We recently asked our readers to send us photos of their home office to see where the magic happens. As you will see, no two offices are the same—and why should they be! We received photos from people who are freelance writers, designers, and web developers from around the world. Let’s see where our readers are working, shall we?
Henrik Eklund: Sweden
We love the natural light and gorgeous view of Henrik’s office. He has been a website designer and developer since 2004, running AO Media. Some freelancers might find it hard to work with such a view—but not me! Lucky guy…
Wayne Latham: Nevada
Wayne Latham runs WayLay Design out of his home in Nevada. We love the custom-made wall mounted wrap around desk and standing workstation. Sometimes it’s good to think on your feet—and Wayne has created a home office where he can stand up or sit down.
Summer is knocking on your front door, begging you for attention. Living in New England, where summer never lasts long enough, it’s hard for me to say no. But with a full-time job and my freelancing work, saying no means procrastinating. It’s hard to enjoy yourself in the summer sun when you know there is a heap of work waiting for you.
I have recently told my boss that I will be going from full-time to part-time starting in October. It was a hard decision but one that, ultimately, I had to make if I wanted to stay sane.
It’s a risk—leaving your full-time job for freelancing. But this is a risk I was comfortable taking. I had two big reasons for deciding to make the leap: I am now the co-owner/publisher of a twice-annual publication and my husband and I are expecting our first child this summer. Cutting back my hours at my full-time job just made sense for us.
I started wondering how other people came to the conclusion that it was time to back out of their full-time jobs and focus on their freelance careers or small businesses. I found two women who have made the switch and thought I would share their stories. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to think about taking the leap. Continue Reading
I’m a believer that marketing materials will never go out of style. There’s something to be said when you have something really cool to give to someone else that characterizes you and your business.
I’m not talking about one of those squishy, stress reliever balls or a pen with your business name on it—I’m talking about clever marketing materials.
My coworker was at a recent business expo and came across a guy at a booth with cans and cans of corn. Corn? Yes, Del Monte corn. But these were no ordinary cans of corn—they were a business card.
Chris Quimby, owner of NachoTree, a print and digital design company, had created a very special label for these cans of corn.
“I bought a can of Del Monte corn, removed and scanned the label, then modified it in Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator,” Quimby says. The label on his can of corn was sharing information about a small local humor paper his company creates. Quimby, who also spends his time working as “Maine’s Funniest Clean Christian Comedian” thought the “corny” business card would get some attention. It certainly caught mine.
My coworker brought a can back to the office, and couldn’t wait to show it to me. It certainly caught her attention! But is it edible?
“My wife took a few cans of it for a recipe a couple of weeks ago,” Quimby says. “I was not pleased, because they were supposed to be used as marketing materials. Now we will have to buy more corn. The story ended well, though, as my wife cooked a delicious meal. I just don’t remember what it was.” Continue Reading
Working from home and caring for your children is a power struggle. Many stay at home freelancers want to be there for their children but also want to be their for their clients. It’s a delicate balancing act that can go on for years.
Many starry-eyed new parents think that working from home will solve all of their childcare problems. They can be there for their baby whenever they need them while still getting things done for their career. Many find that it’s not that easy.
Last week I posted a blog post where I interviewed new mom and writer Rabia Mughal on how her career changed with the birth of her son. She found that even though she wanted to give 100% to her full-time job and 100% as a parent, she wasn’t feeling fulfilled in either. She decided to switch her role at her company, and become a 32-hour a week contractor and work from home. Luckily, her company allowed her to do this. Other people aren’t so lucky.
Today we’re hearing from photographer Rachel Bell. The wedding and travel photographer works around New England and across the globe. A mother of three, Bell, once a fourth grade teacher, became a stay at home mom for several years to take care of both her children and her dying mother. She knew she didn’t want to be a stay-at-home mom forever, and when her children became more independent, she decided to finally start her own photography business. Continue Reading
Many work from home freelancers (especially moms) have to juggle caring for their families as well as their clients. It’s not easy! The great myth that freelancers who work from home can save oodles on child care while running a successful business is just that—a myth.
Depending on how old your child or children are determines how much time they require you (or a caregiver) to spend with them. A newborn baby sleeps a lot, but they also need to be fed every few hours. Try working on your computer while breastfeeding. It’s impossible.
When children get older and go off too school, you have a chunk of time during the day that you can devote to work—but afternoons are busy with after school activities for your kids. Depending on when the kids go to bed, you have some time before you hit the hay—but what about your spouse? Your friends? There never seems to be enough time in the day.
I decided to find out how other freelancers with children make the most of their time. Rabia Mughal is a journalist who lives with her husband and 19-month-old son, Mikail, in San Francisco.
Before Mikail was born, Mughal was planning on keeping her full-time associate editor job after her maternity leave. And she did—until Mikail was 7-months-old. She then decided to work less hours from home as a contractor for the same company.
Q: How has your mentality changed since working from home and raising your kids?
I initially thought it was an all or nothing situation where one could either be a stay-at-home parent or a working parent, so it was great to find this perfect balance. Having said that, I also realized that in order to be a more hands-on parent it is almost always necessary to sacrifice certain ambitions and goals in life. I have made my peace with this fact by telling myself that I will get to all that later. Right now it’s wonderful to have the luxury of seeing my baby whenever I want and being there if he needs me for anything. Continue Reading
It used to be hard for me to say ‘no’ to people. I think the sheer confusion people have over what freelancers actually do all day makes us an easy target. But just because many of us work from home, doesn’t mean we aren’t working. On the contrary, I’d argue, we have to work even harder.
Lately, I’ve been getting better at saying no. Here’s why.
In October I was laid off from my editing gig at the regional magazine I was working with for three years. The owners/publishers were in money trouble and they had been trying to sell the title for several months with no luck. I loved my job, but knew that the magazine needed new leadership if it was going to be able to grow. I was sad, but OK about it.
I started taking on freelance work left and right—it seemed to come out of the woodwork for some reason! I accepted an adjunct teaching position for the spring semester, a part time online marketing position, and was working to finish up the wedding magazine I edit and send it to the printer. I was the busiest laid-off person I knew. Continue Reading
Last week, the British Journal of Photography helped spread the news that Kodak will stop producing digital products as part of their ongoing strategic review? What is Kodak going to do? Refocus on good, old fashioned film.
At first, this sounded like brand suicide to me. But then I read on…
The news comes as Kodak is undergoing a wide-ranging strategic review of its businesses with the “commitment to drive sustainable profitability through its most valuable business lines.” But Kodak is quick to point out that the move won’t mean the end for Kodak-branded digital cameras. Instead, the firm plans to license its brand to third-party manufacturer – a move that mirrors Polaroid’s action in the years leading to and following its own bankruptcy. —bjp-online
Film has a core niche market. There are still photographers out there who use it, and use it religiously. Jonathan Canlas, a popular photographer based in Utah, recently came out with a book titled “Film is Not Dead: A Digital Photographer’s Guide to Shooting Film”. He also leads FIND (Film is Not Dead) workshops across the U.S. (which Kodak helps sponsor). There are about 65 testimonials about the workshop on Canlas’s blog, from photographers all over the place. Some of them are so jazzed about the workshop they’re writing testimonials before they have even attended!
Canlas shoots ONLY in film, and his business hasn’t suffered from the trend towards digital photography in the least. In fact, I’d argue his business has grown from sticking to his chosen niche.
Stacey Hedman, a New England-based photographer, has been using film again for about a year. She started noticing that the photographers she most admired were using film, and she stared to pull out her family’s old cameras to play around with. In addition of going to film, Hedman and her fellow photographers are using manual light meters and cameras that haven’t been manufactured in over 20 years. “With film I feel more connected to the process—there’s more soul and art behind it,” she says. Continue Reading
According to an article in the Indianapolis Star, nearly 5% of the workforce in the U.S. held multiple jobs in November, up slightly from the same time last year.
For some, working two jobs has become the only practical way to get by. Some who take on extra work do it to pay off debt, cushion their savings or provide a fallback in case they lose their primary job. Others take part-time work hoping it turns into a full-time position, despite typically low wages and few, if any, benefits —Indianapolis Star
Holding two jobs for many freelancers is a way of life. Let’s take a look at a few case examples of how this can work well, and a few pitfalls to consider!
Melissa Antonelli didn’t start out wanting a freelancing life—but she found it suited her adventurous spirit.
I met Melissa in 2005 when we were both studying journalism as graduate students at New York University. She had recently graduated with honors with her bachelor’s in English from Penn State and was ready to get her feet wet in New York City.
During her time at NYU, Melissa worked for a travel magazine and realized, rather quickly, she hated working from behind a desk all day. “I liked the work, and the people I worked with, but I knew that the typical 9 to 5 job wasn’t for me,” she says. Her number one passion in life is travelling, so after completing her Masters, she decided to take advantage of the transition in her life and spend a year in New Zealand.