there’s no room for miscommunication. 

Soooo... That’s why the next step is really important: The trigger events in your Payment Schedule must match the Project Timeline.

Meaning, if the event is not one of the tasks in the Project Timeline, then it has NO business being on the Payment Schedule. Cuz if it’s not in the Project Timeline, the client will be confused about when they’re expected to make payment.  

Like — if the client didn’t know that you’d be sending her a first draft, she wouldn’t have set aside money for payment. Right?

Even if you have a payment schedule, make sure you officially remind your client to pay by sending them invoices after the relevant ‘triggers’.

So go through your Project Timeline and make sure it links to your Payment Schedule.

Do you accept vegetables as payment?

The second thing to do is to decide HOW you want to get paid.

Trust me when I say that you can’t take this for granted. What do you accept as payment?

  • Cash?  
  • Attention / credits / publicity / exposure?
  • Vegetables?
  • Love and affection?

Even if you’re doing the project for FREE, or even if you’re doing it on a barter basis — SPELL IT OUT.  

I took this part for granted, TWICE. Both times, I did the work in exchange for exposure. You know how it goes, do work for someone famous, get mentioned on social media, gain some followers. Simple, right? 

Both times, I made the mistake of NOT requesting/specifying the kind of exposure that I’d like. I just assumed that the other person would know what to do and all will be well. 

What I should have spelled out were these things: 

  • The social media platform(s) that I wanted exposure on
  • The description (or even photos) I wanted to be mentioned with
  • How many times I’d be mentioned
  • When I’d be mentioned (specific dates!)
  • All my social media accounts that I should be tagged with

Because I didn’t spell out all these things, the end result was that my work was undercompensated. 

It’s such a sucky feeling you know. I know I should be grateful for the opportunities to work with those people and not ‘demand’ the exposure, but I wasn’t doing those projects for fun. I wasn’t busting my ass for fun. I provided value. And exposure > More clients.  

So don’t be like me. Negotiate for what you want in return for your services, and then put it in writing. 

Remember, a good client will want to be fair. They’ll want to provide value to you in exchange for your service. So if your potential client refuses to discuss this part or brushes you off, you know it’s a red flag.


OK, let's recap a bit...

You can put any T&C in your DIY contract, but the FOUR contract must-haves above are the ones that MUST be in your contract.

  1. Roles & responsibilities - what you & your client are supposed to do.
  2. Scope & limitations - what IS & ISN'T covered by your services.
  3. Project timeline - the deadlines for your project.
  4. Payment method - how & when you're gonna get paid.

If you have other T&Cs that are more specific to your industry/services -- please put 'em in! Create new 'headings' if you have to.


How to start DIY-ing your freelancer contract

Now that you already know roughly what a contract is for and what you have to put in them, it's time to start DIY-ing your own. This part is straightforward!

Firstly, I recommend that you brainstorm and jot down everything that you can about your project. Don't limit yourself to only the four contract must-haves.

  • If you have a 'standard' process for your services that won't be changed from client to client: jot down every step that you usually take for your previous clients.
  • If this is your first time as a freelancer or if your contract is more personalized: refer to standard practices in your industry or your meeting notes with your client.

Secondly, separate what you've brainstormed into headings.

  • For T&C that fit under the four contract must-haves: Put them under 'Roles & Responsibilities', 'Scope & Limitations', 'Project Timeline' and 'Payment Methods' respectively.
  • For T&C that don't fit: See if you could group them into bigger categories. Those categories will be your new headings. For example, if you provide maintenance and support, you could have a heading called 'Maintenance & Support'.

Thirdly, decide what format you want your contract to be in.

  • WhatsApp: Not recommended. Too casual and has limited space/formatting.
  • Email: Recommended for contracts that are 'standard', where there's not much personalization. Your client can just reply that they agree to the T&Cs and you're done!
  • Google Doc: Recommended for most situations, including 'standard' contracts.

The reason why I highly recommend Google Doc is because your client can view, edit and comment on the contract before it gets finalized! You just need to send a link to the contract to the client for them to check out.

I've prepared a sample of the contract for you in Google Doc to use if you want. Feel free to copy it into your own Google Doc and personalize according to your project!

Fourthly, the contract has to be agreed upon by you and the client.

Notice that I haven't said anything about 'signing' the contract yet? Just like when you buy things online, your actual signature isn't actually required for the contract to take effect.

When you happily click on those ‘Pay Now’ buttons, you’re basically showing that you agree to the T&Cs through your actions.

That's why it's enough if you can have your client reply to your email I agree to the Terms & Conditions in your email below. Or any kind of wording that shows they agree to the contract.

BUT -- if it's not inconvenient for you to print out your contract and sign it with your client, DO IT! Not only is it the best practice, you can also go through the contract one more time with your client. This builds trust.


Can you enforce your DIY contract in court?

The answer depends on a lot of factors, but generally, your DIY contract can be the basis for you to bring your claim against your client in court. Specifically, the small claims court.

Under this small claims court, you can sue your client (or any other party) if your claim is LESS than RM5,000. So for example, if the client was supposed to pay you RM4,900, but failed to do so, your case will be heard by the small claims court. For a more lengthy explanation on the process, check out Syahredzan Johan's article.

You won't be allowed to hire a lawyer to represent you (which means no legal fees), but don't worry -- the judge will guide you on what to do.

Please note that I said you can definitely sue, but WINNING your case isn't 100% guaranteed, even if you have a contract (DIY or not). It all depends on the facts in your situation.


Is that it? Can I start using the DIY contract now in my freelancing business?

Yes, you can!

Like I’ve said before, a contract is 90% business and 10% legal.  As long as you have a clear picture of what you’re doing as the freelancer and what you want out of your project, your contract will follow naturally.

Just like marketing and bookkeeping parts of your business, the legal-ish part of your business needs to be taken care of too.

What’s the most important T&C that you want to incorporate in YOUR DIY contract? 



Juggling Work With Passion: Leaving Work at 6 PM Sharp


For the past few months, I’ve had trouble leaving work early. My hours are 9-6, and I used to be able to hop merrily home 6 on the dot, but now it’s usually 9-7 or 9-8. And on very stressful days, 9-9. Add another 80 minutes of commute time on top of that and you have a zombie Aina.

I have friends who keep much more frightening hours (9-11 whaaaat?) and I’m still demoralized by the fact that I had to leave work late. I can’t imagine how my friends feel.

But because the month of November has been a super special kind of hell, I was forced to reconsider how I work and when I should send in my resignation letter (Just kidding! Or maybe not...) Here are my thoughts on work:


1) It’s hard to juggle work and passion when you feel like you need to prioritize work.

It’s work that pays my bills. It’s work that pays Narrativity’s bills. (Running this blog has some overhead!)

I wish I could care less about work, like I can shrug it off by 6 pm, but it’s not possible. Narrativity may make me happy, but work has the potential to make my life absolutely stinking miserable (if I neglect it). So when it’s like that, it’s hard to not to feel like I should prioritize work more.

For example: Sudden strike of inspiration, feeling like I want to stay up until 3-4 am to write and design and etc.

  • Inspired me: Yes! Let’s do this all night long!
  • Work me: Don’t be crazy (aka stupid). Sleep now or you won’t meet your deadlines tomorrow.

It’s hard to know which voice to listen to, you know? Of course I want to focus on Narrativity, because it's really my passion.

BUT, I owe it to my job to give it my best. My employers pay me a salary every month. (Narrativity pays me nowhere enough. Yet.)

So when I’m thinking like this, it’s hard to pack up my stuff when the clock turns 6. I keep seeing the things in my in-tray and I’m thinking:

If I don’t do this today, I’m gonna rush like crazy tomorrow. Let’s do just a little bit more so that tomorrow is less hellish. I’ll go back an hour, two hours later so that I can get this done. It’s just one/two hours.

But guess what? IT’S THE SAME THING THE NEXT DAY. Which brings me to my next point...


2) Work never ends and you can count on this fact.

Most of my colleagues have been at the company I work at for years. So when they see me still at my desk at 6:

Them: Aina, kenapa tak balik lagi?

Me: Ada banyak lagi tak siap nanti esok rushing.

Them: Balik la Aina. Nak tunggu kerja habis, memang takkan habis.

I used to think, easy for you to say! You’re not the one feeling MY stress! (Then I start getting bitter about the amount of work I’m getting...)

But you know what, they’re RIGHT and I’m WRONG. Work never ends.

If it does end, then I won’t have a job anymore because I won’t be doing anything. I have a job BECAUSE there’s work to do. Count on the fact that work never ends. Yes, there will be busy seasons and chill seasons — but again, work never ends. There’s ALWAYS something you can do at work. (Or there’s always something your boss will tell you to do)

So in that case — what am I waiting for?

  • WHY am I putting my life, my passion on hold for the day when there’s no work to do?
  • WHY am I postponing things that will make me feel fulfilled for the time when my tray is empty?
  • WHY THE HECK do I put in 1-2 extra hours when I could use those extra hours to work on my passion? I can’t even claim overtime!

It’s like those cartoons when the character is trying to empty a boat full of holes in the middle of the sea but the water just keeps pouring in. Work will just keep pouring in. It’s you who has to plug the holes and go on to live your life.


3) Work doesn’t need more time, work needs better strategies.

A big part of my motivation to do overtime is I hate getting phone calls from colleagues chasing deadlines.

  • “Aina, bila boleh dapat ... eh?”
  • “Aina, saya punya ... dah siap?”
  • “Aina, nak tanya pasal ...”
  • “Aina, next meeting ... haribulan tau, kena siap before that tau”

I can’t even go to the pantry without bumping into one of the deadline-chasers. I started feeling more and more harrassed that I willingly put in overtime just so that I could give them what they want and stop feeling harrassed. But that’s not solving the REAL problem.

There will always be urgent work. The next urgent thing. I can’t control that. What I can control is how I manage the urgent work. Here's some of the skills that I plan to build up so that it's not so nightmarish:

A) Negotiate for more reasonable deadlines and expectations. Not every deadline people give or ask for is set in stone. There's room for negotiation, if you ask.

B) Priorize deadlines according to actual importance. Not everything is urgent, despite all those 'URGENT' sticky notes.

C) Shrug off the frustration fast eventhough people are rude and things keep going wrong. I can't control other people, I can't control how things have happened. I can only control my blood pressure.

D) Stand up for yourself and take initiative to improve processes to make it more convenient for YOU. No matter how junior you are, if you have ideas on how things can be improved at your workplace, execute those ideas. Start with yourself, then start proposing them to other people.

I used to be one of those people that won't read on career tips. I'll be like, nahh. I don't plan to work at a company for too long. I want my own business!

But if I'm gonna be spending a lot of time at work anyway, and I'm constantly getting stress-related health problems, I have to make this thing work. I'm still no corporate lady, but it's getting a tiny bit more bearable.


4) Commit one small act of rebellion every day.

When it’s JUST work, the days blend together. I was trying to list down my weekly expenses the other day and I got confused about what I did or ate. It's like every day is the same shitty day. LOL.

And it's such a shame when this happens. I want my days to count, but they're all one big mushy pile of blahblahblah. Tedium. Routine.

That's what I think it's so important to rebel against the routine every day. Even if you do it on a small scale.

For me, my small act of rebellion is bringing my laptop to work and working on my e-guide for one hour before work starts. (From 7.30-8.30 am)

The difference that hour makes is amazing. It's just one hour, but it helps me feel like the day is already great. Whenever a problem crops up, my mind goes, NOT TODAAAAY, [expletive].

And I manage to get over that problem quickly instead of marinating in the stress. Because I'm a REBEL!

If you're like me and you've been feeling grey and blahblahblah, I encourage you to rebel. Create something eventhough it sucks. Plan for that Youtube video you've been wanting to film. Outline your blog post. Post your artwork on Instagram.

You have more than just work, you have your passion with you!


How do you juggle between work and passion? Agree/disagree on anything I wrote? Leave a comment below. You know I'd love to hear from you.



The Ultimate Guide to Microblogging on Social Media


Let's get real here: Blogging is a HUGE commitment.

In terms of how easy it is to publish stuff, blogging isn't exactly top of the list. It's so much easier to publish content on social media. You can do it from your phone and there's not a lot of steps to go through.

Social media: Grab phone > Tap on the app > Choose a photo > Type a caption > Post!

Blog: Turn on laptop > Log in laptop > Open up browser > Log in blogging platform > Click new post > Type > More typing > Add photo > Format post > Publish!

So if blogging is a bit of a hassle -- why then do some influencers with 500k-1mil followers STILL blog when they already have so many followers on social media? The main reason is SPACE.  

On your blog, you can do so much more to fully express your ideas. There’s no word limit and you can add multiple images. Not to mention, you can format your text too. (All the bolding and italicizing and underlining helps when you want to emphasize points.)

BUT... The fact that there’s so much space is what makes blogging so DAUNTING. There’s so much space to fill up but you don’t feel like you have enough points. 

Is it okay to publish a blog post with just 1-2 paragraphs? I only have one good photo. That’s too short. It’s going to be awkward if I post it. 

You feel worried about the blog layout and design and a million different other things that it seems easier not to blog.

So basically, you have something to say — but blogging is simply TOO MUCH for now. What’s the alternative?  

Something you’ve probably already done before... MICROBLOGGING. 


1. “What the heck is microblogging on social media? Explain.”

Microblogging is basically blogging on a micro scale. (“Aina, please try harder.”) 

OK, so if in normal blogging you’d usually write more than two paragraphs, for microblogging, 1-2 paragraphs is the perfect length. 

And BECAUSE you're not aiming for too many words, social media platforms are the perfect space for you to microblog.  

  1. Instagram. 
  2. Facebook. 
  3. Twitter. 
  4. (Or any other social media that I’m not hip enough to know) 

”Then isn’t microblogging like... posting on social media with a long caption or status update or whatever?”

Yes, that’s exactly what it’s like.

”Then why do you have to give it a fancy term like microblogging?”  

The reason why I differentiate between microblogging and posting on social media is how you prioritize the captions.

(Note: When I say captions, I mean any space that you can put text in.) 

When you post on social media like you'd normally do, the focus is on the VISUAL. If you’ve invested time in taking those great photos or filming a cool video, the captions are secondary. (“Like, let the pictures speak for themselves.”)

But with microblogging, the captions are priority. It's what you use to FULLY communicate your thoughts, ideas and beliefs. Photos and videos are great and all, but sometimes the written word communicates better.

For example, you could post a photo of the paint brushes you use for watercolour painting — but you’re going to want to explain why you like ‘em too, right? So basically, when you microblog, you get to explain more.


2. "Well, should *I* microblog then?"

If you’re already sharing your ideas, thoughts and experiences on social media — you’re probably already microblogging. 

But microblogging is especially awesome if you’re in these two types of situations: 

(a) You want to start blogging, but it's intimidating, you don't have time or you're not sure what to write.


(b) You want to start expressing yourself and build a brand, business, reputation, following, etc. 

Because microblogging is on a smaller scale compared to full blogging, it’s way less intimidating. You don’t need to wait until you could write 1000s of words, and even sharing one small idea/thought is enough for a post. 

And along the way, if you’re sharing your stuff consistently on social media by microblogging, you WILL build a reputation, brand, business, etc. 

OK, imagine this. 

You looove watercolour painting, and you microblog consistently on watercolour. You post about techniques, tips and tools and are NOT stingy with the explanations. Your posts are informative and fun. 

Over time, your friends and family will know you as the ‘watercolour girl’. (When it’s your birthday, they buy you painting supplies) 

And when someone they know looks for people who can paint, they’ll recommend you! This is how you get CUSTOMERS.  

Your microblogging posts will allow you to share your journey in learning watercolour -- or any other passion or skill that you have -- with potential customers. They'll eventually trust your skill and want to PAY you to make something for them.

So it's not so impossible to turn 'hobby' into 'business'. That consistent, concentrated effort is the RIGHT effort for you to create a future that you love.


3. “What’s wrong with the things I already write for social media?”

OK, what you’re already doing isn’t wrong. But I have to be blunt here: it’s not very effective. 

Writing a vague sentence or two, using long hashtags and an assortment of emojis may be OKAY, but it won’t be AS EFFECTIVE as microblogging.

Compare it to texting with a new friend. Are you guys really going to be the kind of friends who would go to jail together if you just send her a few emojis and hashtags every three days?

😝💁💅 #yaaas

 (“Wait. What kind of example is that?”)

Nope! Emojis and hashtags are fun and all, but they're not enough if you want to convey your ideas, experiences, beliefs and opinions. You can't tell a story with just emojis.

Your captions are prime real estate to express yourself and build a brand. Don't just use emojis and hashtags.

For example, let's look at Nina Tailles, one of my Instagram friends who does Instagram styling. What’s the impression you get when you read her Instagram posts?


(“Instagram expert!”) Yes -- exactly! It's not just about the photos. The captions contribute to the kind of impression you want your followers to have about you.


4. “What kind of social media platforms can I microblog on?”


 Oh hey that's my micro blog post on Instagram

Oh hey that's my micro blog post on Instagram

Instagram is my favourite social media platform to microblog on. It has the perfect layout for you to show off your photos and write your captions too!

The standard way of microblogging on Instagram is to post a photo with a caption, but you can also go for Instagram Stories if you want. (Just remember to download the Stories when you’re done!)

Facebook (Account or Page) 


I personally don’t use Facebook (other than for remembering birthdays), but it's definitely a strong platform if you want to use it to build a reputation. 

  • If you’re using your personal Account: You can microblog using status updates or publish a post on the Facebook group that you’re part of. For example, if you’re part of a travel Facebook group, you can post your travel tips directly on the group itself. (This Road to Japan Facebook group is one I've personally referred to!)
  • If you're using your Facebook Page: You can microblog using post a status update as usual or use the 'Write a Note' option for your longer posts. (The Note even looks like a blog post!)



OK, call me crazy -- but I definitely think that Twitter has potential as a microblogging platform. Yes, the 140-character limit makes the micro blog post even more micro, but what I've seen people do is:

  • Use the 'tweet threads' concept: Basically, a series of tweets posted one after another on a particular topic. Each subsequent tweet is a reply to the first tweet, so when you click on the very first tweet, all your subsequent tweets will also be displayed. (This can get technical, so check out this official guide from Twitter on how to create tweet threads!)
  • Post screenshots of text: Most of the examples I see are people writing on a Note app, taking a screenshot of the text, and posting it on Twitter. (Like the example I have above) This way, you're not constrained by the character limit and can explain your thoughts better. You can even go one step further and create nice graphics with text to post!

5. “What do I microblog about? “


Even if you're microblogging, it can be slightly difficult to think up WHAT to microblog about. Like, what is interesting enough to post about?

This is something I've talked about a lot, but I cannot recommend this enough: The most relevant and most interesting kind of content is always HELPFUL content.

Helpful content is about sharing information that helps people (obviously) and makes their lives easier. In any aspect of their lives, be it cooking, exercising, organizing, styling clothes, or whatever that YOU like. Ask yourself: What do I know that could help people?

When you start asking yourself this, you're approaching it from the customer's point of view. (Or follower) This is great because you're still sharing what you love, but you're considering their interests. Followers dig this man.

Here's some super easy and relevant info that you can post:

  • Best tools to use for _____
  • Do’s and Dont’s of _____
  • Comparison between ____ and ____
  • Best practices for ____
  • Common misconception about ____
  • Did you know that ____
  • Mini tutorial on ____
  • What to do if ____

Just insert the related words into the blanks and that's your post idea!


6. "Won't it be pretentious if I write about things that I only know a little about? I'm not an expert."

So basically, you don't feel like you're qualified enough to talk about your interest/passion/stuff? ("Yes. I'm not an expert.")

Let me tell you what I think. I think that you don't need...

  • A master's degree, PhD or professional certificate
  • Years and years of experience
  • 100s of customers

...before you can start talking about what you love.

Look, it's not like those things are unnecessary. They're great. But if you don't have them, it doesn't bar you from sharing info based on WHAT YOU KNOW.

Microblogging is about sharing what you already know. It focuses on your personal experience, thoughts and ideas. So it's not about you pretending to know more than you actually do.

OK, let me give you an example. You went on a trip to Morocco last October. You're not really a frequent traveller. Does that mean you can't share YOUR tips on travelling to Morocco....?

  • Your total flight time was around 15 hours. ("I guess I could write about what to do during the flight.")
  • You went there during winter. ("Maybe I can write about my packing list.")
  • You tried a lot of Moroccon food. ("Oh yes. That's easy enough to write.")

See? Even if you could only help a few people with the tips -- it would be worth it. And trust me, you know more than you think you do.


7. "How do I start planning what to microblog?"

OK, so one of my favourite strategies for planning content is to use THEMES. Once you've chosen a theme, all your posts for that particular week or month should revolve around the theme.

For example, if you're an aspiring fashion designer, your theme for November could be on 'Jackets & Blazers'. All your posts in November would be about jackets and blazers...

  • Week 1 : How to choose the best jacket for your body type
  • Week 2 : Tips on accessorizing your jacket
  • Week 3 : The difference between a jacket and a blazer
  • Week 4 : 5 different types of jackets

So when people view your profile, they'll definitely go -- Oooooooh. Interesting.


8. “Any tips for a new microblogger?”

> It’s OK if your post isn’t super funny or witty — be genuine!

One of the things I've heard most often is this: "I'm not a good writer. I'm not funny or witty enough."

I don't call this having low self-esteem. I call this having a misconception. You're under no obligation to make people laugh. Crack jokes if you want too, but comedy is definitely NOT a required skill.

As long as you're genuine, your writing is good. Over time, you'll see that you're able to write more naturally and effortlessly. Even the jokes will come naturally!

> Be specific with the information you share.

If you want to be helpful, you can't be stingy with the details. If you're talking about tools or brands you use -- tell your followers the exact name. If you're posting a mini tutorial -- your steps need to be clear. Get what I mean? Say no no to vague captions.

> Focus on communicating one small point at a time.

Since microblogging is sharing on a smaller scale, you don't have to worry about fitting ALLLL your points into one post. For example, if you have 5 tips on how to do X, you can post one tip at a time. (One tip for each post)

This so that you can explain each tip more, AND, you get ideas for more posts too!

> Treat your microblogging platform like a mini portfolio.

One of the things people have told me is that setting up a blog/website for their art/skill/interest/passion feels like too much, too soon. Like they're going overboard with the whole thing.

I totally get that. When I first started sharing my first passion (hand-lettering), I only posted on Instagram and Facebook. I didn't set up a blog or website for it.

So the microblogging platform you choose is perfect as a 'mini portfolio' because it feels more casual. You'll also be able to reach more followers and potential customers too because of the existing audience on social media.

> It's going to feel awkward before it feels natural.

Are you scared of being vulnerable on social media? I know I am. It's not easy to share what you love with acquaintances and strangers because it's like you're showing them a part of the 'real' you.

There's so many times I've decided not to post something because...

  • ...Oh man that sounds too obnoxious. I don't want to be annoying.
  • ...What if someone comments mean things about this?
  • ...Maybe I should post this later when the time is right.

I can't offer you any new advice for this one. It's simply something that all of us will have to work through. That feeling of awkwardness and posting-while-cringing will be extreme at first, but it'll eventually feel more natural.

Push through the awkwardness because microblogging is worth it. You'll feel like you're building something concrete for your future.

> Rotate between 2-3 topics for best results.

If you want to build a reputation, brand, business on FOOD, you have to be microblogging about FOOD. Not other topics. If you have a FASHION-related goal, you need to talk about FASHION.

That's why it's important for you to stick to 2-3 chosen topics rather than random topics. Those random topics may be fine on their own, but they don't contribute to the overall impression that your followers and potential customers will have of you.

For example, if you've chosen styling and flatlays as your topics and are consistent about posting on those topics, your followers will see you as someone who's specialized in styling and flatlays. (Rather than someone who just posts random stuff)


9. “What tools do I need to start microblogging?” 

You can start microblogging without any of the free tools I’m gonna mention below — but they definitely help you microblog in a more consistent way.

1st tool: Schedule your micro blog posts in advance using Later

Most of the time, microblogging is like an on-the-go thing. You do it when the idea pops up. It’s instantaneous.

But if you’re looking to be more consistent with your posting AND make the process of typing your posts easier, you can try scheduling apps like Later.


Later is a social media management platform. So what you essentially do is write your captions in advance and schedule them together with your photos to be posted whenever you want. For example, I could write 4 posts and schedule them to be posted every Monday at 12 pm. And I'll be done for the month!

And since you can do this on your computer, say bye-bye to accidentally deleting your captions when you’ve already typed a long one. Oooh boy. That happened to me more than a few times and the rage was indescribable. LOL.

I personally prefer Later, but you can also check out Buffer and Hootsuite to see if you prefer their interfaces. 

2nd tool: Design graphics for your micro blog post using Canva

Canva is a web-based design tool. Which means that you don’t need any fancy software to start designing. You only need a browser (not Internet Explorer please). And yep, it’s free.


What are these? I call these your micro blog graphics. They're the images you post along with your captions for your microblog posts.

You can make square graphics for Instagram, horizontal rectangle ones for Facebook and Twitter, or vertical rectangle ones for your Instagram stories like the ones I have above.

These graphics are awesome because...

  1. You don’t have to wait until you have the right/related photo before you can write about a particular topic. Just design a graphic with your topic as the title! So they sorta act as your writing prompts too.
  2. When your followers view your profile, they’ll immediately see that your account is a ‘helpful’ account! Which means that if they’re interested in your topic, they’ll definitely going to hit the Follow button.  
  3. The graphics can be branded according to what you want your brand to be. Based on the three graphic examples I made above, which one fits YOUR vision best? You can then design MORE graphics like it to give your profile a consistent branded look. Looks way more professional.

(“Aina, I’m not a graphic designer.”)

Well, you don’t have to be a graphic designer because 1) Canva is really easy to use, even for non-designers and 2) these graphics are super easy to make. They’re basically text on a coloured background and not some complicated design.



You can brand your graphics by choosing the colours and fonts you like. As long as you keep your colours and fonts consistent (as in, don’t use wildly different colours and font combos each time), your graphics will be perfect. I havea blog post on branding basics you can read to get started.

(“Is it important to make the graphics every single time? Like for Facebook, I don’t have to post a photo along with the status update.”)

Oh yeah, the graphics are not mandatory. You can definitely microblog without ‘em. BUT, they do make your micro blog post look more professional. The graphics instantly differentiate your posts as helpful content (which people are interested in) and personal content (which people may not always be interested in). 

("What if I already have related photos to go with my captions?")

If you have real photos to go with your captions, prioritize those! It's OK to mix real photos and graphics together on your feed.

10. "If I microblog, does that mean that I don't have to do full-sized blogging?"

Microblogging is awesome, but it has its disadvantages.

  1. You'll be microblogging on crowded social media platforms. This means that your posts are side-by-side with other people's posts. Your followers could easily be distracted from reading your posts. It's hard to stand out from the crowd.
  2. Your posts are at the mercy of the social media platforms. When Instagram changed its algorithm and started displaying posts differently -- there's been a lot of upset. Because unless your followers have a habit of interacting with your posts, they'd probably never see your posts on their feed.
  3. You can't brand everything on your social media profiles. Because there's limited space, not everything is open to customization. Which means that you won't be able to express yourself fully in certain parts -- like the 'Bio' or 'Description'!

So the disadvantages of microblogging are the advantages of blogging. On your blog, there's only you. Your posts are displayed however you want them to be. And you can brand your blog like it's your HQ.

But despite that, I still recommend microblogging! Because it takes time to feel comfortable in expressing yourself, your microblog is the perfect space to practice in. And once you want to enjoy what blogging can offer, you can set up a blog. No worries.

("But when I decide to have a blog, what do I do with the content on my microblog?")

All your microblog posts will be useful again when your blog is set up. You can COMPILE your microblog posts into one big blog post, or EXPAND a microblog post into a regular blog post. (I have a tutorial on how to convert your Instagram posts into blog posts!)


11. "How do I find the time to microblog?"

Because each microblog post isn't too long, you can try to squeeze in some writing time in these situations:

  • While waiting for your food in restaurants.
  • While waiting for your train.
  • In the train -- if you have both hands free.
  • While you're stuck in a traffic jam and the cars aren't moving at all. (Safety first!)
  • Right before bed.

At most, you need 5 minutes for each post! Keep the content short and sweet so that you can post more regularly.

What also helps is if you could plan what you want to write AND make your graphics in advance. For example, if you're planning to post on M-W-F, you could make graphics for all 3 posts the previous Sunday. This way, you can just grab the photo, type the caption and post!

I usually keep the graphics I've made on my phone on Google Photos and Pushbullet.


Phew! I've covered the most regular questions I've received about microblogging, but if you have other questions, let me know! I honestly feel that microblogging is something that anyone can do if they want to build a reputation, brand or business. It's more low-effort compared full-sized blogging, especially if you're just starting to get comfortable with sharing. Keep it casual, short and fun and you'll be a natural before you know it!

BTW, are you considering microblogging over full-sized blogging? Why?



Become A Motivator, Write A Motivational Blog Post


Your readers are not happy. At least, not completely happy. There’s some area in their life that they wish they could be better at, and it’s making them feel…

  1. Discouraged. Like the struggle that they’re having is pointless and they should just give up.
  2. Insecure. Like they are so much worse than everybody else.
  3. Weak. Like they’re overall a terrible person for not being able to do this one thing.
  4. Alone. Like they’re the only one who has the problem and everyone else is fine.

They feel all of the above and more.

BUT, what if your blog could be that positive voice inside their head? What if you could create a space where they could feel heard and understood?

It’s good to have a blog that provides solutions to other people’s problems. It’s BEST to have a blog that provides solutions with empathy.

Your readers and potential customers deserve your empathy and sympathy. They don’t just have a problem, they FEEL that problem. Their feelings are affected even if they can’t find the words to express it.

If you created your product/service to solve a problem -- which I think you did -- you KNOW how your readers feel.

You can put yourself in your readers' shoes and answer this question: How would I feel if I had the same problem?

Let me give you an example.

Your brand provides cleaning services.

Your readers may be this person: A lady who feels like a horrible mother because her house isn’t 100% clean 100% of the time.

What could she be feeling?

  1. Discouraged. Why bother cleaning anything at all when her house is going to get messy and dirty endlessly?
  2. Insecure. Other people’s homes are clean and tidy, like in the magazines.
  3. Weak. She’s a bad mother because she lets her children grow up in a messy home.
  4. Alone. She can’t admit the fact that she’s struggling to anyone because she feels like she'd be judged. Other people can't relate because they have nice clean homes.

How will writing a motivational blog post benefit ME?

You don't write motivational blog posts because you want to manipulate readers' feelings into buying your product/service. You don't write motivational blog posts because you want to mention at the end, "Buy my product/service!".

That's COMPLETELY not the point.

The point of writing motivational posts is to create a safe space for your readers. A place where they KNOW they can come for solutions without feeling totally inadequate.

It's like if you had to choose between asking about a problem from...

  1. Someone who's nice and understanding and makes you smile, OR...
  2. Someone who bites your head off for asking in the first place...

Which person would you choose? Everything boils down to the easy answer.

When you create this nice and safe space for your readers, they'll remember your brand as a GOOD brand. A brand that totally understands and cares about their customers.

So eventhough you won't mention your product/service at the end of the blog post, the effect is the same -- Your readers will trust you. And you'll feel good about helping them too.


What you just read above is an excerpt from my latest e-guide to blogging titled Blog for Profit. It's designed to help you write SEVEN different types of blog post that will convince potential customers to buy from you. I'm so excited to be working on it and can't wait to share it with you.

If you'd like to get a notification when it's ready, sign up below with your email! I'll give you a heads up. :)

Holler at you when the Blog for Profit is ready?



For The Peeps Who Feel Like They've Been Wasting Too Much Time


I started this year with good intentions. 2017 is my year! I'm gonna make it my best year yet. I'm gonna write all my goals nicely on a piece of paper, paste it on the wall and ACE THEM.

It's now August, the 8th month of the year, and I'm nowhere near achieving my goals.

And I feel depressed. With just 4 months left, I don't think 2017 will be my year. You know?

It's funny how a year used to feel forever to me, back in high school. Now that I'm working, it's SCARY how many days and months pass by without me really fully waking up.

And despite not wanting to, I've been living only for the weekends.

When you live only for the weekends, you keep wishing for time to pass faster during the week. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday... You feel like you want to skip them all.

I hate feeling like that. I hate feeling like I could only feel good or happy 8 days in a month.

And I also hate myself for not using my time to build something great for my future, you know? I know I'm supposed to DO more, but all I could manage is distract myself with entertainment. Youtube, Instagram, Facebook, streaming movies online... It's like my head is filled with other people's stories but I'm not writing MY story.

So that's why if you're struggling like me, I wanted to drop by and say it's OK.

It's OK to be disappointed and angry at yourself for squandering your limited time. You expected more of yourself.

It's OK to look back and feel ashamed at how you've been spending your time. You ruined your carefully made plans.

It's OK to be sad and envious when you look at other people's achievements. You feel left behind and insignificant where you're at now.

Wanna know why it's OK to feel all these negative emotions?

Because they're already there. Acknowledge them. Feel them. All the things you do to distract yourself are because you didn't want to feel these emotions.

If you don't confront these emotions, they're going to pile up. You'll feel heavier and gloomier until you lose hope.

Here's the thing, friend. You may not be able to achieve your goals this year. You may not be able to transform your life completely by the end of 2017. Life can't be compressed into a 2-hour movie. But keep your dreams alive.

It's easier to give up than to keep having all these negative emotions. If you gave up, you'd never have to feel disappointed in yourself again. But your dreams are worth it, aren't they?

The journey is worth it, right?

Baby steps. Baby steps.