I’ve told people this story enough that I figured I should write it down for posterity.
I quit working a “regular” job in mid/late 2007 – just as the global economy was going in to meltdown. :) For the next couple years I networked, networked and networked trying to “work for myself”, all the while the economy was growing grimmer. When I’d told people I’d quit my job earlier, it sounded ridiculous, and I got a lot of weird looks.
Fast forward to 2009/2010, as we were slowly starting to bottom out, I would meet people who’d say “wow, you survived all that”, and I’d say “yes, I did”. Almost always, it was followed up with “I’d like to work for myself, but I’m just too scared – how do you find clients?” or… “How do you handle taxes?” or “How do you write a contract?”
I was certainly no expert at any of these issues, but gave my best answers. After finding a pattern, I realized my answers weren’t as good as other experts I knew who focused on particular areas and/or had more experience than I did, so I began to reach out to those people for better answers.
The focus has always been on the non-tech side of working for yourself as a technically-oriented person. Don’t let that scare you off – the conference is not just rooms of tech geeks – we have attendees from many backgrounds, but the common denominator is part or full time self-employment (or small team) working primarily on the web. Developers, certainly, but graphic designers, bloggers, SEO and marketing consultants, drop shippers and more are part of the indieconf family.
What’s the ‘non-tech’ side? Exactly what got the conference started: the business side of things – contracts, finances, marketing, personal growth and more. It’s pretty easy to Google an answer for a troubling CSS question, but much harder to know if your pricing strategy is sound, or what your alternatives are. Learning from experts who’ve “been there, done that” you can save yourself years of headaches and money problems by finding clients and projects that play to your strengths, and avoiding the “clients from hell” that almost every freelancer deals with at some point.
indieconf 2013 will be held November 23 in Raleigh, NC, with a full day of speakers, networking and learning to help build your business efforts to the next level. Get your ticket today at indieconf2013.eventbrite.com