Stories. Freelancing. Thoughts. Experiences.

History

In 2013 I was introduced to the world of Freelancing and the possibility of working from home by someone who attended a seminar  about it. I listened in awe as she related what she learnt to me and was instantly hooked. At that time I still had my 9-5 job but went ahead and set up my profiles on two global freelancing platforms Odesk and Elance. They merged in 2015 and are now known as Upwork.

In an effort to have a more complete profile, I applied for part-time jobs to gain more experience and get some hours under my belt. I remember reading somewhere that these were essential to have, and I found out later on that it was true. I did part-time gigs on and off until 2015 when I finally decided I had enough of the corporate scene and wanted to completely take the plunge. I also wanted to focus on other areas of my life such as school and my daughter.

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In February 2015 I attended a Freelancing Intensive Course offered by Internet Income Jamaica and got hands-on training and personalized coaching from experts in the field. On March 31, 2015 I resigned from my job and never looked back.

Why do Freelance Tidbits?

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I say, why not do it?

It’s been almost two years since I started Freelancing full time and in this short time I’ve learnt a lot and even made some mistakes too. Starting out wasn’t easy and I was tempted to throw in the towel many times, but I was encouraged and inspired by the success of the persons I saw doing it and I wanted to prove to me that I could do it too.

Through Freelance Tidbits I will share small pieces of interesting information relating to my journey so far. My hope is that it will help, inspire and enlighten someone out there.

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 So let me guess. You’re reading this post because you  want to become a Freelancer. Well you’ve come to the right place! I’ve compiled a list of things you should do and consider before embarking on this new adventure (you’re welcome). Hopefully they will make your transition smoother than mine was. 😁

So here goes.

1. Take the veil from your eyes and mind. 

Freelancing is a not a bed of roses. At no point in time will you ride off into the sunset with your laptop. It’s hard work. You’re basically starting from scratch to build the strongest and most credible brand. 

You. 

It’s going to take 50-60 hour weeks (depending on what service you choose to offer) and it’s going to take sleepless nights, biting your finger nails and worrying if your proposal or bid was the lucky one selected. In short, don’t go into freelancing with a quick fix mindset. It takes time to put in the work and lay the foundation and time to see the fruits of your labour.

2. Scout out the freelance platforms you plan to offer your services on and create your profile.

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I would say a year before you actually plan to leave your 9-5 job. This allows you to work part-time and accumulate hours which is a crucial part of the Upwork platform for example and increases your chances of being awarded some project or jobs. Some Clients prefer newbies while others prefer more experienced freelancers. The amount of hours you have under your belt gives the Client an indication of that. Getting some hours is the path I took and I’m happy I did. When doing this, start off with a low rate as this increases your chances of being selected for more jobs. Also choose hourly paid jobs, for fixed priced ones don’t track hours. Do take the time to ensure, your profile is complete and is an excellent representation of you.

3. Be aware that there are “Clients” with empty promises and scams. 

And I use the word “clients” very loosely here. The aim of these “pretenders” is to use you and leave you high and dry.  I encountered quite a few in my early days and they really disrupted my flow. Be sure clients are up to offer what they promise by ensuring they send you a contract for what both parties agreed on.

4. Time your move from 9-5 to freelancing properly.

It’s a big step to go from an expected salary each month or fortnight to fending for yourself in the huge, uncertain sea of freelancing. Remember you need to pay bills, overheads and still take care of your obligations and responsibilities so have at least six months money stashed away to cover these incase your freelancing business doesn’t take off initially for whatever reason.

5. Get familiar with the skill requirements for freelancers in your field.

A good way to do this on Uwpork for example, is to search for jobs in that interest you and look at the tags or skills the clients deemed as necessary to get the job done.

After compiling a list, use Google, YouTube and sites such as Alison.com to get free training. From my experience someone offering Virtual Assistant or Data Entry services is expected to be skilled or knowledgeable in the areas of SEO, Google Drive & Docs etc., Gmail, Dropbox to name a few.

One thing a Freelancer can never have enough of is skills and experience. So continous learning is key and provides you with more options and sources for income.

Happy Freelancing! 🙋

Let us #BeBoldForChange and stand with women everywhere as we strive to forge a more gender equal world.

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The picture below is my Kindle Cloud Reader Library. I’m currently reading Princess: A True Story of Life Behind the Veil in Saudi Arabia by New York Times Bestselling Author Jean Sasson.

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As the title indicates it is a true account and is told from the point of view of a Saudi princess who is just referred to as Sultana to conceal her identity. Based on the secrets she reveals this is necessary.

While working on March 1, 2017 I came across this book, saw the description and was intrigued. I immediately went to Amazon.com and bought it right away. I started reading it later that day but was not prepared for the multitude of emotions this book has stirred in me so far.

I go from happy, sad, disbelief, laughter at some joke or antics carried out by Sultana herself to tears streaming down my face at some atrocity suffered by a woman or child at the hands of a man.  Most times I’m left dumbfounded only muttering the only words I can…

Why?

However, these emotions are conquered by anger. I’m angry at the way women are treated, how they have no identity or importance, rights to their life, choices or own body. They are trapped in houses, relationships and palaces without an escape. The sad part is this happens all over the world even in my country Jamaica.

The situation seems hopeless, but I read on with interest and I’m eager to see how things play out in this story. There are two other stories in the series for the complete set is a Trilogy.

The other books in my list, apart from  KDP Six Figures Exposed I’ve already read and they were great. The KDP book I need for pointers on self-publishing my own books effectively. 🙂

 

Human vs god – Short Story

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This story was posted on the soon to be defunct Write On By Kindle in response to  their weekly writing prompt The Weekly Write In. The challenge was, “In 500 words, tell a story that begins with a clash of metal.”

Here is my entry. Hope you like it!

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The teeth-chattering clank of the old bell resonates through the shabby church structure. This is an indication that its sunset.

At first the noise used to bother us a lot, but since we’ve made this crappy place our home for the last three weeks, it’s not even that noticeable now.

It still affects me a bit but not him, and I know it has everything to do with his special abilities.

Sitting on the filthy, old tattered couch that’s our bed, I’m filled with bitter sweet memories as I watch my son Keru play. He’s only two, but already so smart, sweet, loving and full of life. He smiles at me and points to his truck, contented and in his own little world.

Unfortunately, I already see so much of his father in him and it terrifies me. I don’t want him to be a cold, evil and ruthless demi-god. I had to take him away from my husband Caiaphas. I had to get my sweet, innocent boy away from that place before he was corrupted and soiled for good. I know that what I did has dire consequences, but it’s worth it if it means saving Keru. If I can just get out of the city we may have a fighting chance, but I have to choose the perfect time to make a move.

I search my belongings for a match to light the solitary candle that we use to keep the darkness away. As the noise from the bell dies down I hear shuffling outside and hushed voices. Immediately goose bumps pop up on my skin and my stomach twists into knots. Caiaphas was always a smart, strategic god. He used the noise from the bell to disguise the sound from the horses, so I wouldn’t have a chance a run.

We’re cornered.

I grab by son and clutch him to my chest with all my might. No one is going to take him from me that easily!

In the blink of an eye, splinters from what was once the old church door fly everywhere as Caiaphas charges through it valiantly on his white stallion. Guards promptly march in and surround us as Caiaphas approaches me with power and arrogance that would make the enemy drop to their knees in complete submission.

“Did you really think you could take my most prized possession away from me?” He laughs condescendingly. “Look at you Sarah? The puny, measly human who I chose to bear my seed!”

“I was trying to save him from you Caiaphas,” I spit nastily, “and the power hungry, ruthless god you’ve become!”

“The fact that you are unrepentant for your actions leaves me no choice!”

At his words a guard steps forward and pries a screaming Keru from my arms. I fight him all the way but it’s useless, I’m too weak.

A bag is placed over my head and the bang of a heavy metal cage is all I hear as darkness consumes me.

 

Happy Valentines Day!

Wishing you a day filled with lots of Love, Laughter and Chocolates!

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Yes, it is and it’s the answer to so many of the issues that plague this world today.

 

RIP Write On By Kindle

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It is with a heavy heart and crushed spirit that I deleted my stories from Write On By Kindle today. I was informed via email last week that the site is to be closed on March 22, 2017.

As expected this news is not going over well with the writers, readers and authors who have come to love this site and call it home. Starting late last year I noticed that the site had become quiet…too quiet, with no updates or interactions from the Community Managers. The energy that usually greeted me was nowhere to be found and I was beginning to lose interest.

It seems I was sensing this impending bad news.

One good thing that the site Administrators offered us was the chance to download our stories with all the comments made by our readers. I appreciated this gesture for I would have hated to lose all that valuable feedback. These are comments I read with pride months ago. Comments that made me stop and think or tweak my story here and there if any flaws were highlighted.

Now feel kind of homeless as I search for a new place to call my home. Wattpad wasn’t much of one to me but I guess I’ll have to make do until I find somewhere else that suits me the way Write On did.

It was good while it lasted. I’m just sorry it couldn’t continue.

If you know any good online writing communities, please let me know. I’ll be happy to check them out.

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