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Why the Micro-Gig Economy is Great for Creative Freelancers

Why the Micro-Gig Economy is Great for Creative Freelancers

For those fresh out of college, finding a job may seem like an uphill battle. With so much work being shipped overseas and minimum wage at a shockingly low rate, many folks become discouraged in their quest to find work.

At the same time, having a proper 9-5 job isn’t for everyone. Some people were not designed to work set hours on someone else’s watch. Today, you don’t have to go out and apply for jobs or work shifts that you hate just to get by. Instead, technology has made it possible for you to do exactly what you enjoy doing, during the hours you set. The best part? This can be done from the freedom of your own home or wherever else an Internet connection can connect you to the world.

If you are wondering if freelancing is for you, check out this list of ways that freelancing can set you free.

Take Advantage of the Micro-Gig Economy

The micro-gig economy allows freelancers to fulfill small projects outsourced by companies big and small. Individually, these jobs aren’t going to make you rich, but they do allow you to try out new skills and pick and choose the tasks you want to do. Think of this economy as a piece rate economy with the freedom to choose the pieces you want to complete. Some of these tasks are so simple that they are perfect for the days when your head just isn’t in the game, but you know you need to earn some cash. If you want to give freelancing a try, get involved with the micro-gig economy to test the waters. It doesn’t involve a serious commitment, and it allows you to make a bit of extra cash while you make the transition from working outside the home to the freelance lifestyle. This economy is also something that isn’t going away, so you can turn to it whenever you need a few extra bucks because you have too much month left at the end of your paycheck.

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Utilize Multiple Platform Options

Maybe you don’t want to be locked into just one platform. Not only is that okay, but it’s also actually for the best. Just like any other business, those who hire freelancers have the potential to have times when work is slow. By combining platforms so that you always have options to choose from, you also have a means by which to maintain your weekly financial goals because you can always turn to another site when your main one isn’t as busy as usual. And, maybe it’s time to face the fact that creative freelancers tend to be the kind of people who are easily bored, which is one reason they have little or no interest in a typical job outside the home. By using multiple platforms, it’s easy to change things up when the work starts to feel a little too routine for your creative spirit.

Avoid the Office by Working Remotely

Every freelancer has their own favorite perk about freelancing. For those who feel less than comfortable in a cubicle or surrounded by other people – and the drama that tends to come with them – the ability to work at home is the ultimate perk. You’ll enjoy the wardrobe change as well. Not only do you never have to try and find the perfect power-tie/subtle-tone combination again, but you also may not even have to change out of your pajamas for the day, ever.

Being able to put on a nice top for a Skype meeting while wearing nothing else but your underwear is a truly liberating feeling. You’ll wonder how you ever got by dressing up to go to the office.

Choose Your Location

Maybe you don’t want to work at home. Maybe you don’t even want to be at home. That’s fine too because no one gets to tell you where you have to work. If you have a laptop, there is no limit to where you can work. In fact, you can even do freelance work that is specific to travel, so your office location changes every week or month. Conversely, you can choose to enjoy the same corner in your favorite restaurant every day if you like. Just make sure they have free Wi-Fi, so you don’t have to pay an added fee to get online to do your work.

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Make Your Own Schedule

How bad do you hate Mondays? Does a sunny day make you angry as you walk into the office knowing it will be dark when you leave in the evening? No problem, because you don’t have to work on Mondays if you don’t want to. Call Mondays the extra day to recuperate from the weekend and start your work week on Tuesday if you want. Set your alarm for noon if you love to sleep late, because as long as you meet your deadlines, your clients won’t care if you are working long into the wee hours of the morning, or starting when the sun comes up.

Leaving the 9-5 routine and working to fulfill objectives is a breath of fresh air and will leave you feeling free as a bird. The 9-5 can be filled with small pauses and indecisive moments where you don’t know what you should be doing. Running your own business as a freelancer keeps you on your toes because you are in charge of time management because everything comes down to meeting deadlines.

Increase Your Salary

This element of freelance work is probably the one that freelancers struggle with the most. It follows a predetermined path that creative people seem to follow. The path is pretty simple to understand, and once you get over some of the humps in the beginning it will get easier to navigate.

Creative freelancers decide on the specific skill they want to use. Then, they lovingly craft that idea or skill and send it off to a potential client. Then, the doubt sets in. “Is it good enough? No, it’s garbage. Why did I send that?” Then the payment and praise arrive and the freelancer eventually starts to wonder why they didn’t set a higher rate. The good news is that you can set whatever rates you want as long as they are realistic. You might hesitate to raise your rates because you fear the risk of losing the client, but the worst thing they can do is refuse to comply and offer to maintain the existing rate. Chances are, if you have been reliable and offer quality work, they are simply going to accept the new rate and move forward.

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Enjoy Time with Family

If your children are young enough to be in daycare, you know what a significant portion of your salary you might have to shell out just to be able to get to work. If they are in school, you’ve probably gotten “the look” from the boss on more than one occasion when you had to run to the school or stay home to tend to a sick child. None of these factors have to be dealt with when you freelance. You can choose to have your children there with you while you work, and in some cases, their antics might even help you come up with creative ideas.

In any case, you will never have to smile through yet another riveting story about how your boss’s perfect child did yet another amazing thing or every single step of their potty training experience. Instead, you can enjoy spending time with your own children and parenting them the way you always wanted to.

Choose Your Social Situations

When you work at a specific location, there aren’t just requirements concerning how you perform, dress, and act at work. Usually, there are also social requirements. Maybe your boss thinks you can’t be an accountant without joining the corporate bowling team. Maybe you just hate the fact that once a year you have to act like you really want to celebrate Christmas with the people you have to spend five days a week with already. When it comes to freelancing, limiting your social interactions is as easy as clicking the little X at the top right corner of your tab. That’s it. You can interact with colleagues through social networking platforms, and you can even exchange valuable advice, but when you are ready to enjoy a complete lack of interaction, you just close the tab.

Follow Your Dreams

Maybe you are looking to write articles for a living. Perhaps you want to be a professional voice over actor. There are plenty of sites out there that cater to specific areas, while sites like Upwork, Bunny Inc., and Fiverr cover multiple platforms that allow creative freelancers to pursue their passions.

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Being a freelancer means that you have the freedom to do the work you want to do and when you want to do it. This kind of freedom can become addictive so that you soon start to look at other areas of your life where you need to break free. You start to remember all those dreams you had, dreams that had to be put aside so you could adhere to the demands of your job outside the home. Pretty soon, you start to question why those dreams are still sitting to the side when they should be part of your overall plan and experience.

Freelancing isn’t for everyone. It requires self-discipline and the ability to hold yourself to a higher standard when it comes to your work performance. Even so, those who choose to take a trip down this road usually don’t look back. Instead, they tend to wonder why they wasted so much time doing anything else. This is when you find out what it really means to “be anything you want to be when you grow up.”

Being what you want to be is a fantastic feeling. The only thing that will stop you from achieving this wonderful lifestyle is fear. If you have a creative mind and the desire to break free from the ordinary, give part-time freelancing a shot and see where it goes. The worst case scenario is that it doesn’t work out and you make a few extra bucks learning this lesson. The best case? You become your own boss and your life changes forever. Those are some wonderful odds.

Featured photo credit: Writer in the park via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

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Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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