Category Archives: FREELANCER’S CORNER

MY LIFE-CHANGING EXPERIENCE WITH GREEN TEA

Question: Is there a support group for green tea addicts?

If there is, then I need to be in it. Guys, I NEED HELP!!!!

I drink so much green tea in a day that sometimes I end up getting nauseous (this is usually when it hits me that it’s time to eat).

And, I am not trying to accomplish anything by drinking copious amounts of the beverage, I just love how it tastes, the bitter the better (too often, I catch myself wondering what exactly is wrong with me, you’re probably wondering the same thing aren’t you?)

I absolutely love green tea.

Art by Carter Kingsley

On normal days, I can take at least four large cups of green tea, much to the astonishment of those around me (mainly my mum, dad, brothers, John, cousins, farm assistants, and my friends in church – yes people, I carry green tea bags to church).

Oh, and get this, it’s always sugarless.

Hahaha, I love the look on people’s faces when they ask to taste my tea, and find that it’s sugarless. That look is… PRICELESS!!

I stopped sweetening my tea a few years ago, mainly because the scientists were and are still saying that we should reduce our consumption of sugar. I also stopped drinking soda for that exact same reason. I don’t actually know if I am healthier than the people who do consume these products, but, my body still works optimally (I believe), so I must be doing something right!

Anyway, back to green tea!

I started drinking green tea while in campus (I’d like to say 2nd year) because my research (extensively done by the way) had shown that it could help make my hair grow longer. It and neem (mwarubaini).

Side note: I have always been obsessed with long hair, ever since I was a young girl. I would pray every night for my hair to grow longer and for me to grow taller.

Why? Because I thought I would be prettier if I had longer hair and if I were taller (absurd, I know).

Suffice to say the height bit never quite worked out. I’m like 5.2″ now, so yeah, those prayers were never answered 😤😤😤.

Okay, now seriously, back to green tea.

Neem was way too bitter even for me, so I decided to go with the green tea, and boy oh boy, did I find a lifetime obsession.

I drank green tea religiously in one semester, and my hair actually grew! It grew! I was so estatic! And it was during the time I was transitioning from permed hair to natural. It looked wonderful!

So, yeah, it helped my hair grow back then. Just a little but it was noticeably thicker and longer.

Another awesome thing happened when I drank green tea that semester. I was a heavy smoker back then and green tea somehow helped quell the urges.

I was gobsmacked! Longer hair, less smoking, my life was seemingly on the right track.

You would expect that I would continue taking this miraculous beverage because of its visible benefits.

Nope! Not this girl! I honestly don’t even know why I stopped taking it, and my addictions continued to spiral out of control. My hair did not fare so well either.

But, I was young, dumb, and reckless back then, so it’s understandable. Not much has changed though, so no need to get your hopes up 🙃🙃🙃😏😏😏.

I cleared campus in 2014, and had spent the whole of 2015 in Meru so that I could get to know my biological father better. Or was it so that I could drink myself to death unencumbered?

I’m thinking it was both.

There was hardly any green tea consumption during this time, just a lot of booze, even more than in campus. By the way, my drinking escapades here were LEGENDARY…. they were crazy, but still the stuff of legends.

But, in 2016, when I moved back to Nairobi, I took up green tea again, and I swear weird things started to happen.

No, I didn’t and haven’t grown taller, if that’s what you were thinking (insert eye roll).

But, my hair, OH MY GOODNESS!! Let’s just say that my dreams have come true in terms of hair. I have luscious dreadlocks that are so long, and my mother (and nearly everyone I meet) is in constant awe (over my hair- not my height).

(I would show you a picture but Wahu didn’t raise a braggart 😋😋).

Other than the green tea, I think that having a great loctician has also played a seriously huge role in how healthy my hair is.

Another weird thing- I don’t smoke anymore. I have been cigarette free for close to two years now, which, to me, has been an amazing feat.

I quit smoking gradually, and naturally, and at first, I didn’t even notice that I wasn’t smoking anymore. The urges just dissipated by themselves without any intervention, medical or otherwise.

I can’t even believe that I used to smoke, let alone the fact that I had been addicted to cigarette smoking for years! It’s like that entire phase of my life has been erased. I honestly can’t even remember the taste or even the brands. It’s literally like I have never smoked a cigarette in my life!

I don’t know if there are chemicals in the green tea that can actually control your urges or if I just swapped one unhealthy addiction (cigarettes) for another healthier one (green tea), but whatever the case, I am so proud of myself for quitting this disastrous behaviour.

And then, there was the alcohol. This one was a bit harder to break, and took a longer time to overcome, but I can honestly and proudly claim that I no longer drink. Not a sip! Not even wine! And this is coming from a girl who used to be drunk from Monday to Monday less than two years ago.

Of course, leaving these time consuming habits has enabled me to focus on other areas of my life, especially my writing. I have been able to build a stable freelance writing career from scratch in the last two years, and even here, green tea has been extremely instrumental.

My ability to focus improves dramatically when I am sipping cups of my favourite tea while writing as opposed to when I am writing without consuming the tea.

Again, I don’t know why this happens, but it is an observation I have made countless of times.

Lastly, I have a strong conviction that green tea has altered my metabolism, and my ability to lose and gain weight.

Before I started taking green tea regularly, I was a very poor eater. The poorest eater of all poor eaters, and as a result, I was a very tiny girl. I just didn’t like eating, I found it boring and time consuming.

Nowadays, things have changed drastically!

I’m still petite, that’s for sure, but I am not as thin as I used to be. Why? I eat like a crazy person nowadays, because of my high metabolism thanks to all of the green tea I drink daily. I eat, drink green tea, and within a few hours, I need something else to bite.

Funny thing, my weight has not changed much even with my ever-growing appetite. I’m still 48 kgs, despite all of the food I eat. I know it seems small for a girl so close to 30 years, but I am actually very healthy and strong. I think I was just born to be small, and there is very little I can do about that.

So, that’s it;- my journey with green tea, and the changes I have noticed ever since I started consuming it.

I’m not saying that green tea is a miracle cure for everything under the sun, but, I am sure glad that I drink it!!

If you have a green tea story, feel free to share it with me in the comments.

❤️❤️❤️……

Advertisements

RECOVERING FROM REJECTION IN THE FREELANCING WORLD

Rejection is everywhere even in the world of freelance, and just like in other areas of life, it sucks to face rejection as a freelancer.

If you are just starting out, it is imperative that you understand that rejection in the gig-economy is commonplace and it comes in many different ways.

I started freelancing seriously about five years ago, and I cannot count the number of times I have had the door slammed on my face, figuratively of course.

Even with the extensive experience I have gained over my career, I still hear the word ‘no’ from clients, just slightly less than before.

It’s difficult being a freelancer; there are all these perks that people tout when convincing themselves and others of the benefits of freelancing (many of which are true by the way);

– but there is the other side that people simply gloss over; the emotional and psychological pain that you will have to endure while in this line of work.

No one ever prepares you for that part!

Rejection is a huge part of this pain. That and clients who take you for granted as I wrote about here.

So, what kind of rejection can you expect as a freelancer?

Well, for starters, you can find yourself endlessly bidding on your preferred freelancing platform without a single positive response from a client and this situation could go on for weeks! Imagine bidding for hours day in day out, and not a single client has responded to your bids. The horror!!

This can be so frustrating especially if you are cash-strapped that month.

There are obviously ways you can improve your bidding game, but it takes time to understand and apply them effectively. Instant results, for me, has always been a pipe dream.

Now, let us just imagine that one of those bids has gone through (thankfully), and you have landed a client. You are now over the moon and your anxiety levels have returned to normal.

However, every time you submit the task, it comes back with a correction. It could be because the client keeps changing their demands or because you didn’t understand the instructions in the first place.

Whichever the case, constant correction of one task, to me feels like constant rejection. Trust me, you will feel like pulling your hair out every time this happens. Your patience wears thin, and you begin to panic. You are stressed out, unhappy, furious at yourself, furious at the client, and you feel like you want to give up.

But giving up is not an option, is it now? Giving up would mean losing the contract, and risking a bad rating, which adds to the strain of trying to land another client. Giving up would mean that you lose the earnings you would have earned if you had successfully completed the project. Giving up means your bills might not be paid this month, and if you have any dependants, it gets a million times worse.

However, if you continue with this project, you are losing precious time that you could have used in more economically beneficial ways.

Now, you are stuck- the true meaning of being caught between a rock and a hard place.

There is also the possibility of the client canceling the project because you are not delivering the task according to their expectations. That’s another low blow.

A few more experiences like these and you are likely to become a prime candidate for high blood pressure, anxiety, depression, alcoholism, and a slew of other health problems.

We definitely do not want that, and that is why it is essential that you learn how to deal with rejection in this line of work so that you are able to enjoy a long and successful freelancing career.

So here we go:

My tips on How to deal with rejection as a freelancer

1. Don’t take it personally– You need to learn how to separate yourself and your emotions from the work. These are separate entities and should be dealt with as such. Client rejection is not a reflection of your value as a human being. It is easier to overcome the hurt and frustration associated with this kind of rejection if you do not peg your emotions on the bidding or contract outcome.

2. Take as much time as you need to process your emotions after facing rejection, and then move on. Don’t carry any of the pain or the frustration forward. Venting can also be good as long as you are doing so through the right avenues (alcohol consumption, smoking, pill popping are not the recommended avenues).

Talk to a friend, listen to music, or journal/blog. Do what you need to do in order to blow off some steam. This way you get to move on quickly and constructively.

3. If the client has refused the bid or rejected the work and perhaps ended the contract, seek to understand where you went wrong. Feedback can help you improve your future applications so that you definitely get the gig the next time around.

That is why it is important to always remain respectful in all of your dealings with the client, even when the contract is going contrary to your expectations. If you remain cordial, it is easier to ask for feedback on where you can improve.

4. If bidding is proving unsuccessful, or if a client cancels your contract, get back in the game by refreshing your network. Inform them of the kind of work that you are interested in doing. Ask for recommendations, and you will be surprised by how many people are willing to help you. Linkedin is the perfect platform for this; just ensure that you are using the platform correctly, and that your profile is attractive to potential clients.

5. Keep looking– don’t give up the search, continue bidding for work on your preferred freelancing platforms, and try to detach yourself from the ensuing disappointments. And even when you finally land a client, be sure to understand the instructions clearly before commencing on the task in order to avoid further rejection in form of conflict with the client.

I hope this helps and if you have any questions on this matter or any other issue as relates to freelancing, do not hesitate to contact me through Linkedin, Instagram, or Facebook.

PS: If you are looking for data entry gigs, and need help on how to pitch clients, this short video can help.

If you are looking for tips on choosing the best payment options for your freelancing career, you can read here.

Plus, if you need help getting your Upwork account approved, have a read here.

Bye for now!

Happy freelancing…

PICKING THE RIGHT CLIENTS

Freelancing is tough and I have not yet met anyone who can tell me any differently. It’s tough getting freelancing jobs. It’s hard work doing the research and actually creating content worth reading (my main job) or doing repetitive, dull data entry jobs.

But, for me, the hardest part isn’t finding the jobs; it’s finding the right client. A client that regards me as a professional; one that respects my time and my input. One that I enjoy working with time and time again, and I actually look forward to our next project together.

Why is it so hard finding such clients? Probably because many think they own you when they hire you as a freelancer. Majority also tend to think of you as disposable without realising how much of an asset you are to their business.

This week has been a trying one and the biggest lesson I have learned is how to pick the right clients.

I have had to fire two major clients this week because they were not treating me right. It reached a point where I felt as if I was in abusive relationships.

Please don’t get me wrong. The pay was okay and there was no verbal use. We have being working together for months and everything was rosy in the beginning.

However, I started noticing that they were not respecting my time or efforts. The goalposts kept changing and my Productivity was declining each day as a result.

I constantly told myself that I should withstand the mental abuse because I need the money.

Well, not anymore. After a small meeting with myself, my better judgement kicked in and I realized I have too much respect for myself, my talents, and my time to be in a work situation that makes me unhappy. Hence, the decision to fire these clients.

And I think that’s one of the beauties of freelancing; doing something you are good at for people who understand your value, and calling it quits when they start acting otherwise.

Well, enjoy your weekend. I’ll be working to make up for the income gap occasioned by the firing of two major clients. But I’ll be doing so with a smile and less stress.

Have fun freelancing!

LESSONS LEARNT FROM MY UPWORK-PAYPAL ORDEAL

I have had a nightmarish episode with Upwork and PayPal recently (see below), and it was a mind-altering experience. Somehow, during a routine transfer of my cash from my Upwork account to my PayPal account on Tuesday morning, the funds got lost!!!!

Can you believe that?

The funds got lost in thin digital air, and no one seemed to know how to fix the problem. No one!

And it is even more exasperating that all communication from Upwork had ceased completely for nearly 15 hours. And before that I had to deal with PayPal customer care platforms, which turn out to be almost non-functional (it took nearly 14 hours for them to get back to me via their Twitter customer care platform, which by the way, is supposed to be the fastest way to reach out to PayPal).

Woi, woi, woi, woi!!

When this world decides to hammer you, it goes all in. There is literally, no energy spared in making your life miserable. The anxiety itself can cause you to develop ulcers and an eating disorder within minutes.

I even found myself looking back on how I had lived my life in the past week trying to determine what I did wrong to deserve the wrath of the universe.

I am a firm believer in cause and effect. You do something right, the universe finds a way to pay you back in kind. You do something wrong, it leads to other bad things happening to you.

However, I sense that cosmic injustice is involved in this scenario. There’s nothing wrong that I did……..as far as I can tell (maybe there is, I’m a naughty girl, y’all).

Fortunately, the entire mess was solved on Thursday morning, and it involved Upwork transferring back the cash into my account. They told me the problem was with PayPal, which PayPal obviously categorically denied numerous times, and blamed the entire problem on Upwork.

Anyway, I opted to use the Upwork-Mpesa direct route as I could not risk using PayPal again and ending up in a similarly horrid situation. The funds were in my M-pesa in less than 30 minutes, and I could immediately feel all of the pent-up tension slowly leave my tiny body. What a feeling!!

So, what lessons have I learned from this excruciating experience?

  • Before withdrawing from a freelancing site using PayPal or another digital payment platform, check the Internet to see if people have been complaining of delayed services in the last couple of days. For instance, you can search Google for ‘PayPal payment delays recently’.
  • In addition, visit the company’s social media pages to see what customers are currently talking about and if several of them are complaining about delays in payment transfer.
  • Go through some of the major Kenyan freelancing groups on Facebook, and try to assess if any recent posts concern delays in payments from one of the major platforms we use including PayPal, Equity, Skrill, Payoneer, etc.
  • Always have an alternative payment option on the freelancing website you are using. For instance, on Upwork, we have PayPal, and now M-pesa. There are also sites that offer direct to bank transfers, or Skrill, and Payoneer. Ensure there are enough alternatives on the freelancing site you choose to work on for worst-case scenarios. In addition, please ensure that you have set-up more than one payment option on these sites.
  • These payment transfer systems can fail at any moment, and it is usually at the worst possible time. Hence, please ensure that you always have cash somewhere that you can access directly as you wait for these systems to resume normal services.

As a freelancer, always be prepared for a potential crisis. It is the only way to ensure that you survive and thrive in this business.