I remember going to a parent-teachers meeting in Zeeka’s school. They asked us, parents, what our parenting objectives are. My husband and I shared that we want Zeeka to be an independent and confident adult in the future, capable of making her own decisions. We want her to learn and eventually exhibit the values that we believe in.

I think every parent wants to raise independent learners. I know we want our kids to grow and thrive so they could live the life they want.

The demand for problem-solving and critical thinking skills are much higher today than it was before. Because of new discoveries and innovations in technology, new businesses and careers are required to fill the gap. That’s why I try to give Zeeka as much support and opportunities as I can while she’s growing up.

So I did a quick research to know what skills and traits one should have to be called an independent learner and here’s what I found.

Characteristics of an Independent Learner

– Independent learners are naturally curious and explorative of their surroundings. They love learning from different angles and approaches
– Independent learners are motivated by personal goals they set for themselves.
– Independent learners know how to evaluate themselves fairly.
– Independent learners are responsible and remain accountable for their tasks. They also do it out of need without anyone telling them what to do.
– Independent learners are critical thinkers who examine possibilities and come up with multiple solutions to a problem
– Independent learners also have an uncanny way of learning. They read, visualize, or kinaesthetically instruct themselves and require little or no instructions from adults.
– Independent learners are also persistent. They don’t give up easily even if the tasks seem impossible.

So how do we raise our kids to be independent learners? Here are some tips

1. Build their confidence.

Self-esteem is a characteristic of an independent learner that you can nurture through acceptance, support, and love.

As parents, you need to recognize your kid’s talents and give praise when it is due. But be sure to be realistic with the praise and not let it get to their heads.

It’s also important to let them know it’s ok to be silly at times and not to take yourself too seriously.

Let kids experience failure so they know it’s part of the process. Kids need to understand that every mistake can be turned into an opportunity to learn from. What’s important is how they are willing to adapt and make necessary changes to correct their mistakes.

2. Create opportunities for independence.

I have the tendency to look at my little girl as if she’s always going to be my baby. I guess that’s just normal for every parent.

I mean, kids do grow up too fast. And I’m also so lucky to get to witness Zeeka grow up before my eyes.

But I also know that I won’t always be there to help her. So I try as much as I could to present her with opportunities where she can learn on her own.

I give her small tasks at home that she can do by herself, like packing her toys away or choosing what to wear for the day. I also ask her to help around the house. Even if we have a helper, I let her set up our table when it’s time to eat. I also require her to eat by herself.

These might menial, but it helps strengthen her motor skills and build her character. It also makes her aware of what responsibilities are and gives her a sense of accomplishment every time she completes a task.

3. Nurture your child’s interests and help them set realistic goals.

My little Zeeka is quite a performer. She can be shy and timid at first, but when she gets her groove on she can be such a ball of energy.

She loves being in front of the camera. She even told me she wanted to have her own talk show someday, like Ellen.

Here she is doing her version of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman.

Here she is looking so kikay when we visited Lady Kitty’s house at Sanrio Puro Land.

That’s why I look for different events and workshops where she can showcase her talents. Last summer, I enrolled her in a dance camp for kids and she absolutely loved it! She even has her own Youtube channel where she gets to talk about her toys, makeup, and other things she loves.

Check out her KinderJoy Egg Surprise Review here:

4. Don’t interrupt.

Kids learn things best when they figure it out on their own. Sometimes, their methods may not be what we expect. And as adults, we also need to let them be and learn how to deal with it.

Case in point.

If kids ask for opportunities to help or work on their own, don’t interrupt. But make sure to be there when they need some guidance. Don’t dismiss them or ignore them when they have questions.

It also helps to have a “no spoon-feeding rule” at home. In case they can’t figure it out, you can point them in the right direction. What’s more important is their desire to give things a try.

5. Encourage the love of books and math.

Reading books introduce us to different concepts and ideas. And in turn, it also feeds our minds and makes us more creative. It also expands our vocabulary, improves our communication skills and our memory.

Reading also enriches our analytical skills and enhances our decision-making. It also stimulates our mental capacities and improves focus and concentration.

Much like reading, Mathematics is a mental exercise that helps develop critical thinking skills and independent learning. It is all about making connections and seeing patterns and builds our concrete and abstract thinking abilities.

Research shows that Mathematics trains the brains to see connections and build neural pathways that increase the brain’s power.

Here are some of the brain’s response when doing Maths according to Creation.com:

  • It creates the basis for systemic thinking
  • Develops analysis and problem-solving skills
  • Helps build critical sequencing skills that help one arrive at accurate results or logical conclusions
  • Promotes cautious thinking through deciphering complex math problems to arrive at an accurate answer.
  • Learning to integrate different principles by a trial and error basis to come to a logical conclusion

One way to build your kid’s independence is to enrol them in Math enrichment programs such as S.A.M. Singapore Math.

Seriously Addictive Mathematics Philippines or S.A.M. makes it fun and easy for kids to learn Math. Students get to learn Mathematics through play, using toys, tools, and manipulatives. This makes it easy for students, especially the younger ones, to understand mathematical concepts and increases their comprehension levels.

You can get to know more about S.A.M. Singapore Math here. SAM Singapore Math: What You Need to Know About

Raising independent learners can be easier with the right type of tools and a community supports you along the way.

So if you have any tips on how to raise independent learners, please do share them with us in the comments below.

Love Lots,
Ginger

P.S.

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Register via SMS/Text by sending: PD15 / Parent’s Name / Mobile No. / Email / City of nearest SAM branch to 0917-5826867
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Terms and Conditions:

  • To avail of the 15%, register to the Promo Discount
  • Show SAM center the 6-digit code from the reply text of SAM Head Office
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  • Only non-SAM students can avail of the 15% discount.
  • Promo discount is valid from Aug. 27, 2018 to Feb. 28, 2019 only.

The thing about how to price freelance services is that it is so complicated. How do you price your own time, effort and expertise? How do we price fairly so as not to devalue ourselves or over-charge our clients?

I honestly think that I don’t have the “right” answer to this question, but what I can share with you today is how I do it for my own freelancing services.

The Basics of Pricing

One of the most common questions is, “What should I consider in pricing my freelancing gig?” The answer to this depends on the (1) services you provide, (2) the market or customers that you want to attract, and (3) your target duration for the engagement or for how long you will do it.

As a freelancer, you can consider two approaches: B2C and the B2B approach. The B2C approach is the business to consumer approach where you offer your services to individuals. The other approach is the business to business or B2B approach where you offer your services to businesses and large corporations (sometimes called “enterprise” services / offerings).

These two approaches matter, because of the costs per conversion (for this specific article, a conversion is a client that avails your services) will certainly be different for each approach.

4 Things to Consider on How to Price Freelance Services

#1 Check on what method you’d like to use after identifying your customer or the market that you want to tap.

There are two kinds of pricing methods that you can use:

One is the cost-plus pricing.

In this process, you will first try to figure out the basic or the total cost of your service while considering your time and the amount or weight of work. Then, after having a total cost price, you may now add a certain percentage which will serve as your profit.

I personally look at the total variable costs and top up a percentage on the total variable costs. Then, I come up with a floor price and a ceiling price for reference.

Most of the tools that we use as freelancers are online, Software-as-a-Service products. I usually use my PayPal account to pay for these services. This allows me to conveniently track my online expenses. This helps me collate all of my costs easily.

If you don’t have a PayPal account yet, you can click on this link to sign up: http://bit.ly/GA_O_PayPalSignUp

Usually, for the B2B approach, you can use a more value-based pricing strategy.  This means that you need to look at the value that you can give to the customer, and then without forgetting your costs, come up with a price that you feel best “quantifies” the value that you can give.

No matter what strategy you use, what matters most is that you give justice to whatever the client is paying for you to do.

Consider your monthly budget and try to figure out how many hours you will have to work to achieve that budget. By doing this, you can avoid overpricing.

 

#2 Check on the current Market Price for services like yours.

Surf the net and research on the price of your competitor’s services.

It would be much better if you will come up with a spreadsheet and list down all the freelancers, services and prices you’ve seen. From there, try to identify the value or set of values that you can give that your competitors can’t (unique value proposition). Check on how much value this can give the customer, try to again “quantify” it, and then see what an appropriate price will be given its uniqueness.

Pro tip: You may charge higher or lower than your competitors and it’s perfectly fine! Your pricing will depend on the value that you bring and on how efficiently you run your freelancing business.

 

#3 There’s no harm in asking your Client for a Budget

You can also ask the client about his/her allotted budget if you’re unsure of how to price freelance services. Then, go through the steps I indicated above.

See if that budget is something that you can work with. Also, money is not the only thing that matters. If you see that servicing this customer will get you more clients in the future, or if you think this will be a good addition to your portfolio, then go ahead and grab the deal.

 

#4 Don’t be Afraid to Negotiate

As a freelancer, you need to learn how to face and deal with clients. This career entails you mastering the art of negotiation, and also, knowing how to deal with rejection.

There will also be some clients who will ask for lower rates. Some may even ask you why you’re charging higher when your previous work required much less pay.

You need to know your worth for you to come up with a fair price for you and your client. And to do that, you need to have an estimated target income. This way, you can estimate how many clients you need to achieve that goal.  

Instead of becoming defensive or triggered, it is best to focus on creating a relationship with your client first. Make sure you make them feel that you’re genuinely interested in their business and enthusiastic about working with them.

 

In closing for How to Price Freelance Services…

Remember, it’s the quality of clients that count more than the quantity. So focus on the positive and keep on connecting with potential clients.

Also, always have a clear view of your cash flow. At the end of the day, your net income will be based on how much you earn less how much you spend.

Paypal also has a feature that gives you valuable insights on your income and expenses. With Reports, you get to see your average monthly income and other financial reports. This will help you keep track of your earnings and see if you’re reaching your target amounts.

Here is how you pull reports on PayPal:

Tracking your financial reports will also give you a glimpse of which acquisition strategies to use. If you’re doing the same thing and getting the same results, then it’s time to up the ante and change strategies. Then take note of which strategies work and then bank on them.

Learning how to price freelance services can be tricky at first.

But trust me, once you’ve learned and implemented the process and the strategies above, it will be a ride in the park. Good luck in coming up with prices for your services and if you need anything from me, just let me know in the comments section below.


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After knowing how to “fear-proof” your freelancing journey, I think it’s about time that we talk about the realities of freelancing. Obviously, this article was not written to scare you (or was it? Haha! Just kidding!). But, I really thought about writing this, because more and more people are interested to try out freelancing in the Philippines.

More companies are also open to hiring independent contractors. Also, a lot of people have been asking me about freelancing tips, especially from those who are thinking of shifting careers.

I’m sure you’re at that point in your life if you’re reading this article today. It’s either you’re in the process of becoming a freelancer or creating some changes in your freelancing career. Or maybe, you’re just curious about what freelancing really is or you want to get into freelancing, but you’re feeling a bit lost and unsure of how to start.

Whatever the reason is, I’d like to share 15 things about freelancing that you should know about. I’ll talk about the harsh realities and all the exciting things that make freelancing such a thrilling career option.

 

  1.    It takes a brave and courageous heart to be a freelancer.

Some people say online freelancing is easy. All you have to do is sit back and do things your own way.

But the truth is, it takes a brave heart and a courageous soul to be a freelancer!

It requires dealing with people coming from different countries, societies, and cultural backgrounds.  Yet as a freelancer, you have to surpass all of those barriers and differences to do you work and deliver world-class work.

And this is not an easy task.

 

  1.  Technological Limitations are real.

A recent article from Cosmo.PH says that the Philippines is one of the worst places in the world for freelancers. The factors they used to measure this included average internet connection speed, free Wi-Fi, and the average cost of a cup of coffee.

This is sad and true. You would hear a lot of freelancers complain about their internet service providers and the speed that they’re getting. There are also co-working spaces and good coffee places where you can get work done, but a freelancer’s budget is limited.  

As freelancers, we rely a lot on these things. If internet drops intermittently, then it’s game over for us. If any of your gadgets break down, like your laptop, all else will. With this, you always need to come up with a back-up plan in case these things happen while you’re working.

 

  1.    Avoid possible miscommunication between you and your clients.

You and your clients may have different beliefs and ideas. When you have clients from other countries, this is more likely to happen since you come from different countries and are brought up with different sets of values and grew up in different cultures.

Miscommunication may also happen because of differences in perception and intention (as I mentioned during my PayPal Freelancer Community Workshop). It can also be due to the differences in intonation or the words that you chose when communicating with a client.

So, as much as possible, try to keep this in mind and seek clarity with everything that you do for the client to avoid miscommunication. Write down how you understood the task and document everything. Send minutes of the meeting to your client so everyone is aligned.

 

  1.  We may feel that we’re alone (most of the time).

All freelancers would agree that they spend more time facing the computer than meeting an actual human being around them.

They barely go out because they are busily working at home. They don’t have co-workers to speak of, but if they do, these co-workers are all virtual co-workers. So, oftentimes, they feel alone.

But this feeling is something that can be addressed. There are a lot of meet-ups, workshops, and training sessions that you can attend. If you really need someone to talk to, join “offline” activities like the PayPal Freelancer Community Workshops. If you’re online, you can also get some support and reassurance by interacting with other freelancers in the PayPal Philippines Freelancer Community GroupWe can all share our challenges and our triumphs in this group, as well as be updated on the latest workshops when they’re announced!

 

  1.  Contracts end and clients move on.

One thing to expect is that change is a reality. At any moment, the person or company you’re working for may end your contract or close down. If the client would like to try another service provider, you do not have the right to complain (legally) unless you have a contract that says so. In this kind of work, there is no such thing as “employment contract” that guarantees tenure or at least a 30 day notice from either party.

You client can end your contract any time — if they feel that they have no need for a freelancer. You have to live with it and move on.

What you can do about this is to plan ahead. Look for ways where you will have a steady stream of clients. Continue to build your net worth, so that you can charge and demand a higher rate. This will help you manage your finances well (you will need fewer higher paying clients than getting a lot of low paying clients). You can keep and build relationships with higher paying clients.

 

  1.    Hone your Time-management skills

Clients are coming from all over the world.  Because of this, you would need to track timelines and deadlines based on their location. This way you won’t miss any deadline or fail to comply with the client’s requirements. Make sure that as a freelancer, you have the “world clock” working on your phone most of the time.

You also need to learn how to manage your time effectively.

Working from home or remotely may mean that you also need to do housework or take care of the kids. You also need to have your ‘me time’ to keep your sanity in check.

There are free online tools you can use to maximize your time. One of the tools that you can use is called Tomighty, a free online pomodoro app that lets you do tasks in 25-minute intervals.

 

  1.    Practice being Organized!

As a freelancer, it is necessary for you to learn how to organize things around you. Organize your desk (a clean desk brings clarity of thinking!). List the things or duties that you have to do. I have seen that “To-do-lists” work especially well.

Use tools that you are comfortable in using. If you are comfortable with writing in a notepad or notebook, then do it. If you feel more comfortable using Google Calendar, then use that. Online tools like Google Docs recently integrated calendars, notes, and a to-do-list tracker so you could take control of your tasks all in one place. And guess what! This is absolutely FREE! All you need to have is a gmail account to get started.

Another thing that I often miss is to send invoices on time. Do you know that PayPal has an invoice creation functionality? You can easily create invoices and easily send these to  your clients.

Check out how you can create and send an invoice:

If you don’t have a PayPal account yet, you can sign up here: http://bit.ly/GA_O_PayPalSignUp

 

  1.    You need to have Clerical Skills, too!

The administrative functions are tasks that we can’t do without. As a freelancer, we need to know how to send emails, collate data, do follow-ups, schedule events, and do all clerical tasks. You would also need to understand how to do basic accounting and bookkeeping in order to run your freelancing business.

You can use technology to make the most of your freelancing career.

Apps like Quickbooks and Freshbooks can help you track income and expenses easier. You can also use PayPal’s Report feature to keep track of your financial statements. This will give you insights, financial reports, and other information and help you create strategies to grow your funds, too.

 

  1.    Online Visibility Matters

As a freelancer, you need to have a strong online presence.

You need to learn how to market yourself and your services. You should be easily found by your potential clients.

You also need to be visible and available online. Your clients might contact you for different tasks at any time of the day. Remember, no client would like to send a message and receive a response the following day, except if it is a Sunday or an official holiday.

Based on experience, the more active you are online and the more you interact with others, the better it is when you’re still looking for clients.

 

  1.    Know how to market yourself and your services

As a freelancer, you are marketing your skills and the things that you can do.

The way you market yourself will be a testament to your marketing abilities as a freelancer. You are your own “portfolio”. Make sure that you let them know who you are, what you have done in the past, and what you are capable of doing. Continue to learn more about marketing.

 

  1.    Gain respect and trust.

Clients look at two things: your skills and expertise and your past performance. One way of looking at your previous performance is by looking at the posted feedback on your profile in different freelancing sites. Another way for them to see if you are a serious freelancer is if you take your craft seriously (if you are running a legit freelancing career with business documents, if you are using trusted payment methods like PayPal, etc.). I talked about this in a recent blog post. You can read this: https://mommyginger.com/mythbuster-why-you-need-to-pay-your-taxes-as-a-freelancer.html

You win respect and trust over time, so you need to be consistent in delivering amazing work.

 

  1.   Be Ready for Possible Stressors

Expect that as an online worker, you will most probably face a lot of stressors related to communication, internet connection, deadlines, and the like.

You need to learn how to adapt and manage things properly despite all the bumps along the way. A strong support system is also crucial. Surround yourself with people who understand and who will help you during these times.

 

  1.    Be cautious of scams

A lot of online predators nowadays are waiting for those people that they can scam. They would offer scam investments to try to get your hard-earned money. It is best to study every so-called opportunity before grabbing it. Protect yourself and your money by researching well and doing due-diligence before jumping into any “legit” investment or opportunity.

This is why contracts are important. It protects you from scams and other dubious deals. It’s also essential in ensuring your financial stability as a freelancer.

Never work on projects without having at least a 50% down payment. Even if you’re working with friends, it’s best to ask for down payment when dealing with projects.

PayPal has an option for creating invoices to make it easier for you to collect payment from clients. You can also set up invoices for recurring projects and even create templates for the services you offer.

 

  1.    Trial and error

We all make mistakes. If you lose a job, all you have to do is look for another. Learn from past mistakes to better your craft. Focus on the long game. Never lose hope and always aim to be better every day.

 

  1.    Keep the passion and the fire burning!

Remember that you’re doing something that gives time flexibility. Do things that you love doing! Money will come once you’ve found that sense of purpose.

In cases when you feel tired, just remember that we are all human. Obviously, we get tired at times. This does not mean though that it’s time to give up! Just think of why you’re in this kind of career and why you chose this. Remembering your purpose can help you realign your focus and meet your goals.

 

So that’s it! I hope all these freelancing tips helped you get more realistic view of what to expect when your start freelancing.

Do you have any questions about freelancing? Let me know in the comments section below.