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March 1, 2022


Start reading with superpowers — that’s the claim of an immensely popular Readwise app (available for iOS and Android) for organizing reading highlights from Kindle, iBooks, Pocket, and more. If e-reading is a vital part of your freelance self-education, this is an app to try (30 days are free, then $4.49/month).

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February 28, 2022


Great innovation: European-based Slush Pool, the world’s first Bitcoin mining pool run by Braiins, has launched Hashrate for Ukraine initiative on their platform. It has donated 10 BTC (approx. €36,700) and enabled individual miners to donate their hashrate to Ukraine’s fight against Russian invaders.

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February 28, 2022


Here is Robert Vlach’s editorial that has been included in today’s special edition of our Freeletter:

It goes without saying that here at — and as citizens of the free world — we all stand with Ukraine. The global response to Russia’s war on its neighbor has been overwhelming, and Nassim Taleb nailed it in these few words: “Most days, 99.9% of the news is noise. The last few days, it's all signal.”

I was born in 1978 behind the Iron Curtain in Czechoslovakia, which was, at that time, under Russian/Soviet occupation. We were being brainwashed in schools from an early age. Free-thinking, independent and wealthy individuals were harassed and oppressed. Some were put in prisons, labor camps, tortured, even put to death. Small businesses were abolished, and the state demanded absolute obedience from its people.

There’s no doubt in my mind that a similar playbook would be used in Ukraine, were it to fall. Soon, other free people would face a similar fate. The Russian invasion thus represents a fundamental threat to the world order and to the values that are central for most of us independent professionals as well:

Independence. Liberty. Freedom.

The evil that we now face has grown slowly. That is why I would like to mention a few resources here that put the current situation in a broader context, and the latest developments only confirm their relevance:

1) All the Kremlin's Men by Mikhail Zygar is a book that meticulously documents Putin's rise to power and how he thinks and acts under pressure. The seminal book on Putin's Russia indicates what to expect from him.

2) Red Notice by Bill Browder offers similar insights from an American perspective. Bill became one of the most successful Western investors in post-Soviet Russia, where his interests inevitably clashed with Putin’s over time. The result was the death of Bill’s close associate Sergei Magnitsky, under whose name he then pushed for tough Western sanctions against specific Russian officials. Now Browder favors seizing all Putin's assets parked in the West, along with longtime critic of Putin and author of Winter Is Coming, Garry Kasparov.

3) In this context, I must mention Alexei Navalny’s famous video about Putin's personal history and the opulent palace he has secretly built for billions of dollars in a well-kept and guarded location. He portrays Putin as a man obsessed with material wealth and Russia as a corrupt kleptocracy. The 2-hour video has already gathered 122 million views on YouTube and illustrates perfectly what Putin is all about.

4) I consider The Economist magazine to be the best and most balanced media outlet on current economic affairs. When it comes to global political events and their impact on business and markets, it always offers deep insight, intelligent analysis and knowledge of current and historical context. It is a good guide to any crisis, including the current one. Here's how you can try The Economist subscription for free.

Glory to Ukraine! ✌

Robert Vlach

P.S. Today, we have donated to humanitarian aid for Ukraine on behalf of our family via the Czech non-profit organization People in Need. Similar efforts are being organized all over Europe as well as worldwide. Please consider joining us with some sort of donation, help or support. Thank you 💙💛

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February 24, 2022


For the last couple of years, The Hollywood Reporter has been doing excellent roundtable interviews, where the film industry’s top professionals meet and discuss their insights, experiences, current projects, as well as their approach to work as independent professionals.

There are already dozens of videos on their YouTube. These are our favorites:

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February 23, 2022


Neil Gaiman argues Why our future depends on libraries, reading and daydreaming in a powerful essay that will relate to most freelancers who are knowledge workers.

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February 21, 2022


This week, Masaryk University is launching the 3rd run of its course From Student ID to Business ID — arguably the first general full-semester university course on freelancing in Czechia and wider Europe.

For 3 months, the 100+ participating students will have a chance to e-meet a diverse lineup of accomplished independent professionals. Three of them are our members: Pavel Minar, Barbora Baronova, and Robert Vlach, who has also been involved in the course production.

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February 18, 2022


Behavior Gap is an excellent weekly newsletter by Carl Richards, who, through simple sketches, shares his insights about personal finance as well as other business tips. Curated, brief, and worth subscribing.

"My goal is to give you a little shot of distilled wisdom that will only take you a few minutes to read, but if I do it right, it will leave you thinking all day."

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February 17, 2022


On March 2, HarperCollins India will publish The Freelance Way by Robert Vlach as THE business book for independent professionals rooted in the best practices, tools and strategies used by American and European freelancers 🗽

If you happen to live in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Bhutan, or Maldives, you can pre-order it on Amazon.

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February 16, 2022


While many creators see social media as a failed promise, content newsletters keep booming, and they are vital for many freelancers too. Here, the 35 Lessons from 35 Years of Newsletter Publishing by CJ Chilvers really ring the bell — take these few examples:

  • Email lasts. You will have a medium that best speaks to your style (maybe audio or video is what keeps you excited), but email is as universal as we’ve gotten online as a species, so far. It’s still the king.
  • There is no competition for your personal voice.
  • The best metric is replies.
  • Keep track of what delights you about other newsletters — not what engages you (that’s too easy — A.I. can do that). Engagement is good for a few sentences. Delight builds anticipation for the next issue. You’re probably not producing enough delight. You probably should be.

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February 15, 2022


This can be very useful for international freelancers who are not native English speakers: 4-week free online course for non-native speakers Confident Content Creation in English by Lenka Silhanova. She is an active member of our freelance community and a very nice person to deal with (here’s a recent interview with her).

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