After I quit my job in June of 2013, some of my very first projects were small consulting gigs. From designing a website for a friend for $50, to helping a local business figure out their social media accounts. These projects gave me some runway to get on my feet and start thinking seriously about what it would take to run a business of my own. Starting out by offering a service gave me the flexibility, experience, and income I needed to later build products. My early clients paid for the learning that eventually made its way into blog posts, courses, and ebooks. Those products now give me the credibility to charge $15–20k on average for a two-day corporate training. That’s what it actually looks like to become a Full-Stack Freelancer. I know that many of you are interested in starting your own business. You want somewhere to put your new productivity skills to use! The best way to start a company, in my opinion, is to start by offering a service, for many reasons:
- It allows you to gain experience with a wide variety of clients, to understand what you’re best at and who your ideal customer is
- It can be started very cheaply and in parallel with a normal job if you’re not quite ready to take the plunge
- It allows you to optimize for learning and skill-building without the hassles of infrastructure, equipment, warehouses, or storefronts
- It can be performed flexibly, on your own time and from different locations
- It builds your personal brand, growing a network that you can take with you from client to client
- You can easily build on your services with new products and content
- It’s easy to call yourself a consultant, but finding clients is another matter altogether
- There are few costs, but that also means there are constant new entrants, making it hard to cut through the noise
- It’s easy to change what you’re offering quickly, but you often have to start from scratch with new projects
- You can work from anywhere, but that also means work-life balance and structure around your workday can be elusive
- You get to focus on you and your brand, but that also means your reputation is on the line from day one
- The ONE revenue model for service-based businesses that virtually guarantees cash-flow month-after-month
- The importance of avoiding the Law of Desperation in your service-based business and how the Pipeline Rule can help you do this
- What the “Sauer Reframe Technique” is and how to use it to ethically price your freelancing or consulting services
- How to avoid the #1 mistake service-based businesses make when selling services
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