Weekly Newsletter for The Freelancers: Here is the latest newsletter of the week starting on 8th April 2019.
When the Harvard Business Review (HBR) writes an article about staying focused when working from home, you can be sure that it is an issue. This is particularly true for freelancers. You can read the HBR article here.
Critical to success is realizing that the Power of Habit is very powerful in being focused on work. It took me a long time to realize that I had to set boundaries and work times if I was to have sufficient focus to get things done at home.
In past issues of this newsletter, I mentioned the book The Power of Habit for which you can read a review here.
When you are a working freelancer with children at home there are some extra tips to being focused that are worth sharing.
Brooke Lea Foster from the Parents Magazine has written How to Master Being a Work-at-Home Mom which you can read here.
Jocelyn K Glei has taken this a step further with Manage Your Day-to-Day: Build Your Routine, Find Your Focus, and Sharpen Your Creative Mind (The 99U Book Series).
Jocelyn realizes that creativity is often based on Building a Rock-Solid Routine. This is because freelancers are quite often creative people and have to be organized and have good habits.
You can look inside Jocelyn's book by clicking on the icon below:
"The biggest risk is not taking any risk... In a world that changing really quickly, the only strategy that is guaranteed to fail is not taking risks."– Mark Zuckerberg
Critical to your future lifestyle is a fundamental change in society. Now, that is a big statement! However, not being motivated to think about it could easily cost you and your children your future happiness.
Already, the impact of this change is evident in this current generation of retirees. The risk is that they will likely outlive their retirement savings and be in poverty in their old age. This is the reason that you should be motivated to think about this issue.
For those who are interested in a detailed look at the facts, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) and the American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) are sounding the alarm. You can read their article here.
The future of work and upskilling is important so that you are able to constantly get paid for your skills as well as save. If you are a smart freelancer you will realize that you should be interested in this issue because you have a very big self-interest.
If you have not yet located a financial planner who specializes in the self-employed you should do so. They should incorporate into a financial plan what impact freelancing and managing your work-life balance can have on the longevity of your funds.
This seems pretty straightforward, doesn't it? A lot of people ignore this issue, but the AARP is working to change this. You can read about the work they are doing here. The AARP call it retiring part-time.
If you are a freelancer with children or grandchildren you need to realize that this issue is of great importance to them as well, because you do not want to be a burden on them.
The Futurism Blog recently ran a community prediction forecast as to when their readers think the life expectancy will be 150 years (it is true!). If you would like to read their recent article on predicting life expectancy based on DNA click here.
One thing is crystal clear, being a freelancer has a lot of powerful advantages, but you have to be motivated to think about your future and that of your children.
The Brookings Institute's Johannes Koettl has written Boundless life expectancy: The future of aging populations and has put the seal of authentication on this issue. You can read the article here.
Productivity and budgeting are closely linked for freelancers, far more so than those in a 9 to 5 job where a regular wage is received. This is because you not only have to budget for expenses, but also for your income. It can be very tricky, to say the least.
If you are moonlighting as a freelancer, it adds another layer of complexity to your finances. This is because in many countries some of your expenses related to producing your freelancing income may be allowable deductions.
It is for this reason that you should have a tax accountant and financial planner as advisers. In the listicles that are free with this newsletter, there is a list of some of the questions that you should ask these professionals. You can read about it here.
Abdullahi Muhammed has written How to Budget Wisely and Save Money as a Freelancer for the Forbes magazine and you can read his article here.
There are two approaches to reducing expenses relating to your overall budget: they are personal expenses and business expenses. Both are worthy of your attention.
Rowen from SmashingTops.com has written Top 10 Ways To Reduce Living Expenses. Rowen has focused on living expenses while Royale Scuderi has written has written 10 Simple Ways to Cut Business Expenses for www.americanexpress.com which can be read here.
Kelly Medeiros has written 101 Ways to Save Money around the House which was published by Wisebread.com which you can read here.
When you are pitching for a gig do you think about what will be your billable hours and what won't be? It is an important issue because it determines your return for your time. I know that when you are starting out freelancing you will be just happy to get a gig and earn your first income.
However, when you advance, you can be more selective and need to have a strategy about billable hours because you will be trading your family time.
Family time is important because that is what work-life balance is about and you need to make better estimates of billable and non-billable hours.
Karen Martínez has written Billable vs Non-billable Hours: Learning to Make Better Estimates for the Paydirtapp.com blog which you can read here.
There is another consideration when you are sitting down to think how to earn an extra $20,000 a year. It is the amount of time required to do that. This, of course, depends on what your earning rate per hour is and your billable hours.
When you are doing your research it is good to look for articles from people who have actually done it and what their experience was. Moonlighting as a Designer or Developer: Money, Flexibility — and Some Caution has been written by Mark Henricks for Teamtreehouse.com and can be read here.
Mark's article is exactly what you are looking for and it is important to research for you. If you have friends in this situation share this article with them. This issue will be further explored in future editions of the newsletter.
Have you been a work at home parent taking a break from your freelancing work at home job watching your kids playing in the backyard?
Yes, most freelancers in a parenting role with preschool age children will have done this. It is hard to get a perspective on yourself as a revolutionary while you are doing this.
You would probably laugh, but it is true. Freelancers are redesigning the concept of work. The next time you are having a break and the kids are playing outside, hopefully in the sun, take your laptop and a cup of coffee and read this article about the changing nature of work by clicking here.
The article is by Jeff Schwartz, Laurence Collins, Heather Stockton, Darryl Wagner, and Brett Walsh. It appears on the Deloitte.com website under their segment Deloitte Insights under the heading The future of work: The augmented workforce. This is an important quote from the article:
Research by Deloitte in the United Kingdom finds that the future workforce will require a "balance of technical skills and more general purpose skills such as problem solving skills, creativity, social skills, and emotional intelligence."
The changes described in the article are not only going to have an important impact on yourself but more importantly, your children playing in the backyard.
We are constantly researching for news articles and videos on skills development and inspiration for freelancers.
Each week we have decided to bring you the links to what we consider are the top three articles or videos.
Here they are for this week:
Tali Ramsey from the www.freelancerclub.net: Inspirational Freelancer - Kimmy Lee, Brand Designer
I will maintain the links for my opinion of the New Economy and that skills and job focused training is one of the possible solutions for long term structural assistance to rural communities.
This article sets out the reasons: Training choices matter for freelancers and career changers. You can read it by clicking on the link here.
There are now 5,000 skills in 90 categories that the digital economy can offer, according to Upworks 4th quarter 2018 Skills Index which you can read here.
Articles now on
our website that are relevant are listed here:
The latest one is here:
The weekly AWS news video link to acloud.guru is here. They are the leading trainers globally for AWS freelancers.
We are focussing on the niche website in the future because it is producing better results i.e. sales.
Here is a recent article: Best Pressure Washer Gun: Top 5 Recommended . There have been 25 sales in the past month due to the keyword research and skills of Mamun, my virtual assistant.
In view of the recent hack of Reddit we have decided to link to the Australian Bankers Association fact sheet entitled Small Business - Protecting Your Business Information Online which you can access here. We urge you look at other Fact Sheets that are available from the Association as well related to business and personal security.
We have gained approval from Robert Siciliano to bring you extracts from his books related to cyber security for freelancers. Robert Siciliano is an identity theft expert and consultant. He also runs a cyber security and fraud prevention website which you can see here.
Image Source: ROBERT SICILIANO
Amazon Disclosure: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
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