Top Ten Places Where Freelancers Should Move Their Home Office

Posted: March 31st, 2009

This is definitely debatable, but many freelancers have come to despise working out of their homes. While there are obviously huge benefits, such as working naked with a Budweiser in hand, the isolation and need for a change of scenery often overcomes us. So here we have the top ten places to move the home office (if need be):

10. Your old job. Tell your old co-workers you were on vacation all along and mooch all the free coffee and donuts while you can.

9. Raid some kid’s treehouse. Seriously… how cool would an office be in one?

8. Your local church. They surprisingly hook you up, plus you get a free bible! Those Sunday meetings can drag on though.

7. Your local bar. Huge benefits: no commute to happy hour, beer within reach and free peanuts.

6. The nearest Taco Bell. You surely won’t be distracted by ordering anything from the place.

5. A nearby Holiday Inn. Get there early, find a checked out room, sweet talk a housekeeper in letting you in and you have a few hours of free office space. One tip: don’t touch the bed.

4. Break in the neighbor’s house. Surely they are not a freelancers and are away until 5 PM. You can raid the fridge while you’re at it.

3. Truck stops. You wouldn’t believe how equipped these places are. That is, if you can fend off the creepy truckers that live there.

2. The Caribbean. That’s where I moved my office to and it’s the bomb. OK, OK, it’s really in Hawaii. Um… Florida?  Stop shaking your head!

1. Aw hell, just move it to the next room over!

Top Ten Reasons To… Just Leave It For Tomorrow

Posted: March 12th, 2009

I think its safe to say that freelancers are workaholics or at least develop workaholic tendencies. Sometimes when you are working on that project you  like to keep going until the batteries drained. Well, I’ll give you the following reasons to step away from the keyboard for once and give yourself a well deserved rest:

10. You haven’t slept in, oh, 30 – 40 hours.

9. Gotta leave something to do tomorrow, don’t you?

8. It already is tomorrow!

7. You have been up all night, watched the sunrise and DIDN’T GO OUT AT ALL!

6. You ran out of coffee (or other stimulants).

5. You could use the time to say, go on a date?

4. Tomorrow is a Monday.

3. Did someone actually tell you that can’t?

2. It already is tomorrow.

1. Work isn’t a 24 hour event my friend.

10 Things You’ve Heard About Freelancing That Are Actually True: DEBUNKED

Posted: February 25th, 2009

Recently, Laura from Freelance Folder wrote about the 10 Things You’ve Heard About Freelancing That Are Actually True. Now we can’t have freelancing truths listed without a little conspiracy theory applied to them so we’ll see if each one of these these really holds water or not.

1. You Can Earn a Full-time Living

You probably could if you like eating ramen noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. This gets a sort-of-DEBUNKED.

2. Freelancing has Flexible Hours

Hey, getting up and having to work is not too flexible. Who cares when you do it. DEBUNKED.

3. You Can Work Wherever You Want

I work at home, not in the Bahamas. Home is not wherever I want. Have to go with DEBUNKED here.

4. You Can Wear Whatever You Want

Freelancers must save time wherever they can to be efficient. Putting on clothes wastes time and therefore it is absolutely mandatory that you work stark naked. Who is going to complain anyway? Semi-DEBUNKED.

5. You Can Deduct Your Expenses

I think this is for something called taxes which is completely unnecessary in my opinion. Remember, save time and be efficient so I wouldn’t see the need for this. DEBUNKED.

6. You Can Turn Work Down

Turn work down? In this economy, if you get tossed a bone what are you going to do? Leave it for the next dog or lick it clean? DEBUNKED.

7. There’s No Commute

Imagine yourself with your usual hangover, crawling from your bed to your desk in the other room. That qualifies as a commute unfortunately. DEBUNKED.

8. You’ll Have Lean Periods

I’m fat all of the time. Oh wait… this may refer to work here. OK, we’ll give a half-DEBUNKED for this one.

9. You’ll Spend a Lot of Time Alone

That’s what pets are for. DEBUNKED.

10. Networking is Important

Yeah, you really have to know what all your friends are up to on the IM. Talk to your pets instead. DEBUNKED.

* * *

Well, there you have it. Freelancing isn’t quite what we thought it was, eh? We love it anyway.

Top Ten Reasons To Quit Freelancing NOW!

Posted: February 6th, 2009

Look, you know it when you know it. Freelancing is not for you so time to cut your losses and move on to other opportunities… or just chill, drink beer and watch TV full time. Here’s how you know its time to quit:

10. Clients are real mean to you.

9. Couldn’t handle the flexible scheduling.

8. Need more time to freak out about bad economy.

7. Found better job cashing checks for some Nigerian company.

6. Didn’t know freelancers actually worked.

5. Out of sick days and vacation.

4. For some reason, you just don’t get those checks every two weeks like you use to.

3. Them clients just don’t understand good work when they see it.

2. Didn’t get that promotion that you were hoping for.

1. Your boss is a total loser.

My apologies for those of you who ended up here thinking this was serious. Freelancers don’t quit… we suffer on!

Around the Horn: Week of January 12th

Posted: January 16th, 2009

What’s going on for freelancers in this shitty economy for the week of Jan 12th? I’ll try and make this as positive as I can.

CNN: Are you a freelancer and want some good news for a change besides the economy? Well, freelancers actually benefit in this recession. Here’s a little proof.

Chris Blassternardone: Thought about being an escort at one time or another, but chickened out? Try being a virtual online escort then.

Fast Company: One of the most pressing issues facing freelancers is the need for health insurance coverage which is hell expensive for an individual. The Freelancers Union has created their own insurance company that serves thirty one states and is currently in a trial phase. Let’s hope for the best.

Freelance Folder: Good reality check for freelancers… do your own excuses hold you back? If you are not where you want to be in your career then you may want to dig in on why.

Freelance Switch: Generally freelancers don’t like to spend money for their own business needs. Its sensible to cut costs whenever we can, but as a business you have to dig in those pockets and make sensible purchases, too.

Freelance Switch: Here are the top ten signs you may be charging too little. Hopefully, none of these apply to you.

Jon Bergan: On a more serious note, the top ten reasons why many freelance designers and start up design firms fail. Most of these don’t just apply to freelance designers but to all freelancers as well.

Rubiqube: How to create an addiction to your services, instead of the other “services” you may have in mind.

TravelBlogs: Flashpacking.  Ever heard of it? Me neither, but a couple quits their jobs and set off travelling the world with their laptops. The key to them… travelling light and  “backpacking with bucks and toys.”

U.S. News & World Report: Podcast interview with Michelle Goodman. She mentions the benefits of freelancing in a bad economy and tips to start out even right now. Major point: companies may be laying off, but if they aren’t closing shop they still need work to get done. That’s where freelancers come in.

Top Ten Freelance Job Board Disclaimers

Posted: January 15th, 2009

If you’re a freelancer and have had a go at the job boards, you may have noticed that sometimes employers  get real specific in their project description. Here are some of the favorite disclaimers we often hear… ok, maybe we exaggerate them a little.

10. “We’re a small start up so please price way below a fair market value and include lots of freebies.”

9. “Looking for a skilled freelancer with preference from Kokomo, Indiana.”

8. “Willing to pay up to $10.99. Overseas bidders welcome.”

7. “Applicants must speak and communicate effective medieval English.”

6. “WARNING: ADULT THEMED (psst… hardcore, gang bangs and lesbian action).”

5. “This should only take fifteen seconds for a freelancer who knows whatever the hell it is they do.”

4. “Canned responses will be put in a pantry for emergency use only.”

3. “The right freelancer will have the opportunity for continued work digging ditches outside our office.”

2. “DO NOT apply if you are not familiar with  Java, JQuery and John 3:15 of the Bible.”

1. “You must provide a resume, portfolio, references and hand in your water bong.”

Top Ten Ways to Get That Loot in Tough Times

Posted: January 7th, 2009

In case you haven’t heard, there is some kind of crisis going on all over the world. No one seems to have any money nor wants to spend it for some reason, either. Well, now you are presented with the top ways to fill your pockets up during this trying period.

10. Add “tax” to your invoices. They’ll never notice. Come to think of it, I should have been doing that in the first place.

9. Sell hedge funds. It worked great for some dude named Madoff!

8. Raid the “have a penny, take a penny” dishes at the 7-11s.

7. Find a Santa suit, a bell and tea kettle painted red. Sit in front of Macy’s all day.

6. Where was that place I sold plasma to in college, again?

5. Borrow a metal detector. Hit the beach!

4. Borrow skimpy dress, lipstick. Hide genitals. Hit the street!

3. Next time you see that shopping cart full of aluminum cans unattended, jack it!

2. Move to California. Pick fruit.

1. Guess I gotta sling the rock again.

Top Ten Greatest Promises By Clients

Posted: November 18th, 2008

Sometimes you can use a little laughter as a freelancer. What better way than to hear the heartfelt promises of your most beloved clients. We bring you the best of the best.

10. “That check will be good in a couple of weeks.”

9. “If you can do this, there’s more work for you in the future.”

8. “There’s only a couple changes I need.”

7. “We can’t pay you much now, but we’ll have more money later.”

6. “I’ll find someone to do the same for only half as much!”

5. “We may even offer you a position later on.”

4. “I’ll tell all my friends about you.”

3. “Can you do [you task here] for free to see how you work? If it’s good, we’ll hire you.”

2. “I’ll have your payment tomorrow.”

1. “That estimate sounds great! Let me get back to you on that.”

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