Why it’s important for freelancers to take breaks

Posted on: April 22nd, 2014

I hope you had a fun Easter filled with chocolate and sunshine. Did you decide to work over the weekend or did you take time off?

I usually spend time working ON my business over the four-day Easter break. However, this year I had a long weekend off. (Well, apart from giving some initial thought to a presentation I am giving later this week.)

I spent most days over the holiday weekend walking. I strolled around Kew Gardens, I followed the Thames path at Richmond and I explored the newly-opened Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park in Stratford. (Sunday was wet, so not ideal conditions for enjoying a walk.) Today, I am back at my desk and it feels ages since last Thursday afternoon. The difference is, I also feel more refreshed.

As freelancers, it’s important for us to take time off – even if it only for a few days. It is far too easy to get sucked into working all the time. We say ‘yes’ to projects even if we know we are busy and the result is we have to spend our weekends working. But we end up not recharging our batteries.

7 steps to take you from ARGH!! to AHHH!!

Posted on: March 19th, 2014

Three reasons why your technical knowledge isn’t enough AND how to earn more money, be more likable and be happier too.

85% of your financial success is down to your EQ, MQ & BQ, only 15% can be attributed to IQ.

As a freelancer, you are the biggest influencer in your business and you are what people are buying into. Your biggest asset in business, and in life is YOU; so investing in YOU is the best place to get the greatest ROI.

Your success or failure is down to your ability to relate to others.

Research carried out by the Carnegie Institute of Technology shows that 85% of your financial success is down to skills in “human engineering,” your personality and ability to communicate, negotiate, and lead. Shockingly, only 15% is due to technical knowledge.

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As a freelancer, what’s your biggest challenge?

Posted on: March 10th, 2014

In the 23 years since I started freelancing (I know, I know, that’s a really long time…), I’ve faced many challenges along the way. In no particular order, they have included:

  • Clients are REALLY slow to pay, seriously impacting my cashflow.
  • Clients reschedule projects that clash with others already in my diary.
  • The cycle of feast and famine (linked to above). One month I may have very little work on and the next I don’t know how to cope with all the projects that are being thrown at me.
  • Clients don’t keep to their side of the schedule but the end deadline can’t move.
  • Clients decide to bring the project in-house in order to ‘save money’.
  • Clients go bust, owing me money.
  • I turn work down because I am fully booked, only to find that a project from another client is then put on the back burner or cancelled completely. (Seriously annoying, that one!)
  • A senior person on the client side decides to get involved when the project is well underway and completely moves the goalposts.
  • Technology fails on the day when there is an urgent deadline (never happens on a Saturday morning).
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How do I stay healthy and fit?

Posted on: December 29th, 2013

Welcome to guest blogger, Olga Arakelyan.

Hi Carole! Thank you so much for your kind invitation to write a guest post for your blog. But first, I’d like to share the story behind this article. In November, I published the post called “Being a healthy freelancer: your eyesight matters” where I shared some tips for those who, like me, suffer from overstrained and tired eyes. This post caused an active discussion both in my blog and in social networks and many more useful tips were shared by my colleagues.

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Comfy shoes and how to find your everyday signature font…

Posted on: November 4th, 2013

Welcome to guest writer, Nicola Fisher.

As a freelancer, quite often budgets don’t allow you to use a designer for your website or business cards but, as we all know, first impressions count. Understanding fonts can help to give you a clean, clear style and help present you in a professional manner. Hopefully my blog post will help you feel a little more confident with your font choices.

Now this might sound crazy, but words are for more than just reading. The shape and appearance of a word can say as much as the word itself. The fonts used in a project should be easy to follow, attract your attention, and reaffirm the meaning and voice of the piece. 

The pros and cons of being a freelancer

Posted on: September 14th, 2013

I was sent this infographic the other day on the pros and cons of being a freelancer and thought it would be great to share. It focuses on the US market but I imagine the findings would be similar in other countries.

If the text is a bit small, click on the infogaphic to see it in full size.

The Pros and Cons of Being a Freelancer
Image source: www.graphicdesigndegreehub.com

Title image courtesy of pakorn / FreeDigitalPhotos.net