My personal dream, professionally, is to someday have a strong enough income off of this site and freelancing to be the sole (necessary) income. Since the vast majority of my work could be done anywhere with an Internet connection, the idea of being able to take extended trips to visit family or friends without always having to close up shop or take vacation days is very appealing.
Monday, I had a great site visit with a client. She was fun to work with, I enjoyed my time, it was an actual paying gig (instead of the too-easy-to-agree-to “can you help a friend” volunteer thing). The rest of the day, I started thinking of the various aspects around the business that I need to do. Brandon Kraft Tech Services’ website, brandonkraft.net, obviously is incomplete. I don’t have a logo or business cards. I need a standard pricing chart and whether I’ll publish it or hold it internally. All types of fun things.
The freedom is exciting and terrifying. While working for the Knights of Columbus, I was, technically, self-employed. I could use virtually any method I wanted to secure the sale—use or not use their sales material, create my own (with approval of compliance), make appointments whenever I wanted—but, in the end, I had a plethora of materials already in place. While I could have designed my own, I had a basic business card design, logo, standard (and fixed) pricing and so on. Now, I can do everything to grow the business or shoot it in the foot.
Thankfully, there is a community online and in Austin for support. Kathryn Whitaker, who herself is a stay-at-home parent running a successful freelance design firm, is an inspiration. The web developer circles in Austin are vast, especially compared with most cities. While I made all the choices, I’m not going it alone.
The same goes for parenthood. We’re making all the decisions. Plenty will be a good and plenty will be bad, but there are great physical and virtual communities that allow for the village to help rear a child.
The key for me is to not get overwhelmed. Being a parent has taught me to take each day at a time. Grand, masterful plans that are works of art, are only as good as their effectiveness and practicality, which means their flexibility. As a parent or as a new freelancer, you can only do so much. You have to craft plans and strategies, but overall, just focus on the task at hand and have a good idea of which direction the next battle will be.