Issue #8 - All killer, no filler 🥪
Advice from a freelancer | What's this cryptocurrency crash about? | Health and wellbeing tips | What's the best butty? | Nail your to-do list | Bionic's first webinar | Tunes | Podcasts | More
🦾 G O
Everybody out 🍽
Welcome back to The Backbone from Bionic. There’s loads of great stuff in this issue, so we won’t dwell on the intro any longer than we need to.
This month has seen pints being pulled and food being served indoors for the first time in what feels like a lifetime. And indoor hospitality has made its return just in time, judging by the Biblical rainfall forecast for the next weeks or so.
Combined with the return of live music and the sight of fans back at football grounds, the last couple of weeks have given us the biggest indication yet that we’re almost out of the woods.
Now let’s get stuck into Issue #8 of The Backbone - the fortnightly business bulletin from Bionic.
✍ S U B S C R I B E
Pop your email address in the box below to get The Backbone straight to your inbox at around 1 pm every other Friday 📨
🔥 H A S H T A G
#BIONICSMALLBIZSHOUTOUT - BYTMXG Design
Meet Martha Omasoro, a freelance graphic designer who is currently building up her brand BYTMXG and living proof that following your passion can really pay off.
Bionic: How do you feel about technology in business?
Martha Omasoro: “I offer work on websites and help build brands up to get more customers so I think technology is a big part of my business. Also, as a freelancer, I use a lot of technology and tools. It's great because I'm not limited in what software I can use and I enjoy being able to work with different people with different requirements, I like to make my customers feel comfortable.”
B: Do you think social media is a massive part of what you do?
MO: “Social media has been extremely beneficial for me especially when I first started out back in 2017. I used to advertise on Instagram and I found a lot of my clients that way. I think that social media allowed me to be able to work with clients worldwide which was exciting. Also, social presence is really important for a business, that’s one of the things I offer help with.”
B: What's the biggest misconception about freelancing?
MO: “I think a lot of people don’t realise how much extra work you have to do. You forget that you’re in charge of your own time and sometimes it’s hard to balance it. Also remembering to invoice for the correct amount of hours and things like that."
B: What would you say to a small business just starting out?
MO: “Definitely do your research, I had no previous design experience. I’m self-taught and learnt a lot from my previous social media role but I developed this passion for graphic design before I went on to freelance. If it's your passion though, don’t be afraid to take risks!”
📤 S H A R E
Sign up to The Backbone to improve your inbox and enhance your vocabulary. Then share it with friends so they get the benefit too.
📰 N E W S
What’s this crypto crash all about? 📈
Brace yourself, we’re about to go deep…
Money is a bit of an arbitrary concept.
What started out as a tradeable bond issued by banks as proof of a person’s assets now has its value determined by supply, demand, and its continued acceptance in the national and international economy.
Anyone that spends money, whether an individual, business or even a country, trusts that the banks will honour the value of a currency so that we can accept cash as payment and trust others will accept it from us.
If not, our money becomes worthless.
But what about cryptocurrency?
Let’s use Bitcoin - the one we’ve all heard of - as an example. Bitcoin prices are primarily affected by its supply, the market's demand for it, availability, and the value of competing cryptocurrencies.
There's a fixed total supply of 21 million bitcoin and there will never be any more, so the price is determined by the value that people give it.
Although Bitcoin is a virtual currency, they do incur a real cost of production, most notably the amount of electricity used to make them. The creation of new Bitcoin is a bit like a massive multiplayer video game - a maths problem is released for people to solve and whoever solves it first gets rewarded with a certain amount of Bitcoins.
But the Bitcoin algorithm only allows for one block to be found, on average, every ten minutes. That means the more people trying to solve the maths puzzle (known as Bitcoin miners) the more difficult the problem becomes.
This helps to preserve the ten-minute interval and, in turn, the value of Bitcoin.
Although you can spend cryptocurrencies like you spend money, it’s better to think of it more like an investment in commodities rather than as currency you’d buy from the Post Office before you go on holiday.
As with any commodities, prices rise and fall due to speculation on future demand, but cryptocurrencies are particularly volatile.
One of the main draws of cryptocurrency is that it’s neither issued nor regulated by a central government and therefore is not subject to governmental monetary policies.
But its value is still affected by world affairs, and there are a number of things behind this latest crash:
China cracking down on the use of digital currencies and stating that it’s “not a real currency” and calling recent surges in the space “speculation” (see the commodities investment comparison, above)
Elon Musk asserting that Tesla will no longer accept cryptocurrency payments until they become more environmentally friendly to use (though Musk is currently going all-in on Dogecoin, another cryptocurrency)
Investors shifting their attention back to gold after the IRS (America’s tax man) stated that it will treat cryptocurrency as property, not currency, and will tax it as such
This saw loads of people trying to offload Bitcoin, which resulted in its value plummeting by 30%. Other cryptocurrencies also saw big losses.
Is this the death knell for cryptocurrency? Probably not.
Are you any the wiser on what all the fuss is in the news? Hopefully so.
📩 J O I N
We want to hear about you and your business 🗣
💡 How did you end up running your own business?
😟 As a business owner, what keeps you awake at night (assuming you ever get to bed)?
🤩 What’s your proudest achievement as a business owner?
🤔 What one piece of advice would you give to someone starting their own business?
Leave a comment to get involved 👇
🙏 W E L L N E S S
Get out to improve your physical and mental health 🌳
We caught up with Drew Campbell-Griffiths, a nutritionist (with a Masters in Nutrition Science from uni of Liverpool to prove it) with a background in fitness training and MMA, to get some wellness tips to cleanse your mind and body.
We all know by now, that exercise is great for our mental and physical health. But did you know the benefits of exercise are significantly increased when we replace the indoor setting of a gym or studio with an outdoor 'green' setting, such as woodland?
While a 30 minute HIIT workout in the gym will blow away the cobwebs, research has shown that carrying out the same exercise outdoors results in higher levels of self-esteem and reduces anxiety, compared to doing the exercise indoors.
This effect is especially pronounced if the exercise is done near an area of water such as the sea or by a river.
In Japan, spending time in a rural setting is now prescribed by doctors and they promote an activity known as "forest bathing" or “shinrin-yoku”. This activity consists of walking through a forest, with all of your senses open - taking in the natural sounds, smells, sights and sensations.
If you are unable to exercise outdoors, placing pictures of woodland settings in front of exercise machines, has been shown to have a similar effect!
To hear more from Drew, check out Black Belt, White Hat
🤳 S O C I A L
The Bionic British Sandwich Week World Cup 🏆
In a happy coincidence, the reopening of pubs, cafes and restaurants coincided with British Sandwich Week - a celebration of the sandwich and the contribution butties make to our lives and the economy.
But what filling do people think makes for the best sandwich? It’s an age-old question and one we hope to answer via the #BritishSandwichWeekWorldCup - a Twitter poll pitting filling against filling, where former bread-fellows like ham and cheese go head-to-head.
At the time of writing, we’re at the second semi-final stage, where two hot favourites - sausage and bacon - are going head-to-head for the right to face cheese in the final.
The final will take place on Saturday, May 22 - the last day of British Sandwich Week. Check out the tournament so far and get your votes in now 👇
🤝🏻 T I P S
Take control of your to-do list
Running a business can take up every waking hour (and more than a few sleeping hours too). If you’re feeling overwhelmed with everything, making a to-do list can help you prioritise and take a bit of pressure off.
But what if that to-do list then takes on a life of its own? Things can get even more stressful as the list grows - your productivity can suffer and you still don’t know where to start.
Here are some quick tips to help you stop wasting time and spend more of your valuable minutes on what's really important - running your business.
Divide a page into four - Grab a piece of paper and a pen or pencil, then start off by simply drawing a vertical line down your page. Next, draw a horizontal line through the middle, so a cross fills the page. This is known as an Eisenhower Matrix.
Label your page - With your matrix set out, label each box clockwise from top left to bottom right as below.
Add tasks - Fill out the four boxes with your to-do tasks for the day or week, thinking carefully and honestly about what fits best where. By the time you’re finished, you should have a clear picture of what you need to start with and why. This process should also help you have a less cluttered mind and a better vision of how to spend your working day.
Keep it up to date - Keep on updating your list of tasks and adding them to each box. Our priorities change weekly, daily, even hourly, so by re-assessing your tasks regularly, you can make sure you’re dealing with the most important and urgent ones first.
By setting your tasks aside in this specific way, you can focus your time and energy on things in order of urgency and importance, instead of ones you fancy doing first because they’re less hassle.
Pretty soon, you'll find that your to-do list is working for you. In fact, you'll know it's working for you when it looks something like this 👇
Images: Courtesy of John Schultz on Flickr.
📺 W A T C H
We did a webinar 💻
In Issue #7 we told you all about how the analogue landline is coming to an end, meaning we’ll all have to make the switch to a digital solution like VoIP. To give you an idea of how this tech can work for all types of business, we took questions from Alison of New Moon Holistic Therapies in our first Bionic webinar.
🎧 L I S T E N
Founded in Glasgow in 1979, Postcard Records was a vehicle for releases by Orange Juice and Josef K. The label's motto was "The Sound of Young Scotland" was a play on the old Motown motto of “The Sound of Young America". The label went on to launch the career of Aztec Camera, among others.
This playlist has some of Postcard Records’ best bits.
Today in Focus is a podcast from the Guardian that combines personal storytelling with insightful analysis, this podcast takes you behind the headlines for a deeper understanding of the news, every weekday.
This two-parter on the Post Office/Horizon scandal is a jaw-dropping story of tech gone wrong, heartbreaking personal loss, and a massive miscarriage of justice.
🏡 H O U S E K E E P I N G
Check your folders 📁
If The Backbone isn’t landing in your inbox after 1 pm every other Friday, your email provider may have moved it straight into your spam folder.
To stop that happening again, please mark this address as ‘not spam.’ If it isn’t in your spam folder, it may have been moved to another folder, like ‘Promotions’ or ‘Social’.
Thanks again for getting involved, and please feel free to get your friends and colleagues on board, and send us any ideas for things you’d like to see us cover in The Backbone.
📊 B U S I N E S S
Get your business costs sorted.
Looking to cut your business costs, sort your insurance, or get your broadband up to speed? Bionic’s tech-enabled experts will help you find the right energy, insurance, broadband or loan providers and deals for your business - in minutes.
Check out our ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ Trustpilot reviews
🚫 S T O P
Thanks for making it to the end of this Bionic bulletin 🤝🏻
That’s all for another two weeks, but please do let us know if there’s anything else we should be featuring - from inspirational stories to Spotify playlists, or anything in between. Just leave a comment and let us know.
And don’t forget to send this link to all your friends and get them to subscribe ✌🏻
See you in a fortnight, when we’ll be almost halfway through the year and just 17 days away from everything being back to normal 🤞