Friday, April 29, 2016

Cultural Holidays and Time-Off

With the clients I work for in Spain, I have to keep in mind that at certain hours of the day, and certain days of the year, no one is available. Spain has an unbelievable number of days off. Christmas isn't three days, but rather two weeks. And immediately after, they celebrate Three Kings' Day, which is similar to North America's Boxing Day, in January.

In their public sector, there are long weekends almost every month. Plus, unless they're located in a large city, businesses are closed between 2 and 5 p.m. As if that weren't reason enough to celebrate, at each workplace employees have their own special day, similar to their birthday, except it's based on their name. Usually there is a saint that has their name as well, so on that day they bring sweets to the worksite and everyone partakes in a celebratory break.

What's your opinion? Do you believe the prevalence of numerous holidays is an advantage or disadvantage to the local economy?
A saint's day is a celebration for all.

Friday, April 15, 2016

Free Versus Paid Work

I am an advocate of people being paid fairly for their work. I see too many green entrepreneurs working for free or unfair pay. True enough, perhaps when you have zero experience you may have to settle for this. But it should never continue for long. You have bills and rent or mortgage to pay, just as your clients do.
  In some very limited cases, I have worked for "free". There are a few situations where a friend is asking for help, and I'm aware that economically they are disadvantaged. In these cases, I try to arrange a fair barter. In fact, I am a foodie, and payment in the form of food has always been a great option for me. However, this method has strict limits. For example, I never do it more than once for a friend.
Just this once...
   Believe me, there is a bit of guilt explaining to people that want a discount, that I must be paid fairly for my work. Because of my experience and apparent ease in accomplishing skilled tasks, they think that I can do it with my eyes closed. That is never the case. What can appear, for example, to be a simple editing job of laying down photos and video in a 3-minute presentation, quickly becomes a nightmare: last-minute changes, resizing different formats, conversions, audio problems...the list goes on. It's important that clients realize all of the effort involved in their "simple projects", and pay us fairly.

Friday, April 8, 2016

Can You Work At Home?

For all you entrepreneurs, do you work at home? Or do you have a dedicated space outside of the house? I live in a small town and the concept of renting a desk or office space is unheard of. Therefore, I'm left with two choices: the library, or my house. Some days, there's no choice but to work at home, due to that day's schedule. And on those days, working on my laptop is the last thing I want to do, because I'm surrounded by reminders of other things that need taking care of: cleaning the rooms, washing my clothes, playing with the cat. I find that when I sit down at the library, I get much more work done.
  If you have suggestions for how I can concentrate more when working at home, please comment below.