Your smartest career strategy: Pleaser? Or Artiste?

There seem to be two different ways to ring the bell in this business. Two different paths to glory and riches for us solo practitioners. The choice depends entirely on how you’re wired, how your brain works, what delights your soul. And I’m convinced it matters. Get this right, and it can make a huge(…)

The most lucrative ways to specialize

Yes. Specialists always do better. There is no debating this. I can’t think of any freelancer who made it big as a handyman. The world already has plenty of all-purpose copywriters, versatile translators, general web designers and utility infielders. Don’t jump into that haystack. You will be lost forever. It sounds paradoxical, but the longer your ‘list of(…)

What if you doubled your fees? Tomorrow?

Years ago there was a cranky old freelancer I looked up to. He was an artist and illustrator who had made his own way since the days of Mad Men. He did brilliant work. Made piles of money. He was in demand. He answered to no one, drank too much and smoked like a diesel.(…)

What numbers should you watch?

  You and me, we are working the simplest business model there is. Let’s not complicate things more than necessary. First, the tax people want to know how much money clients gave you, and how much you spent on business expenses. The easy way is to get those numbers from your 1099s and bank records.(…)

The Freelancer’s Guide to Saying ‘No’

First thing:  You are allowed to say no. It’s a perfectly acceptable answer. It is always an option. You are not obligated to take on every assignment and every client that blows in. You are not required to accept a lousy fee or lopsided terms, either. I hear from too many freelancers who are agonizing over(…)

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