Yesterday, I was talking with a friend and we were talking about how the industry has changed over just a few years. It’s good that freelancing has provided Filipinos jobs, not only for people in Metro Manila but also in provincial areas. But, as the number of freelancers grow, the more competitive this landscape will be. Consider that there is a rapidly increasing number of gig workers all over the world.

To upgrade your freelancing career, you can’t just stay in your comfort zone. What do I mean by that? It means that you should be looking for ways to be relevant to your clientele. You should look for ways to stand out and at least attract a certain niche.

As a freelancer, there are two ways to “earn more”: 1) get more clients at the same price point or 2) increase your price and get quality clients. If you choose the second, understand that an increase in price should be equated to an increase in your brand value.

To increase your value though, you need to have skills that are in demand. You need to have a specific set of skills that not a lot of freelancers can offer.

As years go by, never stop evolving. Why? Because this fast paced world requires you to. As a freelancer, you need to catch up. You need to know what’s happening. The field of work along with the expertise in need changes every single day. What might be in trend today might be forgotten tomorrow.

Learn new skills that are required in your chosen vertical, but also be on the look-out, study and research on new technologies and new things that are being introduced in the market.

Life-long learning should be a priority. You need to be able to adapt to the changing needs of your clients and the world. Doing so will assure you of any job no matter what happens.

Today, I will be sharing with you some awesome tips on how to level up your freelancing journey. Some are absolutely free, while other strategies may need some investment. But all of them will contribute to your success as a freelancer.

Take Online Courses, Webinars, and Events

There are tons of free courses and webinars you can attend. Be careful though in choosing which ones to take.

While most experts launch courses to help others succeed, there are still those who do it for personal gain. It’s best to get to know the credentials of the person conducting the training. Also, look for practitioners. There is value in learning from another’s experiences (especially in this field). Doing so will help you learn and acquire new skills that you can use to level up your game.

Luckily, we have a lot of experts in the local industry that offers free online courses. There are also live events, like the PayPal Freelancer Community Workshops, you can attend to help you be a better freelancer.

I recently finished a workshop hosted by PayPal where I discussed how to become an “official” freelancer.

As freelancers, you should take advantage of these complementary events. Speakers in attendance are experts in their own rights. And they also have a lot of things to share that will help you upgrade your skills.

To know more about Paypal’s upcoming events, you can follow their Facebook page for details.

Maximize Online Quizzes and Worksheets

I’m a sucker for lists, worksheets and templates. I subscribe to newsletters just because they have a list or template that I’d love to have. The value though that you get from these online template, quizzes, worksheets, etc. is ONLY IF you actually use them.

Are you studying to be a copywriter? Check out this website for free copywriting worksheets.

Want to improve your social media marketing skills? Here are some downloadable worksheets to help you manage and plan your social media marketing strategies.

You can always go to Google and look for relevant quizzes and worksheets to test your conceptual knowledge of the topic or the skill.

Check out and use Web and Mobile Applications

Technology enables us to do whatever we want at the tip of our fingertips. When you put structure to what you do using technology, you will be more efficient. When you are more efficient, you never miss on any commitments that you have made to your client. You then become more trustworthy and credible.

One way you can professionalize your career is to prepare the needed documents of a client and submit it on time. Have proposals, contracts, project timelines, and invoices ready to be sent out. For invoices, create an online invoice already using your PayPal account. You can customize your invoices using your PayPal account / dashboard.

As freelancers, these documents are very important when it comes to winning a client. The more you inject professionalism in handling your freelancing business, the more clients will gravitate towards you.

What’s important is you keep up to date with the times and learn about the important updates related to your freelance business.

Here is a video on how to use the invoicing feature of PayPal.

Enroll in an Actual School or Class Setting

If you’re seriously considering to upgrade your skills, enrolling in a school or class setting would be the best to go.

Enrolling in a specialized course can give you all you need to get the proper training you need. But make sure that you will get the best out of it. After all, it’s your time that’s on the line.

Attend to all your classes and be punctual with your schedule. It’s also vital to do all the assignments and pass all the subjects. All of your efforts will be rewarded with a certificate that will signify your successful completion of the course.

This will also strengthen your expertise as a freelancer. It will also be beneficial for your career, since it will give you the credentials you need. It will also help you get better deals and better pricing for future projects.

Put Everything You Learn into Practice

As the famous Gary Vee says, “Ideas are sh*t without execution.”

This is so true! Learning about theories is good, but without practice, it wouldn’t mean anything. Those theories and concepts will just be put to waste if you don’t use it, and come up with concrete outputs.

Make sure to try out the things you learn. You don’t have to be an expert to get results. Plus, you get to learn more things when you start doing them.

In the vast world of freelancing where workers are coming from all over the world, what makes a freelancer successful most of the time is that he/she just starts acting on plans that they create.

Stop overthinking and start doing.

So, are you ready to upgrade your freelancing career?

Every January 2, I usually prepare all of my current Business Documents. I’m registered as a Sole Proprietorship. This means that I have to renew my documents with both the Local Government Unit / Municipal Hall and with the Bureau of Internal Revenue or BIR. Usually, I need to go to both places, which is such a hassle!

But guess what? This year, because of Taxumo, life became easier! You can now renew your 2018 Certificate of Registration or COR (file and pay form 0605)  via Taxumo!  

What Happens If I Don’t Renew My Certificate of Registration? 

To avoid penalties, the deadline for renewing your Certificate of Registration would be January 31. Failure to renew this would incur fines ranging from PHP 5,000 to PHP 20,000.

What Is the Standard Process of Business Renewal vs. the Taxumo Way? 

The standard process for renewing your Certificate of Registration would be: 

  • Go to your RDO (Revenue District Office) and submit a fill-out BIR Form 0605
  • The officer of the day will then compute the fees that you need to pay
  •  You need to settle the payment at an Authorized Agent Bank (AAB), duly accredited by the BIR in your RDO.  

Note: For more information, check out this article: Here’s What You Need to Do to Renew Your Business in the Philippines

The standard process could take hours, because of the number of people who will have to renew. If you value your time, just do it online!

With Taxumo, you just pay your Certificate of Registration online, without the stress. 

Here are the Steps to Renew Your COR via Taxumo: 

If you already have an existing Taxumo account, all you need to do is activate the 0605 Form on your company profile. 

To do this, simply follow the steps listed below.

  1. Go to your company profile
  2. Scroll down until you see the forms that you need to file.
  3. Check on the 0605 form and click the save changes button. 
  4. Go to your account dashboard and click on the file button.
  5. Fill-up the form details (applicable date if you’re paying for 2019 is Dec. 31, 2019)
  6. Choose your preferred payment method and click pay.
  7. That’s it! You’re done. 

It’s super easy!

Note that this process is only for renewing your BIR Certificate of Registration. Again, if you are a sole proprietorship, have a partnership or corporations, you still have to renew you other business documents (baranggay clearance and business permits) in the LGU / Municipal hall.

If you have any questions, you can always message Taxumo using their chatbox at their site: https://www.taxumo.com 

Share the good news!

One of my favorite dishes is Spanish sardines. I’ve hand-picked some of the best and quickest Spanish sardines’ recipes to prepare. No matter where you go, you’ll always find a delicious sardine appetizer dish that captures the taste of your children. If you want to prepare some on your own, here’s a list of Spanish sardine finger foods that your kids will enjoy!

Spanish Sardines on Toast

This is one of the simplest recipes on the list. We all know that kids love toast. Zeeka can survive just by eating toast the entire day! haha! There’s just something about it that attracts children’s taste buds. On its own, toast is great, but with sardines it’s even better. The sardine and toast combination is a kids’ favorite. It’s also a healthier option for children to munch on.

This omega-3 packed finger food will only take around three to five minutes to make. You can simply top a slice of whole-wheat bread toast with Spanish sardines. To spice things up, you can add garlic, squeeze a bit of lemon, and some salt and pepper. You can get creative with what your kids want to add on top of this appetizer.

Spanish Sardines Cream Spread with Crostini

We all know that Spanish sardine spread definitely goes well with bread, crackers, and biscuits. But for this recipe, we’ll go with crostini’s since they are the perfect base to pair the Spanish sardine cream spread with. Kids love sardine cream spreads because of its salty taste and mild, creamy texture.

You can buy the crostini’s in your local grocery stores or make them yourself. If you want to make your own crostini’s, cut a baguette into thin slices then toast it until its crisp. To make the spread, start by heating up a pan over moderate heat, you could use the oil the comes with the sardines but you could add a dash of olive oil, it’s up to you. Sauté diced onions and garlic for three minutes then add the sardines. Using your spatula, cut the sardines into smaller pieces. In a separate bowl, whip cream cheese with cream using a whisk, season with salt and pepper, add the sautéed sardines and blend it well. Serve it on top of the crostini.

Spanish Sardine Pate

Most people associate pate with shredded pork cooked in fat. Often wrapped in pastry this cold paste is delicious when made with sardines as a base. What’s amazing about sardine pate’s the fact that you can use certain ingredients to make its texture feel like pulled pork was used. This Spanish sardine recipe is a hit with the young ones.

It’s extremely easy to make this pate. Simply combine your two cans of Spanish sardines, seven ounces of cottage cheese, seven ounces of Greek yogurt, chopped green onions, a pinch of paprika and lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Blend until it’s smooth and serve on toast or crackers. The portions mentioned will make enough for six to eight kids. Ready your ingredients for your next batch because the kids will surely ask for more.

Sardine Pizza (my own personal favorite!)

Come on, we all know that kids love pizza. Home-made pizza? Even better! You can enjoy making this pizza with your kids to make the whole experience fun and exciting. The opportunity to add whatever toppings you want to make this dish delicious is up to you and your children. Great pizza starts with a good pizza dough and pizza sauce.

Start by preheating your over to 500 degrees Fahrenheit. You can purchase pre-made dough or make your own from scratch. Place your dough on a flour dusted baking tray and brush your pizza sauce over. Now, this is where the fun begins, add your desired toppings over the sauced dough. If you have no idea what to put, here’s what we suggest. A handful of arugula, thinly sliced onions, chopped garlic, and tomatoes. Add the drained can of Spanish sardines to complete your toppings. Bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes. Remove from the oven and let your kids enjoy your wonderful creation.

Spanish Sardine Fish Cake

Kids love munching on foods that is crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside. The texture of these fish cakes alone will make this appetizer a kid’s favorite. It may seem complex to make sardine fish cakes but in fact, they’re pretty easy. It will take an estimated total of one hour to prep and complete this dish.

We’ll focus on a fish cake recipe that can serve up to four children. What you’ll need are 600g of potatoes cut into chunks, two 120g cans of Spanish sardines, four table spoons of chopped parsley, one small lemon, three tablespoons of light mayonnaise, four tablespoons of greet yogurt, one tablespoon of seasoned plain flour, and four teaspoons of sunflower oil.

To start, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for about fifteen to twenty minutes. While your potatoes are boiling, you can coarsely mash the drained Spanish sardines in a bowl. Mix three tablespoons of chopped parsley and the lemon juice. On a separate bowl, mix the mayonnaise and Greek yogurt with some of the parsley. Heat half of the oil in a non-stick frying pan and fry the fish cakes for three to four minutes on each side until they’re crisp and golden. Finally, serve with mayonnaise. The delicious and flavorful taste of this Spanish sardine recipe is something that your children will love.

Key Takeaway

There are a multitude of ways you can prepare Spanish sardines. These are but a few favorites that children from all over the world love. These recipes won’t take you hours to prepare and cook. You can serve these when your kids have friends over or at children’s parties.

Sources:

https://www.yummy.ph/recipe/spanish-sardines-cream-spread-with-crostini

https://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/sardine_rillettes/

https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/230609/feelgood-fish-cakes

https://www.chowhound.com/food-news/47126/7-things-to-do-with-canned-sardines/kitchen.nine.com.au/2016/05/13/12/44/

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipes/108/appetizers-and-snacks/seafood/

I’ve been thinking about listing down my plans for this year, and I’ve noticed that most of them involve saving up money. It seems like I’ve just been listing down year after year the same plans, and just jacked up the amount that I needed to save.

Apart from money, I never get to fulfil my fitness goal. haha! I just had a conversation with my friend (shoutout to Paul!), and he said na “yan ka na naman eh!” (There you go again!). He was right. Since 2014, I’ve been saying that i’ll be healthy and fit, but after a few months, I become busy and forget that I “planned” to be fit.

But this year “seems” to be different. I think I would be able to run regularly and go to the gym regularly. Well, so far so good! I’ve been able to do that this December. I don’t get fat that easily, but I don’t also lose weight that easily. It’s like my body is “stuck” on where it is now, regardless of what I do or what I eat. So my goal is to be able to sustain running 10 kilometers without walking (just jog or run) like I used to. I just want to feel like I’m healthier than usual.

So, plan number 1 is to run at least 3x a week, so that I can build endurance again.

My next plan is to visit more places in both the Philippines (I want to visit all 133 cities in the Philippines) and the world in 2019. The places that I want to go to (where I’ve never been) are Korea, Malaysia, Australia, the US (yes, I have never been there!), Spain, Germany and Africa. Obviously, I haven’t built enough funds yet to go to these places so probably, one or two international destinations will do this year.

So, plan number 2 is to explore more places that I haven’t been to!

The next and the last plan probably that I’m going to share will now be related to my finances. I’m still a long shot from the amount that I want to save up for Zeeka’s College education.

My dream really is to have enough funds for her to go to any school that she would like to go to when she graduates. Whether it be MIT, Julliard, Yale, Harvard, Parsons or schools here like UA&P, UP, Ateneo, La Salle, etc., we should be able to give her that kind of future.

Plan number 3 is to increase our savings and investments for Zeeka!

I want to keep 2019 simple. I think this year, I will be more frugal on spending.

How about you? What are your plans for 2019? Care to share it with me?

Every year, we speak of resolutions that we want to fulfil and accomplish. My 5 year old daughter whispered to me yesterday, and asked me if I needed help with anything. I said that she can help me with the household chores, and then I asked her why she asked me. She said, “My New Year’s resolution is to help people.”

I had no doubt in my mind that she could fulfil it.

Then I thought about what made me so sure that she could. Why do most of us fail at fulfilling our New Year’s Resolutions? How can me make sure that we keep our commitments.

Here are some insights about resolutions that I can share with you:

Make sure that your resolutions are commitments that you can keep. It’s good to shoot for the moon and land among the stars, but still make sure that that “moon” is still within reach.

So when making a resolution, think about it really well and check if you can really do it. If it’s a habit that you want to form, check and see if you can actually do it at the number of times you want to do it and if you have enough time to do it. If it’s a financial goal, see if you have means, resources and capabilities to come up with the amount that you want.

Look at New Year’s Resolutions as a way for you to form habits. In forming habits, the most difficult part is really the first 21 days or the first month.

Make it easy for yourself to stick to your resolutions. Create reminders for yourself. Set aside time that when you can do the things that you need to do. In my case, one of my resolutions is to try to Blog / Vlog as often as possible. I love doing these things, so what I did was really to set aside time to do these two things. I blocked off my calendar (a set time in Google Calendar) just to do these things.

Another thing you can do is write down on sticky notes reminders that you can post in different locations in your house or in your office. It helps to see these reminders frequently!

The most important thing (like any other goal in your life) about resolutions is to rise up and try again in case you fail. Since it’s about conditioning your mind and body to follow a habit, there will be times when it will be difficult.

Just keep on trying and eventually, you’ll be able to keep your resolution and keep these new habits.

How about you? Do you have a list of resolutions that you intend to keep? Share it with me! Please use #GInspiration #MommyGinger

‘Til next time!

Mommy Ginger