The sound of knocking interrupts your work. You already know who it is, and you sigh as you drag yourself away your desk. You swing the door open: It's your landlord. He doesn't come in; he's just visited to remind you about next month's rent. You don't want to be late again like last time. It's a brief talk, but it leaves you feeling anxious. You need to find more work.

Later in the day, your schedule frees you to look for potential new clients. You decide to work through lunch, munching on a sandwich while you check your device.

You're constantly sending out feelers to bag new jobs. The offers don't always come to you; you have to get your name out there: You've taken the initiative to cold-call clients and send samples of your work to companies and editors in hopes of a response. You've updated your online portfolio to show people. You've also worked hard to maintain a decent rating in your profile at a freelancing website that connects clients and self-employed professionals.

You pray all this effort will pay off, but there's a lot of competition out there, so you never know.

You decide to:
Check your smartphone.
Check your account at the freelancing site.
Check your e-mail inbox.