Not included in the above: 20% most sites take off the top for filtering jobs to me.
Highest internet package I can have to handle upload and downloads. Utilities.
Gig economy is: a labor market characterized by the prevalence of short-term contracts or freelance work as opposed to permanent jobs.
What it really means...
I use skills that I have grown over the last 10 years to the advantage of those that can't afford to employ someone like me on a regular basis or can't afford large services. With my primary services being books, I save people hundreds if not thousands of dollars over them purchasing formatting and covers through places such as AuthorHouse (and full vanity publishers in general) and even Amazon before the canceled their Author Services.
And, I will fully admit, I normally put more into the job than those services anyway.
Let's face it, if companies employed someone like me on a regular basis I'd make 50k+ a year, have vacation, have insurance, and many more benefits that full time employment can come with. Been there, done that, and have missing chunks of my kids life to prove it.
Instead I take jobs as they come.
Instead I don't have vacation days. Taking time off costs me money.
Instead I'm thankful my husband has insurance through his company, we still pay for it, but it's better than nothing.
But I make the rules.
I don't work for peanuts. I won't make less than minimum wage, and while no job is too small, I will get paid a minimum fee for that time and EXPERIENCE.
If I don't like you, I don't want to work with you. And yes, it's working with you for a final product that you are happy with(and yes sometimes you have to pay extra because where we started is no where near where we ended). No you don't have to listen to my suggestions(unless they are required by a printer) but you will show me the respect that my life's work affords me.
Graphic: One of my favorites that is now saved on my computer because I spent 20 minutes trying to find it because someone said, "It'll take you five minutes, easiest job you'll have today." I turned down the $5 job to correct two images and went back to work on the $200 formatting job.
I stay busy. There are many days that I'm lucky I get a shower. I have to schedule family time.
Trying to make time to do anything outside of my chair and keyboard, even exercise, is sometimes hard.
And on those days I'm not busy. I'm climbing the walls waiting for the next job. As I catch up on all the "other" parts of life that get ignored when there is work to do.
So, if you found this article because you used the dreaded, "It'll take you five minutes." or just as bad, "That's too expensive." I'm sorry you feel that way. (truly I am, I'm a work-a-holic). But please find another designer. Might I suggest SE Asia or still-in-school designers.