Detox to Grow Your Businesses & Creativity with Wellness Blogger Lina Lopez DONE

Lance Interview with Freelance Content Creator & Wellness Blogger Lina Lopez
Lance profile interview with Lina Lopez the Wellness Blogger
Lina M Lopez Wellness Blogger

Creating great content is critical to succeeding in any business today. When Lina Lopez’s recent posts caught our eye (not to mention our appetite), we reached out to get some first-handed insight on what helps her thrive. As a content creator, photographer, and wellness blogger based in NYC, Lina is all about working the balance between work, life, self-care, and growing toward her healthiest self! In addition to Lina’s great tips for you as an individual, she also shares what keeps her clients happy, ensures she’s learning more, and ultimately how she runs her business like a pro!

Hope you enjoy learning more about what it’s like to be an ace blogger and content creator! If you’re stuck in a social media vortex btw, we really recommend her blog post about taking some time to unplug.

Let’s make sure you pat your own back… What’s your biggest strength as a solopreneur, Lina?

The ability to create solutions for any problem that may arise. That is a skill I had to learn in order to survive in this industry. I feel like I have been able to figure things out on my own. Sometimes it can be frustrating, but oh so rewarding when you create solutions for your own challenges.

What’s the best business or money advice you ever got as a freelancer/side hustler?

Please know when to ask for help. As a freelancer, I thought I could do everything myself and I ended up spending a lot of time and energy doing something I could easily delegate to someone else. Don’t be scared to invest in your business and in yourself. Hire people to help you when needed, buy a course to learn or better your skills.

My other advice is to please know your numbers. This is something I had no clue about for a long time. I estimated how much I was making per month. I didn’t have a clear understanding of how much money I was making or how much money I was investing back into my business – and how much of it was going out. Once I started treating my business as a business – and not as a hobby – my business grew 10 times more.

Now for a moment of realness, what are you struggling with right now in your business?

I am struggling to maintain a unique voice. We are so overstimulated and influenced by social media. Staying true to myself can be challenging sometimes. When I feel I am losing myself in the crowd, I do a social media detox. Taking a break from social media helps me to start creating without the influence of other people. I recently took almost two months off and it was incredible. I was able to come up with different ideas and also to create a new business venture which I am so passionate about.

As a wellness blogger and content creator based in NJ and NYC, what challenges and advantages do you think are unique to each city?

NYC is advanced in terms of healthy food stops and wellness centers. NJ is a little bit slower in that sense. I am so lucky I live close to the city so I can take advantage of all its opportunities. New Jersey is slowly getting better at offering more healthy alternatives. I take it as an opportunity for growth and I am not shy about offering my food photography services to any new healthy restaurant in my area.

We know the freelancer life is all about the hustle toward incredible goals, where do you see yourself in 5 years? Financially, personally, and with your businesses?

I want to keep growing my content creation/blogging business because it is a great creative outlet. I love photography and helping brands share their message. I am being pulled towards sharing a different message (not only healthy eating). I’d like to maybe do some life coaching for women like me who feel lost and have no idea what they want to do as a career. Financially, I’d like to keep sharing my skills with people and make a good living doing what I love.  I believe once you follow your heart, the money will follow. I have so many personal goals but I don’t have any expectations. I just got engaged and am currently planning a wedding for next year. Hopefully, babies in the next 5 years – who knows?!

Freelancer Blogger - Lina Lopez
Lina Lopez creative blogger
Lina Lopez, Wellness Blogger and Content Creator
Lina Lopez Lance Interview

Inspired and want to learn more? Follow Lina on Instagram and her website.  Thanks again for your time and sharing more about your freelancing, Lina!

Useful, Timely Business Tips from Experts

freelance business tips
Scale your businesses from expert peers in your industry. Photo courtesy of Lance

Freelancers, we’ve got you covered when it comes to your business questions! Ever been midstream in an editing session and wondered when’s the next sale on that equipment you desperately want? Or been walking your midday pack of dogs and wondered when you should raise your rates this year… oh wait, did you forget to raise them last year? Or wondered if there was a good time to run a promotion on the new hair coloring skills you’ve perfected over the last couple months?

We’ve got you! After years of freelancing ourselves, we were constantly asking ourselves these kinds of financial questions but felt like, huh, where do we get the answers? And who do we trust? And then we started asking around and seeing our friends were struggling to get all sorts of advice. We could only get it at conferences or a couple times of year from people the people we admire.

So, we thought what a great opportunity to bring people who have been there, done that, and succeeded into the Lance app! Now as soon as you sign in you can get tips customized to the jobs you’ve told us you do – and you get new tips every week! They’re specific to making and saving money in you job at that time of year.

How can you make the most of these tips? 

  • Just click on Tips in the More Menu of the iPhone app to see all the tips automatically customized for you.
  • Slide through the tips to see which ones you’d like to follow.
  • Click on the Thumbs Up or Heart images to let your experts know you’ve liked their tip.
  • If you want to start a conversation with one of your experts, just click on the Talk bubble and you can ask any questions you might have. They’re looking forward to helping you learn more and grow.

We’re thrilled to help you get all kinds of advice you need – when you need it – to save and make more money. Between the expenses tracking and these new tips, we look forward to helping you grow your income streams and savings!

P.S. While we have friends all over the place, we know there are freelancing experts you’re really excited to connect with more. We’d love to hear more about who those people are – just drop us a note at the Contact Us link on this site or through the app. We’re sure they’ll be flattered to know you want to hear more from them!

7 Best Business Podcasts for Solopreneurs DONE

business podcast freelancer
You’ll want to take notes while listening to these business podcasts. Photo courtesy of Juja Han

As a solopreneur, you’re busy and jamming at making your business and side hustling run smoothly. But you know the value of a little focused direction and inspiration in making more happen, right? Podcasts have really started to break out over the last couple years as a way to learn more while we’re at the gym or running around. They’ve certainly become a background playlist to my everyday. Through all that listening time, I’ve been listening to more business news and insights. I generally walk away from each half hour show with at least one insight I can immediately apply to my work.

So here are some of my favorite business-related podcasts below. I’ve curated them over the past few years to be my companions while I travel, run, fly and drive around the globe. Hope they keep you company and inspire you with some sparks of new insights or trends you should be paying attention to as well!

How I Built This

Guy Raz, the host of this podcast, is just the personification of curiosity. He really dives into the lives and habits of his interviewees. And you get the benefit of hearing all about their trials and tribulations of developing their products and companies. More recently, really enjoyed the episode with Alexa von Tobel and live episode with Alexis Ohanian and Steve Huffman. Great content about pushing through and also co-founder relationships.

Slate Money

This podcast makes economics, market trends and finance approachable. Not every episode will be relevant to immediate business impacts but listening to the three hosts will definitely make you curious about broader market trends and make you think about what to be pay attention to on a regular basis. Also, it’s still refreshing to hear a female voice in podcasts. Cathy O’Neil was a fantastic co-host when she was on, and Anna Szymanski is just as impassioned and ready to dive in with her perspective.

Exchanges at Goldman Sachs

Tbh, I downloaded this on a whim while I was taking MBA classes. I thought it might be a good (boring) supplement to my Barron’s subscription. But it’s been great! A weekly overview of macroeconomic trends, global trade, etc. I know that sounds a little “how could anyone get excited to hear about this stuff” but it’s delivered in a super digestible way and again, brings you up to a 30,000 foot view of what to think about in the world around you.

BBC Business Daily

I listen to about half of these episodes, along with a few other BBC programs. If you’re based in the US, it’s critical to be more mindful of sourcing global news and content. This program along with From Our Own Correspondents and Desert Island Discs is really a great daily habit.

Hidden Brain

Shankar Vedantam. You will get to know that name. While you’re focused on your business, it’s always great to infuse your thinking with how the human brain actually works. Listening to Shankar talk about the patterns and psychology that directs our decision-making and actions will inevitably turn you into a stronger business person. The “Me, Myself and IKEA” episode from last May is a great one to start with in this show.

99% Invisible

Roman Mars has been in the podcast game about as long as anyone. For most of us listeners, he was the person who originally drew us into podcasts. I first heard him speak at a Fast Company Innovation Summit, and I’ve been listening to his take on the world ever since. Much like Hidden Brain, I listen to this podcast because it focuses more on very human stories and explores why we do the things we do. And Roman Mars is a fantastic storyteller – take notes.

The Tim Ferriss Show & The Tony Robbins Podcast

As much as I didn’t want to like these podcasts, I can’t help it. They’re a solid injection of inspiration whenever you need it. Yes, Tony tells the same stories over and over again (so you will be able to repeat them to others). And Tim has a penchant, like Alec Baldwin (in Here’s the Thing, another favorite), to share over his interviewees. But both of them do several things very well: score incredible interviewees, self-promote like crazy, and share some very practical insights. So here’s my suggestion: Listen to them ahead of pitching clients, when you’re developing sales materials, or ahead of stepping into your office space. Draw inspiration from their interviewees. Remember to think about and deliver your story to your clients. And keep up the hustle, it will pay off over time!

Hope you enjoy listening to these podcasts. I’ll be sharing some more entertaining ones from comedians and others I listen to when I’m really wanting to zone out – usually on a long run – next week.

In the meantime, would love to hear which ones you find most interesting and useful. Have you found any that are totally relevant to your specific business? Or that talk about managing finances in a compelling way? I haven’t yet but am always on the hunt. Continuously adding to my playlist – and wishing I had more time to dive into these!

Hope to one day start our Lance for Freelancers podcast.

In the meanwhile would love if you’ll download the Lance ios app.

Why Facebook Groups Are Freelancer Heaven DONE

freelance Facebook group community
Facebook Groups can be a welcome support network for freelancers. Photo courtesy of Shridhar Gupta

Facebook has definitely been in the headlines lately, but it still carries a huge value. So, make sure you’ve reviewed your privacy settings, and let’s dive in, shall we?

Despite the growing tide of freelancers, this is still an emerging lifestyle we all need a little guidance in molding. It’s all part of crafting our #bestlife, amiright? As freelancers, we need more spaces to connect and combat the inevitable loneliness that comes with serving clients and not connecting with enough people who understand you. Communities and monthly events – like those from Rising Tide Society and the Freelancers Union – are great for in-person adult friending. But in the meantime, you need more regular support, encouragement and – let’s be honest – lifelines. It’s a daily grind and there are so many hats to wear as a freelancer – CEO, CTO, CFO, HR, admin, cheerleader, the list goes on – and that doesn’t even include the balance of your everyday life! So, here’s the rundown on how to make use of these special spaces where you can find people like you, promote yourself, and get any number of answers to your questions. All from your bed, coach, workspace. We don’t judge here.

Groups for Support

This is by far the biggest contingent of Facebook groups that are out there for freelancers. They are often started by people within client management platforms – like Upwork and Lyft, by podcast hosts with day jobs – like Jenna Kutcher and Michael O’Neal, or by freelancer coaches – like Jenny Beresand others that require you to pay for a course they’re offering. Regardless of who started them, consider it one of your missions to look for groups you can follow or join that were started by people or companies you admire. Birds of a feather flock together – and you can have some comfort and trust about the community given who started it and why it was developed.

Many of these groups will ask you for a little more information about yourself before allowing you into the fold. They’ll also often have a pinned note at the top of the discussion thread or About page to let you know how to best engage with the community and any no-nos. Many of them will have designated days or ways to promote your own business and what you’d like to learn from the community. I love seeing these posts and giving feedback whenever someone asks for logo thoughts or how they should go about pricing their services. In addition, you’ll see a lot of people posting about their current frustrations. I find these the most wonderful posts because they’re so real – and seeing everyone surround individuals with care and help is beyond heartwarming. What in incredible show of humanity to embrace each others’ vulnerabilities. Something we can all look forward to contributing to, right?

Groups for Getting Work or Leads

These groups typically have an element of support, but they’re really where people post to get or hire for jobs. These groups typically focus on more established professions like marketing, writing, videography, accounting, etc. If you’re just starting to dip your toes into one of these fields, don’t be shy. Joining one of these groups can be really helpful to learning how to develop and market yourself. Learning the terms and needs within a field is half the battle. And if you’re just starting out you might find you can easily chime in with newer platforms or software than others might.

These groups tend to be fairly well-monitored, but as with any job postings be sure to be clear. If you’re posting a job, make sure you clearly state some of the needs and parameters, like you need a videographer for a wedding in Washington state in June and the client’s budget for this is $3,000-5,000. Being clear about the needs will help you get more targeted responses. If you’re looking for a job, ask for that level of clarity and make sure you define the scope in advance. Make sure, in subsequent correspondence, that you treat this like any other job where you would ask for contract signing and a deposit or payment in advance. Vet whoever you might be hiring or working for, so there are no surprises down the road.

A Group for You

Finally, I highly recommend that if you have a developed or are developing service, to consider creating a Facebook group. If you’re on a platform like Fiverr or Rover, you may not need or want one today. But if you have your own website or are developing your brand, you’ll want to start one because it’s a great place to start developing a coaching platform. The top 40% of freelancers out there have been developing their careers for longer than 5 years. And the top 20% have been at it longer or built a incredibles business in a shorter period. This means if you’re in that top 40%, you have a ton to share with the up-and-comers in your field. Paying it forward with your hard-earned lessons can become a great income source that compliments your continued client work.

Look to your favorite people in your space to get some best practices. If there aren’t any – wow, what a great blank canvas for you to take over! Just look at stars in other spaces to get some ideas. Generally, you can create this space however you’d like but be sure to include blog posts (on Medium or your own site), updates on when you might be at a conference or open for some office hours, pro tips on how you run your business everyday, etc. All this advice is really invaluable as you’ve spent years collecting it – and you’re still evolving beyond whatever you’re sharing with this community. So, go for it! Create a group (you can always rename it later!) and start engaging with your friends, family and all sorts of freelancers looking for your suggestions and help.

A Word of Encouragement

My friends wouldn’t say I’m an introvert… but I have my days of sheer overwhelm. For those days, I especially love Facebook groups, where I can just sit back at my kitchen table and post help, thoughts, and engage without putting on makeup and driving out to an event for an undefined period of time. Just join a few groups today and see where this takes you. I’m sure you’ll gain at least a few new friends. Till then, I’ll see you on Facebook – and all the other usual online.

Oona from Lance

Should You Start a Side Hustle? DONE

Side hustle tips business
Are you ready to juggle and get ahead with a side hustle? Photo courtesy of Brad Neathery

Whether it’s through Instagram posts or conversations with friends, you’re probably hearing more people talking about working a side hustle. In addition to holding down full-time jobs, your friends might be spending their nights or weekends walking dogs, renting out their apartments or consulting for corporate clients. And they’re not alone.

Working a side hustle has become a way to both make some extra money – if your full-time job allows it – and test the waters with whether you’d like to turn a skill or passion into a new full-time job on your own.

Just like with freelancing, side hustles allow for more flexibility and freedom in how and when you work – as well as space to negotiate your rates with various clients. Over the last couple decades, there has been a significant and growing shift amongst people moving from working more traditional, 9-to-5 jobs to freelancing full-time for themselves. In fact, freelancers and side hustlers account for 57.3 million Americans today. In the next decade, freelancers will account for over half the workforce in this country and others around the globe.

Who Should Consider a Side Hustle

The type of people who pursue a side hustle do so for multiple reasons. Often they are motivated financially – to start making multiple incomes streams to save for a big purchase, secure more retirement savings or pay off debt. But just as often they’re now looking to further develop passions, expand upon budding skill sets and reinforce their hireability across multiple job types as well.

When pursuing financial reasons, people are now largely looking to diversify and add to their full-time income. They’re not alone – one in four people in the US already have a second source of income. Side hustles and the gig economy are not only for people of a certain income range. People making over $100,000 in annual incomes are using gig employment to quickly boost their retirement nest egg – and now able to do this much more flexibly thanks to online platforms, like EtsyLyft and Airbnb.

When passion-driven, people typically feel their full-time job isn’t aligned with their interests or not very purpose-driven. Side hustling allows for people to keep their full-time job along with its stability while allotting some time to these passions. These side hustles may include picking up writing, photography or house sitting for animals on a regular basis.

Increasingly, people are also looking for a way to further develop their personal growth. When surveyed, 40% of freelancers reported they got into side hustles and freelancing to keep learning and supporting themselves through new skills. These people often look to side hustling to also expand their network and reputation through these new or additional skills.

A demographic increasingly taking to side hustles is baby boomers. They’re often looking most immediately to increase their retirement savings, having experienced the impacts of the last recession and often still paying off their children’s student loans. Along with the financial benefits though, side hustles allow baby boomers to stay involved in their communities through this part-time work or develop skills they can take and charge for along their upcoming travels.

Why Side Hustles Are Beneficial

All the reasons side hustles are taken on as listed above are the reasons they’re beneficial. They can net immediate and long-term increased income. Side hustles allow for someone to keep a day job as well as pursue passions and interests without having to go “all-in”. These gigs can help grow social network and create a forcing function to learning new skills. These benefits are particularly invaluable to growing a resume and keeping it fresh. And by working in another environment or context, there are constantly new opportunities to learn, expand and get exposed to different people and ideas. This final point is significant to what is now being referenced as the future indicator of success: adaptability quotient. Defined as the ability to adapt and thrive in a fast-changing environment, this is quickly replacing long held respect for IQ and EQ.

When Side Hustles Can Pose Challenges

While there are many benefits that come along with side hustles, there are also disadvantages. Side hustling can leave one with very little down or free time. Once a side hustler is done with their full-time job, it’s off to the side hustle – creating an almost non-stop work life. If not monitored, a side hustle can also begin to intervene on a full-time job. Time management skills are critical to balancing a full-time job or pursuits along with a side hustle. It’s often best to wade into the side hustle waters slowly, so there’s the opportunity to increase or decrease the workload as needed around a principle income or family needs. Stress or feeling a sense of overwhelm around juggling jobs should be monitored and adjusted for accordingly.

What to Ask Yourself Before Diving Into a Side Hustle

Given the pros and cons  of taking on another job or set of clients, there are a few questions you should ask yourself before determining this is the right time to start a side hustle:

  • Do I have an idea or passion?
  • Do I have the time to learn? Whether it’s a new skill set, platform or networking medium?
  • Am I willing to fail a little bit along the way as I learn?
  • Do I want more freedom and flexibility in how and when I work?
  • Could I use some extra cash?

If you answered yes to most or all of these questions, you’re ready and capable of taking on a side hustle.

It’s going to take a lot of elbow grease but if you apply yourself and search out the right communities, you’ll start gaining more than just another income stream. Whether it’s those new skills, turning your side hustle into your main income or growing your AQ, you’ll be well on your way to joining the growing ranks of side hustlers and freelancers. Throughout this week, we’ll post more about how to setup your side hustle using all the online platforms available to manage your invoicing and even marketing yourself through various social media channels.

Oona from Lance

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