10 qualities of high quality freelance clients and how to attract them

I’ve earned millions of dollars as a freelancer over the last 12 years. How many rich freelancers have you met? Not many. I’m one of the rare few.

That’s because the primary strategy of most freelancers is the same – do more work and get more clients.

There are thousands of articles that focus on this idea. Getting more clients, being more productive and doing more work.

But there’s something even more important that successful freelancers rarely talk about that makes all the difference – something that you don’t hear about too often.

The single biggest determining factor in your success as a freelancer is simple and everything else pales in comparison; seeking high quality clients.

Continue reading “10 qualities of high quality freelance clients and how to attract them”

What I learned from interviewing 1000 job candidates over 12 years – and my tips to getting hired

I hire people or advise clients on hiring people every day. One of my businesses is a recurring and hiring agency where we are contracted to find the best possible candidates for various jobs.

For over 12 years, I’ve interviewed over 1,000 job candidates for startups, small businesses, Fortune 500 companies, government departments and non profits.

I’ve learned what types of core attributes employers are constantly looking for – and I’ve learned first hand how you can change these small though processes to nail your next job interview.

In the end, like most things in business, it’s a lot more simple than you would think.

When it comes down to it, employers tend to seek a few core  qualities in any interview – some are so obvious they go unaddressed often. Worse, some articles talk about doing the opposite.

Here’s what I learned during my decade plus of interviewing and recurring job candidates.

Continue reading “What I learned from interviewing 1000 job candidates over 12 years – and my tips to getting hired”

5 ways I doubled my freelancing rates in a year

I’ve freelanced for as long as I can remember. I freelance write, design and run a web design and programming firm with some partners.

Over my 12 years as a freelancer, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to become a successful freelancer – and how to curate a portfolio of clients that will help your business grow. I’ve learned a ton about freelancing – but never more than this last year.

This last year, we decided to try a new approach and consolidate our clients. Instead of working with lots of clients for for low to medium pricing, we decided to work with fewer clients but charge more.

I’ve met hundreds of freelancers, myself included, who don’t know when or how to pull the trigger and start charging clients more for your services. When I decided to take this route, I was worried. Worried I would lose clients. Worried no one would say yes. Worried I would lose out on business.

Continue reading “5 ways I doubled my freelancing rates in a year”

Why immigrants will always be more successful than you

People area always complaining how hard it is to get out of poverty if you’re born poor. I get it. I’ve been there. But why is it that the worst offenders are American born, English speaking, able-bodied white people?

Being an immigrant myself, born in the poorest slums of Chicago, I clawed my way out of poverty and by most people’s standards, I’m now a successful entrepreneur living the American dream.

But I never considered being “poor” as a handicap like so many people do.

Continue reading “Why immigrants will always be more successful than you”

Confident and successful is quiet. Insecure and unsuccessful is loud.

There is a quote from one of my favorite movies – American Gangster – when Denzel Washinton’s character gives some solid advice to his flashy brother. He says the loudest person in the room is the weakest person in the room.”

We all know that guy. When he is clearly jealous about something someone has or accomplished, he’s he first one to shoot him or his successes down. He’s seething with jealousy and envy – rather than working to succeed himself, it makes him feel better in the short term to put that person down. It’s the same reason people say the guy in the red Ferrari is compensating for something.

Continue reading “Confident and successful is quiet. Insecure and unsuccessful is loud.”

Reasons why immigrants are and always will be more successful than you

Every day, people are complaining that their lives are too hard. They can’t catch a break. They’re able-bodied, fluent in English and are living in America – where no matter how bad your situation there are thousands of ways to get free education, meet the right people and claw your way out of poverty.

They make every excuse from them being born into a poor family to racial profiling to the “man” holding them back. Unsuccessful people seem to have an unlimited number of excuses as to why they’re unsuccessful, yet they can’t come up with even one solution or step to take in the right direction.

As an immigrant myself, coming from a poor family who immigrated to America with all the same opportunities as anyone else, I know how difficult it is to “make it” in this country. I truly know the meaning of inequality and having disadvantages.

But when there are literally millions of living examples who defy the odds and make it big in America, what excuse can someone come up with that explains their lack of success? The way I see it, if immigrants can do it, what the hell is everyone else’s excuse?

Continue reading “Reasons why immigrants are and always will be more successful than you”

Women choose to earn less than men

There is no wage gap among women and men. It’s a myth. Women aren’t paid unfairly just because they’re women – that’s just not true so stop believing it.

You’ve heard the deceiving statistic that women earn 77 cent for ever dollar a man earns.

The actual statistic is accurate but it leaves out a critical detail as to why this gap exists. It’s not because employers are sexist and pay women less simply for being a woman. It’s actually because women choose lower paying jobs to work in.

Men gravitate towards jobs such as engineering, science and finance – and those jobs are more valuable to the economy hence the pay associated with these jobs tend to be higher.

Women tend to prefer jobs that are more nurturing in nature such as teaching, social work and nursing.

You can argue these jobs are more important for humanity – which I tend to agree with. But economically speaking, they are less valuable and therefore, a teacher typically earns less than an engineer. A social worker earns less than an investment banker.

Statistically, this is the true reason that women earn less than men. It’s not a conspiracy or a flaw in the system – it’s quite simply that women choose lower paying careers than men.

If men chose these types of careers and women didn’t, men would earn 77 cents on average, for every dollar earned by a woman. It works both ways.

So let’s squash that argument right there. The more important fact that people tend to misunderstand is the simple fact that some jobs are more important than others – and in turn, select people are more valuable economically than others – the pay difference is simply a reflection of your worth to the marketplace and has nothing to do with your gender, race or whatever else you’ve been made to believe.

Continue reading “Women choose to earn less than men”

School doesn’t prepare you for the real world

School paints a false reality of the real world. Not only is this “reality” completely wrong, but worse, they convince students the real world is most definitely going to be the way they say it is. Students, having never yet lived in the real world, naturally believe it to be accurate. But, of course the real world is nothing like way schools describe it.

instead of simply peddling a false sense of the “real world,” they take it a step further and convince students that this “real world” they describe is exactly what students should anticipate once they leave academia. They paint it as a magical place where jobs are plentiful and available to anyone who gets a good degree and follows the rules.

So not only do students get a false perception of how the real world works, but they are forced to believe that the schools version of reality is absolutely true. It’s not just moronic and irresponsible, it’s deceptive and malicious because after leaving school, students continue to search for thisnversion of the “real world” painted in their heads by the school system – a reality that doesn’t exist.

The result is not just students when are shocked and surprised by what the real world is actually like, but they go into denial, refusing the accept the real world entirely and waiting for their version of the real world – filled with promises of a bright future – to materialize.

Its not that schools don’t tell students Santa Claus doesn’t exist. They tell students that Santa really definitely exists, and tells them they should search and wait for him to appear because he’s absolutely real. It’s incredibly dangerous and explains, in part, why recent graduates are so dillusional and unrealistic about what to expect as an adult.

Their value to the economy, their perceived skills and knowledge, are said to be absolute and “special” in this fantasy world instilled into them by every teacher, professor and guidance counselor they’ve ever encountered.

Continue reading “School doesn’t prepare you for the real world”

Poor people choose to be poor

There’s a persistent myth that people seem to cling onto like religion.

Poor people tend to lump their poverty into the same category as their race and gender. Meaning that if you are born poor or come from poor family, that being poor almost is a birth right. They believe being born poor or currently being poor is impossible to change – no different from changing your gender or race.

The fact is, poor people choose to be poor. Broke people choose to be broke. Financially stupid people choose to be financially stupid. They choose it from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to bed, every single day. For the vast majority of people, they choose to be poor. It’s as simple as that.

Continue reading “Poor people choose to be poor”