How I Stayed Motivated In My Online Career

How I Stayed Motivated In My Online Career

When I started my online career, I felt like I could do anything. I was so determined to make it work that I felt like I was on fire. I was so happy with the opportunity presented to me that I knew in my heart that failing was not an option.

But even the most motivated and determined individual can still encounter difficulties and discouraging situations.

For me, this came in the form of rejections and client scammers. I had my fair share of rejected applications. Some of them were projects that started well but ended up going south because I was “not what they were looking for.” I also encountered clients who tried to scam me out of an article that I worked hard for. They claimed that my article was not original even if I wrote it word for word and it passed when I ran it on Copyscape. Some clients did not pay me even if I met my end of the contract.

All of these can be very discouraging for someone who is just starting their online career. But instead of giving up, there are some things that you can do to keep yourself motivated to ensure your online freelancing success.

Here are the three things that kept me going over the years.

I found what I was passionate about

First of all, I really love what I do online. I am very passionate about writing and I enjoy doing it day in and day out. Believe it or not, I can write for hours and still be okay at the end of the day. Even if I faced rejections and malicious clients, it was not enough to discourage me. I kept on writing because it was what I wanted to do. Getting paid for it was a nice bonus.

If you are working on something that you are passionate about, you will find yourself motivated regardless of what you go through. Even if clients criticize you, it will not matter. You know what you are capable of and negative words and feedback will not keep you from doing what you love to do. Instead of feeling discouraged, you can use it to improve your talent and skills. If you want to make a career out of this, every criticism should not be taken lightly and should be taken into consideration.

I kept my goal in mind

Another thing that I did to keep my motivation high was keeping my goal in mind. As I mentioned in several of my articles, my main goal was to take care of my sons and earn at home at the same time. I had to make it work because we could not live comfortably if I did not contribute financially. My husband and I wanted to give our kids a great life and that meant we had to earn a certain amount each month.

By keeping this goal in mind, I was able to push through and overcome the most discouraging moments of my online career.

I had enough support

Finally, I was able to stay motivated because I had the full support of my husband. I have read stories about some women who wanted to stay at home to take care of the kids but ended up quitting because they did not get the support from their spouse. They were expected to keep the house clean and organized and the kids cared for while working online. The truth is, it is very hard to do all of these. My husband helped me by taking care of our son when he got home. It allowed me to concentrate on my work. Even if he was tired from his day job, he knew I needed a couple of hours to focus on my work.

Without the support of your spouse, or the people in your household, it will be very hard for you to accomplish everything. You will feel burnt out and that will discourage you from continuing with your online career.

A freelancing career may seem like a great way to earn but you need to work harder to keep yourself motivated. I hope these tips can help you succeed in your online career.

Good luck! :)

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3 Keys To Make Your Freelancing Career Take Off

3 Keys To Make Your Freelancing Career Take Off

Starting a freelancing career is easy. Getting it to take off is another story.

It is just like starting your own business. While the monetary investment will not be the same, it will require a lot of your time and energy to get your career to take off. Not to mention having the right skills and personality to help you become a successful online freelancer.

Allow me to give you three tips that helped me reach the Top-Rated Freelancer status in the Upwork platform.

I worked to impress

When I started, nobody knew who I was. I knew I needed to change that. I approached every project with every intention of making the client remember who I am. It was a must that they are impressed with my work.

To do that, I made sure I delivered the best material that I could produce. I also tried to go beyond what was expected of me. Most of my clients just expected me to just write articles. But I would not settle for doing just that. I observed what they liked with their articles and I made my own research. That way, I could suggest topics that we could write about. I believe this made my clients feel that I was really invested in the project. And I really did it to sincerely help make the project or website a success. After all, if the content was a success, then that would be a reflection of my abilities as well.

In effect, I had a lot of clients returning even after we have completed a contract. At the very least, they gave me outstanding feedback that helped boost my reputation as a freelance writer. They did not just praise my skills, they also commended me on my work ethics.

I educated myself

I noticed that a lot of people liked the idea of working from home. But most of them refuse to try it out because they said they knew nothing about working online.

Well, there were a lot of things that I did not know when I started my freelancing career. However, I never let that be an excuse to hinder me from what I wanted to accomplish. What I did not know, I made sure to educate myself. I had no idea what SEO was all about. So I did my research. I wanted to create my own website – so I read articles on how to do it.

The thing about working online is that you have a lot of resources before you. It is very easy to learn how to do something. I remember one quote from Richard Branson. He said, “If somebody offers you an amazing opportunity but you are not sure you can do it, say yes – then learn how to do it later!”

That was exactly what I did!

I got the right tools

Finally, I made sure I had the right tools to help me succeed in my freelancing career. I got tools that helped me check for plagiarism (Copyscape), grammar (Grammarly), etc. These online tools helped me create the best output or written material for my clients. Some even helped improve my skills and gave me the resources that kept my knowledge about my career updated.

There are many tools available online that it can admittedly be confusing to find the right ones to use. Just remember to choose the ones that will improve your output and help you learn more about the career you have chosen. Do your research so you have a list of the tools that you will need. If you are not sure about something, get the free version first. If it turns out to be unnecessary, then move on to the next tool. But if it proved to be quite helpful, then opt to get the premium version.

The bottom line is, you need to build a great reputation in your chosen freelancing career. Once you have achieved that, you do not have to sell yourself too hard to get clients. They will come to you. Judging from the number of invite for interviews that I get each week, I can say these tips really worked well for me.

I hope these can help your own freelancing career take off.

Let me know. :)

Photo by bruce mars from Pexels

emergency fund

Why An Emergency Fund Is A Must For Freelancers

emergency fundIf you are thinking of switching to a freelancing career, you need to seriously build your emergency fund first.

A few days ago, my husband’s laptop stopped working. Both of us work as freelance writers so you can guess how important his laptop is. According to the service center, it could take a few weeks to a month before the laptop can be fixed. Obviously, waiting for it to be fixed is not an option. We need to find a replacement so he can keep working while his laptop is being repaired.

As a freelancer, our income is not stable. We only depend on what project is given to us. If we do not work, we cannot rely on a sick leave or vacation leave to help pay the bills. It is a situation that can easily make us feel anxious.

But believe it or not, we did not panic.

I do not say that to sound cocky. But I just want to stress the importance of having an emergency fund.

An emergency or reserve fund is the money that you will use for unexpected situations. Life can be very unpredictable. It does not matter if you are very careful with your actions or not. You will face these emergency situations and you need to be prepared for them. There are too many outside forces that could land you in an unexpected situation. You could get into a car accident. You can get sick. Your home could be in need of a repair. All of these situations can happen and you need to have the finances to help you pull through each one.

In a freelancer’s world, a busted laptop can be considered an emergency because it is just like being temporarily unemployed. You can just imagine the stress and pressure that we should have felt.

Fortunately, we had enough good sense to save up for an emergency. Instead of feeling stressed, we had our emergency fund to rely on. That allowed us to immediately look for a replacement that can fit our budget. Instead of worrying about where we will get the money, our emergency fund allowed us to go straight to the problem and solve it.

Hopefully, you will not wait for the unexpected to happen before you set aside an emergency fund for your family. If you have young ones, like we do, this becomes a necessity.

Some people I know would always say that they are not earning enough money to have something extra to put aside. Do not have that mentality. Even if you can only save P500 each month, that is enough. It would soon become P6,000 after 1 year. It can mean a lot when you are really strapped for cash.

Think about it. The financial security that an emergency fund can bring a huge relief when the going gets tough.

It is actually what makes me feel calm, even if I know that I have to bring my youngest son to the doctor tomorrow.

:)

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pregnant woman with laptop

How I Juggle 2 Kids And A Thriving Freelancing Career

pregnant woman with laptopMy freelancing career is still thriving – and I intend to do the same for this blog.

Yes I know, it had been 2 years since my last post and to give an update (and to explain why I had been absent for so long), my husband and I just had baby number 2. The second pregnancy was tough and I had to put a lot of things on the side. Unfortunately for this blog, it was one of the things I had to give up.

Well giving up was not really what I had in mind. I intended to continue with the blog because it is my way of sharing my experiences as a freelance writer. Now that I am back, I intend to keep on contributing my thoughts and experiences through this blog.

So how have I been juggling 2 kids and a freelancing career: with a lot of discipline and self-control.

I have a pre-schooler and a 1-year old and these two can be a handful. Any mother can attest to that. How some can take care of 4 kids is beyond me.

If taking care of the kids is not hard enough, earning an income through a full-time freelancing career makes it even more challenging. Although my mind and body would like to devote my every waking moment to motherhood, my wallet tells me that I cannot afford it. So I need to pull out that SuperWoman cape and do multiple tasks all at the same time.

I have found that discipline and self-control help me juggle full-time motherhood and a freelancing career.

Discipline is my way of describing how my week starts with a well thought out meal-plan, writing schedules, planned chores, etc. Everything about my family should be planned because if not, we will miss out on a lot of things. I will probably find myself writing in the wee hours of the morning and catching only a few hours of sleep to finish everything on my to-do list. Of course, my family deviates from the plan most of the time – something that I have no control over. But it still gives me a sense of control about everything that this growing family needs.

Self-control, on the other hand, is my way of keeping myself from burning out. I tend to overexert myself – which I know is not really healthy. So I need to exhibit self-control to force myself to enjoy my kids and give myself a break every now and then. A massage, spa treatment, facial, and a trip to the hair salon usually does the trick for me.

These two, discipline and self-control help me juggle this new life that I am leading right now. It took a while for the dust to settle after baby number 2 came into the picture but I am proud to say that I have been able to survive all of it.

The struggle is real. That is my favorite line for now. If you are a mother of more than one kid and you hold a full-time job – I salute you. We all have to encourage each other and I hope this tidbit of information that I shared with you can help you survive this crazy combination of motherhood and freelancing career.

Image courtesy of patrisyu for FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How To Manage Your Time As A Freelancer

woman holding a clock

Time management is an important aspect of a freelancer’s life – especially for stay at home mothers. You need to learn how to balance your time because when you are not working, you are not earning. At the same time, you need to take care of home-related responsibilities that were the very reason why you opted to work from home. If you try to obsess about it, you will realize that you will never have enough time to finish everything. In most cases, you might even overwork yourself.

That had been one of my struggles for the past few months.

Now I am not going to make excuses for my long hiatus but let me just give you a brief scenario of the reason why it took me 7 months to update this blog site..

My 3 year old son started going to school and the mother in me just couldn’t help but feel very excited for this new milestone in his life. We also enrolled him in summer school to see if he can skip one year and proceed to Junior Kinder. Well he passed (Yipee!) and all the hard work paid off. I am brimming with pride and joy and I just want to share what I have learned for the past couple of months.

Obviously, time management was a big issue for me while my son was in school. He is at an age wherein he cannot be left alone in school. That meant I had to stay with him and the waiting eats up my precious time. But since I’m committed to guide him and be a supportive mom, I am not complaining. But it does bring up some issues about how I can manage my time better as a mother and a freelance writer.

The thing is, when my son started to go to school, a lot of job offers suddenly poured in. If you work on oDesk, you should know that there is this new feature wherein you get invites for interviews. Well I got a couple and it became a struggle between the mom and freelancer in me as to whether I should accept them or not. I was tempted to decline and focus on my son’s schooling but I knew that my husband and I needed the extra income to save up for my son’s tuition.

This is where time management became a real savior in my freelancing life. I knew that I could not sacrifice the attention that my son needed but I also had to boost the freelancing jobs that I had to take on. So here are the things that I did to cope with what could have been a chaotic time in our household.

  1. I put everything on schedule. Before the start of every week, I wrote down all the projects and chores that I had to accomplish and plotted everything in my schedule sheet. That way, I knew what had to be done the moment I woke up, while my son was sleeping, etc. I was very detailed at first and I found myself consulting this sheet every now and then. I set at time limit for each project and task to make sure that I finished them on time.
  2. I built my schedule on my priorities. I had to weigh the important tasks and this time, it was my son’s schooling. I built my freelancing career and household chores around that time to make sure that the priorities will not be compromised.
  3. I took note of those that were not my priorities. I ranked my tasks to identify which of them can be given up. That way, when certain tasks took longer than planned, I knew what to give up or move to another day.
  4. I did not obsess about the changes. Now this did not happen immediately. I initially, became upset when things did not go according to my schedule. But I soon learned how to let go of the things that I could not control. I just made sure that my schedule have some free time that can be used for the tasks that I needed to move because some projects took longer to finish.

If you find yourself faced with a lot of things to do, planning really goes a long way. This is how time management helped me be there for my son and at the same time, allowed me to put in more time on my freelancing career to save up for his tuition fee.

How about you? Do you have time management issues in your work?

Image courtesy of stockimages for FreeDigitalPhotos.net.