Disability is one of those things that can happen suddenly. Or it can develop over a period of years. It can also be a fact of life that you’ve dealt with since birth. It’s a challenge for those affected.
From hearing loss, to brain injuries, and degenerative diseases, there are freelancers working with all sorts of disabilities. The good news is that it’s possible to do well as a freelancer with a disability
Learn how freelancers with disabilities can achieve great success by structuring their workflow, using assistive technology, and pushing forward with determination. Whether you struggle as a freelancer with a disability or not, read on, there are some inspiring stories that follow. Continue Reading
This is a tale of what happens when an enterprising freelancer becomes a mother.
Ever tried to teach a toddler how to read? Holding the little one’s attention long enough to get him familiar with the alphabet is quite a task.
Julie starts Syver Rustad out with alphabetical flash cards. She’s disappointed to find that Syver’s flash cards show images of narwhals, unicorns, and other creatures one doesn’t encounter in Arizona. So, she puts her artistic skills to work and makes flash cards that feature native wildlife. Continue Reading
It’s easy to say that you’re a coach. Way too easy.
You’ve probably met these folks at networking meetings. As you exchange business cards, you’re wondering how they could guide you through anything more complicated than hard-boiling an egg.
Then there’s Nick Usborne. If you’ve been in the copywriting world for any length of time, you know that Usborne is The Guy. He deserves the same status in the freelancing world, because he’s been doing it for over 30 years. He’s written numerous books and written both online and off for top companies, such as Citibank, Fidelity Investments, New York Times, Reuters, AOL, MSN, WebEx, and others. Add to that lengthy resume, the word “coach.”
Let’s learn more about the Nick Usborne approach to helping freelancers unlock their potential and reach new heights with their businesses. Continue Reading
After two decades of solo freelancing, I’ve developed a craving for an audience.
Take, for example, the recent Forbes magazine article, “Entrepreneurs Who Master Storytelling Win More.” This article references a book and a couple of well-known role models, but the masters of storytelling have much more training.
I ask a storytelling mentor how I can improve, and he offers a surprising answer: “Improv!” Continue Reading
“Photographer” is one of those professional titles that many people want. And why not? Taking pictures is fun and exciting.
However, reality isn’t so glamorous. According to a report prepared by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), “More than half of all photographers are self-employed, a much higher proportion than for most occupations.” The BLS adds, “Salaried photographers—most of whom work full time—tend to earn more than those who are self-employed.”
In short, what we have is a business that isn’t a hotbed of jobs – or high earnings for those who aren’t employed as photographers. Not a pretty picture.
The BLS continues with the killjoy theme by saying, “Most photographers spend only a small portion of their work schedule actually taking photographs. Their most common activities are editing images on a computer—if they use a digital camera—and looking for new business—if they are self-employed.”
However, similar things can be said about the music business. But people still pick up guitars and start to play. Likewise, the theatrical arts. It’s tough to make it onto the stage or screen, but somewhere, there’s an audition attracting hopeful actors right now.
Okay, so I’ve acted like your parents and given you the “Tough way to make a living, but I know you want to do it!” speech. Now let’s get to work on helping you succeed in the business of photography.
Hmmm, pivoting on your business model. That sounds like the name of a new band. Does it have videos online? Where’s its ReverbNation page?
Before this fun-loving line of reasoning goes any further, let me bring you back down to reality. Pivoting on your business model is a hot topic in startup circles. It’s what you’re forced to do when your business runs into trouble.
Maybe the customers aren’t buying what you went into business to sell. Or the tastes of the public have changed. What you were offering five years ago just doesn’t have the same appeal. And the result is showing up on your financial statements – in red ink.
Unfortunately, “trouble” is a word that a lot of creative freelancers are dealing with. What happens when your primary income source all but disappears? Happened to me with web design. So, I’ve made the pivot to copywriting, and my business life is a lot better. Here are five lessons learned that can help you make a necessary pivot: Continue Reading
Many creative freelancers struggle in their businesses because they don’t do enough promotion.
Face it, promotion doesn’t have the greatest reputation. It’s as if you’re supposed to don a promotion hat that turns you into one of those overly gregarious car salesmen.
Well, here comes Alex Mathers from a help site for creatives called the Red Lemon Club. His advice for the rest of us? Promote less.
Okay, bloggers, we see you out there. Writing great thoughts while wearing your pajamas. And then you post them online for everyone to admire.
Well, how’s that for stereotyping? Portraying bloggers as a bunch of lazy slacktivists who can’t even bother to get dressed.
The truth is, bloggers are among the most socially engaged people on the planet. To recognize their efforts, there is the annual Blog Action Day.
First observed in 2007, Blog Action Day celebrates the power of bloggers as a force for good. Previous Blog Action Days have focused on Environment, Poverty, Climate Change, Water, and Food.
The 2012 theme is “The Power of We.” According to the event organizers, this year’s theme was chosen for two reasons:
- The popularity of community, equality, transparency/anti-corruption and freedom in the Blog Action Day theme poll.
- Recognition of people working to make a positive difference for people they know or for people they may never meet.
The “Power of We” is a fitting theme, as global interest in worker issues and the positive contributions of unions is on the rise. With these thoughts in mind, let’s turn to a New York City-based union that is working to better the lives of freelancers.
Noting that freelancers are now one of every three American workers – or 42 million people – the Freelancers Union was formed “to build smarter solutions to health care, retirement, wage security, and other broken systems.” Continue Reading
If you’ve ever been a college or university faculty member, you’re probably familiar with sabbaticals. You remain on your institution’s payroll while taking time away from campus to do things related to your work. Might be conducting research. Or writing a book.
Outside academia, there are a few private companies that offer paid sabbaticals for top employees. And that’s it.
But people are still taking sabbaticals – even if they’re not on an academic or corporate payroll. Let’s look at at how they’re doing it and how you can too. Continue Reading
There are many freelancer stories that start with the wonderful day you stomped out of your full-time job and became self-employed. Or maybe the boss beat you to the punch and said “You’re fired!”
Then there’s Ross Hudgens. You won’t talk to him for very long before you realize that Ross is a Man with a Plan.
In a recent post on his blog, Ross announced that he’d be leaving the best job he’d ever had to become an entrepreneur. And this job had it all – fat paycheck, interesting work, even a comfortable desk chair!
It was a wonderful environment for Ross to use his digital marketing expertise. Visit the Ross Hudgens Digital Marketing blog and you’ll see that he really knows his stuff. Plenty of long, chewy posts on achieving high search engine rankings by adding the right keywords to your site, improving your site’s link popularity, and developing quality content.
In short, Ross is the kind of guy a company would really want to keep on the payroll.So, why was he leaving his great job? Especially in this crummy economy? Continue Reading
If you’ve ever been interested in doing business with government agencies, you’ve probably heard that they’d rather deal with companies. In other words, freelancers need not apply.
However, reality marches on. Writing in the February 1, 2012 Huffington Post, University of Minnesota College of Design Dean Thomas Fisher said, “To understand how the next economy differs from the one we have known, consider just one statistic: analysts following small businesses see the number of ‘contingent’ workers – the self-employed, free-lancers, or ‘accidental entrepreneurs’ laid off from full-time positions – growing to 40 to 45 percent of the workforce by 2020 and becoming a majority by 2030.”
So, in the United States, our numbers are growing. A similar trend is appearing in many other countries.
If you’re a freelancer of more than modest talent, you might find yourself being approached by government agencies. Or by those who are already doing business with the government. This is what happened to my friend, Jim Hewitt, a software developer. Continue Reading
Remember those bad old days in the job world? When you had to check your personality at the door so you could be a good corporate droid?
Now that you’ve been freed from that jail, you’re more than welcome to bring your personality to work as a freelancer. This article will show you how to capitalize on your uniqueness and develop your individual brand personality.
Along the way, you’ll meet a photographer who’s developed an international reputation for documenting the decay of a major American city, an award-winning logo designer who has added “clown” to his job description, and a radio deejay who is required to comply with station rules concerning self-promotion.
For many freelancers, developing your freelance brand identity is about creating brand you and injecting personality branding into your freelancer image. Continue Reading