Day to Day Realities of an Independent Worker

997 views

Published on

While on my second year of being a full-time independent worker, I conducted a personal retrospective. This presentation sums up the results.

This talk was given at:
- Indieconf 2010 (Nov 13, 2010)
- RefreshNYC (Nov 30, 2010)

Published in: Business, Technology
1 Comment
1 Like
Statistics
Notes
No Downloads
Views
Total views
997
On SlideShare
0
From Embeds
0
Number of Embeds
13
Actions
Shares
0
Downloads
6
Comments
1
Likes
1
Embeds 0
No embeds

No notes for slide

Day to Day Realities of an Independent Worker

  1. 1. Day to Day Realities Honest Observations of a Full-time Independent Worker Michael Girouard — RefreshNYC — Nov 30 2010
  2. 2. AboutYour Presenter • Seasoned [grizzled] programmer of 11 years • Second-year full-time independent worker • Owner of two businesses: MigiMedia: Content Management & E Commerce Group Ashcroft Eyewear: Independent Boutique Eyewear Brand • Organizer of Refresh NYC
  3. 3. What AboutYou? • How many people are full time independent workers? • How many people are full time employees? • How many people are just dipping their toes in? •Why are you here?
  4. 4. A Quick Warning I will recommend you read two very different books. This is intentional.
  5. 5. Realities @ 10,000 Feet
  6. 6. Work sucks whether you’re independent or not.http://www.flickr.com/photos/michelhrv/2299050033/
  7. 7. http://www.flickr.com/photos/bionicteaching/2041278305/ Independent does not mean antisocial.
  8. 8. Being free is not a license to be lazy.http://www.flickr.com/photos/frosted_peppercorn/2411572004/
  9. 9. http://www.flickr.com/photos/davidpbrown/1922428299/ Just because you can work from anywhere… …does not make it a good idea :)
  10. 10. http://www.flickr.com/photos/stuartpilbrow/2942333106/ Chances are, you won’t be rich.
  11. 11. My Schedule
  12. 12. The Average Week Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat Weekly Planning Client Work — Ashcroft Client Work — Ashcroft Client Work — Ashcroft Client Work — Ashcroft Client Work — Ashcroft Spillover — Leasure
  13. 13. The Average Day TOD Task 9:30 – 10:30 ✓ Planning & Pipeline Review 11:00 – 1:30 ✓ Quick Tasks / One Offs 1:30 – 2:00 ✓ Feeding Time 2:15 – 6:00 ✓ Project-Related Work 6:00 – 7:00 ✓Work Overspill 9:00 – 1:30 ✓Ashcroft Web Work
  14. 14. Planning
  15. 15. Warning: Planning strategies are mostly snake oil. Possibly this one as well. Use at your own risk. http://www.flickr.com/photos/invis/4252924872/
  16. 16. How not to Plan • Take all the things you need to get done an put them in a todo list. • Map out every possible task you need to do on your calendar. • Plan your day to the minute. Leave no room for interruptions.
  17. 17. A Better Method • What are your roles in life? • What are your goals with each role? • Every week identify your needs and schedule accordingly.
  18. 18. My Roles/Goals
  19. 19. Pipeline
  20. 20. Pipeline management is easily the most under appreciated areas of the freelance workflow. http://www.flickr.com/photos/baggis/225007470/
  21. 21. A well defined pipeline • Tells you what your opportunities are. Opportunities are to be followed up on. • Tells you what your projects are. Projects are your main income source. • Calculates your efficiency for a given time range. Efficiency is your benchmark for improvement.
  22. 22. My Pipeline
  23. 23. Projects
  24. 24. Project Management • Is easily the most complicated area of freelance work • You should strongly consider outsourcing (management, development, etc) • Be selective, not picky when choosing projects
  25. 25. http://www.flickr.com/photos/cappellmeister/5921913/
  26. 26. Decent PM Tools http://basecamphq.com/ http://myintervals.com/ http://zoho.com/projects/
  27. 27. Other Considerations How about plain-old WordPress? http://www.makeuseof.com/tag/selfhosted-wordpress-blog-project-management/ P2 GTD
  28. 28. Key Functions of PM • Projects (note: plural) • Milestones • Tasks • Teams • Time } These are all moving targets. You and your tools must be able to handle change of all kinds.
  29. 29. Finances
  30. 30. The Income Dance Quote 1. Invoice 2. Payment 3. Receipt 4. • Opportunity arises. • RFP comes in. • Proposal goes out.
  31. 31. The Income Dance Quote 1. Invoice 2. Payment 3. Receipt 4. • Bid is approved. • Project is awarded. • Quote is converted to an invoice. • Invoice goes out.
  32. 32. The Income Dance Quote 1. Invoice 2. Payment 3. Receipt 4. • Ideally paid w/in agreed upon terms. • Oftentimes partial payments are made to begin the work.
  33. 33. The Income Dance Quote 1. Invoice 2. Payment 3. Receipt 4. • Receipt goes out upon payment. • Oftentimes overlooked by freelancers. • This may also be a reminder if the payment is late. • Valuable time to upsell if this is a final receipt.
  34. 34. The Income Dance Quote 1. Invoice 2. Payment 3. Receipt 4. • Process repeats as necessary until project is complete.
  35. 35. Financial Tools http://workingpoint.com/ http://outright.com/ http://lessaccounting.com/ http://freshbooks.com/
  36. 36. The Taxman Cometh http://www.waywardirregular.com/?p=59 The way I pay my taxes is quarterly, and this is definitely an unpleasant process, but makes the yearly tax-time a little less daunting. It’s like getting stabbed in the kidney once versus getting stabbed in the kidney fifteen times – the first one is all scary and hurts like hell, but number sixteen is just old hat and you’re ready for it. “ • Track Income/Expenses. • Don’t do it yourself. • Don’t wait until the last minute. • Educate yourself. Just keep it simple… Recommended Reading
  37. 37. Important Miscellany
  38. 38. Information Addiction • How many feeds are in your reader? • How many times to you go to Facebook/Twitter/Delicious per day? • How long do you stay on the site?
  39. 39. Outsource. Please. The smartest thing you can do for your business is to remove yourself from it.
  40. 40. “No” • Is the second most important word in a freelancer’s vocabulary. • Yes, turning down work can actually be profitable in the long run.
  41. 41. Personal Projects • …are just as important as client projects. • These are areas where you can safely experiment with new technologies and platforms • This is where the most important learning comes from.
  42. 42. Questions?
  43. 43. Thank you. mikeg@lovemikeg.com

×