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Happy Thursday! One mistake we’ve made in the past is trying to go from zero to hero in the first week of the new year. Sounds great in theory… not so much in practice. So this year, we’re focused on a slow but steady ramp-up instead of flooring it from Day 1.

With that said, we know plenty of freelancers who still struggle to shift into gear after the holidays are over. So if that sounds like you, then we’re confident you’ll enjoy today’s edition.

Here’s what’s on the docket: Microsoft, OpenAI, Twitter, ChatGPT, and Google. Plus the dark side of fixed price billing, one quick tip for “Swiss watch” consistency, and how to capture high-quality inputs in a single click.

Read time: 3 minutes and 27 seconds

Making the Rounds

  • Microsoft is planning to launch a new version of its Bing search engine supported by ChatGPT. The company’s $1 billion investment into OpenAI back in 2019 may be about to bear some major fruit: a search engine backed by ChatGPT could provide immediate answers to search queries instead of simply showing a list of links.
  • Twitter reverses ban on political advertising. After shutting down all political advertising 3 years ago, then losing a pile of a big advertisers in 2022, Twitter announced yesterday that “cause-based ads” are back on the menu.
  • Google’s CEO declares “code red” over ChatGPT. The 800-pound gorilla of search is clearly seeing the same thing Microsoft sees: the potential for ChatGPT to displace Google’s massive search business. Just how concerned are they? CEO Sundar Pichai is personally taking over Google’s AI strategy.

Working With Clients

The Dark Side to Fixed Price Billing

Billing per project instead of per hour is a massive unlock for any freelancer.

But if you want to maximize both work/life balance and profitability…

There’s one common pitfall you’ll want to avoid:

And that’s not knowing exactly how much time a given project will take you.

Here’s why…

If you don’t understand what the time cost is for writing a sales letter or building a webinar funnel or launching a Facebook ad campaign…

Then your pricing isn’t based on data…

Instead, it’s based on what “feels” right.

And this leads to one of two bad outcomes:

  1. Overscheduling yourself because you miscalculated how much you get done in a given time frame, or…
  2. Underpricing yourself because you think projects take less time than they actually do

Both are no bueno for any freelancer looking to create more leverage inside their biz.

So – what’s the solution?

Conduct a time audit.

Use a free time tracker like Clockify or My Hours for the next 30 days to see exactly how much time each task takes you.

Not only will this help you update your pricing so it accurately reflects the time you put in…

But it’ll also help you identify opportunities to streamline your workflow and become more efficient.

Working For Yourself

One Quick Tip For “Swiss Watch” Consistency

While we’re on the topic of efficiency…

Here’s another quick tip to make your performance at work more reliable than a Swiss watch…

Create an “end of day” routine.

This could include…

  • Writing out your to-do list for the next day
  • Tidying up your workspace
  • Clearing out your inbox
  • Etc etc

Bottom line is…

The routine tells your mind the day is over and it’s okay to “turn off.”

Something that’s essential if you work at home or remotely.

Plus it guarantees you won’t spend the first part of tomorrow playing catch-up.

Just make sure to get it done before you bolt out the door 😉

Tools We Love

How to Capture High-Quality Inputs in a Single Click

Struggling to keep track of all the articles, podcasts, newsletters, and YouTube videos you come across?


Especially as we dive deeper into personal knowledge management…

And attempt to capture more of the high-quality inputs (books, podcasts, articles, etc) we come across.

That’s why we’ve recently started using Instapaper.

Think of Instapaper as your own personal digital filing cabinet. 

Between their app and Chrome extension, you can save and organize important links from anywhere in one place, making it super easy to find what you need, when you need it. 

No more hunting around for that one article you read a few weeks ago…

Because it’ll be right there at your fingertips.

But Instapaper isn’t just a place to store your stuff…

It also has a super sleek reading interface that makes it a joy to actually sit down and get through all that material. 

So not only will you be more organized, but you’ll also be more efficient.

Combine this with a time audit and a solid EOD routine…

And you’ll be more productive than a beaver after the sun’s gone down.

If you want to check it out, click here to create a free account today.

Gig Alerts

Looking for clients? These freelance jobs were posted on Upwork in the last 24 hours:

Quote of the Day

“When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills.”

— Unknown