Get Paid, Not Burned

Self-employed or just side hustling, most traditional contracts are outdated—here’s how to ensure your worth

Congratulations! You’ve decided to take self-employment seriously. Following the sage advice of fellow freelancers, you’re starting off with the essentials: an anchor client for some reliable income, a strong social media presence for your burgeoning personal brand, and the self-discipline to work several hours a day sans nagging manager. What’s more, you’ve already clocked the time difference between your client’s home base in the U.S. and your new “office” on a beach in Thailand. The one thing you can’t control? Your unmoored status may be 21st century, but traditional contracts and modes of getting paid are woefully outdated. The Freelancers Union reports that one in two freelancers had trouble collecting payment in 2014. Here, a few ways to be a better bill collector—faster than you can say Phuket.

Don’t even think of starting without a contract.

We know how it goes: You hit it off with a potential client and rush forward in good faith because you’re passionate about the project. But do yourself a favor—hit the pause button and get it in writing. Define timelines for deliverables and payment that you feel are reasonable. Ensure there’s a fair kill fee if the project is canceled. Consider adding a 1.5 to 3 percent monthly fee for late payment (more than 30 days past due) to your contract, as well as a clause that entitles you to legal fees and costs if you have to hire a collection agency or attorney to recoup payment. (Keep in mind that this may ruffle some clients’ feathers, so weigh whether you still want to work with them if this addition is refused.) Request a 30 to 50 percent deposit for large or longer projects. Include language that ownership rights over work produced do not transfer to the client until full payment is received. Ask a lawyer buddy to look it over before you sign or, better yet, create a standard contract of your own for clients as a guideline. Shake, a free legal agreement app, is popular with the freelance set.

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Are Reproductive Rights Safe?

Birth control is currently at risk, but for now, abortion is (mostly) safe.

LET’S ADDRESS one of the biggest knots in our collective uterus since the 2016 election: Will Roe v. Wade be overturned, seriously jeopardizing the right to a legal abortion in the United States? President Donald Trump — along with aggressively anti-choice Mike Pence as his vice president — was clear all along in his plans to fill the open Supreme Court seat with a justice who would vote to reverse the ruling, remanding a woman’s constitutional right to privacy under the 14th Amendment. And Justice Gorsuch seems to be just that, meaning such a rollback is possible, but there are a number of obstacles standing in the way.

[quote position="full" is_quote="true"]The court, as currently constituted, believes that any burden on reproductive access must serve to improve women’s health — and not act as a mere deterrent.[/quote]

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The Transcendent Street Art of eL Seed

The French-Tunisian “calligraffiti” artist offers a beautiful window into his Islamic and Arab identity.

It’s a gray Sunday morning in London’s trendy Shoreditch district, and street artist eL Seed has inadvertently found himself working a nine-to-five job.

These certainly aren’t normal hours for the renowned French-Tunisian creative, whose work graces walls, bridges, rooftops, and other structures and surfaces on nearly every continent. Though eL Seed normally splits his time between Paris and Dubai, he’s in London to paint a large mural commissioned by the British Council for the Shubbak festival, a celebration of contemporary Arab culture. The production team is pacing nervously, worried he won’t finish by his deadline.

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College Freshman Fights to Give European Migrants a Great Education

Chrisann Jarrett won’t be happy until everyone who wants to be is in university. #globalgoals

This fall, the United Nations is preparing to launch its 17 Sustainable Development Goals—an extraordinary action plan to solve the world’s biggest problems by 2030. Over the coming months, we’ll be connecting with The Local Globalists: 17 nonprofit founders, entrepreneurs, and social innovators who are working every day, wherever they are, to turn one of the U.N.’s #globalgoals into reality.

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