Your time is valuable

I think it was Bill Clinton who said "If you're good at something never do it for free" or maybe that was the Joker.

Anyway this past week I was approached for contract work so I've had some numbers on my mind. I'll share my opinion on selling your services and pricing your work.

A race to the bottom

There's no getting around the fact that there are plenty of people who are working for far too little pay. Whether that's a lack of confidence in themselves and their work or just wanting to be "nice" and giving their clients a deal they both have the same effect. Every time you take on a job for free, accept lower rates, or work for additional unbilled time you are actively devaluing yourself and those with a similar skillset. Expectations of hourly rates for whatever it is you do is important to have a steady stream of clients. If the competition is willing to work for half of what their time is worth you may find yourself dropping to their level to stay competitive. The quality of work some freelancers push out for minimum wage when they can set their own prices for their time is really sad.

You're skilled at what you do. You have worked for years to learn what you know and practiced to become an expert. That's why people seek out your services. They value your time. They trust your track record and know they can have a great product delivered. If you have a skillset of any kind you should at the absolute least be charging 2.5x minimum wage.

If you're an artist/professional and self employed I know the business side of things can be hard. I hate email and I hate talking money with clients. Of course hating something doesn't mean it's not important. Spend the time to learn to manage your business. Spend the time to REALLY think what your time is worth. In both the long run and the short run higher rates make it easier to turn down work or clients you don't like. Pricing yourself appropriately helps you and everyone else in your field push for a better quality of life inside and outside of work.

When sifting potential clients have a keen eye to spot any questioning of your prices. An "OUCH! Very expensive" comment immediately drops you to low priority brain processing and 1 to 3 business days for email communication. These are the people you waste time thinking about. These are the people who find someone who's services fit their budget last minute after you've sent 10 emails back and forth. By spending less time on people who are less willing to step up and pay a fair price for great work you're going to have a lot less stress in your life

Find a number that's higher than what you, as a professional in the field, would be willing to pay your competitors. If it feels too high you're in the right ballpark.

Anyway whatever I just needed to write something here to fill the gap. Thanks!

Cost of Living in Korea.

Hey, Word famous video gamer downthecrop here with some HARD HITTING information. I threw together a spreadsheet to help anyone calculate their own personal monthly cost of living. If you're interested in that you can get that here. I've also included what a month of living in Korea breaks down for me to. That totals $760 CAD living in a GoshiTele with a private bathroom.

A Goshiwon can be considered as a (very) small, (very) minimal hotel. And we do mean small and minimal — if you really do expect hotel standards you will likely be very disappointed.

You will come across many different names for a goshiwon: Goshitel / Livingtel / Residence / One-room-tel / etc… However all of these are effectively the same kind of thing and are all registered as a “Goshiwon” business type in Korean and we will use the term Goshiwon to refer to all of them.

Goshiwons are a uniquely Korean concept, originally intended as a place where people could stay affordably and temporarily without distraction while they study for government exams. Because of this legacy, there still exist many goshiwons that only offer rooms that are nothing more than closet sized rooms with a desk, bed and internet connection. These very old-school goshiwons rarely include a bathroom/shower in the room and provide very little amenities.

-- goshipages FAQ Mar 1 2017

If you are not a minimalist or can't live minimally obviously rent makes up a good chunk of the costs here. You can copy that Google sheet and fill in your own values to fit your lifestyle better. Another large expense that you may need to add would be a cell phone bill. If you're planning on leaving your home country for an extended period of time I would suggest putting your phone on a temporary disabled mode through your carrier. This keeps your plan and number safe but cuts off service to your phone. These are actually really expensive for some reason ($40 a month for Telus or so which is pretty nasty). If you're planning to buy a SIM card in Korea make sure your phone is unlocked so it can join the new network. Most plans for unlimited data are 60,000₩ or ~$70 CAD a month. If you're close to paying off your phones balance with your plan I'd suggest a cancellation. I've been without a phone number for a while now, about 5 months so far and there really isn't a big problem. If you rely on texting, Facebook Messenger is a good replacement. If you've hear of the Chinese love for WeeChat and Line, in Korea we have KakaoTalk. It does everything to stay in contact with anyone that you might need. If you have an iPhone iMessage and FaceTiime can be used with just WiFi but you'll be in under your iCloud email instead of a phone number.

I am a little short of breaking even off investments to make that $760 monthly payment. Flights are around $1,000 for a round trip but can be as low as $650 if you can wait for a good deal. My accommodations are all handled through AirBnB. Might look at renting next time with a key money deposit. Communication is easy through AirBnb and you can be sure that your money is safe.

Anyway that's the breakdown. The dream setup is obviously to make some money while living here. My investment game is really heating up and I'm hoping to get into making some YouTube content that can make a few bucks a month. Stream is steadily making progress and that will likely make a few bucks a month too.

Thanks for reading! League of Legends and Stoicism update next week.


2018 KR Update 2

Hey not trying to slip up on these updates I've been keeping them pretty good. So here's some new information!

Sleep schedule

I have been making a couple changes to my sleep schedule. I'm on a more or less North American sleep schedule right now. Waking up around 9:00 PM KST and streaming for about 8 hours. Stream numbers haven't been climbing quickly but my regulars are definitely growing. More familiar faces and more community building. Slow and steady and I'm keeping up a good flow of content for the stream.

League of Legends

I've just made it back to Gold 2. Been a bouncy boi. Ups and downs and a lot of games I could be winning lost. I'm definitely learning. My current role is support (WHAT?!) Thresh, Alistar, and Taric will be my free ticket to Platinum. I feel like the Gold 2 players are nearly my current skill level. Most understand rotation and can look at the minimap. Mechanical skill is much more commonly to an acceptable level where I can comfortably trust people to follow up. Still having a good time but I've been going a month straight on League with over 300 games already. Keep up the good fight!

Korean living

I attended a few matches of GSL vs the World and had a great experience. Serrel is a monster. I am keeping up with LCK and GSL and would like to make some YouTube videos around them. Loving it. Food situation is really coming together for budgeting. Not that I can't afford food but a key part of my living here is to keep expenses to a complete minimum. So far I've had no difficulty in staying below 100,000 Won /$100 a month on food. All together I'm at about $600 Canadian a month. I'll detail some more budgeting and price breakdowns soon.

Thanks homies!

2018 KR Update 1

So I've been here for just over a week now. It's Friday the 20th. Here some information on my league climb so far.

Placed Silver 2
Failed Silver 1 promo one time
Silver 1 to Gold 5 first try
Gold 5 to Gold 4 first try
Gold 4 to Gold 3 second try
Demoted to Gold 4. Been here 3 days.
Been jumping between Gold 3 and 4 for a week. Made it to Gold 2 for one day but went on a ride.a

I currently sit with around 200 games with just over a a 50% winrate. I've traded down from mid to ad as my primary role. My Annie winrate is lower but with a higher KDA which to me means I'm just not familiar enough with the role to carry with a lead. Anyway I'm defaulting to Lucian and Cait on the bot lane. I've had great success against most mages going bottom. My largest shortcomings is CS past 100. By this is mean after I hit 100 CS around 12 minutes I seem to just stop last hitting at the same rate I was before. I'll stick around 180 to 225 even at the 30 minute mark which is definitely a problem. Playing patient with passive or unskilled autofilled supports is another thing I struggle with. I think I just need to get into the rythem.

My goal is still D5. I'll raise this if it looks pretty sure to be achieved. Set you sights high. I'm Gold 5 on my main in NA right now been in plat promos 3 times but went on a little whoopsie spree down the slide.

I don't yet feel I'm playing with people who are as skilled as me. Might be my perception alone but most losses are much more influenced by my teams than me. Namely people that just end up getting killed over and over or are unable to farm.

Anyway I'm still working on improving. Winning isn't everything but it would be nice to get Plat already.


Welcome to Korea!

Korean culture is practical. Cars are small. People are small. One thing I didn't think was practical was not being able to use all my change to refill my subway/metro card. Only 15 coins per transaction what a fuckin crock baby! Anyway both my cards got declined when I tried to take out some bills but I'll try again later. The cards works fine 80% of the time but keeping 50 dollars cash is always a good idea. Most ATM transaction fees are about 4 dollars Canadian ~3 US so keeping those to a minimum is preferred if you can store some in your room to restock. Most ATMs only allow 150,000 Won per transaction.

On the train right now writing this. Bought an iced coffee from the venting machine on the waiting platform. Fucking 7 hour layover in China is the worst because they don't have wireless. Well actually they have "free wifi" free to connect to the captive portal and be asked for login credentials for a pay by the minute system.

Dropped my phone and did a little damage to it. My phone is too big to fit in the pockets of the shorts I brought to change into. I had some cool techwear long sweatpants on before I hit China but it's a hot mess of a country. Anyway I had my phone in one of my backpacks pockets and didn't zip it up. It was at the baggage claim so i made it 99% of the way into Korea before breaking it. Just cosmetic damage to the top glass on the Pixel 2 XLs back around the camera. I'll be ok. Might even do that clear mod now that I have a reason to. It was about a waist high drop I'm pretty sure the glass in that window is shit because of the way it smashed. Didn't break like a screen would have imo. I'll be careful not to break it past here. I brought my iPhone 6s as a backup of I do something really stupid like forget it somewhere.

Last time I came I bought a 30 day pre paid simcard at the Airport. 71,000 Won for unlimited 4G data isn't a bad deal at all compared to Canadian plans but I'm living the frugal lifestyle. Adding 85$ a month to my tab isn't something I'm down with right now. I'm staying in a new place this time so hopefully I can find my way with some map screenshots.

I've been using a language learning app called LingoDeer. It's so good. Compared to Duolingo for Asian languages it has a lot better teaching style and format. If you're looking to get into Japanese or Korean I HIGHLY recommend it. While you're in the app store download Blumail because it has no ads and a dark theme to make your life a little less anonying. Why Google wants to push ads in my inbox in the default Gmail app on their own phone I can't be sure.

Posting this a week late but I'll have a better writing schedule now that my first week is dialed in. Thanks for reading!