All posts tagged freelance

Jesus is My Boss

Published April 12, 2013 by Maryanne

Jesus is My Boss

When you work for yourself, of course you have good weeks and you have bad weeks. And then there are the weeks like this, that are extremely busy, but with so much to do yet you work and work and feel like you’re not getting anywhere. This week I feel like the little hamster running on the wheel, in circles of infinity. When will it ever all get done?

I am usually so fast and so organized I’m finished with my work and left twiddling my thumbs by 3 p.m. This week with three writing assignments from two different online newspapers, having to interview a bunch of people that were hard to track down via phone calls and emails (writing is the easy part), managing five musicians and an author’s career, ghostwriting/copy editing a book, and having another author wanting to come on board and have me manage her … there are just not enough hours in the day! Plus, add the fact that this is also a week for fun, as I went to one concert Wednesday night and am going to another tonite. So, to say this week’s been a whirlwind is certainly an understatement.

Today I got up extra early because a potential new client was supposed to send me a sample of a typing job he wants. Of course, it’s not in my email and the guy didn’t give me his phone number when he called because he said he’d send it in the email. Figures, but of course there’s always something to do anyway, whether I sleep an extra hour or get up early, it’s all laid out for me.

Then there is God’s work, which is equally busy, crazy and fun.

I’m working on my second assignment, volunteering, writing  for the church newsletter.

There’s this adorable, sweet 89-year-old lady who is a church member and has done so many wonderful things, mostly artistic/creative, but she also started a Caring Ministry where members go to the home bound and serve them communion. I was assigned to write a feature on her for the church bulletin, interviewing both her and her church friends.

As super busy as I was with my own business this week and concerts, I feel blessed that being my own boss I could have the luxury of taking a few hours out of my day to attend Thursday church service and then interview this wonderful lady. (I had to do it in person, not over the phone because she is elderly and hard of hearing). Like any other article I write, it’s always a thrill interviewing someone. We all have our stories to tell. Everyone has an interesting life that should be shared. Especially Christians because the power of Jesus Christ is so miraculous.

After the interview, one of the church members said that I’d be great for the Caring Ministry because I have a nice personality and am good with elderly people. (I said how much I love the little old Grandmas and that I always have a soft spot for seniors).

So, of course I said, YES! YES! YES! I would love to be a part of the Caring Ministry and learn how to offer communion to those home bound. It would only be once a month and they’d match me up with a home bound person that I connect with. And I would be trained to do this properly.

I was so thrilled because a few weeks earlier another church member asked me if I’d help count the church money and I had to decline because I’m not good in math — and of course my dyslexia doesn’t help. I felt so bad, but I had to be honest with myself and not take on something I wasn’t qualified for. I made a joke, “If I counted money, you’d have a negative zero!”

But if you truly want to be a part of something, Jesus will find a way to make you part of it. Jesus has a job for everyone. And you don’t have to worry about time, because it will fit in beautifully with your life no matter how busy you are! That’s what makes Jesus a great boss! He knows the right person for every job there is. He’ll put you where you are best qualified. With God you always fit in! There are no cliques or favorites when Jesus is the boss, we’re all equally loved and appreciated. And happiness through the love of God is the best paycheck there is!

When I was telling my husband about my day, he said, “Boy, you are busy!”

I said, excitedly, “I’m working for God!”

He’s like, “There you go!”

I think I was glowing!




The Four Types of Clients You’ll Encounter

Published March 20, 2013 by Maryanne

home-based business

The Four Types of Clients You’ll Encounter

by Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta(originally published in The Verona/Cedar Grove Patch, March 2013)

Bending over backward to keep each and every client is the biggest mistake small business owners make.

When you run your own business, having more clients doesn’t always mean more profit. In fact, some clients can be so detrimental to your business having them onboard can make you lose business.

The key to running a successful home based business is identifying which clients to keep and which to pass on. There is nothing wrong with having a “pecking order” when running your own business, putting the more desirable clients at the top.

In order to figure out which clients are worth keeping and putting before others, successful small business owners summarize their clients into four categories:
  1. High Profit/Low Maintenance. These are obviously the clients you want to keep because they pay well and are easy to work with. In other words, a small business owner’s dream! They are organized. They are easy to communicate with. They pay on time. They utilize your talents to the best ability. There is a mutual trust and respect. They may even give you a Christmas present or bonus! If you can develop a great relationship with these clients and keep them, you are so ahead of the game as you’ll be making money almost effortlessly.
  2. High Profit/High Maintenance. Whether you choose to keep these clients or not is up to you. The high profit/high maintenance client may drive you up a wall. There may be drama, unexpected phone calls when you’re on the beach vacationing, a ton of stress, disorganization and so forth. But the pay will be well worth it. To me, high maintenance can be amusing if you keep your sense of humor. Unless high maintenance goes too far by crossing the line of respect, eating up all your spare time, making you cry or reach for a glass of vodka after working with such clients, I say “go for it.” After all, sometimes big money comes with a small price.
  3. Low Profit/Low Maintenance. Sometimes a client may come along who doesn’t have a large budget or is asking for a task that doesn’t require too much skill or effort so the pay is lower than usual. But I say to keep these clients on board because it’s easy income. And you never know when you’re going to hit a slow period. Also note that sometimes a low profit/low maintenance client can eventually become a high profit/low maintenance client. That happened to me a few times. I did such a great job at a low profit level, a client willingly increased my rate!
  4. Low Profit/High Maintenance. I’m not afraid to say these clients are the worst and should definitely not to be kept. They will expect you to jump through hoops while paying you peanuts. There will always be stress, tension, misunderstandings, frustration and possibly tears. The hours will add up and you’ll have nothing to show for it but aggravation. You may find yourself passing up work from other clients because you are so wrapped up in this nightmare of a project, which isn’t fair to you, your other clients or your business. Just say “no” and move on.

By immediately recognizing a low profit/high maintenance client you can let him or her down easily by saying that you are currently over-booked and can’t take on a new client at this time.

Or just be honest and tell them their rate is too low. But try to keep the working relationship positive, as you never know what can change in the future.

And I am available for small business consulting! My rates are cheaper than competitive rates. Email me for more details at:

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is also available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. She is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit:

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: