Posts tagged freelance life
The practical matters of personal finance for freelancers

Here are parts of my weekly newsletter I write for fellow freelancers: you can subscribe to my newsletter to get the full articles to your mailbox.

First of all, I have two separate bank accounts. I have a business account with a traditional German bank, which is where I receive all incoming payments and use for all business expenses. Then, I also have a private account. My personal account is with N26, which I absolutely love and would recommend any day! (If you consider signing up, please use my referral code – monikak3108 – which will give us both a €15 bonus.)

Recently, N26 introduced an incredible new feature and I couldn’t be happier! Customers can now create sub-accounts called spaces that enable them to assign a purpose to each. (mint.com does this in the US). One can also set a saving goal and see one’s progress. In the past couple of months, I’ve gamified how I use spaces, which is something I thought I’d share.

Next to my main account, I have the following sub-accounts:

A freelancer fund I’m aiming to save up the equivalent of how much I need for three months. My plan is to get to that goal and once I do, I’ll start paying towards my investment fund.

An investment fund where I plan to save up €2.000 and once I have that, get back to the book on investing my friend Clemens Bomsdorf wrote.

A holiday fund. I’ve set a goal of €3.000, which I know is enough money to cover flights, accommodation, and all my expenses to leave on a vacation for one month.

A relationship fund where I put money aside whenever someone pays for something I could have also paid for myself.

And a monthly savings account. I mentioned in Work Trips and Road Trips that I keep track of how much I spend every day. Whenever I spend less than €30 in a day, I move the difference into this space for me to see at the end of the month how much I put aside. On the first of each month, I move all the money from this space and also what’s left on my main account to one of the saving spaces. (Which at this point is my FreelancerFund or as my friend Theresa Lachner would call it, My Fuck You Fund). Btw. And if I haven’t mentioned it anywhere else, it’s a saving space you create to build up a safe blanket so that when you face a dry month, you don’t panic about it.

The advantage of me freelancing is that I earn money from different sources. I find this quite handy because it makes allocating money to my sub-accounts much more fun. I do that as follows:

I transfer 45% of everything I’ve earned from my business account to my private account. I’m keeping 55% on my business account to cover all my business expenses, taxes, and health insurance. On my private account, I split the money as follows:

I transfer…

40% of what I earn from my main client I keep as spending money.

5% of what I earn from my main client I immediately transfer to the FreelancerFund. In case I have another somewhat larger project going on, I move all of the 45% I earn with them to the FreelancerFund as well.

45% of all earnings I make from my books, my webinars on Skillshare, my photos I sell on EyeEm, and from small one-off projects I move to the HolidayFund.

If you feel like you too might want to consider creating multiple income streams, I’ve recently published three Skillshare classes to help with that:

Watch editing and monetizing your smartphone photos to learn more about how I monetise the pictures I take on the go.

If you’d like to set up a project but don’t know quite know how, I’ve put together a step by step class to help you come up with side projects to eventually monetize them.

And given we’re talking about monetization, you might also want to check out my class on Kickstarter and how to use the platform to finance creative projects.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to reach out.

GDPR: I'm starting new mailing lists

Some time ago, I sent out a questionnaire asking about what to do with my newsletter. Most of my readers said I should keep it as it is. Maybe make it a little shorter. I’ve not quite followed up on it. I’ve more or less stopped sending out newsletters and have mostly just been busy doing my work for Kickstarter, then recovering from the intense experience, and traveling around to visit friends. I also got a dog.

Needless to say that since going freelance in 2014, a lot has happened. I’ve not only worked with clients such as Hanzo, RubyCup, Veganz and many others but have also published three guides for freelance creatives and uploaded several classes useful to freelancers to Skillshare.

Now with the upcoming deadline of the GDPR, I felt like it’s time for a spring clean. I just spent five full days clearing and sorting out all my data. You won't find anyone whose Dropbox is as orderly as mine :)

I’ve also forced myself to discontinue and delete the projects I once started, but fizzled out. I’ve also decided to play it safe and restructure my mailing lists; in other words, delete all existing ones and start new ones. 

If you wish to receive emails from me in the future, please sign up to one or both of the following:

Newsletter for freelancers

Will be similar to the one I’ve been sending out until about a year and a half ago. Subscribers to this list will receive my articles about freelance life. I will also share life hacks as I go and develop my career. Over the years, I’ve received a lot of positive emails and would like to continue sending out those updates in the future. Additionally, should I launch a new project or learn about a new service I think is of value to you, I will share it with you as well.

 

Newsletter on community strategy

This is a list I will use to share case studies and updates I believe are of value to my past clients or people who would like to become my clients eventually. You’ll learn more about the day-to-day of my business and about the events I’m participating in. I might also share links to articles, projects, and work or products of others I consider noteworthy. I’m also going to share step-by-step articles on all the things I’ve done as a freelancer to get ready for GDPR.

I’d also love to take this opportunity and invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn. I hope that one day we’ll get to work on a project together. That would be wonderful! 

Would you like me to write another book for freelancers?
TYWBD_Monika.jpg
WTRT_Monika.jpg

(Here is the link to answer the survey.)

It’s the end of October. Which means it’s been almost three years since I found myself in a mouldy room in London. With a leaking ceiling. Without functioning heat. Wondering whether “this” was what freelancing was about: insecurity, shitty projects, lots of struggles. Just the memory of it gives me goosebumps.

Those who know me personally know how much I loved the job at Somewhere I had before. Going freelance was something that while it made sense at the time, wasn’t anything I was planning on doing. I needed to be location independent and had no other option. I had to learn to deal with the situation and do so quickly.

Over time, I have learned that sometimes, we need to fall deep to pick ourselves up in a whole new glory.

My way out of that mess and how I was feeling then was the first book. A book I conceptualized, produced, and financed within three months. I had the idea because I needed to learn how to freelance myself, and the insights of the women were so cool, I thought I should share them, so I did.

It actually still baffles me how many people wrote me after they read the book about how much it made their year different. How it encouraged them to make a leap and go freelance.

Given for the past three years around this time, I was mostly at home interviewing people, transcribing their interviews, editing, or writing, I’m now wondering if I should do it again. Or if I should do something different. I’m also thinking about ways to make it something more.

When looking at the numbers, none of the books were financially feasible. At least not directly. Each one helped me produce the next one, and with each, I still took a personal loss. It’s not even what I would have paid everyone who worked on the books what I believe they deserved for their excellent work. Most certainly, without the three Kickstarter campaigns I ran, none of the books would have been realized. To this day, the biggest benefit I got from writing these books was the feedback I received from the ones amongst you who felt encouraged to create and do so in self-initiative.

I’ve conducted a little questionnaire. It’s for me to learn about your needs and wants. Given it’s Christmas soon and you have probably already heard “Last Christmas” at least once, I’ve decided to raffle five books amongst those who fill out the questionnaire: 

Click here to view survey

Thank you for your help,
Monika

Are you still looking for the right book to take with you on your vacation? Look no further!
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B073TJL3S2/ref=sr_1_2

Just a quick heads up, Work Trips and Road Trips is now available on Amazon!

If you’re wondering what book to bring along for your vacation, this might be the perfect read. It’s, once again, 15  personal interviews and a great bunch of tips and tricks. I’ve talked to the ladies quite a bit about finances too, so if you’re wondering how others are managing their money to be able to go on vacation, Work Trips and Road Trips might have the answers for you!

You can get the book here

#WTART Update 13: Super exciting, super good news!
IMG_2825.JPG

I just finished reviewing the manuscript within its final layout! Once Chris implements my comments, Diana will make the final check. We’re so very close to printing the proof copies! 

Regarding the cover, we have four possible color combinations; a combination of blue and green or peachy orange. I’ve decided to make the final decision once I'm holding the manuscripts in my hands. 

Just last week, we’ve finally received the blurbs for the back of the book. I’m super proud and super excited the power women Annie Daly, Emma Gannon, Kathi Kamleitner, and Katy Cowan share what they thought about the book with us! (Don’t forget to check out their incredible work.) 

Here's what they said: 

"A must-read for all freelancers with a serious case of wanderlust who want, more than anything else, to create a life they never feel the need to escape from." 

Annie Daly

***

"This book is not a fairy tale story or a book of inspirational quotes; it is full of solid advice that you will keep with you throughout the rest of your career."

Emma Gannon

***

"A creative inspiration, thoughtful reminder, and encouraging guidance all in one. Monika gets you thinking about your life choices, next business steps, and as always, your priorities."

Kathi Kamleitner

***

"Through her new book, Monika yet again shows us how to free ourselves from the chains of conventionalism and live a different, more adventurous life where we can thrive and be successful without following a traditional path. Worth your time!" 

Katy Cowan

I really hope I manage to get the book live on Amazon before you head out for summer vacation. It’s the perfect read for that! 

Talk at Creative Mornings Vienna

Have you ever loved something, but decided to give it up? I don’t mean giving up on people you loved. I mean giving up on an activity or a job. I came across this blog post by Derek Sivers that made me think about the things I gave up. Much more, his post made me think about the moments when I decided to give something up. Often, it’s the moments we decide to give up one thing to pursue another that we gather our courage to make something more meaningful happen. 

As coincidences usually go, the post was mentioned in the Creative Mornings newsletter. About 10 minutes after I read the post, Harald, the new host of Creative Mornings Vienna, asked me if I’d like to speak about “Moments” at the next event.

If you’re around, I’d love to see you there! Tickets will go live next Monday at 11am, and the event will be on the 3rd of February, at 8:30am at the Angewandte Lab.

On another note, the Kickstarter campaign for Work Trips and Road Trips will go live on the 2nd of February. You can sign up here: kck.st/2jh1dSP if you’d like to get notified. There will be a special reward for the people who back the project within the first 48 hours!

What personality type are you and how does it impact your day to day?
File 16-01-2017, 17 46 04.jpeg

Have you ever wondered why you repeatedly run into the same situations? Why you keep being attracted to the same type of people, yet feel resented by others that when looking at it closer, might have the same traits over and over again? Have you had the urge to finally break your patterns to get ahead in your career, and well, life? 

While working on Work Trips and Road Trips, I’ve come across the Briggs Meyer 16 personalities tests. I’ve done one of these tests before, but never paid much attention to the results. However, once I conducted all interviews for #WTART, transcribed, and edited them, I needed to specify the story-line of the new publication. 

When Diana, my editor, and I found out about Briggs Meyer and discussed our results. 

When Diana, my editor, and I found out about Briggs Meyer and discussed our results. 

 

Usually, I work on all interviews and once put all of them in front of me so I can decide what the story-line needs to be (and specify the contents as well). 

When I first had the idea for #WTART, I thought I’d write a straightforward guide where I’d draw the content from the interviews. I thought it would be about travel, so, just like the others, not overly personal. However, when thinking deeply about the structure and what the women I talked to mentioned in our conversations, I knew #WTART would need to be about more personal subjects such as success, mindfulness and purpose. I realized that this time around, I might need to step out of my comfort zone and actually put a little more of myself into the articles than I’d usually dare to. (My personality type, ENFP, is known for being perceived as cheerful and open, but actually not very open about personal emotions whatsoever.) It felt like a huge responsibility to share my personal opinions with the readers and not just a summary of what everyone else said.

Now, and that brings me back to the Briggs Meyer tests, I realized that I should be overly aware of how other people process events compared to how I process them to be able to write something that will be of use for others. I started obsessing with the analysis of my personality type. It’s been really great because I now understand many of the things that I feel and do and find peace with my approach to them. 

One of my favorite blogs, Im Gegenteil (I interviewed one of the founders for #WTART), talks a lot about self-love and I feel like I’ve done a bunch of it these past few weeks.

If you want to give yourself some self-love, I can only recommend to take the test yourself!