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Working for free (or how to ruin your career)

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This article was translated from our Spanish edition using AI technologies. Errors may exist due to this process.

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.


At what point did marketers become the Order of Discalced Carmelites? Who came up with the wonderful idea to take Teresa of Calcutta’s manifesto and transform ourselves into the new marketing charity ? I really don’t know … but I do know it was a BAD idea.

Turns out, customers have found a very “smart” way to make us work like slaves. Obviously, if a client comes to your office and says: “Hey marketer, I want a free social media strategy”, you will say: “Hey client, don’t you lose him? Do you want me to cook you a turkey too? A molito? A little dessert?

But let’s think that I told you that it offers you “a magnificent and unique opportunity” to create a free digital marketing strategy and that as a consequence thousands of people will see your work … and then, if you do it well, you will get thousands of clients, you will become a millionaire and finally you will thank him for that huge opportunity. Would it convince you? Let me tell you that, to begin with, that’s a great FA-LA-CIA.

Of all the times we’ve made the mistake of working like this, how many have been great business? When has working for free made you really happy? Has it filled your belly? Has hunger taken away from you? Has your debt with American Express been paid off? Has your children’s tuition been paid? There may be opportunities that are worth it, but 80 percent of these cases end up being hell for everyone.

Some cases sound more tempting than others, or so we want to believe. Clients are not the only ones to blame: we also add fuel to the fire by creating strange hopes, such as: “If I work for you for free, you will realize that I am good and you will always hire me”, “Maybe if I give you some free services, I will gain your trust “,” That account is big and maybe that’s the best way to win it “, and so on. Thus, we create stories that always end in maximum frustration and empty pockets.

Here are 5 reasons to NEVER work for free:

Makes you spend money out of your own pocket

It is very simple. “Free work” is not really “free.” How many hours did it take you to make that proposal? How much do you charge per hour? What materials have you used? Did someone pay you those expenses? Obviously not. So you are not just “working for free”: you are paying the client for your work. What a great idea…! Or not.

Devalue our profession

My mom has always told me not to give away ice cream if I want to sell my popsicle. What is free is perceived as of little value; If you give away your work, no one will give it the value it really has and later, when others try to collect the right amount, clients will find a way to get the job for free or with a maximum discount.

So agencies and professionals will have to lower our rates to be competitive, we will have to cut staff and work more hours; By working more and earning less, we become bitter people and then we will bring that frustration into our personal lives, and that will result in divorces, emo children, bitterness and total loneliness. A series of bad decisions could ruin everything!

Create nightmare customers

A good client is one who values the work; Someone who decides that your work should be free is DEFINITELY not a good customer and you should run away from him at all costs. Also, as you will surely have to continue working on other projects, you will not give one hundred percent and that relationship will be doomed to failure. A customer who does not pay is not entitled to changes and adjustments. It is the easiest path to mediocrity.

Life does not work with “favors”

As I mentioned earlier, debts, taxes, and Starbucks are not paid on the basis of favors. I wish it were so and I could ask the Treasury to strike me by not charging me taxes, because that would “improve its image.” I could tell them that, in the long run, they would benefit since I would put on Twitter: “Finance is the best!”. But no, it doesn’t work like that.

Work free wears

Working for free is one of the most humiliating and exhausting activities out there. Instead of spending your hours and your creativity, you should spend that time instructing yourself in a new tool , training in some software, baking cookies, doing yoga or learning to dance reggaeton (OK, I overdid it). Whatever you do will be better and more productive than working “to staple.”

In conclusion…

Take a deep breath. Your work is valuable, so valuable that someone would pay for it. You are valuable, your ideas change the course of the world. Be fair to yourself.

When things are not good, despair knocks on your door and you have the brilliant idea of “working for free”, think that this is not the way to get clients: it is the way to drive them away and get involved in a vicious circle.

Thank you very much for reading me!

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The 11 Sectors Of The Stock Market & Their Biggest ETFs

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7 min read


This story originally appeared on StockMarket

What Are ETFs & Why Should Investors Consider Them?

The stock market is often divided into 11 major sectors representing key areas of the economy. Within each sector, there are a number of different publicly traded stocks that operate in the same broad area. If you’re an investor and want to diversify your portfolio expansively, you’ll then need to own companies across the market. 

In light of that, it’s helpful to know the market categorization for each sector. For instance, if you want to have exposure in specific areas of the economy, an exchange-traded fund (ETF) may be a good place to start. But first, what exactly is an ETF? An ETF is a basket of securities, shares of which are sold on the stock exchange. It has become incredibly popular for both active and passive investors alike. 

With this in mind, let’s take a look at the 11 sector classifications in the order from largest to smallest. In brief, we will see what each sector is about and a few of the largest ETFs that can be used to gain exposure to that particular industry. 

1. Technology

The technology sector consists of businesses revolving around the manufacturing of electronics, software developers, or products and services that are related to information technology. In general, these businesses are driven by upgrade cycles and the general health of the economy, although growth has been robust over the years. To point out, the technology sector is often considered one of the most attractive places to find growth in the stock market.

2. Health Care

An investment in health care is exciting. When you invest in the health care sector, you’re actually investing in a broad range of industries. That’s because the sector consists of biotechnology companies, hospital management firms, medical device manufacturers, and many others. In general, the sector is considered to be both a growth opportunity and defensive play since people will require medical aid in both good and bad times. Since it’s the second-largest industry, it’s nearly impossible to have a diversified portfolio without any health care stocks or ETFs in it.

[Read More] Hot Stocks To Buy Now? 5 Cyclical Stocks To Watch

3. Financials

The financial sector is made up of firms and institutions that provide financial services to both corporate and individual customers. This sector consists of banks, investment funds, and insurance companies, among others. By and large, the majority of the revenue generated by the sector comes from mortgages and loans. Thus, such revenue increases as interest rates rise. The overall health of the economy depends on the strength of its financial sector. In view of the economy rebounding, it may not be a bad idea to have some exposure to some of the financial ETFs below.

4. Real Estate

The real estate sector consists of companies invested in residential, industrial, and retail real estate. Accordingly, the main source of revenue for these companies comes from rent income and real estate capital appreciation. As the economy continues to rebound, there would undoubtedly be opportunities in the real estate sector. Investors love the sector because of its ability to generate healthy dividends along with capital appreciation.

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5. Energy

The energy sector is a category of companies in the business related to the production and supply of energy. The energy sector consists of oil and gas exploration and production companies, as well as integrated power firms, refineries, and other operations. In general, these companies generate revenue that’s tied to the price of crude oil, natural gas, and other commodities. But with the U.S. making combating climate change one of its top priorities, clean energy ETFs have also gained the attention of investors. 

6. Materials 

The materials sector consists of mining, refining, chemical, forestry, and related companies that are focused on discovering and developing raw materials. Since these companies are at the beginning of the supply chain, it’s natural that their activities tend to move along with the economic cycles. Hence, if you think that the economic recovery is well underway, it doesn’t hurt to have some exposure to this cyclical area of the economy.

[Read More] 5 Tech Stocks To Watch In June 2021

7. Consumer Discretionary 

Consumer discretionary is a term to describe goods and services that are deemed non-essential by consumers. To list, this sector consists of retailers, apparel companies, media companies, consumer durables, and consumer service providers. These companies usually benefit from consumers that have extra disposable income to spend, and they may therefore receive a boost with an improving economy.

8. Industrials

The industrials sector consists of construction, machinery, fabrication, manufacturing, defense, and aerospace companies. This industry’s growth is driven by demand for building construction and manufactured products such as agricultural equipment. As a result, the performance of these companies in the industrial sector often moves along with the economic cycles. 

[Read More] Best Cheap Stocks To Buy Now? 4 Consumer Discretionary Stocks In Focus

9. Utilities

The utility sector consists of electric, gas, and water companies as well as integrated providers. In general, many investors treat utilities as long-term holdings and invest in the sector to generate a steady income for their portfolios. It is arguably the most defensive play you can find in the stock market when there is an economic downturn.

10. Consumer Staples

The consumer staples sector consists of food and beverage companies as well as companies that create products consumers deemed essential for everyday use. In general, these companies are defensive plays and are able to maintain stable growth regardless of the broader state of the economy.

11. Telecommunication  

The telecommunication services sector features cable companies, internet service providers, wireless providers, satellite companies, and many more. Consumers are generally providing recurring revenue for these companies, but some subsets of the industry face rapid change. Investing in individual telecom stocks may present higher volatility, but the telecom sector overall has exhibited reasonable long-term growth.

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Michael Jordan Donates $1 Million to Morehouse College Journalism and Sports Program

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NBA legend Michael Jordan announced a $1 million donation to enhance journalism and sports-related studies at Morehouse College.

In the past, the billionaire was criticized for his lack of activism in the Black community. But now he’s stepping up to the plate and changing the narrative for Black students. Jordan’s contributions will support scholarship, technology, and educational programming initiatives for students attending the Atlanta-based HBCU.

“Education is crucial for understanding the Black experience today,” said Michael Jordan in a Morehouse news release. “We want to help people understand the truth of our past, and help tell the stories that will shape our future.”

Jordan Supports the Mission of Morehouse College

In 2014, Jordan became the first billionaire NBA player in history. He’s putting his fortune to work through initiatives that support the Black Community Commitment. In 2020, Michael Jordan and the Jordan Brand committed to providing more social, economic, and educational justice in the Black Community. The donation to Morehouse College is one way that Jordan hopes to expand opportunities for Black men.

“Morehouse is grateful to Michael Jordan and Jordan Brand for an investment in the education of talented men of color who will ensure there is equity, balance, and truth in the way sports stories are framed and the way the Black experience is contextualized within American history,” said Monique Dozier, vice president for institutional advancement at Morehouse.

Founded in 1867, Morehouse is the only private historically Black college or university dedicated to the enrichment of Black men. The school has been at the forefront of addressing a lack of Black leadership in athletics and sports journalism. Spike Lee, a 1979 Morehouse graduated, launched the Journalism and Sports Program. His goal was to open doors for more Black men in media. Now, the program has graduated over 600 students who are transforming the narrative.

“There’s going to be a rich legacy of storytellers who will be supported by these programs,” Spike Lee shared in a news release. “Many people are influenced to think a certain way about Black folks based on what they see on television and in Hollywood. We’ve got to tell our story.”


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3 Ways to Harness your Nervous Energy to Perform Better

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Struggles with stress and anxiety can be frustrating, but have you ever considered anxiety to be a positive thing? 

In her book, Nervous Energy: Harness the Power of Your Anxiety, clinical psychologist Dr. Chloe Carmichael argues that anxiety is actually a positive that can be used to your advantage. Through simple techniques that make you more aware of your emotions, you can become in control of your anxiety and begin to optimize your mental health for more success. I wanted to share with you three ways you can begin to harness your nervous energy to have a happier and more successful career and life. 

As high-achieving individuals, anxiety might seem like something to be ashamed about or to hide, but that couldn’t be further from the truth. The first step to using that anxiety for more success is to acknowledge and embrace it. As Dr. Chloe says, anxiety is actually a healthy function of our brains! Your mind is stimulating preparatory behaviors for what we know will be a stressful event. Once you are able to harness these preparatory impulses effectively, you will find that your anxiety is a plus that will encourage and aid you in your success.


  1. Meditation and Mindfulness

Once you’ve begun to recognize and acknowledge your anxiety, meditation and mindfulness can help you begin to understand it more deeply. Understanding it equips you to soothe your emotions, tackle the stressor, or do whatever needs to be done in order to address the anxiety. By practicing mindfulness and meditation, we are able to listen deeply to our anxiety and what actions it’s calling us to do. Dr. Chloe teaches mindfulness and a few different simple breathing techniques in her book that will help you stay grounded.

Naming your emotions sounds simple, but it might be more difficult than you think. One technique Dr. Chloe suggests is to list out your to-do list for the day, and label each task with the emotion you feel. Knowing what your emotional state will be during each activity can help you prepare effectively for the event, and is a great way to channel those anxious feelings into tangible actions. 

As busy entrepreneurs with fast paced lives, we may be prone to only see how our anxiety and stress holds us back– and overlook the secret of how it can actually propel us forward. I challenge you to see anxiety as a potential superpower that, when harnessed correctly, can drive you to do bigger and better things than ever before. 

The opinions expressed here by Inc.com columnists are their own, not those of Inc.com.

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