Thursday, March 29, 2012

Freelancing Podcasts

   I can't believe I haven't posted on this before.  Sometimes we humans can't see the forest for the trees.

   Some of us find it difficult to excel in an office setting.  No, I don't just mean the fact that we're indoors, at a desk, staring at a computer.  That may be factors for some people.  More commonly, though, it's that you're slaving away for someone else's goals, to make someone else a profit, fit in with their "corporate culture", fulfill their long-term vision... not yours.

   But they plod along, maybe even climbing the proverbial ladder fairly well... because they don't dare to strike out on their own.  To stretch a metaphor (after all, that's what a meta is phor, badum-pum!), they don't dare try to hit a home run on their own, for fear they'll strike out.

   Do you have some kind of long-term vision?  Make it a reality.  Just Do It.  Get started.  Be an entrepreneur.  Or if you just yearn to breathe free, and maybe come up with some long-term visions, be a freelancer.

   I was reminded of that, not only because I am freelancing these days (got paid for project #1 last month, and am now in the midst of #2, wrapping up #3, waiting for an SOW on #4), but because of some Recommended Resources on that topic.  There are a gazillion web sites out there on being a freelancer or entrepreneur, but not so many podcasts, so I wanted to share some I found recently:

   A while back, a few freelance Ruby developers came up with Ruby Freelancers, at  Very little of it is Ruby-centric, and a lot of it is not even specific to software development.  (E.g., "have a contract in place", "ask for a deposit", "you probably need to charge more", "hire an accountant and a virtual assistant", etc.)  The web site is mainly just a place to put information about the podcast, available via iTunes.

   I also recently discovered the much older Life of the Freelancer, at  (Some of you may now be thinking, "Didn't that shut down last year?"  Well yeah, it did, on April 4, 2011... but as of February 20, 2012, it's back!)  I haven't poked around the web site much (I'm mainly catching up on the podcasts), but it seems to be mostly transcripts and supplements for the podcast.  The host happens to be also a Ruby developer, as is the occasional guest, but the guests are in a wide variety of freelancing positions.  Occasionally the talk is specific to their line of work, but as with Ruby Freelancers, there are almost always a few nuggets of more general wisdom that any kind of freelancer, or even other kinds of entrepreneurs, can benefit from.

   (Just a caveat, don't quit your day-job until your side-job is doing well enough that it could easily grow into something big enough to support you.  Yes I know I didn't do it that way myself, but believe me, being super-busy while the side-job ramps up, sure beats having no income for several months!)