Would I Pay That Much for Me? 5 Things To Consider


The other day, I had my very last coaching call with my mentor coach. Our goal for the call was to nail down the packages I would be offering to clients, and how much I would be charging. In order to prepare for the call,  I drew up a revised list of one-on-one coaching packages, with revised rates, and also came up with a ton of ideas for standalone teleclasses, and a kick-ass teleseries. I was seriously psyched to get my mentor’s opinion on what I’d pulled together.

And while she thought that was I was offering was seriously awesome, she thought I was charging far too little.

Why do I always have this problem?

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When To Stop Giving It Away

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Considering that I maintain a how-to blog with no membership fees, donation links, or advertising, you must assume that I love giving it all away. And to some extent, you would be correct. I love how this blog has helped me build up a professional platform. I love how it’s allowed me to connect with fellow freelancers. And, bottom line? I love helping people out.

But lately, two factors have led me to question where I should draw the line when in comes to “free”:

1. The launching of my coaching practice, the eventual success of which relies upon the assumption that people will actually pay me money for my expertise and professional guidance.

2. Repeated questions from newbies that lead me to believe that they haven’t even tried doing their homework. Forget thorough research. A quick search of my blog would have yielded them the desired results! Am I hurting wannabe freelancers by giving them the easy answers?

So how do I know when to provide free advice, when to direct people to my blog, and when to simply say, “Here’s my coaching fee!”?

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Knowing My Own Self-Worth

money grab

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A couple of weeks ago, during a mentor coaching session, I told my coach that an issue I’d like to work through was my tendency to shortchange myself when quoting rates. By the end of the session, I had vowed both to do some market research on writing and copy editing rates in my geographic area, and draw up a budget in order to determine the lowest rate I could possibly live with.

Copy editing rates were easy enough to come by…writing/blogging rates less so. And when I drew up a budget, I found that I could actually survive on a much lower rate than I felt was warranted (though it was interesting to note that I was spending more than I was making from month to month…I’m still alive how?). Not exactly as helpful as I’d hoped.

Only a week or so later, however, I reached a rates-related epiphany.

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He Said/She Said: Our Income [Now and Later]

money grab

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My husband and I are…different.

He is rational, while I am emotional. He is cautious and conservative, while I preach the necessity of taking risks in order to move forward. He worries about immediate income — ensuring that we don’t go homeless or hungry — while I give him an ulcer by concerning myself with the future.

Last night, our differences sparked a major argument.

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A Gig That’s Worth Your Time


[$6.99, Amazon]

Last week, I found myself saying yes to a job I desperately did not want to do.

It was an on-site gig with full-time hours. The work was outside of my comfort zone. And the pay was not great. Even worse, despite being among people for the first time in awhile, I felt completely cut off from the contacts and the work that mattered to me.

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My Support System


I did not make life easy for my parents.

During my toddler years, they worried over my introversion. During my junior high/high school years, they worried over my fiery temper. During my college years, they worried throughout the course of an abusive relationship I couldn’t bring myself to leave, and then worried some more when I fell into a deep depression and dropped out of college. (I eventually went back to [a different] school and earned my degree.) Post-college, they passed me onto a possibly masochistic husband with a sigh of relief, but still couldn’t help but worry over all my ups, downs, and interminable plateaus.

Throughout the duration, they’ve (for some wild reason) continued to support me in everything I do.

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10 Side Jobs for Freelancers


I’ve always been a firm believer in the idea that a bad economy shouldn’t doom a freelance career, as long as you’re doing the hustle.

Apparently, I’m not hustling enough.

My income first took a hit when the New York Sun folded almost a year ago, and was hit again when Nerve.com revamped their site about a month ago. Despite several copy editing projects and magazine assignments (both in print and online), my income has failed to recover.

Which is why I’m researching additional sources of supplementary income. After the jump, I share 10 side job ideas for freelancers:

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Resource Roundup: Sample Contracts

A week ago, I posted here about an invoicing error I had made, mentioning that I was lucky to have covered my ass in the service agreement I had drawn up.

Because I hate to bring up a problem without providing a concrete solution (and because my contract advice probably leaves much to be desired), here is a roundup of sites that offer sample contracts and contract-related advice:

My Invoicing Error


The other week, I agreed to copy edit a manuscript for someone.

When asked for a cost estimate, I used my past experience proofing book manuscripts to figure out how long it would take me to get through a 90-page manuscript. Then, I took that number and multiplied it by my hourly rate.

Three and a half hours into the project, it became clear to me that I had drastically miscalculated. The project could actually cost up to three times more than I had previously projected.

I was mortified.

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What To Do With Tax Returns


Ah, Tax Day. We’ve made it (but just barely).

Now it’s time to figure out how to spend the returns.

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