The Highs & Lows of the Self Employed World 2016

Happy new year everyone. I hope you all are having an amazing start to the year. I am currently down with flu (booo) but I am getting better. I have been under a lot of stress lately so I guess that is the reason for my body shutting down.

 

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We had an amazing time in Dubai, it was the best holiday ever and the kids had so much fun. But everything went wrong when we landed at Gatwick Airport. I stupidly picked up the wrong luggage (it was the exact size and design as mine and even had the same padlock), and someone else picked mine, and I didn’t realise until I got to the hotel room. I could open the box because it was the same padlock (can you imagine the coincidence, the same box and padlock on the same flight) but as soon as I opened it, I realised it wasn’t mine.

This has never happened to me before so I was in a very bad state. I usually tag my boxes but this box was a new one; a Tripp flowery black and red design, so I thought it was unique enough, well I thought wrong.

We had to make the long trip back to Gatwick twice the next day to pick up my box and to drop the wrong box. It was a very stressful period as you can imagine, all valuables were in there, but I am thankful the lady that picked my box was honest (she took it back to the airport and kindly sorted out a leakage in my box), and I am also thankful we were still in London. Imagine if we were back home in Cheshire, that would have been horrid.

The good thing is it would never happen to me again, I will always tag my bags boldly whenever I travel so I don’t pick a wrong box and no one picks mine.

 

Anyways back to the highs & lows of the self-employed world in 2016. I wrote a similar post in 2015, and it was nice to read it a year after.

There are so many highs and lows, so I will try to focus on a few to keep it brief.

 

The Highs

 

Writing a book

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I wrote an eBook last year – How to Cash In as a Blogger. It was released February 2016, and it is a dream come true. I always wanted to write a book and I am happy I got to fulfil this dream last year. This is the first of many books to come.

It is currently available exclusively on Amazon for £3.44 and free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers. It is a great book for new bloggers or bloggers trying to monetize their blogs, so do have a read if you have not done so already. And if you have read it, pretty please leave me a review on Amazon, I need those reviews like I need air.

 

Freelancing

I took the freelance industry by storm in 2016 and grew my portfolio. I currently do PR and Blogger Outreach for 5 brands and I am hoping to double this figure this 2017. I also do freelance writing for a few websites and I plan to grow my freelance writing business this year.

 

Fashion and Style Police turned 4

Fashion and Style Police turned 4 last October, and it is great to see how much the blog has grown. It has over 40,000 combined followers now, and I still have to pinch myself every now and again to be sure I am not dreaming. This blog has opened many doors for me and I am super grateful to everyone who reads, shares and comments. You guys are the real deal!

 

The Lows

 

Chasing Payments

This has always been an issue and it still is but hopefully I will be able to manage this situation better this 2017.

 

Unprofessional Bloggers

While doing blogger outreach for brands, I have had the opportunity to work with hundreds of bloggers. I have worked with so many lovely bloggers, and I can’t wait to work with them this year, but I have also had the misfortune of working with some unprofessional bloggers. These select few are giving bloggers a bad name.

The ones that stop communicating with you as soon as they receive the review products, and they never write a post. The rude and entitled ones that believe their blog is the best thing since sliced bread. The lazy ones that take weeks, and sometimes months to post but you can see them on social media chatting all day. I can go on and on.

The good thing is my little black book is growing and I will never work with such bloggers again. But it is a shame that these bloggers are giving the entire industry a bad name.

 

Burn Out

Last year was incredibly busy. It was so hard for me to juggle the blog and freelance jobs at the same time but I did somehow. The last quarter was the busiest, and I struggled to get it all done before the holidays but I got there in the end.

This year I am going to take more time off work to avoid losing my mind.

 

Overall, 2016 was fabulous and 2017 is even going to be more fabulous. I am so looking forward to it.

How was your 2016?

 

 

6 Habits Every Creative Should Have

Creatives are a special set of people. They do things in ways that the world sees as different. But in the “difference” they make sure that their creative works are unique.

As a creative, you need to constantly be on create-mode, coming up with brand new ideas, perspectives and insights everyday. But just like every creative thing we do have our down times, that’s why it’s important to cultivate habits that will keep creative spark up.

 

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Here are 6 habits you should have as a creative:

 

  1. Get enough sleep

One of the common habits of creatives is that they can work for long hours without stopping. Time passes by without you knowing because you’re so engrossed with creating. For some creatives this could go on until the next morning.

Although there’s nothing wrong with working long and hard, not getting enough sleep will make you lose focus and sometimes leave you feeling uninspired. So the late nights can prove to be counter intuitive for creatives.

Fatigue can hamper your clarity of thought and that can stop you from efficiently brainstorming and reduce the rate at which you create unique pieces.

Try taking at least 5-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep. A good night’s sleep can get you feeling lively, alert and reinvigorated.

 

  1. Enrich your mind through reading

When you’re on create-mode, it’s natural for you to get carried away and forget to fill your mind with new ideas, concepts and creative works of others. One of the most effective ways to enrich and improve your knowledge on creative works and techniques is through reading.

Don’t stick to reading materials relating to your niche alone. Diversify your reading material by reading novels, books on psychology or any field other than the one you’re engaged in. This will help enhance your creative genius.

 

  1. Go for walks

Sometimes the most creative inspiration comes from engaging in therapeutic activities. Going on quiet contemplative walks inspires you with great ideas. In addition to this you also get a change to engage in physical activity which not only benefits your mind but also your body.

A 30-minute walk around the park or anywhere you’re surrounded by nature will do plenty of good for your creativity. This is because as you spend time walking you’ll see, hear and think about things that will inspire you.

 

  1. Start your day with a healthy breakfast

Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Sadly so many people including creatives miss breakfast because they have to rush to work after a very long night or sleep through the morning such that they miss breakfast.

Eating healthy food as the first meal of the day will keep you happy and alert. A healthy diet can greatly affect your mood which can affect your creativity. I get very grumpy when I am hungry.

Commit yourself to eating a healthy breakfast every morning. Even if you had a late night, make it a point of duty to wake up early enough to grab some breakfast. This simple act will change your life for good.

 

  1. Think positively

It’s so difficult to be creative in a negative environment especially when you are depressed or weighed down by problems. Constantly reciting words of encouragement and affirmation to yourself can lift your spirits. When you’re in a good mood, you’re more in the flow. Thinking positively will make you feel more at ease with what you’re creating. You’ll also feel more confident with your abilities to develop your skills and think outside the box.

 

  1. Take time off to relax

This is the ultimate habit that creatives need to cultivate. As creatives we can get lost in our work that most times we forget to take a break.

You need to take time off to rest so that you can generate more creative ideas. Your mind works better when it is at ease and not overworked. Interestingly, the best ideas come when I am relaxing, about to snooze off, reading, in the shower or just lazing around.

 

Do you have a habit that helps your creativity? Please share in the comments section below.