Shane Snow of Contently, a collective of freelance journalists available for hire by the world’s biggest brands, writes on his LinkedIn post entitled Half Of Us May Soon Be Freelancers: 6 Compelling Reasons Why:
The cost savings and flexibility of a non-salaried workforce often make business sense, but the model requires the workers to suddenly become businesspeople. We wanted to help our writer and editor friends continue doing what they were good at, without having to deal with the stress of finding work, getting paid on time, and marketing themselves on their own. And we were not the only ones who saw the wave coming. Communities for designers and other creative talent have helped these freelancers make it on their own for several years now.
And where it’s clear that the majority of creative people will be freelance before long, all signs point to other jobs one day following suit. This will mean huge things for the domestic and global economy, and it will give an enormous number of people increased flexibility, responsibility, and stress.
You might soon be one of them, a hired gun.
A few years ago I haphazardly started sharing what I learn from my freelancing and consulting activities over at IT Consulting Lessons. If you’re an existing (or aspiring) freelancer, especially in the information technology space, join us over there to build your business skills. I learn more every time I put together a new post and read and digest a new interesting article/post from elsewhere to share with the community. And I intend to grow the community further over the next few years, turning it from primarily an email list and blog, to more of a true community. Stay tuned. And, in the mean time, join us by adding the blog your RSS reader and subscribing to the email list to learn about new resources. And feel free to shoot me a personal email expressing your interest so I know that others are finding what I’m doing valuable.
A few years ago I wanted to start sharing things I was learning, as a technical freelancer and self-employed technology services provider.
This is when ITConsultingLessons.com was born. First as a small email list – that grew to over 200 subscribers – and now a blog. If you’re a technical freelancer — current or aspiring, full-timer or moonlighter — I invite you to join us.
ITConsultingLessons.com: A blog about being a self-employed freelancer, consultant, or service provider. Edited by a consulting technologist.
Mathew Mengel, writing over at PacketPushers.net, talks about professional loneliness:
Part of this is my own nature. Despite working in the industry for nearly twenty years, I question my own abilities all the time. An innate lack of self-confidence or self-esteem, perhaps. But the larger issue is in being the only network guy around, and I suspect some of you who work in teams where you are the at top of the tree may experience this too. For all the interaction online, in forums, on Twitter and so on, what I really wanted yesterday was someone to look over my shoulder at my attempt at implementing an unfamiliar technology. Someone who could read the config, and understand it. Who can take a look at the show commands on the router and see if I’ve missed anything. Something more than you can get from posting a scrubbed config on the Cisco support forums or a quick email to the friendly SE.
I think most people experience this from time to time.1
This could have been written by me …or most of the technologists (and technology managers, and CIOs, and so on) I work with. The comments on Mathew’s post would seem to confirm this.
The last few years have been unusual for me. This is because, ever since I was 12 or so years old, I’ve known what I wanted to do: computers. Yet I don’t view myself as being in the computer field these days.
A little manifesto for consultants and freelancers by Eric Garland in Dear Freelancers: Prepare to Kick Ass.
Dr. Freelance (Jake Poinier) writes on his blog announcing the book release:
I won’t repeat the details about the guide here, but rather wanted to take a moment to discuss why I wrote it: Freelance pricing isn’t just a matter of slapping a price tag on your creative services and hoping that it all works out because you’re a great writer, editor, or designer. Anybody can pull a number off one of the publicly available freelance rate sheets—but the key is whether that rate works for that particular client and project, and most importantly, whether it works for *your* freelance business. You need to have a strategic approach to every aspect of the process, from estimating, negotiating, and invoicing all the way to managing client perceptions and behaviors. It’s what I call “monetizing your freelance brain,” and the guide lays out a logical, simple, and effective route to accomplishing that.
I’ve read through the introduction and parts of various chapters. I’ll be purchasing my own copy soon. You can preview it yourself on Amazon here.
Alan Weiss writes:
A great many consultants completely miss opportunities to solidify relationships and close business because they aren’t “in the moment.” Instead of engaging in a conversation with a peer (the buyer) they are trying to anticipate what the other person is going to say so that they have the “perfect” response—as a subordinate to a superior. They want to get a high mark on the test.
I must admit: I’ve had to fight this urge my entire consulting career. I have little doubt that “impostor syndrome” correlates closely with this feeling.