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Geekend #1

November 11th, 2011 by pixelmixer

Knowing is Half the Battle
Bill Kenney and Erik Reagan from Focus Lab (the people who gave me my ticket) did a good presentation on how to start your own business. I chose to go to this session because both Dustin and I have freelanced, and the idea of starting our own business has crossed our minds. We make more money freelancing than in full-time positions at big companies. However, freelance work does not promise a steady paycheck, and as we make heavy life decisions (like having a family), that paycheck will be extremely important.

While the men gave us some useful information, we had already known most of it because, like I said, we’ve both been there. Here’s a good rundown of what we learned:
– Trust yourself to make good decisions
– Protect your interests with a contract
– Maintain communication with clients
– Learn to say “no”
– Grow at a manageable pace
– Build a powerful team
– Maintain a balance between work and life

I think the most important part for us was the balance between work and life. It’s something we both have trouble doing. “Life is more than your business,” Reagan said. It’s important to set hours you’re going to work and hold yourself and your clients to them.

The guys were great to put their entire presentation online here. While this was a good session, I think we could have gained more from it if we hadn’t already done freelance before. I’m not sure if there’s a way they could have geared it for people who are in our situation, but maybe more tips about networking and finding clients would have helped.

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