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Don’t learn new things when running your business!

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…unless you’re willing to eat some costs.

Generally, clients don’t pay you to “learn” how to do something.  They pay you to do something you’re already an expert in.

So if you want to raise capital quickly, you need to offer services you are already an expert in, and not services that involve you to learn new things.  If you’re an expert in something, you will be able to accurately predict budgets and time lines.  If you’re less than 100% familiar with the services that you offer, you will not be able to dictate accurate budgets and timelines.  If you add too many research and test hours to compensate for your lack of expertise, your client will go elsewhere.

So this means for the next few months, for the sake of raising capital for my business, I’m only going to agree to projects I’ve done over and over and over again even if they are no longer technologically challenging for me.

I think this is why it can be very difficult for back-end programmers accustomed to working for big companies to become freelancers.  Although they can be extremely intelligent and experts in what they do, often what they did was too specialized for their previous employers.  Anyway ,i need to return to work, will elaborate on this later.

**edit – perhaps anytime you want do something new that requires a lot of research, do it on a volunteer basis for your client.  That way, if you find it takes more time than you had originally imagined, and the assignment cuts into your other priorities, you don’t have to feel as guilty putting the research assignment on hold.

Written by John Lai

April 15th, 2010 at 3:23 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

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