eBiz Weekly #14

The Psychological Trap Of Freelancing

Hey there,

How’s your April going so far?

I’m still here in Gran Canaria for another week, but it’s due to be a big travel month for me as I head back to Ireland for a bit, spend a few days in Amsterdam, then head to Bali for the first time.

Hashtag digital nomad and all that.

Anyway, here are a few bits and pieces related to online business I think you’ll like…

Flight Time Really Matters

In a recent appearance on the ID10T podcast, Penn Jillette – you know, the comedic magician dude, half of Penn and Teller – talked about how important it is to simply put in the time working on your craft.

He and Teller have apparently done 12,000 shows together over the decades, “more than the Beatles, the Stones and Bob Dylan all together… by a factor of five.”

Jillette went on to give the analogy of pilots learning to fly:

“When you want to be a pilot, all they care about is flight hours. They don’t ask you, have you flown in many storms? They don’t say, what are your goals for the future? They just say, how many hours have you sat in the cockpit while this plane has been in the air? Flight time really matters.”

With that in mind, are you putting in the “flight time” for building your online business?

You don’t have to work 60 hours a week – that’s crazy and unsustainable – but you should be clocking the time consistently.

If you’re struggling to find the time, here’s an article and video to see you right:

Finance Report

As you may know, I’ve been tracking and reporting all my income and expenses for the past 8+ years. You can see my report for March 2019 right here.

$3,457 income, $3,185 expenses.

Might have been my best month yet for affiliate income.

Upwork Series

We’ve collected our best articles about Upwork into a 7-part series:

New Upwork Fees

Upwork announced a few days ago that they will soon start charging freelancers to submit proposals. It may end up costing you almost $1 for each proposal you send.

Upwork claims they’re making this change to “help professional freelancers like you win more jobs.”

Let us know what you think in the comments.

2 Months Free Skillshare

Yup, two months now instead of one.

Use this link for 60 days free access to thousands of online courses, on topics like marketing, freelancing, productivity, graphic design, entrepreneurship and writing.

$1 Per Word

Here’s a big list of 70+ publications that pay freelance writers $1 per word.

Irish Language Travel Vlogger

How’s that for a niche?

Úna-Minh Kavanagh nails it with her 3-minute video tour of Vietnam as Gaeilge. (Don’t worry, there are English subtitles available.)

CSS Game

For anyone learning to code CSS, this is a really fun way to do it.

See if you can beat my score of only 111 characters on Target #1 😉

3-Step Process

Sean Ogle’s three step process for building an online business:

  1. Learn the relevant skills to be successful online
  2. Freelance those skills in order to build your income and your confidence
  3. Apply the things you’ve learned to an industry or idea you’re more passionate about.


Because it works. And in particular, it works for people who don’t have technical skills, or are unsure of exactly how to get started building something in the crazy world of the internet.

He calls number two “a bridge business.”

This is also what I’ve seen work best for most people.

(If you’re unsure which skills you should learn, ask the hedgehog.)

Yet Another Remote Job Board

Add Remotive.io to a list that includes Jobspresso, Remote.co, Remote OK, Remote Work Hub, We Work Remotely, Working Nomads, etc.

Seriously, there’s no reason to be stuck in an office these days. Even Naval Ravikant is saying that remote work “is probably going to be the single most important new category in hiring.”

The Psychological Trap of Freelancing

From an article on The Cut:

People who attach dollar signs to their time — or “value time like money” — tend to be overwhelmingly less happy than those who don’t, because their nonworking hours suddenly seem less important. “Free” time gets tainted with guilt because there’s a cost associated with it.


Other studies found that billing by the hour — no matter how much people charged — compounded the tendency to view time and money as one and the same. Those who did so were less likely to take pleasure in leisure activities, because they were too preoccupied by the opportunity cost of their time.

I know I’ve experienced these issues as a freelancer.

Have you?

Nomadic Without The Laptop

Something for aspiring digital nomads to consider, via Reddit:

I am a maritime engineer. A sailor, basically. I make ~100k working 6 months a year. The other 6 months i travel. I have no house, apartment or vehicle. Before this I was a wildland firefighter and English teacher. I haven’t had a place to live for a long time. I am a nomad, just not the MacBook wielding variety.

Seasonal jobs are your entry level ticket to the nomad life. Examples: wildland fire. Trail work. Ski resorts. Ranch handing. Commercial fishing and general maritime. Oil and gas. Trail/mountain guiding. A lot of these are jobs that appeal to the adventurous aspiring nomad type anyways, and most of them have included living expenses. Some of them (wildfire and maritime) pay quite well especially when you work your way up a bit. Voila, you now have money to spend half your year being a nomad, and depending on the job enough for a savings account and working your way to financial independence too.

That’ll do it for this week.

Keep working, keep learning.

I’m rooting for you.

Niall Doherty
eBiz Facts

P.S. If you’d like to read some of my more personal ramblings, my latest Momentos are here.

By the way...

Freedom Business Builder
FBB is a private community of online business builders. Our 300+ members range from people just starting their first online businesses, to experienced online entrepreneurs earning thousands of dollars each month. More info here.

Travel Hacker’s Toolkit
Check out the top resources I recommend for the traveling online business builder. Cheap flights, a jet lag app, free VPN software, and more.

Great Value Courses
My go-to websites when looking to learn or enhance a skill are CourseraSkillshare and Udemy. They have thousands of courses on many different topics, rated and reviewed so you can easily tell what’s best. Udemy and Coursera are pay-per-course, whereas Skillshare is a subscription model (my preference).

Start Earning Online
Check out our free crash course to help you build an online business, consists of 11 videos and accompanying articles.

Facebook and Twitter
If you enjoyed the above, come follow eBiz Facts on the socials. We share this kind of content daily on Facebook and Twitter.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on reddit
Share on email
Share on print
About The Author


  1. Thanks for the list of remote job sites Niall. Which in your opinion are the “best”? I appreciate that is subjective but I’m looking for a site to hire several remote workers (for software customer support) over the next few months. I’m doing various comparisons but any thoughts about which you have found particularly good or bad would be welcome. We used Upwork in the past.

    1. Hey Nick,

      I can’t recommend any of those sites in particular from personal experience. It’s hard to pick any one “job board” as the best because there’s usually a mix of good and bad jobs on there, and a mix of good and bad applicants.

      I’ve never hired a remote worker but have hired freelancers via Upwork several times, and I find their system to be fairly straightforward, easy to weed out the crappy applicants.

  2. For Upwork to say that they’re trying to “help professional freelancers win more jobs” is plainly untrue. I think most people recognize that this is a move motivated by revenue-generation on their part. In reading their justification of the change in an email I got, their argument was that in applying a fee to bids, they will create scarcity, which will drive down the quant of job bids and drive up the quality. They could have achieved the exact same result by cutting the number of bids allotted to freelancers each month to 15 rather than 60 and then charging for additional bids as they already do. I’m fine with them trying to grab more cash (even though it puts freelancers from countries whose currencies are weak against the dollar at a disadvantage, unfortunately), but don’t pee on my leg and tell me it’s raining.

    1. Yeah, I hear you. Worth noting as well that Upwork became a public company only a few months back, so there may be increasing pressure on them to generate more of a return for shareholders.

  3. It’s consist of both positive and negatives…The Upwork’s Rule! But if we go through it in some relevancy, it gets 3.5/5, as a score! Which I think is actually good. Isn’t it?

    By the way, I love your content, Niall! 🙂

  4. I think it’s a great move from Upwork. I recently stopped hiring people on the platform preferring to use Fiverr or other gigs sites just because I didn’t want to go through countless and useless applications. With the initial fee, there will be a small but meaningful barrier for freelancers to apply without a good reason at your listing

    1. Yeah, I can definitely see the benefits. It will weed out a lot of those crappy copy-and-paste proposals.

      Sucks though for freelancers just starting out, especially in poorer countries. It’s usually a numbers game to win your first job on Upwork, so it may cost someone $20-30 just to land a job and start getting paid on there.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

We hate to do this...

...but we had to distract you for a minute to tell you:
Once per week, we email 3,400+ legendary subscribers with some good stuff related to online business.
Enter your details below to get the next one.

We’ll first send a confirmation email to make sure it’s you :-)
View our privacy policy to see how we protect and manage your submitted data.