Hope your New Year is off to a good start! If you haven’t got your New Years resolutions set, well, hurry up! The Impact Hub in Geneva started the year off well with a brand new member initiative. Jens Bammel, lawyer/freelancer, launched a bi-weekly get together (Freelance Coffee) for members and non-members who are active as freelancers or who are self-employed. The purpose of this event is to share thoughts, ideas, tips and tricks and of course to create an opportunity for like-minded people to connect and to network.

The kick-off

The kick-off took place on the afternoon of the 11th. Nearly thirty people attended, which proved to be a great start. It was even more interesting to see what kind of audience showed up: a very broad mixture of foreigners, journalists, IT-developers, entrepreneurs, consultants, photographers, creative and productivity coaches, online media specialists and data scientists. A huge diversity in people, backgrounds and industries were represented. A sign that the freelance business in Geneva is alive and people are willing to meet and connect.

It’s all about the money

After a short introduction round, participants could address topics or questions related to the freelance business. Surprisingly enough, with representatives of different industries, similar topics were raised. There was a tendency amongst people who were new in the field to get to know more about setting up a freelance business. How to get started? When it comes to social and administrative tasks, there is still a lot to learn and also a lot to do. Where to begin?

Futhermore, people were having a lot of questions about the financial aspects of being self-employed. Is it better to ask an hourly rate or an all-inclusive price? How to target and to set prices without losing clients or own income? The topics mentioned above will be prepared and discussed in other meetings. Last weeks meeting continued with a third common ‘issue’: ‘How to get things done when you are your own boss and when you can allocate your own time and choose your own tasks?’

How to get things done?

Productivity and time management tips are of course different for everybody. Some people prefer meetings on a Friday (people have the tendency to be more relaxed); others work in the mornings or state that Wednesday is their most productive day.

There are however common techniques or applications that could help you track time or productivity. Ever heard for example of the ‘Pomodoro Technique’? It’s a time management method developed in the eighties by an Italian named Francesco Cirillo.

The idea? Break your work down into intervals, by working 25 minutes, with different short breaks. Francesco himself used a tomato shaped timer for it (which explains the name of the technique). The Pomodoro technique proved to be highly effective because it helps you to establish a clear vision of your projects and therefore keeps you motivated.

If you look online you will find even more applications, websites and techniques to help you get started (and hopefully not distracted). Never too late to try out some techniques yourself and also not to late to attend the next Freelance event yourself! Mark the 25th of January in your agenda or have a look at the Impact Hub event page! Hope to see you there.

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