Read article. Started meditating.
Solid advice. I'd particularly echo the accountant + Xero paragraph. I'd firmly recommend anyone starting out to find a local accountant who can sit you down face-to-face and run you through the basics of bookkeeping. As well as the day-to-day running, I also found it helpful getting into the mindset of running a business and setting appropriate pricing.
I spend a few minutes every week in Xero raising invoices, inputting expenses and reconciling transactions and it gives me a snapshot of exactly how my numbers are looking. At the end of the year, my accountant logs in, checks it over and sends it off, saving me money having a full set of accounts prepped by them.
Anyone have good recommendations for accountants in NY?
This is a great article and it gives excellent advice. I wonder, though, why so many people transition TO freelancing? I myself started out freelancing, when I was roughly 18, and only when my client (I was 18 and naive and thought I only needed one client) went out of business did I seek employment with another company. For a while I was scared to try freelancing again, but eventually I got tired of having artificial deadlines, idiot managers, and rude customers and so I began freelancing again. I've now been freelancing full-time for about 5 years and I love it. There's so much freedom to work on interesting things and I'm fortunate enough to make a living doing it (which is a real risk in freelancing). So, for freelancers out there, what would it take to bring you full-time into an organization and to quit freelancing all together?
“bastard tax”—basically if he thinks the client might be a pain in the arse he puts his day rate up by 25-30%.
I noticed this was a recurring feature amongst freelancers here in Ottawa. I guess it could be a good filter for someone that wants to service a particular client or market, but is willing to bend their own rules if there’s more wads of cashed thrown at them.
Like with anything, some people are just not good at managing projects and/or people skills, therefore some clients can be pretty nightmarish. I would always turn down a client if I wasn't certain or not feeling it – not a fan of taking the money and running. But my skills (front-end + back-end dev) were fairly in demand in London so I didn't have much of a shortage of work so this "bastard tax" can be useful for some freelancers.
great write up. question though: you're full-time on a product now, what made you stop working for clients?
Honest answer is that I felt I could do more to improve people's lives by working on something I was full invested in and believe in. Being a founder of a start-up means that you can shape something that could help someone in even a small way.
It was a massively difficult decision to go all in on starting a start-up and lose some great clients. Luckily we all managed a good transition between the two.
I felt like the 3 years freelancing was almost an apprenticeship for being a start-up founder. If I'd started something like Steer back in 2010, it probably would have failed by now.