The Beginner’s Guide to Breaking Into the Gig Economy

 

Gone are the days when people need full-time day jobs working for a company and collecting a weekly paycheck. Gigging, which is defined as on-demand and project-based services, has grown so rapidly that gigs exist everywhere you turn. Whatever your reasons are for getting into the gig economy, read on to learn the ins and outs of gigging.

There are people who gig full-time and make a decent living, and there are people who gig for extra income. There are also people who are unemployed but need money to get by until they find full-time work. Some people freelance as a side job, while others turn it into a business.

Everyone has different reasons, but they usually have similar personality traits. In order to survive in the freelance world or as an entrepreneur running a business, you must be tenacious, willing to take risks, able to adapt and solve problems, and bold enough to seek out work. That means asking your network to hire or refer you, selling yourself as an asset to potential employers, and contacting potential clients who might not know you exist.

A gig can be anything from walking a dog to making an airport drop-off to developing a website. It’s a one-off job, a project, or (sometimes) a steady gig. It’s usually temporary and based on a specific task or skill. There are two ways to find gigs: post your services online and wait for employers to find you or search for gigs and apply for them. The latter is an active approach and is more likely to land you work until you become in-demand enough to get recruited via word-of-mouth. You can start with these sites that connect users to users:

  • Fiverr is a website where you can offer a service starting at $5.
  • TaskRabbit is a site for everyday tasks and handy work around the house.
  • Craigslist is a popular forum for connecting users, but it can be a haven for scams.
  • Upwork is a bidding site for creative freelancers such as writers, graphic designers, and web developers. Upwork vets their freelancers, so it’s not as easy to break into. You bid on jobs, and clients hire you based on your portfolio, reviews, and test scores.

App-based gigs, meanwhile, allow you to pick up work on your own schedule, whether it’s driving for a ride-sharing company or delivering meals.

In some cases, gigs are paid through a company’s payroll system with W2s and tax deductions. Most gigs pay you as an independent contractor, sometimes with a check and other times through Paypal. Since the employer isn’t withholding taxes from your paycheck, this means you need to set aside the money for taxes later. Don’t get caught up in spending everything you make, because when tax season comes around, you don’t want to find your bank account empty from poor planning. If you’re gigging full-time, you’ll also need to set aside money each month to pay for health insurance. Since you’ll have to account for additional expenses like insurance and overhead, set your rates higher than an hourly employee would make.

Employers hire freelancers because they don’t have the budget for a full-time employee and only need occasional work done. It saves them money on paychecks, overhead, and insurance. But it is in these instances that freelancing hurts the employee. Without a full-time job, you have to pay for your health insurance and expenses to run the business. Some months might be busy and others might be dry so any money you save might have to save you during dry months.

Sometimes all it takes to get into gigging is knowing someone who needs your help. Perhaps you’ve had a taste of the freedom and flexibility and now you want to grow that work into a business. Keep a thick skin and be persistent in the gig economy. There will be lows, but if you can fight through them to stay afloat, you’ll be closer to your goals.

Photo Credit: Unsplash

eusoh Selected as Red Herring Top 100 North America Winner

Red Herring announced in June the winners of its Top 100 North America 2018 event, recognizing the continent’s most exciting and innovative private technology companies.

The winners, celebrated at a special awards ceremony at the Marina Del Rey Hotel, have been chosen from thousands of entrants, whittled down to hundreds making the trip to California. The ceremony, led by Red Herring chairman Alex Vieux, was preceded by two days of keynote speeches, discussions and finalist presentations.

Companies were judged by industry experts, insiders, and journalists on a wide variety of criteria including financial performance, innovation, business strategy and market penetration. Winners ran the gamut of verticals, from fintech and marketing to security, IoT and many more.

Red Herring’s editors have been evaluating the world’s startups and tech companies for over two decades. It gives them the ability to see through the industry’s hype, to pick firms that will continue on a trajectory to success. Brands such as Alibaba, Google, Kakao, Skype, Spotify, Twitter, and YouTube have all been singled out in Red Herring’s storied history.

“2018’s crop of Top 100 winners has been among our most intriguing yet,” said Vieux. “North America has led the way in tech for so many years, and to see such unique, pioneering entrepreneurs and companies here in California, which is in many ways the heartland of the industry, has been a thrilling experience.

“What has excited me most is to see so many people forging niches in high-tech and cutting-edge sectors,” added Vieux. “Some of the technical wizardry and first-rate business models on show here at the conference has been fantastic to learn about. We believe eusoh embodies the drive, skill and passion on which tech thrives. eusoh should be proud of its achievement: the competition was incredibly strong.”

Following eusoh’s Top 100 win it is invited to showcase itself at the Top 100 Global event in October. Red Herring is dedicated to support eusoh’s continued path to success and innovation.

For more information, contact Joe Cayetano, Marketing Manager – joe@eusoh.com

Is Your Dog Stressed (Infographic)

We’d like to share with you an infographic on signs if your dog is stressed. Our pets go through the same emotions as their owners do. They get upset, lonely and scared like anyone would. Unfortunately, they can’t communicate in the same manner as us. They all have their own unique and special way of letting us know what they feel. This infographic will help us be more aware of what to look for when your dog is stressed.

Things to look out for

  • Excess scratching. This is a sign of nervousness is some dogs.
  • Excess shedding. Dogs shed fur, but too much is a sign of an upset pup.
  • Vocalizations. Crying, whimpering. Dogs do it too and they do it when upset.

Reasons for stress

  • New home. Acclimating to new surroundings can be a stressful time for a pet.
  • Punitive training. Harsh training can break a dog’s spirit and lead to negative behavior.
  • Separation Anxiety. Pets can get sad, depressed and even physically sick when they are separated from their owners.

These tips will help you indicate a nervous condition in your dog. And there are more reasons than the ones we pointed out that causes stress. If your dog’s behavior worsens, please consult a veterinarian.

No, Robots will Not Take Over and Rule the Planet … and this is why.

 

One of Hollywood’s oldest tropes is the robotic usurpation of humankind. It makes for compelling thrillers and science fiction. The variety of narrative twists possible are in-numerable. Terminator, a luminary of the genre, implanted this fear as efficiently as Jaws did in cultivating a phobia of sharks into an entire generation. As narratives go, everything else pales in comparison — a cautionary tale regarding one’s lust for power which inevitably capsizes when it surmounts its peak. The theme is so pervasive that we have come to accept it as fait accompli.

 

Only further fomenting the all but inevitable Decepticon annihilation into our minds, tech gurus have also sounded the alarm. Elon Musk, a deserved legend of our time, famous for introducing commercially available autonomous vehicles, has been a particularly pious member of the faith, with comments such as, “the risk of something seriously dangerous happening is in the five-year timeframe. 10 years at the most.” (Edge.com). But even our journalists with earned and deserved respect have joined the bandwagon. Nick Bilton, for instance, opined, “the upheavals can escalate quickly and become scarier and even cataclysmic.”

In the context of a Sci-Fi thriller, these pronouncements make sense. However, under the constraints of reality, the risk of Artificial Intelligence (AI) starting a massive global war is highly unlikely (and, also a lack-luster narrative).

To understand this, the question to answer is the, “why?” As in, why would AI wish to conquer us? Thirst for power is prosaic, as power is only a symptom of a much more profound desire. It is only when the discussion is taken to its core, that we begin to shed light on the problems with this simple thesis. Consider this, to what end would robots want to conquer the planet? Understand, that machines and life-forms exist under different constraints, thus to extrapolate life’s need for domination as equitable with machines’ would lead our conclusions astray.

Let’s start with biological life. All organic life forms (herein “organics”) are united by one common purpose, which is immortality that is achieved via reproduction. This is common across all animal and plant species. True Immortality does not exist for organics, and so all organics are united with the singular and universal core purpose of successful reproduction that is the base construct of their normal being. Taken one step further, not only do they wish to reproduce, but even more so, to protect their reproductive outcome is to ensure its own future immortality.

Different organics achieve immortality via various means. Plants, for instance, spore thousands upon thousands of seeds at wild abandon into the world, hoping that a small percentage will successfully germinate. Plants utilize volume, odds, and statistics. Animals that live in very hostile environments also do the same, they produce large quantities of offspring, understanding that the majority of their brood will fail. And then there are others, such as mammals, that produce far fewer progeny, but will fight to the death to ensure their survival.

 

Living in the harsh realities of survival that we romanticize as a harmonious nature, animal breeds coalesce in communities, wherein members gain strength in numbers. Together they ward off predatorial threats to life from organics within and without their species. Or, they merely decrease their odds of falling prey by swimming in pools, running in herds or flying in flocks.

But a robot does not face this reality. Robots, by definition, are immortal from the outset. As long as energy is available and they avoid injuries, malware, viruses, molten lava, EMP’s and short-circuits, etc. a machine will live indefinitely. Robots do not need to consume other robots, plants, fruits or humans to survive. They merely need power, and as we move further into the future, it becomes more and more likely that they can become entirely powered by solar energy, thus making their energy source infinite.

Unlike organics, machines have absolutely zero need to reproduce to achieve immortality. A commonality of reproduction is not there. If anything, any replica a machine creates will only become its competitor. Being that machines have no natural predators (they cannot be eaten) and do not compete for natural resources for sustenance (sunlight is infinite and readily available), community formation for foraging, shelter, defense, etc., is unnecessary. A machine’s only real competitor would be other machines, not humans.

All in, a machine’s needs are entirely different than that of organics. Organics need to eat and pass excrement, while machines do not. Organics need shelter for defense against the weather and predators. Machines do not. If an organic does not reproduce, it will necessarily fail to exist eternally. Machines, on the other hand, by default live forever. For organics, different species are threats to one another because they are competing for the same limited resources. Machines would not compete for the same resources as their only real resource, the sun, is unlimited. Organics form communities to defend and contend with all the above. Because machines have none of these limitations, the formation of communities would not be a default social order for them.

Which takes us one step further into the other fear regarding robots — that all our jobs will be gone. Understand, that economics is not the study of money but that of trade. Money is simply the most efficient tool for trade, and therefore misunderstood as the analog to it. Machines would be unable to do all our jobs since it would imply that there would be nobody for the machines to partake in trade with. Without trade, there is no economy. Without an economy, there is no job for a machine to perform. As the economies of physical labor become cheaper with robots, the value of service-based labor by humans increases. Thus, explaining the frothing of massage establishments all over the country. Once considered a luxury service, now it’s a dime a dozen.


This fear for the worst is rooted in organics. Until only recently, survival was something humans fought for by the minute. If left untended, children risked being consumed or taken into servitude. Viruses and bacteria were life-threatening. Still, for the rest of the animal kingdom, their every waking minute revolves around eating and avoiding being eaten. That constant fear for one’s survival is a MAJOR stress that humans, only in the last century, have overcome. But our bodies are wired for that level of constant stress. It is expected. And so, our children of today, growing up without real stressors, have overactive stress responses resulting in anxiety disorders. And for the rest of us, wired to be continually aware of impending doom, we create our own boogeymen to allay our body’s natural needs for a life-threatening stress.

In come the machines, apes, birds, spiders and all other versions of mutiny and Armageddon that provide us an outlet to direct those energies. The natural state of life is to be aware of many boogeymen. Civilization has rid us of them, and so it is only natural for us to gravitate to any such boogeyman we can conjure.


One last thing to note, and this one far more abstract, but I enjoy the philosophical discussion around it: The Fermi Paradox. Named after Enrico Fermi, the Fermi paradox details the apparent contradiction between the lack of any evidence of and the high probability estimates for the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations. According to Fermi, if the universe is billions, if not trillions of years old, and we accept that there mathematically must be life elsewhere, than by simple derivation there should be civilizations that are millions of years more advanced than we are. If we can assume that in a million years human civilization will have conquered space travel and inter-galactic travel, the simple question then is, why have we not been visited by those civilizations that have already done so? Where is the evidence of them?

There are three possible answers to this question. First, there is no other life throughout the universe. Second, inter-galactic space travel is impossible. Or, third, all advanced civilizations extinguish themselves.

For discussion purposes, I will assume it’s the second or third options. These conclusions would also pose a challenge to the thesis that machines overtaking the world is inevitable. Because, while inter-galactic space travel for organics may be impossible, that would not be the case for machines that can survive in space indefinitely. If machines would have an a priori natural drive to dominate, that would not be limited to their own planets but naturally across the universe. And if machines taking over is inevitable, then numerous planets have already befallen this fate, as that would require that all advanced organic civilizations to be naturally overtaken by their own machines. If it’s a natural and obvious conclusion, it would happen universally. It would be far more possible for multiple cadres of machines venture out in all directions, accepting that it may take millions of years to reach their destinations. The machines would lie dormant and when sunlight activates them they could reactivate and enter dominate their appropriate targets.

In fact, the only natural predator of a machine would be machines from another advanced civilization. And so conquering space travel, would in fact constitute the only purpose for a machine to absolutely exhaust all resources to conquer inter-galactic travel.

The question then is — where are the extra-terrestrial machines?

If you like what you read, please ‘clap’ so that others may happen upon this essay. Allen is the founder of Eusoha novel community support platform. His musings focus on reflections on life, culture, philosophy and raising able children.

Risk Adjustment Payments Halted by the Trump Administration

The Trump administration stated on July 7, 2018 that it will be temporarily halting payments that help insurers meet the Affordable Care Act requirement to ensure coverage regardless of whether a person is healthy or sick. The estimated $10.4 billion being withheld cites a New Mexico US district court decision that found the formula used by the US government to calculate the payments as “arbitrary and capricious”.

The New Mexico district court decision spurned the Trump administration into withholding payments, still, a Massachusetts district court upheld the formula used to calculate the payments. The withheld $10.4 billion is meant for a risk adjustment program that transfers funds from insurers who enroll healthy members to those that take on sicker members. This is meant to protect insurance companies who take on burdening cases or people with pre-existing conditions. It also removes the incentive for insurance companies to solely select healthy members.

This risk adjustment program was a provision of the Affordable Care Act, which President Trump has been constantly attempting to cut. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services will be executing the hold and has asked the New Mexico circuit court to reconsider its decision and to seek a quick resolution to the legal issue.

Insurers and opponents of the President find that the court’s decision and his actions are damaging, even if the withholding of payments is temporary. They fear that this is a “new market disruption” that would create more uncertainty and would greatly drive the current costs of medical premiums higher. Whether or not the halt is temporary is unknown as there is no definite timeline for the suspension nor is there a definite trigger for resuming of payments in the program.

Where does this leave high-risk patients or patients in immediate need of a procedure or funding for one? Tapping into one’s savings is an option if savings are available. One could pay out of pocket if funds are available. Another option is crowdfunding but that comes with the risk of not reaching your goals or not getting any funds at all. Last, technology like ours, eusoh, provides patients with the option of crowdfunding or crowdsourcing, where users can manage and share expenses together. Platforms, like eusoh, are being built to provide users an option that does not involve pricey monthly premiums.

What does the future hold for the Trump administration’s decision? Will it destabilize “Obamacare”? Will the New Mexico district court have their decision overturned? The insurers are urging the government and looking for a legal and regulatory path to reinstate the funding. But what can the insurers do? What last-minute options do they have aside from boosting premiums? Who knows which way the Trump administration, the district courts and the insurers go. Whichever way they go, there are millions of Americans needing a decision or a new option.