Procrastinating is really all about being afraid to begin. Follow these quick exercises to work out why you are scared and how to move through it.
Procrastination isn’t a sign of laziness, it is a sign of fear. It isn’t about not wanting to do the work, it is about being too overwhelmed to start.
There is a lot of pressure around the start of a project. It feels like a commitment, we are deciding to work on one thing and not another, and so there are doubts around that decision and the stress of taking a decision at all. We also often overestimate the importance of the work done at the beginning, as though it will determine the outcome of the project. That isn’t true. You can do basically anything at the beginning of a project, it should be the most fun part, the part which involves throwing ideas around, the part where you are the least hemmed in. And yet instead it is the part which we fill with the most apprehension. The work you do at the beginning isn’t like the foundations of a house, it doesn't have to be perfect or else the entire edifice will collapse. The work you do at the beginning is the warm-up. It is a training session. It can be totally invisible in the final product.
The important thing at the beginning is not to get off to the perfect start, it is just to take action, any form of action, and chase away the fears that are making you procrastinate.
In just ten minutes, you can conquer those fears.
Spend two minutes identifying what is driving your fear.
There are four main reasons you might be afraid to get started:
You have too many ideas and are afraid to commit to one
Your mind is suddenly blank and you have no inspiration at all
You feel like you’re going to make a mess of things and are putting a lot of pressure on yourself
You have no idea where to start
Examine your emotions, write down on a piece of paper the things that worry you about the project you are about to get started on and see which category they fit into the best.
Spend eight minutes doing the corresponding exercise
Too many ideas?
This can mean having too many ideas of projects and not being able to get started on any single one, or it can mean having too many ideas about how to tackle your particular project and not being sure which to pick.
Begin by making a list of all the angles or projects that are trotting around your brain. Reread it. See which stand out, which your instinct tells you is right. That is your shortlist.
In the case of choosing a project, ask yourself if any of them are time-sensitive — for instance, an article linked to a certain upcoming event. If so, start with that project. If not, sometimes it is best just to let the universe decide. Draw one idea out of a hat. Schedule the others for the coming days or weeks.
If you are choosing an angle on a piece of work you are already sure of, begin by seeing if any of them can be joined together. Maybe one angle could really just be a paragraph in a piece with a different focus. If not, open a word document, type out all the different ideas. Those will be the things you follow up on, do more research until your instinct tells you which to follow. And if that never happens, pick one angle out of a hat.
The next step: conduct research into each of the ideas left on your shortlist.
Lack of inspiration?
Put a timer on for eight minutes, and write down every thought that comes into your mind. Even if they have nothing to do with the project. Just let the words flow. Analyse every element of the topic — what exactly is the brief? What does that mean? This “brain drop” will give your imagination free space to roam. Ideally, you should do this in a place without any distractions, a place where your imagination generally feels stimulated. For me, it works best in a park or anywhere outdoors, but you might prefer home, in a warm bath or in a café.
Next step: do something boring, like washing up or ironing or walking around the block. Don’t take a phone, don’t listen to music. Ideas will continue to pop into your mind.
Fear of failure?
This fear can be harder to identify, because it often just makes you feel nervous or blank. The problem is usually a lack of self-confidence, or the fact that you are putting too much pressure on yourself, thinking of this project as the make-or-break event of your career. The problem here isn’t in the work at all, but in your mind.
Take a sheet of paper and answer three questions:
What is the worst thing that could happen?
How could I bounce back from that?
What past projects have made me proud, what have they taught me about my own abilities?
If you are into rituals and hippiedom, like me, you can make a ritual out of this. Light a candle or some incense. Put on some relaxing music and put yourself in an environment which makes you relax. Breath deeply.
Once you have finished, keep this list visible on your desk or working space and reread it whenever you feel scared or lost.
Next step: write a to-do list broken down into small, non-threatening steps (see below).
No idea where to start?
Take a sheet of paper and separate it into categories according to the different kinds of activities go into doing a project. For writing, I usually make the categories Contact, Research and Write. In Contact I write the names or professions of anyone I would like to talk to, Research can be books to read or facts and figures to pull up, and in Write I jot down any sections I know I will write, or any ideas concerning the final piece. Do a six-minute brain drop where you write down any task that comes to mind in the corresponding section. Then reread what you have done, highlight priorities and order your tasks into a to-do list. For big tasks, break them down into sections. You should end up with a list of small, clearly defined steps.
Next step: just do number one on the list!
Whatever category you are in, it is important to stick to the ten minutes. Your mind needs to know, going in, that it will just be working for ten minutes, and then it can stop. Then take a break. If you are on a short deadline, make it a short break and then start work again for half an hour to an hour.
I do these short exercises whenever I catch myself procrastinating. I hope they can be useful for you, too, and if you have your own tricks and tips I would love to hear about them in the comments section!
I believe that goals should be set for life and not just on a yearly basis. But I also believe that life’s been created with recurring hours, months and years for a reason.
As my business coach Lydia Lee from Screw The Cubicle always reminds me, “Don’t get overwhelmed with that huge goal, but break it up into baby steps and take action!”.
Guess each year renews itself for that purpose, for us to reflect, set goals that are small enough to achieve in order for us to reach the ultimate goal further down the road.
It’s also a chance for us to recalibrate our desires to make sure we are planning the time right to be spent on helping us reach the place we truly want to go.
That said, here are my top 5 goals for 2018, the challenges from achieving them, the actions I have to take and the reasons why I want to achieve them.
Remove myself from my business, to transform from a freelancer to a CEO
Build and grow a reliable brand design team to serve as many purposeful business as possible to impact the world
Full control of my time to be flexible with my daily schedule as and when I need self care, time with kids and family or friends, to promote my business by building deep relationships and to do more personal creative work.
Journal everyday without skipping
Meditate everyday without skipping
Don’t have the habit to block time to work on repeatable processes of my business so that I can defer the tasks to my team member. (I’ve improved tremendously in this area just within 1 month, thanks to 90 Day Mastermind group created by Lydia Lee.
Insufficient cashflow to hire the right people to do what they can do best in the team.
Lots of client work to fulfil, it’s been a big habit of mine to be reactive to client’s urgent needs and hence tend to put off my own life, family and business needs.
Thinking that I have a chance to journal the next day gave me the excuse that it’s okay to skip a day.
Every time I meditate, I fall asleep and that makes me not do it, as it causes me to sleep overtime and hence don’t get my work done on time
Block 2 hours a day just to reflect and document business processes, preferably every morning after journaling.
I need to develop at least 3 case studies of what I’ve done with top 3 clients, put them on my site, then churn out great content and free stuff for my audience for a chance to work together, earn more income and hire better people to join the team.
Set up a schedule of client work, when to do client work and when not to do. Finish them on time as much as possible. Be mindful that urgent tasks will also have to be placed in the next queue of the last job request, rather than to work on them as and when asked for. Defer or delegate repeatable tasks to team members appropriately.
Journal first thing in the morning, no excuses, after that comes scheduling for the day, and documenting of business processes comes next. As Benjamin Hardy says: “Whatever your situation, protect your mornings!”
Meditate in the afternoon since that’s when most of my work is supposed to be done and that’s also the time when I will less likely fall back to sleep compared to wee hours in the morning.
This design business brings income, which means I have to keep it. But doing the design work means I’m left with less time to be with real humans, connect deeply, help people. I want to impact the world, and that means getting out of just doing alone, but serving the masses in the shortest time possible.
Makes me feel SOOO GOOOD to make a big positive difference in people’s lives. But I can only do so much alone. I want to do so by building and growing a team to help as many as a billion people in the world.
I want to see my kids’ milestones as much as possible, being with them makes me feel complete and doing the things I like (promoting business/doing creative work) helps me grow better as a person to touch more lives.
To always stay connected to my core and take the right action to move in the direction I truly want
To keep my cool as and when I need to. Kids can really drive me crazy, yet I cannot be too mad to teach them the right way to manage anger. In order to teach them to respond positively to anything in the world, I must be able to do so first and show them how.
If you read all of this, I want to thank you for your time and kind attention. This post is part of my journaling process to keep tabs on my vision and desires in business and life.
But here’s a short summary for those who haven’t read my previous posts on how to get freelance writing gigs:
Target only markets LOOKING for writers = Take off your blindfold
2. Target only PAYING markets in your niche = Aim in the right direction
3. Perfect your pitch = swing hard
If you haven’t been with me from the beginning of this series, check out some of my previous lists of paying markets using the easy links below:
Do You Hate Cold Emailing? These 5 Markets Want to Pay You to Write
The toughest part of being a freelance writer is often finding clients or markets. For many freelancers, looking for…
Hate Cold Emailing? 5 More Markets that Want to Pay You to Write
If you hate cold emailing and it sucks up way too much of your time, there’s a better way. It can feel a bit like being…
Looking for Writing Gigs? Another 5 Markets That Pay Writers
Stop sending out hundreds of cold emails to random businesses, magazines, and blogs on the off chance that they are…
These 5 Additional Markets Want to Pay You to Write
In my observation, one of the toughest obstacles freelance writers and some fiction writers face is finding markets…
Calling All Writers- How Much Money Do You Need? Yet Another 5 Markets Paying Writers
How Much Money Do You Need?
Yet Another 5 Markets Paying Writers
How Much Money Do You Need?writingcooperative.com
Calling all writers-Getting Paid is Your Job — Still 5 More Markets Paying Writers
Okay so over the last 5 weeks, I’ve harped on the fact that if you’re going to get paid to write, you have to take off…
Black Cat Mystery Magazine a newly launched magazine seeking short mystery fiction. Welcoming of writers of all experience levels.
AWP Writer’s Chronicle accepts short blog pieces, contemporary writing, and articles. See guidelines for more details.
On Nature Magazine seeks feature articles on natural history, the environment in Ontario, and conservation. Also run first person account of Ontario soft-wilderness adventures, articles, and opinion pieces. Focus is Ontario. No book reviews, no poetry, no fiction. See writer’s guidelines for more details.
Ten to Twenty Parenting seeking writing about daily life, parenting, mid-life. See submission guidelines for details.
Plane & Pilot if you’re a pilot and a writer and have some good stories or lessons to share, check this one out. See submission guidelines for more information.
Worldwide Freelance get access to a database of over 700 writing markets with links and writer’s guidelines. Database is searchable by keyword, region, pay rate, country, and market topics.
Have you gotten a gig with one of these paying markets yet? Share your experience and accomplishment below.
Six years ago I was dropped from the office-manager position in a local, slightly political organization. With an art-manager diploma and minimal work experience behind me, I started working as freelance journalist/content-writer. This story has a familiar ring, doesn’t it? Well, we all know these «freelance sagas», flooding the internet and telling us about the courageous former office-worker who chose to change his/her destiny and turned to a digital nomadism. So my post doesn’t claim to be an original piece, but to depict some hurdles and how to approach them.
First and foremost, the chances of finding a worthwhile, well-paying side-job — as well as a full-time one — without business connections is next to zero. So, being the most introvertic introvert will not help , you must push yourself and engage in some kind of networking. It’s not necessary about those cliché noisy Friday’s events. Different industry conferences, workshops and meetings are a must-have, especially for those who specialize in marketing and IT. If your skills aren’t up to date, according to the industry needs, sorry — next.
Second, as a person who’s been living in Ukraine since my early childhood, I can assert that ukranians’ are quite sociable and sympathetic, but nobody will recommend your candidature just because you’re good fellow. Also make sure you’re not a cold fish, shamelessly using the people around you. Although I’m not a big fan of generalizations, any kind of insolence isn’t the key to advancing your career. That’s why you should act in a more natural way. Make new friends (and mates), lend a helping hand when it’s needed and be of interest to new acquaintances.
Third, there are plenty of job search sites all over Ukraine, Russia and Belarus. Sometimes it works. Sometimes it doesn’t. You can definitely give it a try, but if the job searching is the order of the day, revert to the job searching groups on Facebook (if your Russian/Ukrainian leaves much to be desired, contact the group admin and — in majority cases — you’ll be allowed to publish your message in English). For those who haven’t been active on Facebook up until recently, it’s time to update and refresh your profile to attract new contacts, committing to a regular posting routine and reinforce your social media presence (other social media channels besides Facebook perform worse for writers, yes).
And the last, be ready to be offered much more less money then you used to get in EU countries or USA. That’s a shame, but either local or foreign employers, operating over here have carefully studied the market and know the going rate for writing, copywriting and rewriting services. But it doesn’t mean you should stay clutching at any dead-end job. $1 per copywriting text is a literal lack of respect for a writer. Conduct your own studies and don’t be ashamed to discuss your professional value, based on main portfolio points: last experience, collaborations with brands, publications, language skills, number of social media followers etc. I should also mention the variety of ways to get paid:
• Per signs (as I used to work myself), for example: $5/1K signs
• Per text (I normally used this payment method when it’s going to be a one-time cooperation)
• Per project (It usually happens within the team-work, for example, when the client is to build a site and you have to write multiple texts)
• Per hour (Honestly I’ve never worked under those conditions, but it still applies)
More and more people are choosing freelancing over traditional lines of work and the numbers are only getting bigger.
In April 2018, a new record was set with 3.4 million people in the U.S. saying “bye-bye” to their bosses in pursuit of better job positions at different companies and cool freelancing opportunities.
Could you be next?
Here are five stories of people who have already quit their job to freelance.
They explain how they did it, what they’ve experienced, and share some tips for you if you’re thinking about making the transition too.
Blogger and graphic designer
She was a preschool teacher in Japan. She hated it.
There was something about handling screaming kids all day that made her wince.
Her teaching job is what accidentally unlocked her love for blogging and graphic design after she was put in charge of a school flyer project.
Ironic isn’t it?
Who would’ve thought she’d end up making it her full-time gig?
“Within three months of becoming an accidental freelance web designer, I was making enough of an income to quit my job as a teacher in order to pursue blogging and design full-time,” Melyssa said.
She continued, “Now, I don’t want you to think I was raking in the dough during those first three months. I most certainly was not. I think I made around $1,800 during my third month in business — not an insignificant amount, but certainly not livable in Tokyo, or California where I would soon return to.”
It’s always important to note that the greatest things are cultivated with time.
Yes, you’ll be excited that you’re finally getting paid to do what you love. But don’t expect all the money you want to come in instantaneously.
It’s been a year now, and Melyssa says freelancing:
Is one of the best decisions she’s ever made
Got her to reach her monetary goals in ways she never thought possible
Helped her cultivate a sense of “inner-happiness,” independence, and success that are deeply meaningful to her life.
Important tips she has for you:
“When do you quit your day job to pursue this new gig full-time? I can’t really tell you that there’s a precise formula for this, and everyone’s situation is different.”
“What I can tell you is that you’ll probably never be ready. I don’t say that to discourage you. What I actually mean is that if you keep waiting for a time when you feel like you’ve got this in the bag, you’ll probably never begin.”
You might have talent you haven’t even discovered. Or maybe you have discovered it. You just haven’t let people witness your value.
Don’t expect big results immediately. Some of the best rewards take time to develop.
You’ll never be ready. Melyssa says: “It might be scary. But it will probably also be totally awesome.”
Lucy was in a dilemma.
She didn’t like being a “boss” to other people. But she didn’t like working for a boss either.
Sound like you?
Then perhaps you and Lucy aren’t so different.
Being a hardcore introvert with a passion for crafting sentences, Lucy quit her fancy position as a full-time deputy editor for Cosmopolitan to become a freelancer and work on her own terms.
So far, she says it’s the answer she’s always been looking for.
She says, “I’m only a few weeks in, but so far, things are great. Surprisingly, my productivity levels have soared — sure, sometimes I go to the gym at 10 a.m. just because I can. But now that I’m not being interrupted or having to go to pointless meetings, I can keep my head down and actually get shit done.”
“I can be creative, on my own terms. If I miss company, I’ll meet a friend for coffee or call my boyfriend, or take my laptop to a buzzing cafe.”
“Now, I’m always in control of my environment — which does wonders for this introvert’s mood, energy, and happiness.”
And there you have it!
It pays to be creative. And working on your own terms gives you luxury like no other.
Important tips she has for you:
“This is a no-brainer, but you shouldn’t leap from the security of a full-time job unless you’re out of debt and can survive without steady income for at least a couple of months.”
“If you can’t, start a side hustle first, then quit your day job when the numbers make sense. There’s nothing worse than desperately trying to rustle up clients with the threat of unpaid bills looming over you.”
If you hate small talk or office meetings, freelancing is a great option (whether you’re an introvert or just hate getting bossed around).
Having control of your time affects your health. If managed correctly, your mind, body, and energy will flourish.
Don’t hop into freelancing full time without a plan. Either save up or use it as a side hustle until you’re confident with the numbers to make the leap.
All happy endings start with a passion.
For Thomas, it was game store entrepreneurship.
He didn’t really know anything about running a podcast or building a website about what he loved, but the important part is that he tried.
This first step led him to eventually quit his job and become a full-time freelancer.
“What I knew for sure was that I wanted to be a part of the exciting opportunity that the internet represented and that I had things to say.”
“I didn’t know at the time what impact that choice would ultimately have on my life. I’ve met a ton of awesome people through the interviews I’ve done on the Manaverse Podcast. A select few of which I consider friends,” said Thomas.
His journey started on bidding sites and some opportunities opened up for him there.
Six months before he went full-time, one of the clients he has now asked him to do a trial writing gig for her podcast. She hasn’t let him go since.
He mentions, “As I announced in MVP056, I’ve recently been able to quit my day job as an Operations Supervisor and earn a living online as a full time freelancer. This means working from a computer in my home office and being able to spend way more time with my wife and nearly two-year-old son.”
I find most freelancers I come across (who have found the keys to successful freelancing) are grateful for one thing we humans are all limited on: time.
Freelancing gives you more time to spend with your loved ones.
And to live. To actually live. It’s a really beautiful thing.
Words of encouragement from the man himself:
“Handing in your resignation to a job you have come to despise is, as I’m sure many of you know, very sweet.”
“I believe that virtually anyone (see what I did there) has the skills and can learn the skills to earn a living online. You just have to want it enough to stick to it and keep trying.”
All dreams start with an idea. It’s your job to take action on that idea, even if you don’t have the experience or know where it will take you.
Time is limited. You only have so much time to spend with the ones you hold most dear. Make them count. And make sure you get to do what you love.
You have the skills. Even if you don’t know what your skills or passions are yet, just wanting to live a life helping others is guaranteed to take you far. But you have to want it.
Germany’s 54-year-old IT Developer, Kay-Viktor left his 30-year job to become a full-time freelancer (it’s never too late to freelance).
He was almost certain IT would be his forever career, but, like many other freelancers, he had another calling.
He tells us, “I always needed English at work because most technical documents were in English. I started writing articles in German and English, became involved in international projects and teams, and eventually started translating on the side.”
His side gig eventually grew so big he had to take days off from his job to keep up with his translation projects. But he knew he couldn’t keep that up, and eventually, he made a decision.
He continues, “On August 1, 2017, I was a 100% full-time freelancer. I switched off my alarm clock. I’m now the master of my own time, even though I’m also working more than ever before, especially when there is a steady flow of jobs.”
“My wife and I live in an old farmhouse near Bremen in Northern Germany with our cat, Lucy.”
Kay-Viktor uses a translation platform called Gengo. He says he enjoys the diversity of the work he gets, but it can get overwhelming if you don’t learn to say “No” to clients (that’s easy when you’re following the right method).
“It could be localization content for an app developer, a CV of an aspiring business person, an invitation to an esoteric workshop, a travel itinerary, a blog post, you name it. That’s not only exciting and fun, it also pushes you to learn something new every day.”
“On the other hand, the sheer workload can be overwhelming at times. When I continuously receive more work than I can handle, it’s difficult to say no at first. When I started out, I took nearly everything I could get, without considering the rates or fields of expertise,” said Kay-Viktor.
An important tip he has about charging better rates:
“… remember that the economic part of freelancing is a numbers game. Consider this: If you can translate 2,000 words a day, get only amateur rates, and have difficulty getting enough projects for the day, freelancing will be an economic struggle for you.”
“On the other hand, if you can translate 4,000 words a day at professional rates, and get enough jobs to fill your calendar, you can live comfortably with your income.”
It’s never too late to pursue a career you’re passionate about.
You don’t have to say “Yes” to every client project that comes your way.
Learn to charge good rates!
Sometimes all it takes is one open room in London to get you to hop on the journey of your dreams.
Fresh out of a university and working two 9–5 retail jobs, Jack Alexander found himself at a breaking point.
He dreamed of being a photographer, so when his friend from South-West London said there was a vacant room available, he packed his bags with no hesitation.
Finding work was the tricky part.
But even without a supply of networks, social media got him a looong way.
He tells us, “One day, I stumbled across a production company that specialised in live, acoustic music sessions.
“It didn’t feel quite like what I was looking for, but I copied and pasted the same email to them anyway. Soon enough, the owner replied. We got together for a meeting, ended up working together on a few small projects, and it turned out the same guy also worked at one of the largest radio stations in the country.”
“A few months later I was shooting for the radio station too, and photographing A-List names. I was learning quickly just how small the creative industry in London is, and how accurate that old phrase is: it’s all about who you know.”
Eventually though, email became the powerhouse keeping him alive.
“There’s no time too late at night for an email to appear in my inbox. The best example I can give you occurred when I was settling down for a night of editing at 11:30 p.m. (I’m somewhat of a night owl — but we’ll come back to that shortly…), only to receive an email asking if I could be in Essex for a 7:30am start the very next day,” Jack said.
Now, you can expect to find Jack out shooting, at home editing, or travelling to every corner of London for meetings or location scouting.
He says, “I find it’s quite a nice balance, as I’m never stuck doing the same thing for too long.”
“But it’s also the best decision I feel I’ve ever made. I feel incredibly lucky that I get to pursue my passion as a career. It has its moments, sure. I’d be lying if I said there weren’t quiet periods or times I felt as though I’ll never work again.”
Although Jack’s route to freelancing seems flat out spontaneous and unpredictable, there are systems you can use to freelance that make earning an income 100% predictable and consistent.
Important tips he has for aspiring freelancers:
“When you’re working as a one-man (or woman!) team, it’s worth remembering that nobody is going to help you out except you. You are responsible for marketing yourself and bringing new clients in.”
“Facebook, Twitter, Instagram etc. are all great ways in which you can do just that; you’d be surprised how many business enquiries you can get through social media.”
Don’t ignore your dreams. They often lead to well-fulfilled destinations.
Money is literally waiting to be made by you — for starters, use social media and EMAIL to find it.
Nobody is going to market yourself better than you.
Think it’s possible for you yet?
It really goes to show how far a passion or a pursuit for a better life can get you.
This is coming from people who’ve made the leap to quit their jobs, are living it and haven’t look back since.
Let’s engage in a little recap, shall we?
You may have talent you haven’t even discovered yet.
Don’t expect big results immediately.
You’ll never be ready.
Freelancing — for those who hate being bossy or being bossed around.
Control of time = control of mood, energy and happiness.
Always have a plan before you quit.
Ideas can turn into real-life success.
Time to spend with the ones and things you love is important.
You have to want it, or else it’s not going to work.
It’s never too late to pursue a career you love.
Learn to say “No” to clients.
Learn to charge good rates!
Follow your passions. They can lead you somewhere.
Social media and EMAIL are money-makers.
Nobody is better at marketing you than you.
At The No Pants Project, Mike Shreeve teaches you how to make your transition to full-time freelancing as smooth as possible.
You can learn about how real people just like you have used the skills they learned from The No Pants Project from these Case Studies.
Come join us. Your destiny could be a click away. Literally!
In one of the most popular TED Talks of all time, a man named Simon Sinek introduced the idea of “Start with Why.” Too many business owners focus on the How and the What of their businesses, but Why we run our businesses needs to be at the center. We need to remember why our businesses exist in the first place.
Your business needs a Why, a stated reason for existing. Possibly several reasons. Your Why is the most impactful messaging on your website (especially your about page), and it’s the strongest personal motivation you can latch on when things get tough.
But while Sinek approached the idea of Why from a sales perspective, it has deeper, human element. The question of “Why?” in business is most impactful when it aligns with the question of “Why?” in life overall.
In today’s post, we’re diving into the significance of Why, and how to identify it in your business.
But first, let’s get the big question out of the way.
Well, let’s think about this.
First, what is money? I mean, literally. It’s fibrous paper with a dude’s face on it. Not even a cute dude (though some may argue… let’s not go there).
Money has little inherent value. So of course, when people talk about being motivated by money, they mean they’re motivated by what money can buy. The lifestyle that having money brings.
But what’s the goal of buying things? What’s the goal of that lifestyle? In a general sense, the end goal is happiness. We want to buy things or experiences to make our lives better.
Therefore, it’s much more effective to skip all of the middlemen and simply ask: What makes you happy? Then focus on that.
Many people never slow down long enough to answer this simple question. To be honest, I’m still figuring it out.
The reason why this question is difficult to answer is because we all grow up with “should’s.” You should work hard in school, you should go to college, get a well-paying job, work hard, get married, have a kid, buy a nice car and a big house.
We’re taught that happiness comes from following the model, and if we can only achieve these things, we will finally feel content.
But you know how this goes, right? You pay your dues, you work your ass off, get the stuff — but there’s still something missing.
You’re an individual person with individual likes and dislikes. The earlier you can identify what makes YOU happy apart from all the “should’s,” the better your chances will be of orienting your life in the right direction.
Try this exercise (inspired by James Altucher and Gary Vaynerchuck):
Write down 10 things or experiences that you value above everything else. What do you NEED to live a relatively happy existence?
Remember that physical things are only valuable because we experience them. You experience joy at looking at that beautiful vase, or pride when wearing your favorite team’s jersey.
Think hard about this list. Spend time on it. Modify it.
My list currently looks like this:
Things/experiences I value above everything else
Relationship with my husband
Ability to help people using my abilities
Eating good food with family
Warm, comfortable home
Ability to read
Ability to write
Relaxing with good friends
Ability to sing
Ability to visit interesting places once in a while
Everything beyond this list? Maybe it’s important in some way, but it’s not vital to my existence as a healthy, happy person.
Chances are, the things you value most in the world are already within your reach. And if they’re not, it won’t take a terrible amount of effort to get them. Not if it’s truly meaningful.
A Why that’s based on money is chasing after some experience or material goods. That can be helpful in the short term (“If I make $XXXX this month, I can buy a ____!”), but the long-term motivation has to come from somewhere deeper. When your motivation comes from that which you value most in the world, it’s motivation that sticks, and passion that’s visible to your customers.
People often shy away from the idea of work giving their life meaning, because we’ve been told for so long that slogging away is just the way life is. But the businesses with a strong emotional core are the ones that succeed in the long term.
Building a business is hard enough as it is. At least make it worth your time.
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Jessie Lewis is a copywriter and brand strategist living in Phoenix, AZ. She spends her days helping business owners write badass websites and raiding the kitchen for #snacks. Read more good sh*t at www.jessierlewis.com.
Before you actually start throwing stones towards me, just give me a couple of minutes to explain. It won’t hurt, I promise.
I’ve been freelancing for a while and, in general, I think it goes well enough. Of course — there is always a place for improvement and higher income but, well, things do not always work the way we want them to. So, I decided to try something out and, weirdly enough, it actually worked.
I hate lying. I hate when people lie and when I have to tell something that is not true. But life is a complicated thing and, sometimes, we have to adjust. And there was a moment when I had to too.
I was at the point when I wanted to change something in my freelancing. To fresh it all up. It is dangerous in a way when you work at Upwork, for example, and have a decent reputation built through years. You wouldn’t want to sacrifice it all by taking an uncertain step with pretty shady chances for success. Well, I did.
I decided to change my profile a bit and started applying to jobs that do not actually fit my skills. For example, I present myself as a copywriter and translator but started applying for video and audio editing jobs. That is not something I’m good at but I definitely have my interests in this field.
Here’s what I had in mind at that moment:
Ok, I am not an expert video editor but I understand the bases and I think I feel the rhythms.
I am no professional but I can learn. YouTube is free and has lots of great tips to share.
Audio editing is like video editing but minus the video.
I know how it looks and sounds but to be fair — I did not try to get myself involved in some serious video effects and professional music creation. More of cut and paste, make things look and sound better.
While applying for various contracts, I also was studying the subject for better understanding of the process and practised during my free time. I also had to sacrifice my time I used to spend reading comics Yep, those who know me will tell that is a big deal.
Weirdly enough, I actually started receiving responses from potential clients and I kind of lied to them when they asked if I can do this or that. What I did was searching for the requests they had on their job offers and then checked how hard that is on YouTube. Since freelancing does not require instant answers (unless it’s a live interview), you have some time to think over your answers and give a thought out one a couple of minutes later.
So, I started taking contracts that were “out of my league” and requested a couple more days for them to be done. During that time I learned and implemented my freshly gained skills right away. And before you ask — yes, it was hard as hell! Literary! Of course, some small things required pretty much none effort since they were self explanatory and pretty intuitive but some seemed to be requests from an alien nation (no intentions to offend any of the alien nations here).
Now… Was I allowed to do this trick? Well, judge for yourself:
I gained new skills and kind of opened doors for a new profession (still a lot to learn here but I am on my way).
I managed to complete all the contracts on time and did not fail a single employer (I am actually very proud of myself here).
I earned good money and plan to continue doing so.
One of the clients actually said that I did a lot better job than his previous video editor.
Great responsibility and my reputation forced me to go another step and do better job. No chances for failures.
Ok, I am not saying this is something you should definitely do. First of all, you need to know what you are capable of and, for example, if you've been doing translation all of your life and start claiming you can code, well, it does not seem like a good idea. Unless you can learn coding in a couple of days. But, if you let yourself leave that comfort zone and make an extra step, let your brain work and base it all on your responsibility before the client, I am more than sure it will be a win-win situation for all of you. Funny thing — we can do a lot more than we think. So, why limit ourselves?
Original Post: I Lied to Get a Job and I Don’t Regret It
Over the course of my life, I have embraced a number of hobbies just to make extra cash. From playing drums, piano, table tennis to blogging, motivational speaking just to name a few. But none of them has created a great impact in my life and brought me great satisfaction as freelance writing.
I bless the day I made the decision to venture into the world of freelance writing. I have never looked back. It has become more than a hobby to me that I recommend people to become a freelance writer.
I started freelance writing as a way of doing what I love why I make cash from it just to create another stream of income while I was still working. But somewhere along the line, it became an obsession I could not do without that I have to resign from my job to go full-time.
Not for the money because I was not earning much then but for the love and vision I had about myself as a freelance writer.
I want to share with you in this post why you too should become a freelance writer if writing is one of your hobby/passion. If you have always loved writing and you are still thinking if freelance writing is an option for you, here is the article for you to read to make your decision.
It Can Be Your Part-Time or Full-Time Career
If you are already working in a full-time job, you can use freelance writing as your means of getting extra cash at the side. You don’t necessarily need to quit your day job; you just have to schedule a particular time of the day to write content for your client.
I have a writer in my team who write just 2 article a day for me. I pay him every week because he meets my payout amount. He is doing freelance writing as his own side business while still keeping his day job. With this, he has two streams of income. Freelance writing gives him weekly cash to manage himself before his month-end salary finally comes.
But, who say you can’t do freelance writing as a full-time job?
The thing keeping many people from taking it as a full-time job is that they are afraid that it will come to a stage where they may not get any work from client. Where is your proof on that?
The Opportunities Are Endless
The demand for freelance writers is always high if you really know what freelance writing entails. I know some people who are into freelance writing, they have their website but they hardly get clients to give them work.
The fact is, freelance writing is just like every other business. If you don’t market yourself, nobody will know what you do. How can you call yourself a freelance writer yet none of your social media profile account says you are?
Nobody even know what you do. You don’t sell yourself using your social media profile. You don’t post sales content about your services on your timeline. You don’t create conversation with bloggers. Nobody has even read any of your work. Come on, how will you get writing gig?
I know landing a client is difficult at first, but, social media has made it very easy. Do you know that I once created a pitch that I plan using to get client but have not used it at all?
From day one, I got all my clients from Facebook. From my first client to present, I did not send any of them a pitch about myself and my service. I got all of them from Facebook.
I dropped a post on my timeline, it got their attention, they checked on me to see what I do, my profile told them I am a freelance writer, and they check my blog and inbox me.
I also got 2 clients from posting my availability on Facebook groups that house bloggers. You see, the opportunities are endless if you get the marketing right.
I remember receiving a call from a Facebook friend who said he will like to refer me to a client if I am available. Guest what, I have never chatted with this guy once. I asked him how he knew about me and got my contact, he said he is my friend on Facebook and he usually read my timeline post and from there he knew I was into freelance writing.
Should I say more?
No matter your niche of writing, there are millions of people who are blogging on that niche. So, why saying it seems hard to get freelance work because bloggers are few in that niche?
There has never been a month that me and my writers don’t get to deliver up to 100 articles to different clients. Don’t say it is because I am already known. There are also people that I know who are doing what I am doing and they don’t get to complain about not getting clients.
Brethren, the opportunities are endless. But, if you are afraid, you can chat me up on What’sApp via +2347037569338 let us talk about it.
You Get to Learn Something with Every Article You Write
This for sure is true. I have learnt so many things writing for different clients on different niches. From fruits that makes your skin smooth and shinning, to dating fat ladies, to blogging, to affiliate marketing even to removing stretch marks.
Because of writing on different topics, there is hardly any viral topic that will be discussed in my presence that I will not have any input. It got to a point a lady asked me if there is any topic that I don’t know anything about?
If you hardly have time to read books to educate yourself, then you should become a freelance writer because it will make you research on topics you never knew anything about and from there, you become knowledgeable in that area or topic because you have created a content from it.
As a writer that will not engage in copy and paste, there is no way you will write on something and don’t remember anything about it.
You Never Know Where This Will Take You Too
Because you are a freelance writer does not mean you will remain like that. Big companies are always looking for creative writers to join their editorial team. To have a portfolio of published work from many different places is huge.
There is No Limit to How Much You Can Make Monthly
Lastly, there is no limit to how much you can make on a monthly basis except for the limit you place on yourself. There came a point I could not give an account to how much I was making on a monthly basis until I had to make the decision to start tracking it.
I get to increase my fee with any new client that needs my writing service. You get it?
I just knew that all my expenses were always taken care of and I was also having enough to throw around. It was from freelance writing I was able to create a real estate account for myself. Freelance writing pays all my bills. Make me travel to wherever I feel like taking a vacation to.
Hmmm! There are so many reasons why you should become a freelance writer but I will stop here. Obviously, there are risks to whatever career you plan to embark on. The benefits one gets from this career and the places it could take you to are worthwhile.
Did you read that right? Yes you did! — Ejob is here for the community people, and we’re looking to grow it substantially. Tell your mother, father, brother, friends, cousins that Ejob wants to give YOU more tokens each month, and all you have to do is buy some Ejob first.
Ejob will be sending investors 5% of their total token holdings each month… Until DECEMBER of 2019
Wait, wait we’re not done. Actually, we will be airdropping tokens all the way into 2020. We just have to get through 2019 first folks, just hang tight and we’ll have more information about that for you when the time is closer.
And you better register NOW so you don’t miss the March airdrop, don’t wait!
You must have Ejob tokens in your wallet for 26 days before you can receive your first airdrop. If you’ve had Ejob tokens for more then 26 days, you’ll be receiving your February airdrop shortly (the last day of the month).
How do I Register for the Airdrop?
Before you register, make sure your tokens are transferred to a personal wallet that has your private key like our official ejob wallet,Enjin wallet or MyEtherWallet first.
If your tokens are on an exchange, your wallet won’t meet the guidelines to register for the airdrop, so MAKE SURE they are in a personal wallet with a private key
Then, you can finally register →
All Ejob holders that wish to participate in the airdrop must register here: https://e-job.io/register.html
What are the Details?
Ejob has allocated a total of 15,000,000,000 (15B) tokens from the total supply of 60,000,000,000 (60B) tokens.
These tokens will be distributed monthly, from now until 2020 — Two whole years!
A snapshot of the ejob token address will be made on the last day of each month — In simpler terms, the airdrop takes place on the last day of each month
As said before, you must HOLD ejob tokens for at least 26 days to receive the ejob 5% monthly airdrop.
Why is Ejob running an Airdrop Program?
Thats an easy one — to reward YOU, the entire Ejob community, and to market ourselves on a bigger scale to the entire crypto community
Ejob not only wants to reward its investors, but also incentive others to learn about ejob through this program
We all know the crypto world really likes their airdrops, and we wanted to get involved and get Ejob’s name out there!
Please reach out to the team if you have absolutely any questions about anything.
You’re probably too busy to even read this article
Chances are, you’re probably too busy to read this article. Perhaps you’re riding a five-cup coffee bender because who doesn’t chug caffeine in order to survive the workday? You may have canceled plans with friends or loved ones because the line to get into your office is longer than the DMV. Inbox zero was a fond memory in 2013, and did you mention that you’re so busy?
There was a time when one’s wealth was measured by their spare time. Money gave you the freedom to take vacations and spend leisurely weekends with family and friends instead of plugging away at the office or shop. Being rich meant working less.
Not anymore. Busy has become a status symbol. Now, if you’re a workaholic, you’re considered desirable because people equate ambition and competence with being busy. In a study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, workers who brag about being overworked are signaling how much they and their skills are valued and in-demand. Now, instead of showing off your new car or watch, you’re flashing your overflowing inbox and packed calendar.
The busy phenomenon has shifted the definition of success. Have you looked at other small business owners who are busier than you and wondered why you’re not riding the same train? Suddenly you start thinking that you’re not ambitious enough or perhaps there’s something wrong with your business. Soon, you start trading your productivity and well being for sleepless nights. You’ve become the Energizer Bunny of small businesses, yet you’re no further along from where you started.
60% of workers suffer from work-related stress that costs U.S. businesses $30 billion a year in lost workdays. We end up wasting valuable time doing things that are not important because busy makes us feel more productive according to research from the University of Chicago.
Bottom line: our brains are not wired to multi-task — the more work we stuff into our day actually trains our brain to be more unproductive.
We’re breaking down five ways that being busy can cripple your busy and how to break out of the rat race.
1. Busy shortchanges your customers: When you’re busy, you tend to forget all the superior service details that set you apart from your competitors — the small touches that make for a memorable customer experience. As a result, your customers aren’t getting the attention they deserve and critical parts of your job risk falling through the cracks.
2. Busy hurts your health: Your business is reliant on your health and wellbeing, and even if you have a team in place and can delegate tasks, you need to be on top of your vision and long-term growth strategy. Studies show that we’re taking fewer vacation days and working longer hours. The long hours, sleepless nights, and stress wreak havoc on your health.
3. Busy crushes team morale: From not having the time to coach and mentor your employees to scheduling too many useless meetings (71% of meetings are considered unproductive!) and check-ins, your busy behavior is a morale crusher. When you’re busy your stress level goes into overdrive. Guess who gets the brunt of it? Your team! Your team absorbs your frenzy and that impacts the quality and productivity of their work creating a domino effect of mistakes that could cost your small business big.
4. Busy can lead to burnout: In order to grow your business, you need to be working ON your business rather than IN it. So if you’re too deep in the day-to-day and creating more work for yourself to appear busy, you lose sight of the big picture. And burnout can spiral your business out of control and halt growth in its tracks. Don’t be stuck in the now — take a step back and focus on the road ahead.
5. Busy cripples creativity: Have you ever noticed that you get the BIG BUSINESS IDEAS when you’re in the shower or taking a walk or spending time with your kids? There’s a scientific reason behind this. Neurologists studying brain scans discovered that our biggest A HA! moments occur when our brain is at rest. Creativity takes a back seat when you’re constantly busy and rest puts it in the driver’s seat.
Now that you know overwork can crush your small business, here are three ways to break free of busy:
1. Hit the pause button: Slow down, take a breather, rest, and reset. Take stock of your priorities and what really matters. Start to frame time not in terms of activity, but by priority. Try switching out the phrase “I don’t have time to go to the doctor” with “Going to the doctor isn’t my priority.” Evaluate if changing your language puts you on pause. Then you’ll start to notice how “not having time” has been your go-to for everything. Only then you’ll be able to separate the things that are unproductive and useless with that which matters.
2. Shout ‘no’ from the rooftops: Only take on projects and tasks that make you shout YES. If it doesn’t move you, it likely won’t move your business. Being selective about what you take on creates space to focus on what will move you and your business forward.
3. Track and guard your time: You can use free tools like Timely or Harvest to track how you’re spending your day. We often don’t realize how much time we’re wasting until we look at the data. Track your time for two weeks and review the results. Determine what actions have moved your business forward and discard that which doesn’t. Schedule time in your calendar for you. That may sound woo, but it’s important to reserve chunks of your day because it creates the same level of importance in your calendar as meetings. Whether it’s a half hour a day or an hour a week, set time aside to focus on the big picture.
The cult of overwork is a façade. Being busy creates the myth of constant progress, but motion isn’t progress. The measure of your worth isn’t your personal velocity. Your business is more important than satisfying other people’s perception of success.