Category Archives: Freelancing

Vacationing on PEI and need to keep in touch at work – Hey call us

For Freelancers there is no such thing as a holiday – we can work anywhere and often out in a few hours whenever. I was struck by this post on the topic of co-working spaces and Island Vacations. They were talking tropics but we on PEI have a lot of visitors – check us out.

There’s a new meaning to the term ‘working holiday’, and it doesn’t involve donning a backpack, queuing in foreign embassies to obtain a visa, and sending reams of CV’s to every hospitality business in the destination of choice. But the new working vacation can be just as liberating. There are a number of coworking spaces located on small islands notorious for holiday-makers that cater for the (very) remote worker. They offer sun, sand, surf, a range of outdoor activities and clean air, alongside all those useful amenities found in coworking spaces in a bustling metropolis.


A Vision for a “Maker Economy” on PEI

I am part of a new national network called StartUp Canada that will launch in March. The objective if to create a powerful supportive national network that will help shift us from a bureaucratic to an entrepreneural culture.

I am the PEI blogger for this. I was asked to do a video about why I am involved and how I see things on PEI. Here it is.

Co Working is not just for Nerds but Crafts as well

My daughter in law is part of a new movement of self employed sewers – she makes children’s toys. This in turn is part of an even larger movement where people look to buy things and food that are “Real”. After all what are you saying when you give your new niece or grand daughter a plastic toy from China?

But making things on your own by yourself is not how we in the past have made things. For all of time, crafts people have made things in the company of  others. Co-Working is moving out of the Nerd World and Tech to the full range of artisanal work. Here is a story on Sewing _:

Coworking spaces can benefit just about any kind of work, allowing for increased productivity, inspiration, and a sense of community. Unsurprisingly, we are beginning to see more spaces that apply the principles of coworking to a number of different fields that reach beyond traditional office work.

Since September 2011, a former apartment in Neukölln’s trendy Reuterkiez has housed a co-sewing space – Nadelwald. This new space offers sewing equipment, patterns, workshops, and other facilities for designers and hobbyists alike to be inspired, create projects, and share their ideas and creations with others. We asked founder Swantje Wendt a few questions about her charming new space.

How did you come up with the concept of co-sewing – the idea of applying the principles of co-working to sewing?

I originally wanted to start a fashion label, specializing in scarves and accessories, and had been searching for a place where I could work on that. Since I couldn’t find a space where I could leave my patterns and materials, I simply created my own space, and began offering it to others.

What kinds of people normally use this space – professional designers, or simply hobbyists?

At the moment, the space is used mostly by people who sew as a hobby and who like to do their own alterations. Only one of our customers is a professional designer who comes here whenever she needs equipment she does not already own.

There seems to be a growing interest in sewing these days, particularly among younger people. Why do you think that is?

I think that, in the case of younger people, sewing and other forms of handiwork can be seen as an alternative to daily work, as many people these days spend most of their time at their computers. They enjoy being able to create something with their hands, something they can be proud of in the end.

You hold a lot of workshops. Do your workshops mainly focus on sewing, or do you branch out into other forms of visual art and handicrafts as well?

Our workshops focus on any skills related to fashion. We offer workshops on different sewing techniques, and even knitting, which is taught by a guest instructor, as knitting is not my area of expertise. I plan to offer a workshop on pattern-making, as that is my specialty.

More here

Where your job went and why it is not coming back

This is a picture of the big trends in employment.  Not pretty. Now ask will there be more or less jobs in Finance in the next 20 years? How about Government?

So where is the opportunity?

It is in the areas that have been hardest hit.

What is the fasted growing sector in food? It is in local food and famers markets. What sector do we worry about the most? Food – many are now seeing that factory food is at the heart of the health epidemic. More and more families are looking for safer and more nutritious food. This can only come from small operations.

10 years ago you needed a million dollars to have a full on recording or film editing studio. Now you can get the same power for free.

Today 3d Printing is where PC’s were 20 years ago. About $2,000 will get you a neat toy. But in 10 years $2,000 will get you what Toyota use for prototyping. You will be able to make almost anything.

When I say almost anything – they are working on food and even body parts right now.

Only a game changer will help us – Become a Maker

Need a Financial Business Guide? Ronda Bellefontaine is it!

I attended a Lunch and Learn today at the QSC where Ronda Bellefontaine was our speaker. Her topic was how a small business can maximize the potential of their year end. We all HATE this side of our business. I expected a technical talk – but as I have a new business I showed up.

I was blown away! In 45 minutes I leaned more about how to look at my business that at any previous time ever.  What Ronda does is to help you “see” things that we all miss because we are too close and don’t ask the best questions about.

If you want to see your business with fresh eyes and see new opportunities that you might have missed I encourage you to give her a call. Very pragmatic very personal – hence her business name “Like nobody’s business” for we are all different.


Here is a link that will tell you more.

Get Your Book Done Workshop Series with Patti Larsen

Saturday, February 11, 2012 9-4

Get Your Book Done 101, Fiction Edition: Have you always wanted to be a writer but never had the chance/nerve/great idea that would make it happen? Or do you have that half-started Best Novel Ever stuck away in your closet awaiting the day you have the time/energy/drive to get it done? Join writer Patti Larsen for a day of Get Your Book Done 101, the Fiction Edition.

This full day course offers tips and techniques on how to get started, techniques to improve and polish your writing, exercises to stretch your talent, instruction on outlining and planning right through to completing a novel.

Participants will get the chance to not only come up with and develop an idea, but will gain valuable knowledge on how to proceed with their own great novels at home.

Course cost: $80 (lunch not included)

When and Where: Saturday, February 18 at 9:00am at Queen Street Commons

What to bring: pencil/pen, notebook

About your instructor: Patti Larsen is a middle grade, young adult and adult author with a passion for the paranormal. Her YA thriller series, The Hunted, is available now. The first four books of The Hayle Coven series, Family Magic, Witch Hunt, Demon Child and The Wild are also out now. Her YA paranormal novel, Best Friends Forever, and steampunk series, Blood and Gold, are due early in 2012. She is a full time writer and a part time teacher of her Get Your Book Done101 program. Patti lives on the East Coast of Canada with her very patient husband and four massive cats.

You can find her:

On her website

On Facebook

Her writing blog

Her book blog

On Twitter!/PattiLarsen

On and Goodreads

Saturday, February 18, 2012 9-4

Get Your Book Done 101, Non-Fiction Edition

Do you have a brilliant idea for a self-help book, but have no idea how to get started? How about an amazing memoir you’ve always wanted to create, a family story that’s been begging to be told? Join writer Patti Larsen for a day of Get Your Book Done 101, the Non-Fiction Edition.

This full day course offers tips and techniques on how to get started, techniques to improve and polish your writing, exercises to stretch your talent, instruction on outlining and planning right through to completing your project.

Participants will get the chance to not only explore all avenues of how to tell their particular story, but will gain valuable knowledge on how to proceed with their own project at home.

Course cost: $80 (lunch not included)

What to bring: pencil/pen, notebook

Sunday, February 26, 2012 9-4

Get Your Book Done 101, Business Edition

So you’ve written the Great Novel or the best self-help book ever. Now what? Join writer Patti Larsen as she guides you through the many layers of the publishing industry, with the most up-to-date information available on the rapid changes going on right now.

From the many types of publishing, agents, marketing and more, let her help you make the best choices for your goals and how to achieve them.

Course cost: $50

What to bring: pencil/pen, notebook

Register Here

Co Working – Pivot of the New Economy – Stowe boyd

Stowe is one of the most thoughtful commentators on what is going on – here is his conclusion on a post about what will make the new network economy viable:

What’s Missing? The Second Place.

But there is a factor that is a potential hiccup. Many folks that adopt a telework or freelance work model and opt to work from home quickly come to miss the social aspect of their old work place.

In the US and Western countries, there has been a growing adoption of co working spaces, where freelancers, employees of small businesses, or teleworkers can get the best of both worlds: they can work from a work space close to their home — thereby avoiding a long distance commute — but at the same time they can have the support and stimulation that comes from social interaction with well-known people other than your family.

Ray Oldenburg, the urban sociologist, is best known for his notion of the Third Place, like the corner bar, the cafe, or the barber shop, where we can interact with people that we don’t know well, and perhaps with whom we have little in common. He argued that such places are critically import to the health of cities and out societies. He took almost as a given that people would continue their relationship with First and Second Places, the home and the workplace, respectively. But the trends of telework and freelancing means that an increasing means the more people are spending less time in official Second Places, and more at home and Starbucks. But as wonderful as working in a café is, there is definitely a great deal missing.

So it’s no real surprise that the co working movement is growing at a pace that seems closely linked to the number of people jumping into telework or out of the traditional workplace. Deskmag states there are now more than 1,100 co working spaces worldwide, more than double the number in 2006. Loosecubes, a service set up to help people find co working spaces, is tracking over 1,400 locations in over 500 cities, globally.

According to Carsten Foetrsch of deskmag, 72 percent of all co working spaces become profitable after 2 years of operation, and for privately-run spaces, the number is even higher: 87 percent . So the economics for those interested in setting up and running co working spaces is compelling.

A Virtuous Cycle?

Looking from a economics viewpoint, all the players have economic motivations to support co working:

  • The office worker saves significant expense and time by decreasing commute time, and those with the longest commutes should have the strongest motivation to shift to telework. Therefore, there is a steady migration to telework as businesses adopt policies to support it.
  • Businesses have a strong incentive to increase employee morale and productivity, and to decrease expenses related to the increasingly large percentage of their office space that is underutilized. Even if businesses have to subsidize co working space use by teleworkers, the net savings are significant.
  • As the number of freelancers and teleworkers increase, the demand for co working space grows, since people need the strong social connections historically offered in the workplace, not just the chance connections afforded by sharing a table in Starbucks.
  • Entrepreneurs have strong incentives to create co working spaces: partly to serve as their own base of operations, but also as a business proposition of its own. Note that the desire of businesses to shed unneeded office space in our down economy also provides lower cost space in which to set up shop.

When you look at it as a system, co working is a complex societal dance, where the various players are each seeking to  maximize their personal economic situation, and it leads to a new social reintegration. And the result of this migration of workers from the office to the co working space is a net benefit for the world, too: the decrease in energy use for the unused office space and the decrease in commuting translates into decreased carbon footprints for all involved.

Co working may turn out to be the pivot in today’s post-industrial transformation of work: a shining example, perhaps, of how large-scale positive change at the societal level can emerge peacefully from the independent pursuit of personal ends.

Stowe Boyd writes and speaks about social tools and their impact on media, business and society. A GigaOM Pro analystBoyd also writes at and is working on a new book about the rise of a socially augmented world, called Liquid City: A Liquid, Not A Solid; A City, Not A Machine. Stowe will be speaking about co-working at Net:Work. 

What do we have to unlearn when we stop looking for a job? Helplessness – what we learned at school!

What did you really learn at school? Why do you have to unlearn this? How do you pull this off?

The quick answer is that you learned how to be helpless and you need to learn how to be self-sufficient.

So why should you do this and how can you do it?

Why? Because the Job is going away – for ever.  You were taught to be helpless at school to prepare you for a job. The new economy demands that you be self-sufficient. This is the skill that you need more than any other. For if you cannot rely on yourself in the economy that is replacing the job, it matters not what other skills you have.

Learned Helplessness is (defined as):

a phenomenon in which individuals gradually, usually as a result of repeated failure or control by others, become less willing to attempt tasks. (D.D. Smith, 2001)

The key phrase here is “…as a result of repeated failure or control by others…”

Workers, like the students they once were, “learn” to be patient and compliant ultimately to the detriment of their organizations. They learn to be helpless in the face of repeated failure and systems of control. (More and the Source Here)

How did we learn to be a cipher? When we know that, we can know how to unlearn it.

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Is Coworking the New Incubator?

An Article by Dave Bunnell & Jeannine van der Linden

The concept of the business incubator was born in an old factory divided up to house many small companies, including a chicken hatchery. Today incubators are facing challenges, especially those that exist on public funds. Their closed-door approach is contrasted with coworking’s open attitude. Does coworking now introduce a policy of openness to incubators? Or do coworking spaces even pose a threat to the concept of business incubation?

In this in-depth overview, writers Dave Bunnell and Jeannine van der Linden give a detailed history of both incubation and coworking, and explain how hybrids of both concepts are emerging. They submitted this guest post to Deskmag:

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Being Yourself – Freelancing

One of the hardest things that I had to learn after I had a “Real Job” was how to be me. This post talks about this issue of rediscovering who you are at work.

Perhaps the ultimate freedom is the freedom to be one’s self. But in the traditional workplace, authenticity is often neither condoned nor rewarded. As free agents around the country told me their stories, they repeatedly used the language of disguise and concealment to describe their previous jobs. They spoke of putting on “masks” or “game faces” at work. They talked about donning “armor” and erecting “smoke screens,” because exposing themselves in a large organization could be perilous. Only when they returned home after work could they shed the costumes and protective gear and return to being who they truly were.

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