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19 March 2009

The Essentials For Freelance Work

As Featured On EzineArticles

Efficiency = Skills + Discipline + Reliable Technology.

This is what I call my work from home formula. My toolkit. My mantra.


While it may be true that freelance work or working from home gives you more freedom than when confined in an office with people monitoring your activities all the time, it should be noted that this kind of freedom should still be coupled with discipline --- twice the discipline that you once had when you were still reporting to an immediate superior.

The reason for employing discipline is simple: We are being paid for our output.

I remember one client of mine, a very nice guy, who had to hire a new set of people (I was part of that “new set”), as he could no longer afford to keep chasing on his former staff for deliverables. It was so ironic that the reason why he hired people was to free up his time and allow him to do more important things for his business, like get new clients, yet only ended up getting tied down because he had to baby sit his staff.

This should be very basic - Discipline promotes productivity and cost effectiveness, both which are essential for your client’s business.

If you want to be a keeper, bear this big “D” in mind. Put quotes about it on your wall, workdesk, or any part of your workplace area. Read it. Live it.


You need not have a wide range of skills to stay competitive. Just focus on one or two and you’ll do fine. Focus on that one that you are really passionate about.

  1. Update your skills. Learn about new technology that could help you with it.

It pays to be aware of the current trends being used. In my case, I do a lot of project management. Although there are a lot of really good project management tools out there, I still would like to know which ones are the most cost effective and more suitable to my clients’ requirements.

  1. Build your portfolio.

While a good portfolio gives a client more basis to hire you for your skills, it also gives you a reference of how you continuously evolve in improving your craft. Make every work your masterpiece. Always work as if it were your last.

  1. Read and learn from the experts

It helps to learn from the experts. Find out how they started, find out what makes them marketable and learn from their achievements.

Reliable Technology

Take note: Reliable, but not necessarily the latest.

If you’re a newbie, it would be more practical to just get a piece of equipment that would serve its purpose.

  1. A reliable PC

Honestly, the first pc that I bought when I started to work from home was just a second hand Pentium IV, and boy I must tell you, it worked wonders for me --- not bad with a 512MB RAM, a 40GB hard drive, and a network card that would allow it to connect to DSL – especially since most of the work that will be done is just admin-related.

  1. A DSL connection

Two things to consider: speed and reliability.

Sometimes, we confuse the speed of our PC as also the speed of our connection. On my next blog post, I will show you some tips on how to rule out PC problems and internet connection problems.

Reliability. How many times have you called your ISP complaining about unreliable connection? Honestly, I’m guilty of that. It pays to ask around first before subscribing.

  1. A dial-up connection or wireless USB connection

It helps to have a backup in case your DSL connection fails. Take note though that not all of the bandwidth that you use for DSL can be accommodated by these 2 backups. There are times when you have to only use one instant messenger (I’m guilty of using 2 or 3 at a time) for the time being. Nevertheless, these two would still come in handy, unless your other backup is another DSL connection. That’s a different story, of course.

Next post: Stay tuned for tips on how to troubleshoot your pc problems (before calling your local technician).


Crystal Yorker said...

I do programming for websites on a freelance basis, and the number one thing you have to do is have a core group of people to work for so you aren't spending all your time applying for work instead of doing it. I get most of mine from

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