Small Business Trends Radio

How to Succeed as a Virtual Freelancer

Michael_Haaren_Photo.JPGDo you work from home or have you ever thought about it? Avoiding the long commutes, getting out of the rat race, finding freelance work over the Internet, perhaps?

If this is a dream you are committed to, then you definitely will want to listen to this episode of Small Business Trends Radio.

Our featured guest is Michael Haaren, Co-Founder Staffcentrix and Editor of the Rat Race Rebellion, a weekly bulletin of screened, home-based freelance projects and jobs. In this episode Michael describes the trends, the advantages, and the pitfalls of working as a virtual freelancer.

The following are some key points from this show:

  • There is a 30-to-1 scam ratio in home based businesses. The trick is knowing how to screen out the scams. Some dead giveaways that a home business opportunity is a scam: palm trees and beaches in the background; or emphasis on how much money you can make but no mention of the duties involved.
  • Freelancing is different from being a home employee. A freelancer is an independent contractor. Large companies are catching on to the untapped potential of freelancers, and with increasing frequency are hiring people to work from home.
  • Virtual freelancers often are highly educated and accomplished individuals. Many have multiple degrees and are multi-lingual. Life circumstances may dictate that they work from home. In addition to the stay-at-home parent, there are also partners (“trailing spouses”) of government and military workers, who accompany their spouse overseas who, often, cannot work in the local country.
  • The Baby Boomer generation is beginning to take to home-based freelancing. As the Baby Boomers reach retirement stage and expand in numbers, the interest in virtual freelancing is expected to increase.

Today’s Trend: In addition to the above points, please stay tuned at the end of the program to the Today’s Trend segment. The Today’s Trend for this episode is: THE most cost effective marketing tool. Today’s Trend examines how in the 21st century small businesses are getting ever more sophisticated with their online presences, because the cost and complexity of creating a professional online presence is dropping. In turn, this is opening up new markets for small businesses

Recorded: September 12, 2006

Duration: 53:27 minutes

About Michael Haaren

Michael Haaren is the Co-Founder & COO of Staffcentrix, LLC, a training and development company which provides virtual career (home-based freelancing) training programs and resources to the U.S. Department of State and the Armed Forces.

Michael also serves as editor of the Rat Race Rebellion, a popular weekly bulletin of screened, home-based freelance projects and jobs. Its subscribers include the U.S. Department of State, U.S. military base family centers, church-affiliated and other career advisors, and individual freelancers internationally.

With Staffcentrix CEO Christine Durst (who is credited with founding the Virtual Assistant industry in 1995), Michael is also the author of The 2-Second Commute, a how-to book on succeeding as a Virtual Assistant or virtual freelancer. Widely praised by readers seeking legitimate home-based careers, the book is drawn from Durst and Haaren’s virtual career training programs, which are now available at over 100 U.S. embassies, consulates and military bases worldwide.

Appearing often in the media as an expert on virtual careers, Michael has been featured in such publications as BusinessWeek, Forbes, Fortune, and The Wall Street Journal. He recently co-hosted with Christine Durst their first radio show, The Rat Race Rebellion.

For more on Michael, visit

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