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I also turn down work because of my stand on honesty, integrity, and quality.

Authenticity and originality are my primary goals in everything I do.

To do less is to diminish me as a person, and brand. ”

—- Robert Medak

There are many job boards and opportunities for academic writers. I have chosen to never write academic articles.

You would probably ask me why?

For me, it is about a moral code I developed decades ago. I believe strongly in honesty, integrity, and quality.

  1. If I were to write an academic paper and a student were to turn it in as an assignment: He/She has plagiarized. It isn’t his work.

  2. He/She hasn’t learned anything. This is the purpose of an academic paper. Research and fact finding thus gaining experience and knowledge.

  3. He/She has not learned how to rely on themselves.

  4. He/She is taking the easy way out by cutting corners.

Even the possibility of academic articles being used for this purpose is enough for me to have no desire to write academic articles.

Example:

A number of years ago while in college, I wrote a paper on Microwave Vaccum Tubes. I designed an electronic schematic showing all formulas concerning the parts list and how I derived the values for the components.

There were reasons that this work was assigned. What would I have learned if I had ordered an academic paper?

I also did a review of a book for a political science course taken for my major.

These were for separate courses that showcased my work, not someone else, the grades received were earned my me.

By doing the work I proved that I am not part of the almost 50 percent of today’s freshmen applying to community college must be remediated because they are unable to perform college-level work.

Businesses are spending 3.1 billion dollars a year remediating employees because colleges students do not have adequate communication and math skills for today’s businesses.

Being an old-school grammarian, there are times when visiting websites, readers should be appalled by the grammar and punctuation errors, verb-subject agreement, and poor writing.

Granted, that typos are impossible to catch everyone. The point is, that before anything is posted to the internet or any media it should be thoroughly edited and proofread.

Read and you will find words being used that show a lack of the basic understanding of English.

Where have native English speakers learned that it is okay to use learnt when they mean learned?

Just because a word has been added to a lexicon doesn’t mean it should be used instead of the proper word.

Social media and texting is the downfall of proper English, I can’t speak for other languages since I don’t speak any.

How are your communication and math skills?

Do you read?

Do you practice your communication and math skills?

Do you spend time expanding your vocabulary?

Through the use of judicious use of proper English for verbal and written communication will help in clear and concise communication to establish what the communicator is trying to say and have it understood whoever hears or reads it.

© 10/24/2016 All Rights Reserved

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader,and Reviewer

Can an introvert also be an entrepreneur?

Only you can answer this quest for yourself.

Working from your home helps since you only interact with people via social media or the telephone.

As with anything in life there are divergent paths and there is not a single path for everyone.

All paths lead to pros and cons that you must determine for yourself, and if you are willing to accept the responsibility for your choosing your path.

I offer this caveat, never spend more than your budget will allow and never go into debt to fund your freelancing business.

How comfortable and transparent are you working from home?

By transparent, I don’t mean giving out your personal information. I mean is being your authentic self.

Clients don’t purchase from people they don’t know or don’t trust.

Honing your interpersonal skills is a must to build trust through building relationships with visitors to your blog, website, and social media platforms.

It is how and how often you interact with others in your circle of followers and those following you. Are you helpful, do you answer questions, how often you blog, do you offer education, do you offer value. Why should someone interact with you if you don’t interact with them and other in your chosen niche.

Each individual must create their own schedule of interacting on social media and how much they are willing to interact online,

What does it take to become a freelancer?

I have written about this in posts on this blog. One post is The 7 P’s of Freelance Writing. It was written back some time ago.

In that post, I mentioned certain items that apply to general freelancing as well.

These items are:

  1. Performance –
  2. Presentation –
  3. Professionalism –
  4. Polish –
  5. Personal Contact –
  6. Persistence –
  7. Patience –

I could write about what these words mean to me but if you want to be a freelancer, you will have to find out what these words mean to you in your business, because freelancing is a business, and it you fail to treat it like a business your business is destined to fail.

Call Yourself a Freelancer and They Will Beat a Path to Your Door

First, forget about that happening, especially if you’re an introvert.

Second, do not quit your day job until you are making enough to allow you to do so. Each person must make that determination on just how much money they need to live the lifestyle they wish to continue living or compromise living on.

Third, if you are in the United States, think about what the federal, state, and local government might think about you doing business from home if clients come to you.

Fourth, if you work for someone or a company that has a benefits package, are you willing to give that up and start paying your own way by freelancing full-time.

Fifth, consider the fact that as a freelancer you will be competing against other freelancers from around the world and some probably willing to work cheaper than you.

As a newbie freelancer, you have no portfolio, no reputation, and face it; no experience working with clients and understanding their needs.

Start slowly and build your credibility, reputation, brand and what is unique about what you have to offer potential clients so they choose you over another freelancer that has been doing it longer than you.

What is your Plan?

Have you thought about the following?

Do you even have a plan on how to proceed?

Have you written a business Plan?

How are you going to finance your freelancing?

Where are you going to work from?

Are you planning on establishing a separate business bank account?

What are you going to name your business?

Have you thought about a domain name for your website?

Are you going to create a blog?

If you are on social media, are going o create a separate business social media account.

Are you going to have a business phone and business cell phone separate from personal ones?

What about selling via a separate voice mail than your home voice mail?

Does this give you pause for thought?

I trust it does because there are many things to think about when calling yourself a freelancer and being willing to do whatever and however long it takes to become a freelancer making a living.

Many of the household names in online marketing have been at it for years. It is possible to take years to become an overnight success.

Any business that is still around started as a start-up and worked hard to become a success.

Have Questions about Running a Business

If you are in the United States, there are sources of information online at the following:

Federal Trade Commission – https://www.ftc.gov/

Small Business Administration – https://www.sba.gov/

Secretary of State for your state

Tax Board for your state

The county business license

The city council for the city you live in

Entrepreneurs take note:

If you want to be in business as a freelancer you are considered a consultant or contractor you are responsible for all of the regulations for any business doing business in your area.

Take care to cover yourself with insurance and incorporation to protect your personal assets.

I am not an attorney and only suggest you consult one when starting your freelancing to protect yourself from a lawsuit or potential damages from your actions as a small business owner.

As an Entrepreneur

The money you make from freelancing is not yours, it belongs to the business you created and belongs to the business for future growth and success.

All you get is a salary for which you are libel for all taxes, withholding and any other required payments to the Federal, State, and Local governments.

If this is not what you are prepared to deal with on your own or hire a CPA, think hard if you are ready for freelancing.

Freelancing is not for the faint of heart.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing

I welcome questions and try to answer them to the best of my ability. Use my contact page.

Use my contact page if you have any questions.

Are You a Magpie, always looking for the next shiny object, the male Magpie is always on the look for the next shiny object to entice a mate with the number of shiny objects.

Many entrepreneurs feel that the more they can learn or listen to the newest webinar, buy the newest book, listen to the newest podcast, spend untold dollars on anything or everything from the next guru they hear about.

Everyone feels inadequate at some point, whether newbie or seasoned. No one can live their life in their comfort zone, especially when starting out.

Most people have heard of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” by Jack Canfield. He received one-hundred and forty-four rejections of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” before finally being published.

How do you think he felt? Maybe inadequate? Was his idea a good one or a bad one? Was he chasing shiny objects? No he kept moving forward. 

When is it time to walk the walk?

How many books do you need to read? How may programs do you need to buy? How many gurus do you need to listen to before you pull up your adult pants and get started doing?

If you’re afraid of failure, guess what. If you take personal responsibility for the outcome of your actions, you can learn more by failing than you can by success.

Failure is part of life. Do you think Thomas Edison was successful with every invention on the first try? No, but he did learn what didn’t work. The same goes for freelancers, entrepreneurs, and businesses. Each one must find what works for them.

There is, no one size fits all, if there were, every business would be the same to some degree.

You are an individual, you learn at a pace and mode that may be different from the next person. What you need to learn is what works for you and what makes you different from others.

There are myriad businesses, entrepreneurs, and freelancers to choose from. What makes you different from the crowd, why should someone trust you with their project? This is what you need to learn about yourself and exploit your differences to build a trusting environment with your clients. Clients will not work with someone they don’t trust or have some form of relationship with.

Human beings have strengths and weaknesses. The entrepreneur’s job is to identify them and use them to their advantage.

Stop reading and spending your cash on the next shiny object and start doing the work needed to become a success, whatever that means for you. Realize that what you consider success may not be what someone else considers success. Only compare yourself to you, never someone else.

Comments or discussions are welcome 

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing

What to do when Health Issues Ruin Your Week

Living with a number of diagnosed medical and emotional conditions:

Anxiety, Diabetes Type 2, Gout, Hypercholesterolemia, Meniere’s Disease, Neuropathy, Osteoarthritis, Osteopenia, Pernicious Anemia, and Supraventricular Tachycardia. I have a small pharmacy in my home because of these conditions.

The week of November 15, 2015 was not a good one for me. This is not an excuse for not keeping up with reading and learning about how to increase traffic and marketing my services online. It just takes longer.

On Wednesday November 15, 2015, my wife and I needed to run some errands. While out of the house, many physical manifestations began to arise. Their toll felt for days afterward.

I am grateful to be able to work from home with no supervisor hovering over me, wondering why I’m not busting hump on the latest project. I did have some problems with supervisors at my job with PacBell, a contributing factor to my retiring early. I retired at age 58.

As age crept up on me, so did other medical conditions. Cataract surgery for one. These are the “Golden years”.

 

If you are living with health issues

First, create a sick day plan.

The sick day plan should include working on some aspect of your business. Being under the weather doesn’t mean you give up. It only means you may have to rearrange your schedule.

Second, keeping up with clients.

If a time comes when you are not 100 percent, you need to contact your client and let them know, especially if any illness may adversely affect the timeline you’ve given them for their contracted project.

Looking like an amateur to your client is horrendous to your business and personal reputation by not keeping them up to date on their project.

Third, always keep as healthy as possible.

When working, you must consider making time for yourself. You must eat, exercise, and take mental health breaks to maintain optimal health. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle is important for you and your business. If you are not 100 percent, your business won’t be either.

Your health is more important than your business if you work from home as a freelancer or consultant.

I can attest to this from personal experience.

Consider creating a wellness program for optimal health that will allow you to run your home based business efficiently and effectively.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing.

 

Contact me with any questions you may have, or about my services.

Leave a comment. I would like to know your thoughts about this site.

Many People Want to Work from Home

Unfortunately, working from home isn’t as easy as some portray. Many individuals and companies are willing to tell you it is, if only you buy this book, program or software, their agenda is to make money from you.

A Bit about Who I am

I have no agenda other than to help people by what I have learned from nine plus years working from home trying to build a business online. I began this journey three years after retiring from a job I held with a company for thirty-seven years.

The company was downsizing and wanted older employees to retire with a package that was hard not to accept.

Because of medical conditions, my wife and I decided it was time to take PacBell up on their offer. I retired in December of 2003 and began my journey my way in February 2006.

Along my journey, I added other services because the company I was contract with asked me to edit a manuscript besides the reviews I was writing for them. Through that company, I began to contract for another company as a reader and writer.

I would read books and determine if a book was worthy of being printed and to write a review if my opinion was yes the story should be considered for publication. Almost the duties of an acquisitions editor.

I have interned as a copy editor for and online site and worked freelance from job boards. I mention this only as a bit of background of what I’ve done from home.

Work from Home

First, ask yourself why you want to work from home.

  1. Freedom
  2. Money
  3. Be your own boss
  4. More time for life (Family, friends … etc.)
  5. Something you feel qualified to do (Would you do it if you never received money for it? This is what passion is all about.)
  6. Make some extra money

Second, forget about life work balance if you want to grow your business and be able to afford to quit your 9 to 5 job. Until your work from home scheme is able to pay for your present lifestyle, don’t quit your day job.

Third and perhaps the most important, how many hats you are willing wear in your business.

Hats? Yes, hats. Let me list a few hats unless you have deep enough pockets to outsource them.

  1. Office manager
  2. Accountant
  3. Business plan writer
  4. Content writer
  5. Data Processor
  6. Entrepreneur
  7. HTML manager
  8. Marketer
  9. Networker
  10. Programmer
  11. SEO manager
  12. Social media manager
  13. Web designer

There may also have to wear other hats that may crop up while running a business. You must be quick on your feet and flexible. There are always challenges and opportunities to learn more about being a contract employee.

There may be state, county, and local licenses and taxes that may be required to run a business from home.

As a work from home freelancer, you will be responsible for health insurance, business insurance, records, keeping books for the IRS if you are in America. You will be paying quarterly taxes.

How will you conduct your business? You will need to consult an attorney to make a decision to be a DBA (Doing Business As), LLC (Limited Liability Corporation), or an S or C Corporation.

Each has pros and cons. I highly recommend you consult an attorney to explain the differences to you so can make an informed decision.

What do you need to Work from Home?

  1. High speed internet
  2. Computer with sufficient RAM and Hard drive space for business only
  3. A dedicated business telephone line
  4. A dedicated workspace free of distractions
  5. A separate business bank account
  6. Voicemail

As you can see, working from home is far from as simple as some think. It is hard work and long hours to create a thriving home based business.

It is not all downside; there are many benefits to working from home, one needs to look at the reality of working for themselves in a home based business.

Any business is hard work and long hours to make is successful.

If you decide to go into business, think about what I’ve said here and be clear about what your motives for going into a home based business are.

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing

What do I mean by “You are Your Platform”?

Are you online?

Whatever you post, how you interact, are you helpful and engaging, have you built trust with your contacts, do you add value, and this is your platform (You).

Are your interpersonal skills good or do they need work so potential clients want to work with you.

What happens when someone Googles your name, what will they find on sites like Facebook and other social sites. Are you sure that everything you post portrays you in a good light and someone that is a good fit for people searching for what you offer.

You must always guard your reputation because it is all you have to put in front of potential clients. Do not post pictures or rants that portray you as someone extreme with views that might reflect a negative persona. This could hurt your chances to convert visitors to your site.

You as a platform, may be a foreign concept but think of it as applying for an open position. The open position is your client has and you want it. You have to present yourself as the best choice or their open position. The question is does your online and offline person reflect you as the best choice because you are in a competition with others. Why are you the best? Do you bring value?

Does your persona reflect confidence and trustworthiness? If it doesn’t, you could lose out on jobs you might like and feel are in your wheelhouse.

You must always put you best foot forward at all times. One way to do this is to answer questions that others online and offline may have. Be helpful and pay it forward. You’ll be surprised what you get back in return. Be the go to person for your niche.

If you are helpful and offer value to clients, your chances of getting referrals and testimonials increases without have to work at it, happy clients are your best advertising.

Consider being a lifelong learner by keeping up with the changes in your niche and the Federal Trade Commission rules if you are in the United States. 

Author

Robert Medak

Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing.

Many people in business on the internet have heard the term “Content Marketing” but may not completely understand what the term means.

The Content Marketing Institute (The Content Marketing Institute is a place of resources and training for anyone interested in learning about content marketing) says of content marketing,

“Content Marketing – Formal Definition

Content marketing is the marketing and business process for creating and distributing relevant and valuable content to attract, acquire, and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

A content marketing strategy can leverage all story channels (print, online, in-person, mobile, social, etc.), be employed at any and all stages of the buying process, from attention-oriented strategies to retention and loyalty strategies, and include multiple buying groups.

Content marketing is comparable to what media companies do as their core business, except that in place of paid content or sponsorship as a measure of success, brands define success by ultimately selling more products or services.”

This may be a bit too formal for some. My definition of Content Marketing is this:

The creation of value added content (any medium such as a blog, website, social media, networking, etc.) that explains what you as an entrepreneur, freelancer or small business owner have to offer that is of benefit to your customers.

I would also like to add the definition of the term “copy” which I use quite often when writing about blog posts, articles, press releases (PR), etc.

According to the definition found in Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary Eleventh Edition “Copy” is:
4 a: matter to be set esp. for printing.

b: something considered printable or newsworthy – used without an article
c: text esp. of an advertisement

Copy is anything suitable for printing. Is a blog post suitable for printing? When you hit the post button, your post is electronically printed. Therefore, anything created that involves text is copy.

Content consists of video, eBooks, whitepapers, infographics, case studies, how-to guides, etc. Content is any media that positions you to drive traffic to your business with an audience looking for what you have to offer.
In subsequent posts, I will be covering more about the marketing aspect of content as it relates to your ideal customer.

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing

As a freelancer, entrepreneur, or business flexibility and change are omnipresent; as the responsible party, you need to be quick on your feet to address what is working and what isn’t working.

In my case, there is too much taking up time and not allowing me to concentrate on what is more important, writing and learning, to this end I am refocusing on my writing, blog posts, and taking courses that I am registered for.

Believing in lifelong learning, it is time to begin learning more about the interests I have in relation to being a well-rounded freelance writer and marketer.

Everyone wanting to work online must have a working knowledge of basic HTML, SEO, Social Media, Marketing, and Content Marketing to grow their business. Whether working solo, partnership, freelancer, or whatever you call what you do online, or brick and mortar you are a businessperson and must learn about how different business models operate. Even authors are business people and are entrepreneurs.

Businesses must be open to the myriad changes possible as technology and business opportunities that arise. To be flexible to be cognitive to these changes one needs to be open to refocusing how to achieve the goals of your business.

When refocusing, questions will naturally present themselves. This is a time to re-evaluate if you need to learn something new, revisit your goals, or begin outsourcing some of the administrative chores to a VA (Virtual Assistant) to perform these tasks to free up your time to make your business grow.

Is it time for you to refocus your business and join me on the journey to rediscover the joy of running a business or being a freelancer and finding the passion you once had. Without what you do bringing joy to you, why are you doing it? Is it just for money? If it isn’t fun, it will become drudgery and had to keep the civility in the business. Frustration leads to contempt for the business and family as the burdens grow.

Refocus on why you started your business in the first place. Was it because you felt you had something that made you feel good and thought you might be able to help customers and make some money as well.

Refocusing will bring the passion back you initially, and help your business prosper and grow. Enjoy the journey!

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Reviewer learning marketing

What do I mean pay to play?

Facebook, created years ago, has a growing membership in the multimillions. Facebook frequently changes their algorithms, with subsequent algorithm changes, organic page likes fluctuate as does post reach, unless an account holder pays for expanded reach. The more you pay the greater the reach, these costs for expanded reach range from five dollars to two hundred dollars. The more you are willing to purchase reach the greater the reach. Promotion and advertising reach will cost you whatever you can afford. The more you can afford the greater the reach.

What is Reach?

Reach simply put, is the number of people that will see your Facebook post or advertisement.

Is Pay to Play Right for Your Business?

First, no business should go into debt, to fund their business and reaching out for new customers and advertising. Going into debt to fund your business is one way you quickly go out of business.

NOTE: Never spend more than you can comfortable afford on your business from revenue.

If you are an entrepreneur, freelancer, or small business, how much can you budget for paying to play against revenue to run your business is an extremely important equation. This is part of your marketing budget expense. What can you realistically afford without leaving the business short of funding and operational expenses? All businesses must know this number at all times. Put your account hat on and keep a handle on your working capital and budget items.

Whether entrepreneur or freelancer, you are a business, this is something that you must keep in mind. You must also realize that the business income is not your money; the money belongs to the business for operation and growth, not for paying personal living expenses.

Under funding, is a major cause of businesses closing down. Can you afford to spend money you don’t have? Most people who spend more than they make are soon in deep financial trouble. Don’t be one of them!

If you plan is having money and time to be free by starting a business, don’t. For a business to be viable, you will be spending many hours, weeks, and months devoting both to the business.

There is a dramatic learning curve to creating a startup. Most startups cannot afford to outsource many of the day-to-day operations. In the beginning, these operations are up to you until the business can afford the costs of outsourcing which isn’t cheap.

This is what true pay to play is all about. You want to freelance, or create a startup; it is going to cost you to join the ranks of entrepreneur. Don’t spend what you don’t have from the business.

Author
Robert Medak
Freelance Writer, Blogger, Editor, Proofreader, and Read the rest of this entry »

During the last few of weeks of 2014, how did your 2014 goals list compare to what you accomplished in 2014?

Did you periodically analyze your 2014 goals list and adjust your time and effort in achieving your goals?

Did you reach all of 2014 milestones? Why or Why not?

Have you listed and scheduled periodic reviews of your 2015 business goals and are ready to make changes along the way?

What are going to do differently in 2015 than you did in 2014 to achieve your goals list?

The final questions for this post will be the following:

Are you willing to expend the time and effort required during the year 2015 to achieve all items on your 2015 goals list?

Have you established your editorial calendar for your blog in 2015?

Does your business have a blog? Why or why doesn’t your business have a blog?

Every business needs a blog. Businesses that have a website should have a blog as part of their website or a standalone blog to engage customers, to keep customers updated on what is new in the business.

A blog is the perfect method of interacting with customers through your clear call to action. A call to action may be as simple as getting them to use your contact form or some other action that will tell you what your customers think and want on your site.

In addition to a blog or website, businesses need a social media presence to inform potential customers of information about themselves through interpersonal communication. The main point of social media is to establish relationships with individuals that may be in need of what your business offers.

Social media is also a good platform to mention a sale, discount, survey, or what is happening in a business. Social media allows businesses to learn what customers are looking for by asking questions or have a complaint about something that a business may be able to help with.

Using social media allows businesses to view the pulse of what people want through what they share. How businesses are using social media to their advantage in finding new customers and how businesses use social media for brand marketing.

No one can learn the nuances of social media overnight. In the era of digital, social media and mobile is necessary for businesses to survive and thrive in the digital world we live in.

2015 is a new start for every business from freelancer to large corporation to learn new technologies and use them to their advantage in establishing and growing brand awareness.

Using technology is paramount for entrepreneurs to compete with larger businesses in the digital market.

Annually entrepreneurism is growing worldwide because individuals can no longer rely on the economy on a global scale. It is up to individuals to create their own economy through entrepreneurism. Taking courses in entrepreneurship is no longer a luxury but a necessity in these times of global economic uncertainty facing everyone. There are no longer jobs where one could follow in their father or grandfather’s company.

Those seeking work as more people retire and more jobs outsourced to countries because of lower pay and tax breaks, gainful employment is becoming a myth. Individuals have to fend for themselves in creating a living wage.

Is it easy being an entrepreneur? The short answer is no. Entrepreneurship is not for the faint of heart, but it can be rewarding for those willing to work hard and gin the knowledge required to be a successful entrepreneur in today’s economy.

Good luck in all of your endeavors for 2015 and beyond.

Robert Medak

Freelance writer, blogger, editor, proofreader, and reviewer learning marketing

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