This is one those Sunday's wherein I reflect about my past deeds and think of reasons why I just flew away from my job like a lost bird. And this time it isn't about me. I've been observing what happened to my ex-co-workers and what happened to those developers and software engineers I learned a few things from. They've all opted to be independent contractors. Surprisingly, some of them are ready as they have prior experience in the freelance world and know very well how to deal with clients.
*If you are a freelancer, have you ever thought about your options? *
You could be working for other independent contractors or for direct clients. There is clearly no logical answer as to which is easier but you'd be lucky if you worked for those who are responsive. Yes, love those who nag you.
And the more significant question is, do you think freelancing will help you build your own startup?
The answer is a very blunt "No" for me at least. You might even actually have to work on smaller projects to be able start something. Give up one thing to gain another. Do not be a juggler and wait until one hand fails. Be fair to your clients and employers.
Do not rely on freelancing income to fund your startup. I have three solutions to the very common predicament of most people.
1) Look for ways to earn money - passively.
Be it an affiliate program like Google adsense or a job wherein you devote less than two hours of your time and still benefit from it for a longer term, working passivey is a good idea.
2) Raise funds the legitimate and conventional way without being quagmired in debt
The legitimate and conventional way is to get a loan or sell a real asset. Most banks will not entertain you if you have no real assets. Too often it's also about luck and not wits. I am lucky in a sense because I can invest into real estate without having a lot of money. I would rather pay my taxes and settle dues to government rather than buy a Macbook Pro as it could clearly determine my future.
So what if you have assets? They will hardly matter if you don't make the right decisions and don't have any specific business goals or motivations other than "get rich or die trying."
Stock-listed corporations have their financial statements available for public consumption. While studying Finance at St. Louis University, I reviewed statements of at least two of the largest companies in the Food Industry. It is almost too obvious as to which company has more growth and has a better future. Company A with a lower financial leverage ratio will undoutedly be more successful than Company B whose operating capital is 60% debt. Company A also has more real assets which could later be sold or mortgaged in case of contingencies.
Learn from the big guys. You can't "loan" your way to success. Once you have raised your funds from either a bank loan or a sale, make sure you can budget the loaned money or proceeds from sale.
3) Online Fundraising
The web has really changed how the world works. You can now raise funds for a project as long as you don't say you need a million dollars or $10,000 to start with. If it sounds too good to be true, you better check out a few websites that specifically focus on fundraising.
Here are three websites you might want to try:
Many people in technology industry raise funds through Pledgie. There are open-source projects on github that use pledgie.
A project which really doesn't do everything "right". But I like how it highlights promoting a fundraiser on social networks like Twitter and Facebook.
So... Is fundraising online a good idea? It is for those who take chances and not just risks.comments powered byDisqus