Freelance Friday 053 – May 3 2019

Up in Canadaland, Saturday brought a run in the snow and Sunday needed sunscreen as we spent some time on the water with the kids at a local paddling festival. May has started well with a huge amount of billable hours, and I’ve often found that how the first few days go is a fair approximation of what will happen for the rest of the month.

Do you know how many billable hours you need in a week or month to keep things going? Knocking that number, and checking in about when you’re hitting it or not, is an important part of running any business.

If you’ve found my content helpful then new in 2019 I’ve opened up a Patreon page. You can help ensure that more helpful content keeps coming.

I Shipped

Monday I spent some time giving you a tour of my new Mac Mini and iPad Pro desk setup. I’d say that this week I’ve been 50/50 on my usage of the two computers, and while I thought at first that 8GB of RAM may just be enough, I know I need to have 32GB after a few basic photo imports this week. I’ll also be getting a mounting arm for my iPad like I already have for my 24” Dell.

Wednesday I took a look at Stand Out by Dorie Clark. If you’ve been looking for a decent marketing book, then this makes my list, but scroll to the end of the post to see what others I’d recommend and in which order. They’re is also an audio version and you can make sure you don’t miss any by subscribing to the podcast.

Friday Five

1. On the Benefits of Touch for Adults and Kids

I knew about the baby stuff, but not the benefits for adults.

An initial small study, published in the journal Pediatrics in 1986, showed that just 10 days of “body stroking and passive movements of the limbs” for less than an hour led babies to grow 47 percent faster. They averaged fewer days in the hospital and accrued $3,000 less in medical bills.

Touch means you get sick less:

The hug, specifically, has been repeatedly linked to good health. In a more recent study that made headlines about hugs helping the immune system, researchers led by the psychologist Sheldon Cohen at Carnegie Mellon University isolated 400 people in a hotel and exposed them to a cold virus. People who had supportive social interactions had fewer and less severe symptoms. Physical touch (specifically hugging) seemed to account for about a third of that effect.

On the “change” in how much touch is acceptable:

The research is clear on that fact that people both need and react well to physical touch—in controlled environments. There is no evidence that people like to be touched any less than in previous generations, only that negatively received touch is more openly vocalized. What’s new is that people who didn’t appreciate being touched in previous decades, or who were always made uncomfortable by it, especially from people in positions of power, are empowered to process the fact that it’s not something they need to put up with. They have platforms for speaking up, channels for recourse, and supportive listeners to cushion the blowback.

On unwanted touch:

The unwanted hug is an act on a spectrum of submission that produces neurochemical responses similar to any other violation of autonomy, from having a credit-card number stolen to feeling your car lose traction on the highway. A perceived absence of control becomes a spilling of neurotransmitters from the brain into the blood. If a boundary is being redrawn, it’s around people’s ability to continue to make others feel that. The benefits of a hug evaporate when a person perceives it as aggression.

That one reminded me of my wife’s complaints when she was pregnant that random people at the grocery store would come up and touch her belly. She once grabbed someone’s hand to ask “why do you think you can touch me”.

2. The Sweet Setup on the BookArc

Yup it looks cool but this stood out to me:

At this point, I’m not sure if I’m more productive using only one display while working at home, but I’m certainly not less productive.

Josh uses multiple monitors at work and a single at home citing its so easy to “just check” stuff with all that screen space. This is why I mostly use iOS.

We shall see what changes when my Mac Mini arrives today and I get it set up on Friday.

3. The Time to Create Something Meaningful

From Jerzy Gregorek in Tribe of Mentors

Nothing truly meaningful has ever been created in a short period of time. If you learn the story behind any great success, you realize how many years went by and how many hard choices were made to achieve it.

That does raise the question: Does your quest for fast success mean you’re not building something that will stand the test of time?

4. What if Your Energy Were Finite

If you had a finite amount of energy to use up and when it was gone you died, what would you not bother with? Would you worry about things you can’t change? Would you drop those clients that are stressing you out?

Would you be doing much of anything that you are doing now?

Prompted by What to Say When You Talk to Yourself. I’m not recommending the book, but that thought was good.

5. Is Blogging making a Comeback?

Good points from Bojan about the rising costs of getting your message out on Facebook or other social platforms. Clearly I never left blogging and continue to see benefits from it in the form all but one of my paying clients learning about me initially through this site.

So I guess that’s about 80 – 100k this year I can attribute to my blogging.

Oh and the one client that didn’t learn about me by reading my site was a referral from someone I know learned about me from reading this site.

What marketing method do you control that will bring you in that type of revenue year after year?

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