Monday, March 25, 2013

Four years of freelancing

Its amazing how time flies.

Its more so when you are your own employer.

In 12 years of being employed I could never stay with single employer for more than 2.5 years.

For the last 4 years I have been my employer. And it seems it might stay this way.

There have been many experiments on the way. Some have failed and some have given reasonable returns.

One thing has remained constant and that is the openness to new technologies and ideas. One thing does not work all the time. Your source of income needs to be re-sourced and flexible all the time.

There are two websites that have given most of the work and income. One is odesk.com and other is topcoder.com.

Odesk is cut throat competitive bidding of projects on commonly available web related skills. I have been lucky to have worked with clients that have given projects for longer periods of time. If you develop a good understanding with client and work on reasonable rate than you can stay put for longer time. Developing the correct rate and positioning will take time. Meanwhile keep building on your portfolio of applications. I had built on Google App Engine (thx to +Mayank Sharma for the idea), later diversified with apps on Android (thx to +Piyush Patel ). The kind of talent there is mediocre to average.

Topcoder is based on crowd sourcing model. It is highly subjective and competitive website. A good place if you can get into the skin of the model. It is dominated by few who have mastered the website's model intricately, so getting your first breakthrough may be tricky. Its a hit and miss model. There is no need for prior reputation or history of portfolio. Your competitive edge and understanding their deliverable model may work for you. The kind of talent there is average to high.

In between there were few consulting assignments with few startups, but they went away in the same manner they came.

Today my spouse reminded that 2009 was eventful year.

  • It was the first time that I did Divya Samaj Ka Nirman (DSN) in last week of February from +Art of Living.
  • It was the first time I got fired on this very day from my last employer. 
  • It was the first time I spoke few words with +Sri Sri Ravi Shankar ji in the visitors line (दर्शन line). He said it will be alright. It has remained status quo since then. There have been struggles but the spirit has smoothly evolved too. 
  • It was the year freelancing as an employer was born.
  • It was the first time I was working from home - full time.
  • It was the year when the second daughter descended in our our arms. 
  • ...

How has been your freelancing journey? 

Did you get a chance to re-prioritize your life to get a more manageable work-life balance?

You can be fortunate too... if you think this is good fortune. 
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