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It’s Okay To Use Drag & Drop Website Page Builders

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“The World’s Leading WordPress Page Builder.”

-Elementor

In recent years, I’ve been using page builders for all of my website projects specifically Elementor for WordPress. It’s making my development process way easier.

Always Use The Right Tools

Programming Languages and Frameworks are “tools” designed for specific purposes. Using the correct tool based on the project requirements will decrease the amount of effort that you need to get a job done right.

Would you build a 5 pages website by doing it from scratch and coding it in HTML/CSS to Javascript that will take you 4 to 6 days to finish? Or would you rather use a CMS with a page builder that will only take you 1 to 2 days to build it?

You decide.

By using page builders like Elementor, Divi, or Webflow, you are saving yourself a ton of development time if you are just doing web pages that don’t have complex functionalities.

Page Builders nowadays can work with backend and frontend at the same time. That’s a no brainer.

What’s The Catch?

Well, these page builders are not free. You need to pay for it.

In terms of technicality and development, using page builders can sometimes cost the performance of your website build. It will make the page load slow and long waiting time for the assets to fully load.

There are a ton of CSS and Javascript included in these page builders that running in the background of your website that you don’t need. It’s simply required to run by page builder itself.

But, it can be solved by various tweaks that gradually improve the performance of the website.

Clients Only Care About the Results

Clients do not care about what stack or tools you used to build their website. They only care about the functionality, output, and the finished product.

Of course, clients can be vary based on project requirements. For instance, they want to use WooCommerce instead of Shopify Platform for their Online Store, or the client already has a backend API that only needs a frontend and they want you to use Vue or React. The key is to be flexible and adaptive.

Conclusion

I don’t make simple things complicated. If I need to build a website, I’ll use CMS with Page Builder (WordPress & Elementor), If I need to build a mobile app, I’ll use Flutter, If I need to build a frontend for a Web App, I will use Vue.

It’s just that simple.

And That’s it!

Hey, thanks for taking the time to read this far. I truly appreciate it. What’s your favorite page builder and why? I’d love to know! Comment it! Cheers!

6 Steps In Solving Code Problems

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“Think twice, code once.”

Waseem Latif

Okay, I would like to be honest with you. In the very early days of my web development career maybe the first 6 months, I’m having a hard time writing logical code and solving specific code problems.

My brain hurts when I need to come up with a solution, not literally but it’s hard for me that I’m thinking to do other things.

Well, mainly because I’m just starting to learn back then. Until I realized that if I didn’t learn how to improve my problem-solving skills, My logical coding specific skill will not improve as well.

Throughout the year, I always check most of my senior developer’s code to get an idea and also trying to learn from other great developers.

By reading and understanding their code line by line, learning how they approach a certain coding problem, I’ve come up with my own process:

1. Understand and Analyze the Problem

When a task is given to me, I spent maybe 1 to 2 hours to understand what needs to be done and make sure I understand the challenges or problems that will show up ahead. Anticipate the problem and think of the big picture.

I write and list down the problems. Prioritizing what is more important to solve first and leave the less important later.

2. Search for Existing Solution

Before writing a single piece of code, I will spend an hour or two to search if the task already has a solution or it was solved before.

That way, I save a ton of development hours for doing the same solution that already exist. Use your time wisely.

3. Break down the Problem

Real-life example: I wrote down and break the problem to smaller tasks. It’s a combination of Pseudocode and Breaking down the task to bite-sized pieces.

Let’s assume you didn’t found an existing solution and you need to work on the problem from scratch. This is the most if important part of the process.

Break down the problem to bite-sized pieces. That way, the problem will become less intimidating and can be solved piece by piece.

4. Create Pseudocode

(I’m not always doing this but it’s a great way to see how you can progress with your code without actually writing it.)

After analyzing the problem and break it into smaller sub-problems, it’s time to create a Pseudocode for it. You might ask, what is Pseudocode?

It is an informal high-level description of how your code will run. Here’s a super simple example:

If a student’s grade is greater than or equal to 60
Print “Passed”
Else
Print “Failed”

5. Translate Pseudocode into Actual Code

If we are going to translate the Pseudocode above, it will be like this:

if (studentGrade >= 60){
     console.log("Passed"); //debugging purposes
} else {
     console.log("Failed");
}

That way, It’s easier for me to write the code and create a chronological structure of what the code will look like.

6. Trial and Error

Even though this process is helpful in solving large problems, the solution that comes up with might not always work on the first try.

Sometimes, I need to do a trial and error to see if it will work and make adjustments from time to time until it finally runs without errors.

What If I’m Stuck With a Coding Problem and Don’t Know How to Move Forward?

I have these moments when I don’t see myself progressing with the code and stuck staring at my screen for hours.

To get out of that “Stuck Mode”, I usually go out, taking a walk, riding my bike, indoor exercise, or sometimes taking a shower and spend my time thinking the code in the bathroom.

It works. Trust me. Maybe because my mind is taking a break and resting during those times that I’m away from my keyboard subconsciously thinking what might be a workaround.

I’m Still Stuck With My Code, What Now?

Joining Facebook groups or other groups related to the specific programming language you are working on might help you by asking questions. Don’t afraid to ask.

Another thing, try to look backward and reflect on your code and the problem you are trying to solve. Sometimes, we need to look back to lead us forward and check if what we are currently doing is really solving the problem.

And That’s it!

I hope this will give you an idea on how to solve your coding problems in the future. Just reach out if you have questions. Stay safe!

Coding Skill is Only Part of Your Value as a Web Developer

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Your ability to solve problems and make good decisions is the true measure of your skill as a leader.

Brian Tracy

I’m writing code and develop websites and apps for a living. Well, I think the way I code is decent and fair. The code that I’m producing is not mind-blowing and no extraordinary.

I’m just an average programmer. I have nothing to boast. In fact, I’m happy if someone will teach me how to improve my code.

Actually, I’m not proclaiming myself as a programmer. I’m happy to be a Developer. Wait a sec, what do I mean by that? Is there a difference?

Based from StaffLink.ca,

In a nutshell, the basic difference between a developer and a programmer is the scope of their work. Developers are more involved with and have a greater understanding of the full project scope. Programmers are involved in a specific part of the project — coding.

Yep, you read it right. There is a significant difference between a Programmer and a Developer. Since then, I know to myself that I am not a programmer. I want more than that. I want to solve real problems that can make a difference.

I just realized, my coding skill is improving as I gain experience and expose myself to different kinds of project work. So instead of learning different kinds of tech stacks that I know I will not use in the future, I spent my time learning how I can increase my value as a Developer.

What are those things that will make you valuable, you ask?

Your Ability to Communicate Effectively

I’ve been able to talk to a lot of high profile people in my entire career. I’ve talked with CEOs, Business Owners of large companies, Managers, Senior Engineers, and managed a team of Developers.

What I think is that, your ability to communicate as a developer in the real world that an average person can understand is more valuable than trying to communicate with a compiler.

If someone asks me how my software works, I’d rather not speak like a programmer. I will speak like a human being who can explain how my thing works.

Having a Good Work Ethics

You might be a good developer writing complex code that will benefit the project in the future but, do you really get the job done? I often see this in those developers who want their code “clean” and readable. Actually, that is a good practice and I strongly agree it’s how it should be done.

But the problem is, they’re not progressing with the project and just trying to create the “perfect” code as if it will read by the client.

Remember, done is always better than perfect.

In other cases, maybe you feel good about your coding skill that you code shame your co-programmers. Be kind and generous and helpful to your teams, don’t code-shame. It’s not making you a star of all coders. Trust me.

Develop the Big Picture Thinking

Most developers especially the new ones are over-obsessed with their “tech stack”. I’ve been developing websites & apps for the last 8 years and that also means I tried all frameworks and tech stacks that are available to use nowadays.

It’s not about what kind of programming languages you use, it is about how you understand the requirements of the project, how you solve the problem and anticipate the changes ahead of time.

Be adaptive and take your view overhead. It will make you a better Developer in the future.

And that’s it!

Thank you for reading this far. I’d say if you’re stuck at where you at, try to change your view. It is important for us Developers that we see things on multiple perspectives. As they say, “Think outside the box”.

Hey, reach out with me. Do you see yourself as a Programmer or a Developer? I’d like to know!

The Dark Side of Working From Home

Self-discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishment.

-Jim Rohn

As a Web Developer, I am fortunate and grateful that I can bring my work home even before this pandemic. I’ve been working from home on and off for the last 8 years and I can say that I’ve experienced all of the things you can imagine.

For most of us, working from home is the dream. Spending more time with family, no commute, no waking up early, no hassle in preparing things to get to work, and “You own your time”. I honestly prefer this kind of setup and I got used to it.

Everything is cool at first but over time, the side effects are hard to manage. As uncle Ben said to Peter Parker, “With great power, comes great responsibility”. Working from home is a privilege and a perk that is not given out at random.

Early Days

At first, I’m puzzled about how I should start or when should end my work because usually, I go to the office, work, eat, work, and go home. There is a definite routine that I follow and spending the time to work in an actual office.

I remember when I start preparing myself to work from home, I did some research about how to organize my day and what kind of routine I need to do. WFH, it’s awesome right?!…… err, right?

Well, the first few years was cool and all. But over time, I’m having these negative emotions that I’m struggling to deal with even today and I think these are all because of working from home for a long time.

My Daily Routine

I don’t have a definite day to day routine because it changes a lot throughout the year. My routine will be based on the workload and the client’s timezone. As you know, I’ve been freelancing for 5 years and until now, I’m still coping to establish a routine. I just want to stick with it but my work don’t want me to.

Adding to that, my second child was born just recently and we don’t have a nanny to help us so I’m doing some of the household chores. Here’s what my recent routine looks like:

  • 12NN – Waking up
  • 1PM – Breakfast / Lunch
  • 2PM – Household chores / Family time
  • 4PM – Excercise / Walking / Cycling while listening to podcasts
  • 5PM – Start Work / Check emails / Answering DMs
  • 9PM – Dinner
  • 10PM – Continued Work
  • 2AM – End Work
  • 3AM – Side hustle / Writing blog / Playing video games / Reading books
  • 5AM – Sleep

I’m trying to keep that routine for a year now I think I’m more productive compare to before. At least for now.

My children are my source of Inspiration and Stress

If you’re single and working from home, consider yourself lucky as you only need to look after yourself.

Having a family on the other hand is a different story. Although I’m happy that I can spend more time with them, it’s also causing me stress and progress in my work.

My oldest kid is 4 years old and the youngest is 7 months old, just a baby. And if you don’t know what it looks like to have an infant in a home office, I’ll tell you, its a disaster!

My daily routine is heavily based on when I’ll take care of my kids. Although my wife is there, she can’t do some of the heavy tasks by herself and need a man who will do it.

Well, there’s nothing I can do about that aside from using noise cancellation earbuds when I’m working. Talking to my wife when I can’t be disturbed and when I can be disturb.

I tried to set up a workstation in a separate room but I felt isolated and the “loneliness” feeling is bursting around my chest. So I decided to place my computer in our master’s bedroom so they can disturb me and play with me with all their heart’s content.

Loneliness

Sometimes, I honestly feel kinda lonely especially when I’m the only one awake at night. Is that mean I am depressed? Definitely not, I’m just bored.

Although the “loneliness” is tolerable, I know to myself that I need some companions to go hang out too.

Before the pandemic, I usually call my friends to have some coffee and catching up with them late at night once a week. That is my “fighting mechanism” to deal with the loneliness and it’s great. It’s good to have some friends that you can talk to virtually or in person.

I met Hans Andres when I’m working in a coffee shop inside a mall and we just clicked. Then we had this idea of a meeting once a week because we are just bored freelancers who need companions

I hope we can get back after the pandemic.

Procrastination is my worst enemy

In my early years, I remember one time that my procrastination is so bad, I don’t have progress on my work for 2 days. Yes, I waste my time playing video games and doing other things aside from work for 2 days.

Of course, I made some “progress” but that doesn’t add up to the actual state of the project and I just fooling around, doing some “research” to fill up my working hours.

I tried to reflect on things and until I realized, I should be grateful that I have this work. I am able to feed my family and live above the lifestyle that we desired. I said to myself, “I’m done with this shit and will do the actual work”.

No one will help me to be productive but myself. So I wrote a note to remember when I feel to procrastinate.

Until then, I never procrastinate that much and always thinking that I need to get the work DONE. The note is so powerful that it helps me motivate every day to do awesome work.

No Electricity, No internet!

If there’s no electricity, obviously there is nothing I can do but to wait. It will affect the work tremendously that’s why If there’s a notice that the electricity will go off, or the storm is so bad that can cause a power outage, I inform my clients immediately and offset the work for another day or over the weekend.

We all know that the internet is so bad here in the Philippines. Even with Fiber connection, I’m still having internet difficulties. That’s why I bought a modem that I use as a backup internet when my main line goes down.

Or if I have an urgent task that need to get done, I work in a coffee shop nearby.

Extended Working Hours

Because of my freelancing work lifestyle, I tend to work an excessive amount of time just to meet the deadline. I don’t need to commute and I’m in the comfort of my home, that is why I used to think it’s okay to work overtime to different kinds of clients.

I work 16 hours a day in my early years of freelancing and it sucks. Not because I force to work with those hours but because I want to make more money. I used to have 2 to 3 clients in a day and that cause me my health problems. I literally crying because of exhaustion.

I have lack of control. There is always “one change only” until that change sucks up the half-day that supposed to be spent on my family.

I’m thinking, is that tremendous working hours really pay off? Yes. There are certain sacrifices to be made to reach the goal but that doesn’t always mean a good thing. Working long hours can cause big problems in the future that you might regret.

I want to work smart instead of working hard. Now, I change the way I work. I’m done with those extended work hours and instead, I delegate the work to other people. I want to make a steady 8 to 10 hours working time now but I know there are days that will demand my time beyond the set working time. And that is totally okay.

Conclusion

No work is easy even working from home. For some, it’s a blessing and for some, it’s a curse. There’s always after effect that we need to deal with. Be responsible for all of your actions especially when doing the work. No one will motivate you but yourself. Use your time wisely.

And That’s it!

Hey, Thank you so much for taking the time to read it until the end. I appreciate it! Hope I can get your insights and the problem you encounter working from home. What’s your experience? Let’s get in touch! Take care.

Unexpected Life Lessons I Learned from Kratos – God of War

“Do not be sorry, be better.”

-Kratos

For all of you who don’t know, God of War is an action-adventure video game franchise created by David Jaffe at Sony’s Santa Monica Studio exclusively on Playstation. The story follows Kratos, a Spartan warrior who was tricked into killing his family by his former master, the Greek God of War Ares.

The game already has 8 installments with the latest one released in 2018. Cory Barlog, a former game director of God of War II, “reboot” Kratos and made drastic changes to overall story and gameplay. Unlike previous games, which were based on Greek mythology, the latest game from the franchise is based in Norse mythology where Kratos move on from his past and seek a new beginning.

If you play the game from start to finish, maybe your thought is that the game is decent with decent gameplay. But behind the video game itself, there’s a deep story of failures, doubt, and success during the development of the game.

My first playthrough was when I played God of War II way back in my second-year high school. The game experience blew me away. Graphics were super cool at that time, the combat gameplay was dope, and the character, Kratos is a total badass. These are the literal things that describe the game but at the back of gore and epic, Kratos taught me unexpected life lessons that are truly valuable.

I have this Kratos action figure that I think is one of my most important material possession. No joke, I treat it as my “Teddy Bear”.

God of War showed me the in and out of Video Game Development

I’m an aspiring Video Game Developer that wasn’t able to make it in the video game industry because the opportunity is somewhat not present at the time and decided to take the Web Development path. Video games, in general, have a place in my heart and always will be. I freaking love video games!

Documentaries, on the other hand, is the type of film that I love to watch. Luckily, God of War has these documentaries in every main title of the game and showcasing the whole process of game development from start to finish.

I love the fact that they considered making these documentaries because most of the time, gamers only see the results with the final product which is the game itself, but they do not know how hard it is to make a game that they can enjoy.

When I’m stuck in my development or facing a programming problem that I can’t solve, I watch these documentaries. I then feel motivated and inspired to face the challenges and move forward. These make the fire ignite in me when I feel down. It really helps me to keep pushing my limits and keep look forward up ahead.

Looking at Kratos makes me feel strong and powerful

What I love about Kratos is that he have this personality of not looking back and always move forward. Kinda childish but I feel like I want to have that personality of Kratos. If most children looking at spiderman, batman, or superman as their superhero, my fictional superhero is Kratos, The God of War.

Change is Scary, Change is Good, Change is Constant

Change is something that we don’t want to consider because we are enjoying managing our lives inside of our comfort zone. I know it sucks when you need to change something that’s not you’re used to. Either it’s a new routine, a new type of job, or a change in yourself for the better.

But most of the time, we need to adapt to these changes in our lives to move forward. The past is so heavy to handle and we need to put that down and embrace the future ahead of us.

I learned from the development of the new God of War (2018) is that if you want to grow, you need to change. You need to live outside of your comfort zone and face the challenges toward your goals. It’s not easy, it’s full of roadblocks but there’s always light at the end of the tunnel.

This relates to Kratos needed a reboot or change if the franchise wants to survive. From the game standpoint, there are already 7 games that have the same gameplay and mechanics. Gamers want something new.

In this new game, Cory Barlog takes the God of War (2018) to a whole new level. They changed everything from gameplay, story settings, and Kratos himself. Cory Barlog has doubts and failures throughout the development but that does not hinder him to deliver a satisfying and jaw-dropping game.

As a gamer and God of War fan, I honestly did not want these changes at first. When I saw the E3 stage demo way back in 2016 where Cory Barlog played the new Kratos, my reaction was like “What the fuck. Seriously? What they did to Kratos?!” It broke my heart. Maybe the new gameplay is not my cup of tea. But the more I play it, the more I understand the meaning and reasoning behind the change. It was for the better.

“Keep your expectations low and you will never be disappointed.”

I think this is nature of people that we set expectations in everything we do. Actually, I think expectations are good. You are looking forward to something in return. But does not always mean we need to expect positive feedback. Disappointments are hard to deal with, sometimes it makes people give up and we don’t want to be in that position. Just keep our expectations low and I think we are good to go.

“You need to fight it – because you are frightened of it.”

They say if you scared of something, you must learn how to confront it, fight it, and embrace it. Well, I’ve been dealing with hypochondria for the last 10 years now and I have a ton of anxiety. I just learned how to deal with it. I think aside from fighting your fears, one that made me better with my mental health is that I accepted the fact that I have this anxiety.

Acceptance is not easy. But the more you are open to addressing your mental health problems, the more you understand how to deal with them.

“Do not allow yourself to feel for them. They will not feel for you.”

This is one of the best lessons I learned that made me do the things that I want to do. People do not care. They don’t care about your Facebook posts, They don’t care about your hundred thousand selfies, they don’t care about what you ate for dinner, they do not care. Including me. Maybe there is empathy just a little based on the context you shared but most of the time, people just scroll on things they see and forgot what you did if it’s not valuable to them.

We win because we are determined. Disciplined. Not because we feel ourselves superior.”

Ego is the enemy. Do you remember the story of the rabbit and the turtle? The rabbit and the turtle went on a race. The turtle beat the crap out of the rabbit because he is determined to win and the rabbit has this big ego that made him a loser.

“Even good leaders make poor choices. The best take responsibility for them.”

Well, what can I say. Government right? 

That’s it!

To me, God of War is not just a game. It’s an experience. I hope you like this article and thank you for reading this far. “Boy!”

I earned $0.09 dollars publishing my stories on Medium in less than 24 hours

Yes, you read it right. I know $0.09 is not a great start to begin with and there’s nothing to celebrate with that amount.

But, I strongly believe that big things start from small beginnings and this $0.09 might be the start of $9000/month earnings. It’s free to dream right?! Set laughable goals, dream big, and start small.

How did I get here?

It’s been a year since I started to figure out how I can join the Medium Partner Program and share my stories and ideas to the world. Although I can write on Medium without joining the program, having an earning while giving value is cool right?

Writing on Medium Partner Program is one of the passive income that I can make on the side while working on my full time job. Who don’t want a side income by the way?

Unfortunately, Medium Partner Program only available to selected country where Stripe is available. That’s a bummer!

I’m actually thinking of borrowing credit card from my friends living in the US but I don’t want to use someone else thing especially when it comes to money.

Until I saw this tutorial – https://medium.com/@enywaru/is-the-medium-partner-program-unavailable-in-your-country-32b68f3b211

I literally searched “medium partner program outside available country”

That medium post solved my problem! Thanks to https://medium.com/@enywaru for taking the time to write this down to help someone like me who want to share ideas and have an income at the same time.

What’s next?

I’m focusing on 2 topics about my blog

  1. Web Development
  2. Personal Growth

I’m in the midst of studying and honing my skills in writing and how I can use SEO to help me reach out to more readers who interested in the same topics that I’m writing.

Until then, I’ll keep practicing my writing and document my work.

And That’s it!

If you have questions on how to start writing on Medium, just let me know and reach out. I’d love to help!

How To Get a Web Development Job During a Pandemic

“When the world is running down, you make the best of what’s still around.”

Sting

I had a chat with a few of my new connections just recently and they’re all hit by a layoff in their company. This is the third time I got a chat from someone who loses a job because of this coronavirus pandemic.

Laid off or redundancy is one of the worst things that can happen to your job. It’s frustrating to know that the financial security from your job you’ve been counting on to pay the bills was gone.

I’ve experienced getting laid off multiple times throughout my career. The discouragement was there and the fear of not being able to provide for the family is the worst feeling you can get especially during this pandemic.

Fortunately, there are companies that still seeking to hire talented people like you to expand their team or increase their resources.

I created a step by step process on how to get a job effectively with a high chance to get hired fast as a Web Developer.

1. Find Job Openings

Here are my recommendations:

  • LinkedIn
  • Jobstreet
  • OnlineJobs PH

It’s okay if you prefer just one. The goal is to get a list of job openings that you can start with. Create a list of leads and get the contact information of each company. The more list you can get, the better.

2. Study and Research about the Company

The next step is you need to know what kind of company you’re going to apply to. Know their company culture, work-life balance, company’s mission & vision, and so on. Get enough amount of information about the company and see if your values are aligned to them.

Also, It’s good to think about how you can give value to these companies, why do you think your skillset is matched with what they’re looking for and see if there’s growth when working with this company.

3. Find the Key People

Find the contact information of the person you’re going to reach out to. These are the key people in the company. Usually, I go to Linkedin and check the company page and see the people working there. If I can’t see the right person, I’ll go to the company’s website and check the team hierarchy.

Example of the person you want to look for:

  • CEO of Startups
  • Hiring Manager
  • Senior Software Engineers / Web Engineers

4. Reach Out

Once you get all the information you need to contact the key people, the next step is to reach out to them directly. Reach out via email or direct message on their LinkedIn profile. Here’s one sample message structure that I recommend:

  • Introduce yourself (1 to 2 sentence will do)
  • Tell that you got laid off and you are seeking new job opportunity
  • Ask if there’s still an open position (just to make sure)
  • List your skills and the value you can give to them and how you can make an impact on the company. (Important)
  • Include a link to your previous work either your website with a portfolio on it. Anything that you can use as social proof.
  • And Lastly, attach your resume

Optional: If you can create a sample test project based on what they’re looking for, that would be great.

5. Follow Up

It’s okay if you do not receive any feedback at first. Do not be afraid to follow up. Sometimes, you’ll get response in the second or the third email you’ll send to them.

Bonus Tip:

Option 1. Tell your friends and relatives that you got laid off

It’s okay to tell them that you got laid off. You need some kind of support and this is the best time for it. You may have a chance of a referral if some of your friends know a job opportunity inside their circle. 

Option 2. Create a post on social media about how you got laid off and seeking a new job opportunity

Don’t just post something like “I got laid off. I need a job. Please help.” that will get ignored.

Tell how you got laid off and you are seeking a new job opportunity. Describe your skills and what value you can give to businesses and companies that you want to work with. 

By posting on social media about your laid off, you are making awareness that you are available to work and offer your help to them. 

Post it to Facebook Groups, Linkedin or Twitter. The more you can elaborate on your value the better. 

What’s Next?

While waiting for the response of the key people you just reached out, try to reinvent yourself and learn new skills. Reading my other blog posts might help:

https://francepaulpastrana.co/start-your-freelance-journey-as-a-web-developer/

And that’s it!

Thank you for reading this far. Hope this helps. Wishing you all the best in your job hunting. Stay Safe!

My Journey to Financial Freedom

When I was young, I am super enthusiastic about becoming rich and having wealth. That mentality didn’t change.

I always have this question of What’s the difference between rich and broke people?” – I think I know now the answer.

Throughout the time, I discovered that my ultimate goal is to have the ability to do the lifestyle that I want without seeing money as an object. To do the work because I want to make a change to someone else’s life and not to do the work because I need to survive.

I have this goal of not working for money but instead, the money will work for me.

I’ve been following and studying successful people for quite some time now and surprisingly, I see a pattern why they become prosperous. Most of them have the same strong mentality, routine, and the way they see the world is far more different than the average person.

Jim Rohn once said, “Success leaves clues”.

These are the crucial steps that I’m applying to my day to day life to achieve financial independence in my 40s

Growing my Mindset

Mindset plays a critical role in how we cope up with life’s challenges.

Successful people have a strong mindset. They have this mentality of “I will and I can” that they’re achieving their goals even there’s a big hindrance or blockage. They are resilient, fearless of failure, have a positive mind, optimist, self-reliance, and give 100% commitment.

I see myself learning those same traits. I love learning from people who are far off better than me and I’m not afraid to fail. There’s something that excites me when I need to embrace risks and see the end result.

I think I’m getting there, I slowly adapting the mindset of successful people.

Learning Financial Literacy

This is a no brainer. If I want to be financially independent for the coming years I should learn financial literacy and change the way I treat my money.

I’m glad to report that by reading financial books and consuming FL related resources for quite some time now, I’m able to change and improve our money handling and It’s not easy. I used to be someone who wants to buy everything that I want.

Until I realized that if I want to improve my life, I need to change my spending habits and save for the future.

This quote from Dave Ramsey sticks to my mind: “We buy things we don’t need with money we don’t have to impress people we don’t like.” – I don’t want to be that person anymore.

Now, we are living this lifestyle: “If we can’t afford it, we don’t buy it. We delay gratification. Most importantly, we buy it in cash. Not in the form of debt.”

I will never go back to my old self again.

My commitment to Financial Freedom

These goals will not get into reality if I will not commit myself for it. I need to do extra hours to work on side hustles and build my own passive income. This means I need to work hard, dedicate my time, and learn my way up towards Financial independence.

It’s not easy and no one said it was a piece of cake to be there. But the thing is, I know where I want to be and I will do my best to achieve it.

Here’s my favorite quote from Henry Ford “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right”.

And I know I can do it.

And That’s it!

Let’s grow together and be the best version of ourselves. Hit me up and reach out to me. I’d love to have a chat with you. Cheers!

How to Get Your First Freelance Client as a Web Developer

“Strive not to be a success, but rather to be of value.”

Albert Einstein

There’s no magic pill or silver bullet when getting freelance clients. It’s a combination of hard work, dedication, focus, and the right knowledge to attract your dream clients.

It is hard for someone to trust you with their projects especially when you’re just new in Freelancing. For some people who are just starting and want to be a freelance Web Developer, here are the things that I did to land my very first client.

1. Create Websites for free

This is for someone who’s just literally starting in freelancing with no company experience, no portfolio, or come from straight out of college.

Yes, You read it right. I know it’s not a good feeling when working for someone free of charge. I’ve been there done that. But the thing is, every freelance Web Developer needs something to show to the clients. Either it’s your past experience work or you just did it for someone who needs a website.

Again, if you can’t show any of the work you did, it’s hard for the client to trust you.

2. Show Your Work

Be a documentarian of your work, show your process, and share how you solve problems. Document your work and find a little piece of your process that you can share. Write about the methods and how you do things.

You can start sharing your work on social media and groups that you can collaborate or engage like-minded individuals. Be active and always participate in any related events.

That way, you’ll create awareness in your work and attract potential clients.

3. Create your Website Portfolio

Here’s the thing, every Web Developer needs a website of their own and it should be up and running especially when you’re a freelancer.

For someone who’s just starting, your portfolio might be your key to get your first client. Here’s the thing you should put in your website portfolio

Your Story

Stories are most likely to be remembered than information. Tell your story and share your “Why”.

Explain what makes you motivated and what drives you toward your goals. Be authentic and genuine. That way, the potential client or the person who is reading your story will resonate with you and relate to where you are heading.

Accomplishments and Participations

This is for those people who don’t have enough experience of working in an actual project. Try to elaborate or illustrate in a detailed manner what are your accomplishments and how you accomplished it.

Work

Showcase your previous work either it is from a company that you’ve worked for or just your personal project. Try to impress potential clients with your process.

4. Dive into Freelancing Platforms

You can sign up and create a profile account for prominent freelancing platforms that currently available. Here’s how you can stand out:

Make your profile 100% complete

Usually, these platforms have a profile gauge to start with. It is for you to trust by clients by completing the information they needed. Try to complete this information and have the best freelancer profile.

Take an exam with your expertise

If you have test results in your account with high scores, this means you are capable and expert enough with the skills that you’re promoting yourself.

Create a killer Cover Letter

Clients from these platforms are reading your cover letter. Try to make it as formal as possible and tell why you would want to work on this particular company or client. Make sure you did your research about potential clients and impress them with your skills.

Here my freelance platform recommendations:

onlinejobs.ph
fiverr.com
upwork.com

Here’s a catch

Although in the long run, I do not encourage you to be dependent on these platforms because you can get your “dream clients” outside by marketing yourself.

And That’s it!

Hey, I appreciate taking the time to read this blog. If you have something to share or you think this post helped you out to get your first client, reach out to me. I’d love to have a chat with you.

I kinda quit Facebook for 2 weeks and here’s what I learned

Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.

Gertrude Stein

I used the word “Kinda” because sadly, I still need Facebook to share this blog and have a source of traffic – That means I still need to open up my Facebook account and interact with the people who show interest in everything I post.

A few months ago, my wife and I felt like Facebook is getting toxic and worse overtime. I’m not sure if the Facebook itself is the culprit or the “connections” and “friends” who literally shows up to my feed everyday.

Before I decided to kinda quit Facebook, I’m just consuming it for the latest updates about COVID-19 and new public announcements from the Government. I just open the page of public servants who I followed to get updated on what’s happening.

It felt like there’s a ton of negativity around Facebook and I don’t want to waste my time consuming that doesn’t give me any benefits.

So with that said, here are the things that changed to my daily routine and what I learned quitting Facebook.

I Forgot to Live in the Moment

Before kinda quit Facebook, I’m a master sharer (if that’s a word). I mean seriously, I like to share everything that I’m doing or what I have and I want the world to see that I’m having a wonderful life.

Although in reality, yes I can say that I’m really grateful for the life that we have today and we are truly blessed. But it’s not perfect.

During those times, maybe I became addicted to the “likes” and the “views” and the “comments” that I’m receiving from the people I know personally and just knew through the platform.

The Dopamine hormone in my body is getting high as shit when I received complimentary messages and responses which feels really good. Although sometimes, it felt like it’s stressing my mind and my body because every now and then after I share something, I constantly checking every fucking notification that I’m receiving because it feels good to get some validation from people right?

I think I need to change that habit. I think I need to live in the moment.

My Screen Time Reduced Significantly

I’m a heavy phone user. I used my phone after I woke up, during taking a shit, and sometimes when taking a bath. I don’t know, I just can’t get enough with information that I’m consuming and It’s hard to detach on your phone especially when you watch something interesting and you don’t want to let go of it.

So when I deleted the Facebook App on my phone, it felt like I gain freedom and clarity. Of course, there’s an urge to install it again but when I think about the negativity on my feed, I lose interest.

I’m able to Spend my Time on more Important Things

I felt like I got more time for myself. Before I kinda quit Facebook I usually unconsciously browsing and scrolling and it takes my time away. Which is not cool if you value your time.

When I procrastinate, I found myself unaware of scrolling mindlessly to BS posts on my feed. I feel embarrassed for myself.

I know that I need to change this habit.

Conclusion

Now, kinda quitting Facebook is I think one of the best things I did for the past 2 weeks.

The urge for social media is now gone, to keep my shares constantly updated is worn out.

Although I’m still using Twitter to get updated with the topics that I’m interested in and Instagram for our personal photos.

I think my extra time will be spent on this blog primarily and reading Medium blog posts where I can learn and get value from like-minded individual who improving their life for the better.

Will I go back consuming Facebook again?

I don’t know. But to think that it improves the way I see my time management, I think No. If there’s no other important reason to go back and use Facebook just for the sake of consuming it, No. I don’t think so. I will not use Facebook again the way I used it before.

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