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December 28, 2022


This Book May Save Your Life is a pretty bombastic title, but thankfully the content doesn’t disappoint. This fantastic book summarizes what science knows about human health in a readable evidence-based form. The author, Graham Lawton, is an award-winning science writer. Highly recommended reading for all freelancers who care about their long-term health and well-being.

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December 27, 2022


Audiobook The Freelance Way has launched as the #1 new release in Self-Employment category on Amazon, coming up 2nd in overall category sales.

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December 21, 2022


HarperAudio has released The Freelance Way as an unabridged audiobook — now available worldwide on Audible!

HarperCollins acquired global publishing English-language rights for Robert Vlach’s best-selling book earlier this year, making it available globally in paperback and e-book editions, newly complemented with the full-length 20-hour audiobook.

The book is also available in several translations and has a top-notch rating of 4.5 out of 5 on Goodreads.

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December 20, 2022


As freelancers, we often take macroeconomic factors as a given. However, the legendary investor Howard Marks suggests in his newest memo Sea Change that we may be going through a profound economic change — only a third one in his 53-year investment career:

“We’re witnessing a complete reversal of the conditions … which prevailed in 2021 and late 2020, throughout the 2009-2019 period, and for much of the last 40 years.”

The memo is also available on Spotify as a podcast.

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December 16, 2022


Upwork has released its annual Freelance Forward 2022 report about the current state of the U.S. freelance economy.

As usual, they used a super-wide definition of freelance work, counting anyone who has “engaged in supplemental, temporary, project- or contract-based work within the past 12 months” as a freelancer. Yes, including diversified workers with more jobs and full-time employees with tiny gigs. All of these categories combined made up 39% of the U.S. workforce. Other estimates focused on full-time freelancers and qualified independent professionals are way lower.

However, some reported findings are remarkable. Here are the highlights:

  • 43% of freelancers raised their rates during the past year due to professional experience (39%), economic conditions (37%), their services being in higher demand (36%), and to keep up with competitive rates (34%)
  • 51% provide knowledge services such as computer programming, marketing, IT, and business consulting
  • 77% feel optimistic for the coming year about their personal income and salary increase
  • 83% freelance “to earn extra money” (perhaps on top of other income as noted above)
  • 91% believe the best days are ahead for freelancing 💙

P.S. Find out more about the taxonomy of freelance work in last year’s talk European Freelancers & Where to Find Them.

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December 13, 2022


Check out our new Star Member: Jan Romportl, PhD is a senior AI consultant who had been working in the research and development of artificial intelligence long before the current hype.

Jan has a PhD in Artificial Intelligence, as well as 20 years of experience in AI as a researcher, entrepreneur, consultant, and executive — he led the renowned O2 AI Centre in Prague as its director and chief data scientist for 7 years up to 2022.

⭐ Are you a top freelance expert? Join us to let your star shine all over the EU!

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December 8, 2022


This year’s AI revolution is not slowing down, quite the opposite. The AI research lab OpenAI, which caused a huge stir earlier with the DALL-E 2 image generator, has released another bombshell.

ChatGPT can answer any question of yours in a number of languages. It may even help you brainstorm ideas or write computer code.

The new tool has started a craze, which our member and leading AI expert Jan Romportl commented on by pointing out one important limitation, among other things:

“ChatGPT is in no way a substitute for googling! Not yet. You will see all sorts of cries on social media about how you can replace Google with it. Please, please, PLEASE! Don't believe them, and certainly don’t join them. Why? Because ChatGPT does not touch the internet anywhere on the actual state of factual matters. Its knowledge of the world is frozen in 2021. It probably doesn’t even know about the war in Ukraine or the death of Queen Elizabeth. Also because you can still fool it enough to convince it to start making up horrible, yet reasonable-sounding nonsense…”

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December 7, 2022


Freelance translators are supposed to be out of business soon due to advancements in AI translation tools such as DeepL.

Not so fast. The Economist now predicts that The translator of the future is a human-machine hybrid and that this kind of work will become less repetitive, more specialized and engaging:

“Tales of artificial intelligence usually pit humans against encroaching machines, Terminator-style. But the translators of the future will be neither entirely human nor machine. They will be human beings with mechanical enhancements. Call them cyborgs.”

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December 6, 2022


Many experts believe that the so-called creator economy will lessen the inequality of income from creative work, and they may be quite right.

The other, perhaps slightly more probable outcome is that it will become highly competitive and unequal in terms of revenues, just as the rest of the show business industry. It may even pit new superstars in direct competition against the old ones — American Gods style.

The Economist brought up this topic recently in an article about the other gig economy, titled If Ticketmaster is a greedy capitalist, so is Taylor Swift. One of its key insights is to focus on what the superstars actually do, rather than say: “For all their folksy or countercultural veneer, superstars tend to be capitalists.”

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December 2, 2022


A quick tip, just in case you’ve never heard of it before: DocuSign enables verified online signing of documents such as contracts, agreements, and orders. It is more provable than email and thus especially useful for international freelancers. There are also alternatives such as Adobe’s Acrobat Sign. (Just make sure to ask for a substantial advance with your cross-border freelance gigs, as a good practice.)

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