Tips From Successful Israeli Freelancers

BasicsBusiness DevelopmentSuccess StoriesTips and Tricks

On January 29, IRG Websites hosted a freelancer networking event at PICO Jerusalem, featuring a panel of 3 successful entrepreneurs who shared their experience and wisdom about the self-employed experience.

Jacob Share: Founder and Senior Vice President, Share Select Media, an Internet media company specializing in building and growing authority blog-based communities. He created the critically-acclaimed JobMob and nurtured it to becoming one of the biggest international job search blog-based communities on the world. Additionally he innovated and developed Group Writing Projects, recognized as the only blog of its kind on the Internet.

Tali Tarlow: Founder and Owner of Jerusalem Scavenger Hunts / Israel ScaVentures program, which is a popular and educational way to learn about and enjoy Jerusalem. She is an experienced teacher and informal educator.

Zev Stub: Owner and Founder of Janglo, Israel’s largest online community for English speakers.

(Couldn’t make it to the event? Listen to the full audio here!)

Here are our top takeaways. Do you have anything to add to the list? Leave it in the comments below!

On Work/Life Balance

  1. jacob, tali, zev
    (Photo Credit: Sharon Altshul / The Real Jerusalem Streets –

    The first thing that you should schedule in your calendar is some relaxation time. – Zev

  2. Focus on how you really need to be spending your time. Don’t let your inbox guide your day. Your inbox is all these things that other people are asking you to do – not necessarily what you want to be doing. – Zev
  3. Recommendation for a free online course for learning how to reduce time spent on e-mail at – Zev
  4. Try to keep e-mails as brief as possible and try to limit the amount of time you spend going through e-mails (for instance only checking twice a day). – Jacob
  5. During slow periods, make sure to do other things you enjoy and take a vacation! – Tali

On Management

  1. ilana and rifka
    (Photo Credit: Sharon Altshul / The Real Jerusalem Streets –

    Learn at least the basic how-tos of every part of your business, such as how to update your website. – Zev

  2. Businesses that are successful are able to grow and adapt and listen to their audience. – Jacob
  3. Figure out your priorities based on what makes you the most money. Even the value of activities such as education and business development can be quantified. – Jacob
  4. You must learn negotiation techniques. Some recommended books: Getting to Yes and Getting Past No by William Ury. – Jacob

On Pricing

  1. benji and zev
    (Photo Credit: Sharon Altshul /
    The Real Jerusalem Streets –

    Whatever you think you should charge – double it. – Tali

  2. Practice selling your product or service so that you sound completely confident about yourself and your price. – Tali
  3. If you don’t feel at least a little bit nervous about your price quote, you probably aren’t charging enough.  – Jacob

Major Lessons Learned Along the Way

  1. Understand that there will be some clients who will not pay, even if you do your best to pre-screen for this. It’s usually best to just accept it and let it go. – Jacob
  2. Be nice! What goes around comes around. – Tali
  3. You need a support network of family and friends in order to be successful. – Tali
  4. benji and rochie
    (Photo Credit: Sharon Altshul / The Real Jerusalem Streets –

    Being self-employed is a “full body experience”, that involves every aspect of who you are. – Zev

  5. It’s important that you love what you do because the business encompasses every aspect of who you are. – Tali
  6. The best time to start your own business is when you are employed by someone else, so that you have a backup if the business doesn’t succeed, even though the long hours are very difficult. – Jacob