Saturday, April 30, 2016

Live with the King

Sit back, kids.
I'm going to open this magical blogpost with a story.


When you're an Independent Creative, you can only rely on two things for your ultimate survival:
One, Your Awesomenes.
And, Two,  The double-awesomeness of a gadget.
In my case, it has to be a Huawei Nexus 6P.
That's because when you're a Freelancer, you gotta stay on your toes, stay focused, and look cool doing it all. That's where Huawei Nexus 6P saunters right in. The perfectly powerful king for the perfectly workaholic queen. Allow me to elaborate.

1. We're not talking about a regular shell here. Nexus 6P is handheld glory.  It redefines arm candy! At first glance, you'd be floored by its full metal unibody, anodized aluminum, 3D curved glass, and diamond chamfers. Would I want to walk into a meeting toting this? Do I want to walk into the Grammy's wearing Vera Wang? Oh, you bet. Huawei Nexus 6P looks so good, it will make you look good. :)


2. Of course, let's not just skim the surface. Nexus 6P has the goodies that can match my personal brand of insatiable OC-ness. A 5.7" WQHD AMOHLED display with 518 pixels per inch means crisper layouts and videos. A camera that snaps great pictures even at low-light means quicker reflexes on inspiration harvesting. Frontal speakers means louder and fuller presentation sound bytes. Nexus 6P is the best thing that ever happened to impromptu presentations!

3.  Freelancing is nothing if you don't crave for power. For better performance, that is. So, naturally, I wouldn't jump on the mediocre phone bandwagon if I want to get ahead. I would want the latest octa-core Qualcomm® Snapdragon 810 v2.1 processor for speed, a 3450mAh battery for longevity, and... wait for it... the ultimate Android experience that is the ANDROID 6.0 MARSHMALLOW! Marshmallow will get me beefed up on the latest software updates while I'm basking in the glory of fantabulous performance. Nexus 6P has all these, by the way. Hey, yeah! 

4. Everybody knows that the key to successful independence is multitasking. Would you believe Huawei Nexus 6P is about a few feet ahead of you on that? Nexus 6P understands that you need to stay connected to get things done. So it has pre-installed Google glory in your equipment for quicker access. Do not waste a second! Love that!

5. Now, with all these super greatness in one phone, would you really want just about anyone to dip into it? Nope, not me. This is the part where I'll have to say, "Go get your own!". Haha! Nexus 6P also comes with an amazing security system. An ergonomic fingerprint ID that lets you in while streamlining your day-to-day online activities in complete privacy. Oooh... that makes freelancing sound so James Bondsy, doesn't it?

So there you have it. An honest tale told as to why a workaholic freelancer like me needs a powerful gadget like this to have and to hold. I bet you'd want a Huawei Nexus 6P sitting in the palm of your hand, too, huh? I can't really blame you. But I guess this is the part where I have to say, "Get in line!" :P

If you're an Independent Creative, live your dream. Live with the King. Huawei Nexus 6P.

Saturday, March 19, 2016

The Ultiimate Guide to a Freakin' Bright Future!

Business slacking up a bit? Projects hiding out? Cash flow slowing down?
This spells like a sad, sad day in freelancing existence.
Oil that baby up with some of these self-and-biz building tricks laid out for you in the most informal way possible!
PLAY INTRO!


Alright, this month's theme is called BREAKING BARRIERS. When things aren't working out towards a bright business future, then it's time for a plan change. You can't make any outcome any different by doing the same things over and over., right? So it's time to BITE THE BULLET and GIVE YOURSELF A BOOST!
(Do you see the B plays going on here? You did? Heee... thanks!)

Like they always say, change begins within yourself. Going a little zen here, let's do just that. Check out your anatomy and craft the changes from there. Ready?

STEP ONE: BRAINS. YOU'RE A WORK IN PROGRESS. ALWAYS.
You can't sit on your skill set and say, "Yeah, I'm amazing." Sure, that worked for a while. But times are changing, the world is turning. In the middle of all this excitement, believe me, stagnating isn't cool. What you have to do is feed that brain. Soak it up in new knowledge. If you're good at writing and active in social media --then, how about learning the ropes of content creation and social media management? Beefing up your skill set expands your services and pulls in new demand. Oooh... I see LinkedIn additions!

STEP 2: BALLS. COMFORT ZONING IS BORING.
So you're used to operating within a certain client circle and it has worked for you for a good while. But if you've done great, then who's to say you can't do greater? Who's to say you can't flap those wings and fly South where the grass is quite possibly greener? In other words, if the local market isn't giving you the usual goods, hike up those balls, and go bold. Try your hand in the international playing field. Why not?! I mean, seriously, with how technology is going at a neck-breaking pace, you can even get business from Mars! Uhm, just make sure those Martians pay well.

STEP 3: BADBUTT. KICK ASS OR DON'T KICK AT ALL.
This doesn't need to be said. But because my heart beats for Captain Obvious, I'll say it anyway. Always work with passion. P-A-S-S-I-O-N! Was that hammered down enough? Have that 'Nothing leaves this bake shop half-baked' mentality. Breathe fire! Especially if you're embarking into that great big unknown world of business, you have to let it all out and perform to the utmost fullest. Make every output feel like your last. Sounds exhausting, doesn't it? But, honey, these are hard times and you're turning tragedy into opportunity. This road ain't easy street. And you're gonna like it!

Keep to these self-changing steps and even with this freelancing drought, you're gonna do fine. Heck, you're gonna do better!
How's that song go again?
'The future's so bright... I gotta wear Oakley... yeeeah...'


Click here for more Oakley items.

Friday, March 11, 2016

PROJECT: PROJECTS

You are an amazing fireball of creativity and independence.
You are strong...
You're invincible...
You are freelaaaance...
(If you didn't sing the last 3 lines, I am so going to cry)

Well, I am glad you have that confidence going for you. But be reminded that while confidence in solopreneurship is a thing, it isn't everything. Freelancing by your lonesome can be harrowing at times. I mean, I've never known a freelancer who hasn't cracked under pressure or snapped due to stress. We have our moments. So who do we run to when work gets out of hand? There's family, friends, and that understanding tub of Ben and Jerry's. But we also need someone who gets us. Someone who knows what we're going through and might be able to pitch in some kind of valuable support other than that run-of-the-mill 'Don't work too hard.' advice.

No, I'm not talking about pooling all your pennies for a life coach. I'm talking about these two women. And their projects.

Leah Kalamakis of The Freelance to Freedom Project


She makes everything about freelancing sound so easy! The cool thing about her is that she has the tools to guide you through the choppy waters of independent creativity and she's all out sharing them. How cool is that! She has kits, for love's sake! And she sends you emails on a rabid basis, too… because she really wants you to succeed.
When I need a shoulder to lean on during one of those trying freelancing days, the Freelance to Freedom Project is my official go-to. Leah is like a big sister. She doesn't nag, but she'll be there to give you good solid advice over a hot cup of cocoa.

Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project


Ok, if you're done talking to your big sister, now it's time to hit the streets with your zany girlfriend. Ash Ambirge of The Middle Finger Project is attitude on legs. And we all know that freelancing isn't just all about a skill set but a fine sense of 'Killin' it!' as well. You can't just dive into solopreneurship without the necessary balls. You have to have those babies. And aside from a middle finger, Ash has just that. The Middle Finger Project gives you a whole new perspective on the freelancing process, and equips you with the right sass to survive it all. These come to you via blogs and webinars.
When I need to rant and be told I'm right for doing so, the Middle Finger Project is my official go-to. Ash got my back. :P

There you go!
Let these amazing women and their empowering projects help you through your solo ride to awesome work and fulfilment. You'll feel a lot better about being an independent professional, and being yourself.
That is, until you can score another Ben and Jerry's.

Wednesday, March 9, 2016

Biz-o-meter 2016

WHERE DID JANUARY AND FEBRUARY GOOOO?!!!
Well, they went to work. And then, work. And positively, more work.
In other words... the months flew to the moon and straight on to happy days!

I'll be perfectly blunt here and tell you that 2015 had been a complete and utter turd to me. Postponed projects, delayed paychecks, ninja clients. It was a year that just kept on taking.
But you, 2016, are shaping up to be a lovely sort. Repeat clients, retainer arrangements, international fanfare. It's one electric surge after another!

Now, I'm not saying that you have to rely on the good fortune of a certain period to land yourself, well, good freelancer fortune. You still have to work. When opportunity knocks, you grab that opportunity and ride it off into the sunset. And when opportunity doesn't knock, well, go ahead and hunt it down. And this year so far has been way too giving.

So, I know it's still early in the relationship, but 2016 --I love you and the electric surges you bring!
Do I get my restraining order now?

Saturday, January 9, 2016

How to Successfully and Fashionably Wear Many Hats

HAPPY NEW YEAR, YOU, GO-GETTER, YOU!

Ready to raise hell on another year of cut-throat independence? Of course, you are! As you know, in the freelancing industry, your biggest source of firepower is yourself. So pushing your business to greater heights simply means pushing yourself to greater heights. To a huge number of us, that means it's time to... wear many hats.

Oh, you've done this before. Took on a different role outside of your life-long training to get the project running smoothly. For a couple of hours, you did an AE's job. For a few minutes, you dabbled in photoshop to help an AD. This time around, you're going to take the role reversal seriously, in several turns, AND earn from it.

Not so an easy task. Changing hats is cool if you've got the discipline for it. Take the following cues:

1. RESPECT THE HAT
Don't just tell your client "I'm your Creative and I'm your Producer, too!" without having the actual guns for it. You may know an inkling about producing due to exposure, but you need to go deeper into the process to make the new hat fly. Research. Talk to real producers. Weigh your capabilities against the hard-hitting truths about this role. Be ready to assume it if you think you can. Be ready to back down if you think you can't. Respect the position.

2.  BE THE HAT
Now that you've gathered all that's needed to, say, be an Art Director --practice. Learn. And practice some more. You don't just wake up one morning and realize you're awesome at doing layouts. This is something you should have been born with but never got to take to heart. This time, you can. For a while, until you change roles again. For now, be that AD for that project and take the privilege and responsibility seriously. If you're a trained writer and suddenly would want to change your assigned writer's work… stop. Please.

3. MOVE ON FROM THE HAT
Switching is never easy. It's like when you switch channels on your TV. You don't just settle into one station without wondering if you really want to spend an entire hour of your life on this show or the one you previously left behind. When it comes to changing hats, there will be spill overs of your character changes. The key to not messing up the switch is to do the switch smoothly. Pace yourself. You can't just jump from one project to another in 2 seconds flat. Neither can you with flipping a hat. Take at least two to three hours' break between roles so you can slip into the next role without a hitch.

Let me illustrate this last cue in detail as I have experienced the hat-changing mess-up during one fairly recent busy, cold day.





Learn from this mistake, people.

That said, wearing many hats is a good tactic to use as an independent worker because it broadens your skill set and your business opportunities. Which means more moneys and better days. But wearing many hats can be tricky without the right amount of know-how, discipline, and pacing. Try it out little by little. Let it grow on you.
If you can manage to perform this tactic successfully, fashionably… then I tip my hat to you… you, go-getter, you.

Monday, January 4, 2016

What Makes Shopback The Best Way To Shop In 2016?

One word, my friends: CASHBACK!
And isn't THAT what everyone needs to guarantee a glorious New Year? Oh, you bet! 
So, with great pride, I bring you the shopping awesomeness that is SHOPBACK. Shopback is an online shopping phenomenon that's making waves in Singapore and Malaysia. With its cashback concept, it's slated to be a big hit in the Philippines and all of South East Asia. 


What makes Shopback cool is that it comes to you as an unassuming shopping portal. It's loaded with hundreds of big-named brands that can have you cyber shopping to your heart's content. Top picks would be Lazada, Zalora, Ensogo, Hotels.com, and Sephora, to name a few. My heart beats specifically for Samsung for my gadget needs, and ebay for when I crave for those hard-to-find purchases.


What makes Shopback ultra cool is that it doesn't stop there. It goes on to share with you a percentage of the commission it gets from your favourite brand. Talk about generosity and good will! Shopback literally lets you shop and earn at the same time! To make it even easier, cashouts are paid directly to you via Paypal or your choice of popular banks like BDO, BPI, Metrobank, RCBC, and Unionbank, among others.

Are you riveted to your seat now? Well, then let me clue you in on how you can make Shopback's Cashback happen for you.

ONE, You hop on to the Shopback site where you click on your favourite brand. Or you can check out the popular online stores here.

TWO. Once redirected to your brand's site, go on shopping and make a purchase.

THREE, Voila! In a matter of 48 hours, your cashback is stored in your Shopback account for future pickins'.

FOUR, As soon as you hit the Php300 cashback mark, withdraw for quick moolah at the end of each month.

Needless to say, the more shopping you do, the more cashbacks you'll earn. Hey, you can make hundreds in a year! 
Now, THAT'S how you shop in 2016. And for the next years to come, for that matter. Feeling enlightened and empowered? Then shop on, my friends shop on...


Sunday, January 3, 2016

How To Rock As An 8-Year Old

Let's start the year with a bit of childhood reflection.
I'll go first.
When I was 8, I realised that I wasn't psychologically designed for dressing up Barbie dolls. So, I decided to make a 6-page horror genre comic out of notebook paper and my trusty Bensia pencil. I had that one comic photocopied, and sold 2 pieces for Php5 each --one to my mother, and another to a classmate I had to bully.

Ooohkaay… not much of an accomplishment there. Not by a long shot compared to this 8-year old boy named Miro. Miro, at the tender age of 8, realised that he wasn't psychologically designed for the current slew of children's books out in the market. So, he decided to write and publish his own. Yep, this boy is the author of SLEEP, GEEK, SLEEP.


SLEEP, GEEK, SLEEP is a digital compilation of three original heart-warming, knee-slapping stories loaded with life lessons you pick up as a wee babe. All set in the delightful backdrop of the science fiction genre. All brilliantly illustrated by fine artists Annie Llanes, Bleps Dapo, and Klaro de Asis.




Flipside published SLEEP, GEEK, SLEEP for Miro, and has it readily available in 2 ebook formats. One, as a regular flip book you can score from Kobo. Two, as an interactive book that allows readers to personally click on images to make them move and make sounds. NEAT! This hands-on version is up for download on iTunes.

Oh, but this kid didn't stop there. Being a kindhearted soul, he also donated SLEEP, GEEK, SLEEP to the Global Filipino Library --a Flipside Publishing Services' project that aims to forward 21st century learning to public schools in the Philippines. SLEEP, GEEK, SLEEP will launch in 22 schools by way of the PEER Digital Library program. WOWZA!

Dang. Have you caught your breath yet?
If you have, well, that's EXACTLY how you rock as an 8-year old. What did you do when you were 8?

While you go through that flashback, do get a copy of SLEEP, GEEK, SLEEP, why doncha?