2021 is finally here. Safe to say, the year 2020 will go down in history as one of the most unexpected and difficult years for people around the world. In light of everything that has been happening, it does feel somewhat preposterous to be wishing ‘Merry Christmas’ or ‘Happy New Year’, but every end marks a new beginning. A fresh start for better habits, resolutions, relationships, and a stronger and improved version of yourself.
Our hearts are with people living in NSW or those with loved ones in NSW. It is indeed extremely disappointing to have Christmas and New Year plans disrupted just days before Christmas. This has been a rough journey, but we can get through this crisis and emerge stronger on the other side!
First, read our special article on how to improve by one percent everyday (and double your capabilities every 2 months), followed by a special guest article by management consultant Johannes Maib titled “Good Luck!”.
Next, we discuss a valuable quality that has emerged in many people in 2020 (are you one of those with this amazing quality?), how our team at Australia Freelance Market is giving back to the community (and how YOU can contribute with what you currently have), as well as a freelance article: Become visible online.
Finally, let our Joke of the Month of childhood aspirations bring some joy to the start of the New Year 2021!
Continue supporting our freelancers in Australia throughout this crisis. I hope you enjoy reading this month’s Australia Freelance Market News and as always, I wish you success in business. Let’s look forward to a much better 2021 and more happy and prosperous years to come! Here’s to new beginnings and fresh starts!
For Australians, by Australians, in Australia.
Defining goals and successfully implementing them is usually easier said than done. One of the reasons for this could be that goals might not have been well-documented or concretely formulated. One’s level of discipline could also be an important factor in the implementation and success of the planned goals.
The best-selling author Alan Weiss proposes the ´One-Percent-Rule´. With this ´one percent approach´, one aims to improve and become better every day by just one percent. Using a simple mathematical compounding calculation, one’s capability will double itself every 70 days.
Imagine the possibility of building up such a clear advantage in your business. You are probably wondering how to achieve something like that.
First, one must be open to learning, and use every opportunity to experience something new. This can be done in different ways, for example, an article in a trade magazine, a feedback from a colleague, a chapter in a self-help book or newly acquired skills from a seminar. The possibilities are practically endless; one simply has to be attentive and grab every opportunity to learn something new or innovative and put it in action.
In addition to one’s direct subject area, there are many other areas in which one can improve further. Just think about how to better negotiate agreements with your customers, how to make presentations more engaging or how to stay motivated every day despite setbacks and stress. Or how to optimally prepare for meetings with clients, how to develop more effective leadership skills, as well as how to improve your innovation skills. The list can be continued on indefinitely.
The ´one percent approach´ helps you to continuously improve and stay one step ahead of the competition. This can also lead to innovative product and sales ideas, as well as improvement in skills and capabilities.
As an example, freelancer Amor Daouadi offers his customers a discount of 10 percent if they pay the total amount at the beginning of the project, and he guarantees professional and high-quality consulting work. This way, he achieves a completion rate of 75 percent. This method is particularly successful with large companies, as many department heads and managers know that their project could no longer be overturned by any cost savings.
Last Christmas season, letters of petition that I’ve received from charity organisations piled up. All supposedly to do something about the needs in our world and ask for my money. But it makes me wonder, what is the real point? Do I make the world happier?
Maybe happiness research will tell us. What an interesting area to research! Are happiness researchers happy? Unfortunately, happiness is a fleeting feeling; it is not a permanent state. The brief moments of happiness are what makes us happy. A small child in her mother´s arms giggles as her mother tickles her. An environmentally conscious man from Germany reports euphorically about celebrating victory in the Hambach Forest with many like-minded people over the weekend. My cell phone - lost, nowhere to be found. Panic sets in. All my contacts, WhatsApp messages, my photos - all gone! When was the last time I backed it up? Only the ingenious 'Find my cell phone' app led me on the trail: It was found in the garden shed. Moments of happiness!
To be lucky, to be happy, that is very personal and short-lived. How does the happiness researcher capture this fleeting butterfly? There is actually a happiness atlas. People are happier in certain cities or countries than in others. Anyone who has to drive to work for more than 40 minutes is more unhappy than those in the home office. Whoever earns more, whoever is healthy, whoever lives a better life is happier.
In the World Happiness Report 2020, Australia ranks in a respectable 12th place out of 153 countries, below that of Finland (1st) and New Zealand (8th), but ahead of the United Kingdom (13th), United States (18th), and Afghanistan (last place 153rd). In the happiness ranking of major cities, Australia has done impressively well, with 4 of our major cities in the top 20 (Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney ranked at the 10th, 14th, 15th, and 20th places respectively).
But even these statistics do not measure happiness in life. In these studies, people were asked how satisfied they were with their living conditions, measuring their subjective well-being. Those who are healthy and happy live longer. This finding from happiness research is not surprising. Voltaire already knew that, stating, 'Since it is very beneficial for my health, I have decided to be happy.'
Can happiness be brought about consciously? Higher minimum wage? Longer maternity leave? Shorter working hours? Less carbon dioxide in the environment? All of these benefits suffer from the phenomenon of the escalating zero point: an improvement only makes one satisfied for a short time, then our demands increase and the old feelings of dissatisfaction return. The news that we read or watch also tend to report only about the disasters, scandals and misfortunes. Who cares how many migrants did NOT drown in the Mediterranean Sea? How many millions of people in the world have emerged from hunger and poverty? How many millions of people have not contracted or have recovered from Covid-19?
So at the start of the New Year, some positive news that (should) make us and the rest of the world happier: The number of people living in absolute poverty in the world has more than halved in the last 20 years! Child mortality rates also fell by more than half. Our life expectancy in Australia is 83 years - ten years more than that of our parents’ generation. And when they leave this world, they will bequeath more wealth to the next generation than in any generation before them.
And? Did it work? Or are we still unhappy? If so, we mustn´t be sad: The Lord gives his own in their sleep. In the case of the Danes - happiness researchers have found out - it´s in one’s genes. You´re just happy because you´re naturally happy. All is not lost, however, there are ways to influence our happiness and train our brains to be more positive (yes it is possible!). Stay tuned for our next newsletter to find out!
(This article has been updated to include the latest Australian figures.)
We have endured one of the most stressful periods in modern history, but rather than listing out the challenges (which are numerous), let us take some time to reflect on a valued quality that has emerged in most people during these tumultuous times, specifically business-wise.
This, too, shall pass.
Having endured the past year, first with the bushfires all across Australia and next with COVID-19, restrictions and lockdowns, we have all been given the gift of resilience. Resilience is immensely valuable, not just for businesses but also for employees and the self-employed.
Harvard Business Review recently published two studies about resilience. One study aimed to recognise resilience sources, discovering the best methods to assess resilience and then produce precise ways to boost resilience in ourselves and the ones whom we guide and care about. The other surveyed 25,000 working adults in 25 countries to uncover global data on resilience.
Those studies found that resilience levels are similar across genders, age groups, ethnicities and nationalities, but there were some surprising discoveries.
First, the more exposed a person had been, the higher their level of resilience. People who had multiple connections (5 or more) to others who had contracted COVID-19 or who had contracted it themselves were almost 4 times as likely to be highly resilient than those who had none or 1 connection. The findings suggest that resilience is developed only in the face of suffering and adversity and is strengthened after emerging from it.
Second, the more real or substantial the threat is to a person, the more resilient they get. People who had encountered multiple changes (5 or more) in their workplace were 13 times as likely to be highly resilient than those who had experienced none or 1 change. Changes could include change in work hours, income levels, higher utilisation of technology, layoffs, etc. This suggests that resilience is built when encountering and dealing with unexpected changes.
The overall conclusion from the research is that humans are more than capable of dealing with adversity and adapting to difficult circumstances, especially when we have transparent, truthful and direct information. This is also relevant to businesses, employees and the self-employed.
Resilience is often associated with other strengths like grit, determination, perseverance and growth, which are excellent qualities to possess in career and business. Resilience allows one to bounce back and psychologically recover quickly from significant sources of stress and hardship. Our ability to cope with unexpected challenges and changes in life grows with each experience and we emerge stronger from the other side.
COVID-19 and the bushfires across Australia are by no means the only sources of resilience in our lives. Many other tough situations have contributed to our ever-increasing resilience levels throughout our lives. Resilience is truly a superpower that we have within us, shining brightly in the darkest of times.
This Christmas, how many gifts did you receive? It has been a rather quiet Christmas for most of us in the Australia Freelance Market team, myself included. With family and loved ones overseas or interstate, I am certain that many people have spent Christmas without the usual hustle and bustle of the holiday season. Having gotten over the initial disappointment, rather than dwelling upon the misfortunes of 2020, this quiet season gave me a lot of time to reflect upon the multitude of blessings that are in my life.
We are so fortunate to be living in a beautiful, developed country such as Australia, and most of us have the luxury of stable roofs over our heads, warm beds to sleep in and food on the table. Around the world, and even within Australia, many people are much less fortunate. Many families are devastated with the loss of loved ones due to natural disasters, diseases, COVID-19 and simply, life. 2020 aside, 689 million people are living in extreme poverty (read: surviving on less than US $1.90 per day).
Australia Freelance Market pledges to donate 10% of all freelancer registration proceeds to support several Not For Profits that we support, including KIVA, Wildlife Warriors and Compassion Australia.
Some of the things that these organisations strive to achieve include providing business and study loans to low-income entrepreneurs and students in underprivileged communities, supporting the rescue, recovery and conservation of wildlife globally, as well as providing holistic development and education opportunities to children living in extreme poverty in various developing countries.
So what can you do to help? Start at home and take a look around your house. Do you have any items that are in good working condition, including gifts that your family received for Christmas, that could be better utilised by other people, children or families out there? Or perhaps you can share this newsletter or our freelancer platform with anyone for whom it could also be relevant.
If you, or anyone that you know, would like to become a freelancer and obtain quality projects and assignments, do join us at Australia Freelance Market today. Register here. If you have a project or assignment to outsource to quality freelancers, request for an introduction to a freelancer here.
Freelancers can present themselves with a short article in the Australia Freelance Market News. In this issue, we present you a freelancer from the Australia Freelance Market Group who specialises in online marketing, content marketing and SEO.
People spend more time online than ever before. According to a survey by the National Statistics Office, they are mostly looking for products and services. For you, this means that your prospects are looking for you online. But do they find you?
The entries are mostly done via search engines, like Google in online searches. If you are not found there, it means that you are leaving the business to your competitors. Therefore: Become visible online with search engine optimisation!
As a copywriter specialised in SEO:
1) I can analyse your website and define technical and content-related measures to improve your search engine ranking.
2) I can create texts for you that will inspire your readers and search engines alike.
I would be happy to carry out an initial SEO analysis of your website for you - without obligation and free of charge. Talk to me!
When I was a child, my teacher asked me about my career aspirations. I replied that I wanted to become a great writer when I grow up.
When my teacher asked me what I meant by 'great', I said with passion, “I want to write things that the whole world will read, things that people react to with strong emotions, sentences that will bring tears to readers’ eyes and make them cry and scream!”
Today I achieved all of this - I now work freelance for big software companies and write error message texts.
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