When Half-Day Work = Full-Time Pay…
“For the next two days, we’ll start our meetings at 10 a.m., break for lunch at 1, then head back to the office where we’ll continue our discussions until 7.”
This was the briefing Kathleen gave the petit groupe that gathered last month for our first “Paris Salon”—weeks of meetings to plan and shape Live and Invest Overseas’ course for the next 12 months and beyond.
Euro Correspondent and freelance writer Lynn Mulvihill had just arrived from Ireland.
“You do know I haven’t worked more than a 4-hour day in 11 years?” she reminded Kathleen. “And I always finish my workday by lunch. I’m not sure how I’m going to last…”
“Well,” continued Kathleen, “we open the bar here at 6… and have a cocktail during the last hour of business.” (Sadly, I must point out that this isn’t common practice at Live and Invest Overseas—at least not in the Panama office).
Next day, Lynn turned up, takeaway coffee in hand, ready for a full day’s work. As I’ve been planning our first Make Money Overseas Event (an event with a strong focus on cutting your work hours), I was interested in how Lynn operates her freelance business. So, later that day—over a glass of prosecco—I sat her down for a chat…
Valentine: Lynn, can you describe what kind of work you do… and how your daily schedule works?
Lynn: “I work in publishing” is my official line. That’s much easier than explaining I’m a freelance writer, copy editor, proofreader, and copywriter. On average, I work four hours a day, five days a week. But I’ll sometimes nip out for a run somewhere in the middle… it helps me come back with fresh ideas. Also, if there’s nothing pressing, I may skip work altogether on Friday.
Apart from the occasional conference call (or visit to Paris like this), my work is completely online. I submit all my work via email or Dropbox… and receive payments in PayPal.
Valentine: How did you get your start? Do you have a background in publishing?
Lynn: Actually, no. I have zero qualifications in publishing—in a scholarly sense, at least. My degree is in applied computing… but after a few years of programming, I knew it wasn’t my calling. I desperately wanted to write. So, I responded to an ad for a “researcher/editorial assistant” at a travel publishing company. I quickly learned the ropes… and, five years later, after my first son was born, I decided I’d give the freelance life a try.
Eleven years on, and three more babies later, I’m still freelancing. It took me a while to build an income (my firstborn was not a big napper—so I got 90 minutes of work done on a good day). Today, working just three or four hours—while my kids are at school—I’m earning more than the full-time salary at my old desk job. There’s a lot to be said for the one-woman, interruption-free office.
Valentine: What advice would you give to readers interested in starting a freelance business like yours?
Lynn: Have your dream… but, starting out, be prepared to do whatever paid work comes your way (within reason, of course). I wanted to break into copywriting—not only because it’s one of the most lucrative writing gigs out there… but because I enjoy the creativity involved.
It took me at least five years to be able to produce a decent sales letter. Along the way, I wrote articles and reports… proofread newsletters… created content for websites… and wrote small ads. While copywriting fees represent a chunk of my income today, I continue to edit and proofread, too. I enjoy the variety—and these ongoing side gigs provide a steady cash flow.
If you’re new to publishing, developing content for websites is probably one of the easiest ways of breaking in. If you’re moving to a country where English isn’t the first language, you could offer help to local clients with their English-language pages (even if it’s just to help with corrections).
Valentine: Finally, what do you love most about being a freelancer?
Lynn: Definitely, the freedom. I’ve been able to take off for my kids’ concerts… or look after them when they’re home sick… all without asking permission from a boss.
While I’m mostly based at my kitchen table in Waterford, Ireland… I have taken up office at my sister’s apartment in Dubai… and enjoyed a monthlong adventure around Croatia and Montenegro (writing on the go) without having to apply for annual leave. As long as I meet my deadlines, my clients don’t need to know where I am… or if I’m still in my pajamas.
At our Make Money Overseas Event, this Nov. 2–4, in Las Vegas, we’ll introduce you to a range of “digital nomad” gigs you can take on the road with you… as well as “brick and mortar” business opportunities in some of our favorite corners of the world… not to mention passive income opportunities that eliminate the need to work at all…
You’ll hear from expats who are already out there, living on their own terms… and funding their overseas adventures in a variety of ways… from English teacher to property owner… franchiser to online trader…
They’ll share their cautionary tales… as well as their best tips for getting started… so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into and can set yourself up for success…
Never before have we hosted an event purely dedicated to making money overseas (while doing as little work as possible)… and it will be at least another year until we can bring all these entrepreneurs together again…
With almost 50 readers signed up already, places are filling fast. You can reserve your seat online here… or call us toll-free at 1-888-627-8834.
Till next week…