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How long is your Workday?

If you are self-employed, the ability to work when and where you want is a huge benefit; at least for me. But at the same time, this flexibility can also cause quite a few problems. For instance, there is no boss telling you to get your work done. Generally speaking, the only motivation you have is that to make money and retain clients.

So how long is your workday? For me, this seems to fluctuate day in and day out. And at the same time, defining the length of my workday is never easy to do.

Take today for example. I started work on my first project of the day, a feature article, at 705 am. Four hours later, I have finished that project as well as many others. And guess what? This blog post is the last planned item that I have to complete today. This leaves me the option of doing several things until 5 o’clock rolls around.

First off, I could get started on my work for tomorrow. While I never like to do this, I will probably take an hour or so to get a head start. Another option, and the one that I have been taking advantage of, is to work on new business opportunities. As I have discussed, I am starting several new blogs that are taking up a lot of my time. But as long as I have several hours to work on them each afternoon, I should be able to keep up without any problems.

Of course, do not let these short workdays confuse you. Even though I have finished all my work today in four hours, there are other days when I work 10 hours or more; it all depends on my work load, as well as what I have going on in my life at any given time.

All in all, it is a great feeling to work half a day from time to time. But of course, being self-employed is not all fun and games. For as many half days that I work, there are just as many nighttime and weekend hours! 

8 Comments »Self-employedSeptember 24th, 2007

Email first, but don’t forget to Call

There used to be a time when calling a client was pretty much the only option that you had. But in today’s day and age, email has pretty much taken over. With that being said, you do not want to become overly obsessed with using email as opposed to good old phone conversations.

Believe it or not, I have worked with some clients for a couple of years without ever talking to them on the phone. I initially touched base with them via email, or vice versa. From there, everything has been emails back and forth. And to tell you the truth, this seems to work out fine in most cases; especially if your client is based in another country.

I have also discovered that making a call to a client is not a bad idea; even if you have never spoken to them in the past. When you call a client you are doing two things. First off, you are giving them a voice to put with all of the emails that you send. This is a great way to personalize your email correspondence. Additionally, when you call a client it really shows them that you care. This is not to say that you need to carry on a long conversation, but calling to check in or say hello is a good idea.

As a freelance writer, my primary mode of communication is email; there is no denying this. Personally, I love communicating via email because it is quick, and sending work back and forth is a cinch. But in order to make your working relationship even more valuable, you will want to consider calling your clients sooner or later. They will definitely appreciate you taking the time to do so. And in many cases, this will help you to garner more work from the client in the long run!

4 Comments »Internet Entrepreneurs, Self-employedSeptember 21st, 2007

Be Aware of your Limitations

Even the most knowledgeable workers in every industry do not know everything about their particular niche. The fact of the matter is that everybody has limitations no matter if they are a freelance writer, engineer, website designer, etc. It would be nice to have no personal limitations, but this is not the way of the world. Of course, you can cut back your limitations through experience and skill building, but even then you will find yourself hitting walls time after time.

As a freelance writer I am well aware of my limitations. In other words, I know what I can and cannot do. And of course, the things that I cannot do are the ones that I work hard on when time allows.

For instance, I am very limited when it comes to writing about the fashion industry. I have done this a bit in the past, but with little success. With that being said, I am interested in breaking through this limitation because it seems like a fun niche to get involved with.

Another example would definitely be my technical limitations within the field of blogging. As I mentioned a few posts back, I am starting several new blogs in the near future. Due to technical limitations, this has led me to hire a contractor for uploading WordPress themes and plugins, and also in the area of search engine optimization. As you can imagine, if this were a limit that I did not have, I would be saving a lot of money with this expansion into new blogs.

Once you are aware of your limitations, you will find that you work much more comfortably. Remember, there is nothing wrong with admitting that you are a bit behind in some areas. If I continually told myself that I could tackle the technical aspects of blogging, mistakes would be coming up time after time. Instead, I have owned up to this shortcoming, and am working to fix it.

The best thing you can do is to become aware of your limitations, no matter what they are, and then work to turn them in your favor. 

7 Comments »Internet Entrepreneurs, Self-employedSeptember 20th, 2007

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