Rocket fuel, cup o’ joe, brain juice, mud. Call it what you will, coffee has been the go to fuel for freelancers from around the world. Sheik Abd-al-Kadir may have said it best when he said “no one can understand the truth until he drinks of coffee’s frothy goodness.” High-five Sheik!
But before you head out the door to your favorite café or run round the supermarket to pick up a can, there are a few things you should know about this liquid of the gods. Join us in our light-hearted look at a Freelancer’s Guide to Coffee – Part 1.
Last month’s post, Are You Dating Your Client?, covered the stages of commitment from flirting to marriage. But the road to long-term freelance bliss is paved with clients who aren’t quite right, because, to paraphrase Greg Behrendt and his famous dating book, “they’re just not that into you.”
Maybe their boss is on their back about cutting costs. Or perhaps they’re not really sure what they need. Either way, it’s not you, it’s them. And if you don’t carefully manage him or break up with Mr. Wrong, then there’s a real possibility that you’ll end up with a broken heart. Or at least, shattered confidence and the sick feeling that you’ve just wasted your time.
Here’s our field guide to identifying and coping with these types of clients: Continue Reading
I am utterly in love with the fantabulous readers of FreelanceSwitch! Your dozens of comments and additions to the original post were classic, creative and straight comedy!
Here’s the sequel post, inspired by and attributed to the brilliant and magnificent readers of FreelanceSwitch: Continue Reading
I am constantly amazed with the way the internet shrinks the world around me. I have clients in Australia, India, New Zealand, the US, and here in Canada, and new friends in England and the Philippines.
I don’t get nearly enough work done because I am spending too much time reading the excellent comments (on the excellent posts) from the loyal freelancers here on FreelanceSwitch.
So this got me thinking – where are y’all from?
One of the great things about having a spouse that works in the corporate world is the support you may receive, financially and emotionally. One of the worst things about having a spouse in the corporate world is the support you may have to give, which sometimes includes being present at corporate social gatherings. And this is the situation I found myself in the other day.
I enjoy talking with people – whether they enjoy it as much as I do is irrelevant – but in a corporate environment, I don’t want to do or say anything that might cause my wife any discomfort at the office. So, I try and stay as quiet as possible. Usually there are plenty of snacks to keep my mouth busy, but on this particular event, her boss managed to catch me without a petit-four in sight. Continue Reading
Call me a cyberstalker, a netcreeper, or a webpeeper – but I’ve been reading your comments and checking out your pages for a little while. Without exception, I have found anyone who shares a link back to their website is unbelievably talented. One of the things that I have noticed, is that the apparent average age of a freelancer is older than I had first suspected.
So – because apparently I need to quantify everything, I thought it might be interesting to have a quick post to see how old, or young, the readers here on FreelanceSwitch really are.
Do you want to know where everyone else is finding their work, or how long an average project takes? I don’t think we want to get into “how much do you make,” but perhaps “how long have you been freelancing” might be useful. Is there something that you want to know about your fellow freelancers?
Here’s a celebration of all the ways we are uniquely freelancers… set apart from our cubicle counterparts, yet aware that we are perhaps still not so different. Or are we? Enjoy!
You Know You’re a Freelancer When…
- You’re starting to grumble about your 5-step commute from the bed to your computer. The snooze button is soooo much closer…
- The car stays parked in your garage for days at a time and somehow you continue to grow without sunlight.
- You can vacation as often as you want now. Chained to your computer and phone, yeah, but hey: the ocean looks beautiful from here and yes honey, I’ll join you out there in a moment! Continue Reading
Imagine it: you’ve been given the chance to look into the future and bring back one tool that will help you be the Best. Freelancer. Ever.
What is this tool? Heck if I know.
What is the one tool that will help you become the best? Even if it hasn’t been invented yet, what is it that you would like to see?
- Practical AI that can create copy that converts 99.9% of the time?
- Design software that directly interfaces with your cerebral cortex to produce the perfect image?
- Instant credit check to see what your client’s likelihood of paying will be like when the project is completed – before you start the project? (I’m thinking minority report meets credit score.)
- The ultimate espresso machine – perfect beans, perfect crema – exactly 5 seconds before you realize you want one?
Since freelancing is what you want to do for the rest of your life, what tool could you use to become the Über Freelancer? Continue Reading
Trolling the archives of FreelanceSwitch is a great thing to do if you’re trying to avoid doing actual work. So because you’re a super busy freelancer, I’ve taken the time – hours and hours, just for you – to grab a few of the more, shall we say “interesting” posts and gems from the crypts.
The Buffy the Vampire Slayer Guide to Freelancing 10 awesome steps to reframe how you look at your freelancing career. Also very useful if you think your head might explode if you are forced to watch anything else Twilight related.
The Six People You Meet In Freelance Internet Writing Hell Any post with a reference to a Commodore Vic 20 is going to get my vote. Unless it’s up against a TRS-80.
More Surefire Ways To Get Yourself Fired By The Readers Of FSw Laser pointer + your boss’s crotch = hello freelance world!
10 Reasons Why Your Last Collaboration Did Not Work Ego is probably #1 for me. Looks like it’s #1 for you, too!
What Disaster School Taught Me About Freelancing At first, I thought this article was going to teach me how to cause disasters. Turns out, it’s about preventing them. Oops.
If you’ve got an idea for a future off-beat post, please let me know! Or – if you found great success from one of these articles, we’d love to hear about that, too! Continue Reading
Have you ever had one of those days where everything was going wrong? You missed a deadline, you lost a good client, an oft-promised cheque still hasn’t arrived, final notice on your cable bill came today, the client isn’t buying into the concept, your spouse is upset, your dog has fleas, and to top it all off – you just dropped your bread, and it landed butter side down. Worst Monday ever.
Here are 5 tips to help you blow off some steam before you climb up to the bell tower.
- Me Time – Go for a walk, go have a coffee, get extra sprinkles on an ice cream, whatever. Take 30 minutes for yourself. You’ll be amazed at how hard it is to explode when you’re halfway through a peanut buster parfait. Unless you’re allergic to peanuts.
- Buddy up – Before you get to the worst day ever, find a friend/coworker/distant relative and make an agreement to allow each other to vent – occasionally. Having someone that can listen and understand can help you refocus on your priorities. And hearing someone else whinge and whine about their piddly problems can be cathartic.
- Shout it out – Find a safe and quiet location – quiet as in no one can hear you, not quiet as in your local library – and then let it out. Hoot, holler, yell, cry, scream, speak in tongues. Say what’s on your mind until you can’t say anymore.
- Write it down – Write an email to yourself. CAUTION – write it to you, and to you alone. Make sure your name is the only one in the “to” field. Pour everything into the email. Construct cohesive thoughts, and organize your frustrations from terrible to horrible. Read this email. Do not save this email. Delete this email – do not send this email. If your email client has a self destruct option, blow up this email. This can be applied to any of your favourite communication channels – but like Thursday says in her recent article – be careful of burning bridges.
- Take inventory – Sure, everything sucks today. But you still get to live in a nice place, and you’re going to be able to find more clients. Make a list of all of the great things in your life. Like reading FreelanceSwitch every day – does it get better than this?
I’m sure exercise works for many of you, but I think I’ve been clear on my beliefs around that topic. What do you do to blow off some steam?
OK, so – I’m a sucker for motivational posters. Maybe not the kind that populates cubicles everywhere — with kitteh dangling from the laundry line with the caption “hang in there, baby” – but perhaps something a bit more inspirational, with a touch of humor & sarcasm. These may not fit in the typical cubicle, but they’re perfect for the home office with a sense of humor.
I went searching for some motivational images and captions with a movie theme. See if you can guess the movie they came from.
That’s my stapler.
People are in awe of freelancers. That’s the only way to explain the strange questions that we get. At holiday parties, family gatherings, the bus stop, people freely make inquiries they wouldn’t dream of asking people in other professions. For example, would you ask your neighbor the mechanic to just quickly look at your seized engine? Probably not.
Don’t despair. Here are five annoying questions you can expect to hear in your freelance lifetime, and how to have fun answering them.