31
Aug 15

How I Started Freelancing (Part One)

This is a two-part article. This article talks about my job background before I become a freelancer and how I get started with freelancing. This is Part One. To read Part Two, sign up for our newsletter here.

start freelancing

History

Ten years ago, I was working six days a week from 10 am to 10 pm in a mall. It was my first job and I was 18. Life was difficult and being a young adult with no higher education, I was resorted to working long hours just to get paid enough for rent, food and transportation.

It was the same routine, every single day. I woke up at 6 am to get ready and by 8 am I was already on my way to work as the work place was quite far from home. At 10 pm, I would rush to the train station so that I would reach home by 11.30 pm. It was late night and I was too tired to do anything else other than sleep.

Eight months later, I was exhausted and wanted an exit, so I resigned.

A month later, I was working six days a week from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm. It was a slight improvement considering that I was able to get off work earlier than the previous job. However, it was also the same routine, every single day. I woke up at 6 am to get ready but this time the work place was nearer and I would leave home at 8 am. It sounded like a perfect job at that time, but something wasn’t right and I didn’t know exactly “what” wasn’t right (at that time).

A few months later, I resigned again. I was feeling “empty” and in search of something that I had no idea what it was at that time. After resignation, I took some time off in search of my “self” but it wasn’t easy because apparently soul searching wasn’t paying the bills, so once again I was on a job hunt and finally landed a job in a mall (again!) and I had to work six days a week again from 9 am to 9 pm. It was like a joke because I was trying to escape this type of job and working condition.

Life was not getting any better. I guess I just took any job that was available at that time because I was in a tight situation. So again, I had to follow a routine that I hated the most, having to wake up at 6 am and going out at 7 am to catch a bus and a train in order to reach my new work place on time. (*sigh*)

After six months, I was really disappointed and I decided to take a hike (and never look back!).

Leap of Faith

After leaving my last job, as usual, with rent and bills to pay, it was important for me to join the work force as soon as possible and this time I landed a part time job with a lawyer who stopped being a lawyer and decided to be a businessman (cool!). To be honest, I really have to thank him for hiring me. It was during my time with his company that I discovered my real passion, the “thing” I was searching for. After a few weeks with his company, I realised that I wanted to work for myself, to be my own boss. This is how I get started with freelancing.

To read part two, please sign up here

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You can read similar posts here:

Quit Your Job and Start Freelancing

Top 3 Reasons Why Freelancing Is Cool

Today

Today, I am a freelancer. To be more specific, I am a virtual assistant and my expertise include:

  • customer service via email
  • administration – email management and similar tasks
  • social media management
  • data entry

I am happy with what I do and I believe you can do it too!

If you would like to work with me (hire me!), please contact me.


24
Aug 15

Book of the Day: Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our Future by Ashlee Vance

elon musk

There are few industrialists in history who could match Elon Musk’s relentless drive and ingenious vision. A modern alloy of Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Howard Hughes, and Steve Jobs, Musk is the man behind PayPal, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, and SolarCity, each of which has sent shock waves throughout American business and industry. – from the Inside Flap

Here’s a very interesting book, if you love technology and everything that revolves around it. “Elon Musk: How the Billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla is shaping our Future” by Ashlee Vance is one of the latest books for any aspiring and existing entrepreneurs to read.

Ranked #9 in Business category and #18 in Entrepreneurship, it is a must-have book for those who seek to understand both technology and entrepreneurship. It provides amazing insights on Elon Musk (background, life journey & achievements).

Discover the life of one of the most prominent figures in the silicon valley with this book. You can get it in different versions.

Kindle | Hardcover | Paperback | Audio CD


15
Aug 15

Old But Gold: Freelancing Scam – 7 Tips to Spot a Potential Scam

Original article – Freelancing Scams – Equipped Yourself With These Tips (Jan, 2009)

Second article – Signs of Freelancing Scams (April, 2011)

Third article – Identifying Freelancing Scams (Nov, 2012)

freelancing scam

I have written about freelancing scam back in 2009, 2011 & 2012 and it is never too late to have an update and recap.

Here’s 7 tips (updated) on how to spot a potential freelancing scam:

  1. Your instinct. Believe it or not, this is actually very important and also the easiest way to detect a potential scam. If it feels too good to be true, then it is probably 99% scam.
  2. Vague or unclear job description in a job ad. I don’t trust any potential clients who are not willing to spend some time explaining the job with all the important details.
  3. Paid to get paid – it means you are being asked to pay in advance in order to score a job.
    WARNING: Never pay anyone in advance for a job that you don’t even know if you will be hired / paid. It is even better if you don’t pay anyone for any job at all! Remember, you should not be paying money in advance to get a job. Sites such as Elance (aka Upwork) and Guru charge a certain fee (usually around 10%) but that is only after you get paid through their Escrow payment system.
  4. Free samples (most common for jobs related to writing and design).
  5. Attempt to avoid Escrow – this is common on freelancing sites such as Elance (aka Upwork). They will do everything they can to persuade you to use a different payment method.
    NOTE: If you are on freelancing sites such as Elance (aka Upwork), you are not allowed to use a different payment method. If you insist on using a different payment method other than through their site, you are held responsible for your own action. They would not be able to do anything if you are being scammed (i.e. not getting paid).
  6. Paid samples – sounds good right? No! Although not all jobs that require “paid” samples are scams, it is best to be cautious! This might be a trick to “fish” you into providing them free content. Beware! If in doubt, refer to tip #1.
  7. Contests that require you to sign an IP Deed, probably asking you to hand over your IP rights to the organiser, so make sure you do a background check before entering any contests.

BONUS TIP

Look out for these words or sentences –

“Very easy data entry job…”

“Native-speaking english writers…”

Any additional tips? Leave a comment!


01
Aug 15

Free Stock Images (Including HD Images)

free stock images

Updated: 1 August 2015 – I have added even more sites with FREE HD stock images / photos! (and also removed some of the sites that are not relevant)

I am constantly on the look out for free stock images and here’s a list of stock images websites providing free stock images (some of them provide HD stock images, woohoo!). So, go crazy on choosing the perfect stock image for any usage!

Free HD Stock Images

Free Stock Images

123rf.com – Go here for a list of free stock images. Go here if you would like to sign up, buy premium stock images and help support me (affiliate link).

Note: Some websites require credit line (a link back to the photographer / stock image site) in order to use the free images. Please check the T&C before downloading images from the websites mentioned above.

Disclaimer: All information posted is correct at the time of posting.


04
Jan 14

Can You Freelance with No Experience?

Can you freelance with no experience?

Yes, that’s a question in my mind, when I first “thought” about freelancing. It was years ago and somehow it feels like only yesterday, when I asked myself the question.

After searching Google for some time, I noticed that there are many experts discussing the same subject.

However, I love these 3 articles:

  1. Mashable – http://mashable.com/2013/06/09/freelancing-getting-started/This article is excellent. 5 pointers to get anyone started in the freelancing business.
  2. Freelance Folder – http://freelancefolder.com/how-to-start-freelancing-with-no-experience/FF came up with 3 key questions to help anyone who wants to jump into the freelancing industry.
  3. Wikihow – http://www.wikihow.com/Become-a-Freelance-Writer-Without-ExperienceThis article is dedicated to teach anyone to be a freelance writer.

If you are thinking about joining the freelancing industry, you might want to check these out. It is never too late to freelance.

Good luck!

P.S.: Just so you know, I started freelancing with no experience!