Erm…What?

Sadly, my first gig as Odd-Job Antony hasn’t happened yet. They weren’t feeling well, but they’ve assured me that they will call me when the snow clears and they feel well enough to continue.

I was hoping that the snow itself would encourage people to call me to shovel snow away for them, but no such luck. I did get to help clear the street this morning though, and in doing so met a neighbour that has a few rental properties. She now knows that I’m available, and that I have a page of Facebook. Hopefully, I’ll be hearing from her soon.

I’m going to post more flyers this coming week and check that the flyers I have up have been effective. Basically, I’m going to see if people have been taking the tear-offs. If so, then it’s worth replacing those flyers when the tear-offs are gone. If not, I need to focus on other locations.

I’m concerned that if the flyers are everywhere, people won’t see them anymore, especially if they don’t change. I’ll use the same flyers I’ve already designed this time around and put them in more locations. but when the time comes to replace them, I’ll make them a little different. Probably not much, just enough for people to notice them again.

I had a much clearer victory with my writing. There was a chap on Facebook asking for writers to help with a project. Most of the time many other writers have already responded to such requests, but I asked for more details anyway. You can’t score of you don’t kick the ball. You might not, but you definitely won’t if you don’t try. I ended up having a conversation that got me a writing gig through UpWork.com!

I’ve tried a few times to create a profile for UpWork.com because it’s the go to site for finding freelancers. Every time I’ve been told that my profile has been rejected because there are too many other writers offering the same skills. The client sent me an invite to the site as on outside writer, and managed to bypass this so that I could accept the contract. Which is awesome.

However, it seems that my profile is still being rejected. I’m going to tweak it a little and try to make it stand out a little more. I’m curious to see if the link actually does anything. What do you see when you visit my UpWork profile? You can comment below or message me via Facebook to tell me what you see and offer suggestions. This conundrum has inspired the title of this article!

I’ve also created a Fiverr.com gig, but that hasn’t had any traction yet. I may need to tweak it some more. Fiverr works a little differently from UpWork. On UpWork.com you create a profile and search through available jobs. Clients then decide whether or not to grant you the contract based on your profile. On Fiverr, you tell people what you want to do as a gig and potential clients search through the available gigs to hire you. It requires the client to do the legwork.

I’d like to build a strong enough client base to make £800 per month. That would allow me to rent the flat I’m after (thankfully the landlady has granted me another month to generate a stable income before she gives it to someone else), and have enough for groceries, savings, reinvesting in marketing, and the occasional treat. Ideally I’d blow that goal out of the water and be able to help my sister find her own place and fatten my parent’s retirement fund, but we’ll start small and work up to that!

In addition to trying to get odd-jobs and writing gigs, I’m still looking for part-time work in the nearby cities. This would still give me time to pursue my entrepreneurial endeavours, and also get me halfway to my goal. If I don’t reach my goal by the deadline, it’s not the end of the world. My parents have assured me I can stay with them for as long as I have to. I will, of course, be offering them my odd-jobs services for free in exchange for their kindness, but I’d like to do more.

If you happen to know anyone that needs any writing done, please have them visit my Fiverr or UpWork (if it works) pages and give me a shot. The more I can do to build my portfolio, the easier it’ll get to find work. I also have a Paypal account if you’d rather pay me for work directly instead of going through the freelancer sites. I don’t want charity. I want to earn it.

If you don’t have any work for me, you can support me by buying my short stories and leaving reviews. ‘The Haunted Story‘ is going to become a series, and you can buy the short story that inspired it for just .99c (about 75p I think). I also have a story called ‘Murder Inc.’ published in an anthology called Ubiquicity, which is available as a paperback or ebook. Let me know if you want to get a signed copy.

I didn’t intend for this article to become a sales pitch, but it kinda did. I know some people will think less of me for wanting to get paid for helping people or writing my stories. Art shouldn’t be about making money, and helping people should be something you do just to be nice. I would be happy to do both those things if I manage to generate enough passive income to never need to work for money.

This is actually an avenue I’m looking into. Earlier today I was watching a video pitch for a business that suggested I could make thousands of US dollars every day for just 30 minutes work, but then you get to the end of the pitch and find out that the reason why the guy is making this much money is because he’s charging you to use his system. I suspect that you’re then supposed to sucker other chumps into the scheme in order to earn your commission through affiliate marketing.

Maybe I should have tried it. Maybe it would actually work. However, I’d still rather be writing and/or doing odd-jobs for a living than by luring people into the same scam I’ve got myself suckered into. The search for a way to monetise my blog without compromising my brand, or my integrity continues.

Have a great day 🙂

 

 

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Odd-Job Antony!

 

I have put the idea I had while writing ‘The Hunt Continues‘ into effect! I am now an odd-job man!

My first gig starts on Tuesday (unless another client asks me to work in Monday)! They’ve asked me to clean their sunroof, dig up some bushes, bag up the mulch on their flower bed, straighten up a leaning clothes-line pole and paint the bathroom. I won’t be able to get it all done in one day, and that’s fine by me. I’m really looking forward to it.

One of the things that seems to be missing from modern employment is a feeling of having actually accomplished something. Some jobs may have certain metrics you’re expected to reach, and if you do you’re expected to keep going. The job isn’t ever ‘done’. You don’t get to sit back and admire your handiwork. When you get up tomorrow, there will be more of the same repetitive work to do.

As an odd-jobber, I’ll be able to see my progress, check each job off as it’s completed, and then do something else! It’ll will also feel better to be doing something physical. We all know the health benefits of exercise, but it always seems so boring and purposeless. This way I’ll be walking to the client’s home and doing physical activity of some kind with a clearly defined objective.

Accomplishing things feels good. Helping people feels good. I may not make a ton of money, but that’s not what this is about. It’s about being the best me I can be and feeling good about myself. I also like writing, but I have a feeling that I’ll feel more motivated, energised and happy if I’m also doing something physical, helpful and productive.

If I can make enough to get by with odd-jobs, and possibly a local part-time job (if I can find one I like) to keep a roof over my head and pay for groceries, then everything I make from writing can be reinvested into marketing my books, improving my website, and investing in myself to become an even better writer. By the time I’m too old to work odd-jobs anymore, it is my hope that the passive income from royalties I will fund my retirement.

What I actually want is to start my own publishing business, but I’ll start with my own place and full belly and see how it goes from there! One of the ways that I might be able to generate additional income is by posting ads on this website, or by participating in affiliate marketing (in which case I’d be actively promoting certain products an services in an attempt to earn commission). I’d rather not to that.

I’d also rather not crowdfund. I’ve tried it before, but my heart wasn’t in it. Partly because I feel like I need to offer something tangible to feel like I’ve earned the money. Doing odd-jobs to raise the money I need to get by feels right. I’ve tried offering writing services too, and I’m still willing to do that, but it’s a very hard market to break into, with a lot of competition.

I’ve also seen websites earn income by offering ‘products’. Usually these take the form of a slick video course, a pdf format e-book, or a package that combines the two. Something like that may be interesting, though I’m thinking my ‘products’, if I ever do such a thing would probably be campaigns for role-play games like D&D, Pathfinder, ShadowRun, or even the upcoming UbiquiCity roleplay system. Perhaps. We’ll see.

One step at a time. I’m just excited. One thing I may do is set up a separate website just for the odd-jobs business. That might include ads and product reviews (ie. affiliate marketing) that would fit the home, gardening, decorating and DIY theme. I’ve already set up a Facebook page for Odd-Job Antony. It would help to have a website associated with it.

I’m going to look into that idea a little, and also research what I should be charging. The clients I’ll be working for on Tuesday asked me what the ‘going rate’ was for odd-jobs, and I realised I have absolutely no idea, so I’m going to research that a little too. I had been thinking that people can pay me (or barter with me) for whatever they think the work is worth, and what they can afford. It would help to have a basic idea of what others charge though.

I’d best get on with it. Have a great day 🙂

 

Prospects and Plans

I did a little maths (that’s British for math) on the way home from the hotel job this morning. I figured out I only need to earn an average of £35 per day to match what I make as a night-porter. This feels like an achievable goal, which is a relief because the job is becoming a lot more demanding than I’d hoped.

The job has it’s perks. I get to complete the tasks unsupervised, which is great because I often felt patronised by managers at other jobs. I much prefer to be left alone and trusted to do the work well. Also, if there isn’t going to be an event the next day and wasn’t one that day, all I need to do is change the dirty table cloths, relay the tables, take out the bottle bins and bathroom rubbish, and then wait 5 hours until it’s time to set up the breakfast buffet. Ideally, this five-hour gap would give me time to write, read and network. However, there have been a lot of events lately.

Last night, the last of the guests didn’t go to bed until 1 am. They left several dirty glasses, coffee cups and assorted rubbish that had to be cleared. The glasses and cutlery they’d used had to be washed so I could use them for table settings. I then had to rearrange the tables in two rooms, then lay them (only to discover I still didn’t have enough cutlery and glasses), bring several chairs in from another building on the property, and then set up the breakfast buffet.

I have to go back for another shift in seven hours, and I’m still hurting from last night’s physical labour. I know to some of you it may seem like I’m whining, and I am. I know this. Suffering is a part of life, but (to a certain extent) we get to choose how we want to suffer. I’d much rather struggle over plot points and character development or push myself to meet deadlines and exceed client expectations.

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In order to achieve this, I aim to generate enough freelance writing work to earn £40 per day, with a stretch goal of £50. I’ve already spoken with several potential clients, three of which have already sent me their drafts and outlines. I’m feeling good about this. The sooner I no longer need to work at that hotel the better.

There’s no shortage of writers that have had an idea and begun writing a story, only to get stuck and lose hope. Some of them don’t even consider themselves writers, but I’m sure they’d love to see their name on a book! I can make that happen. £25 per hour may seem expensive (and if it is you think of it like an eight-hour workday), but I can work on your story for just one or two hours per week if you like.

A ten-hour work week would be all it takes to make the hotel job unnecessary, which is great because, with having to sleep during the day and getting no time to write during my shift, I often only have a couple of usable hours in a day at most. My days off are often spent recovering from work and networking to try and gain more clients. Hopefully, this blog post should help with that too.

Speaking of blog posts, I setup a Fiverr.com gig to try and get more writing work. I used to write an article per day for free when I first started blogging for a geeky WordPress site. I’d much rather get paid for it! One article per day would be enough to be able to quit the hotel job and write full-time. If you have a blog that needs articles, I’m your man!

Prices are negotiable, especially if I can get my name out there instead of ghost-writing, but my priority at the moment isn’t self-promotion. It’s getting enough money coming in to make working in a ‘regular job’ completely unnecessary. I’m a writer. That’s all I want to do.

This post, by the way, is what a ‘short’ article would look like. I can make it shorter if you want, but as you can see, it’s a little more than 500 words 😉

Have a great day 🙂