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  1. #1
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    What am I doing wrong?

    What am I doing wrong?

    I love what I do (web design) and I am pretty good at it and I manage to have really good client relationships. Although this is usually a recipe for success I don't feel that I am quite making enough money doing it. I am also way to relaxed about billing and let too many things slip by. When I have money in the bank I get even worse about billing and collecting. When the cashflow is low billings and collections improve but then I get into

    I have been reading like crazy on the Sitepoint forums and there is so much good advice, especially about trying to balance client relationships and not get taken advantage of.

    Let me add that I am not totally inexperienced. I used to be a marketing manager for a large company and I have also run a very successful business making lots of money (but I didn't enjoy what I was doing nearly as much as I do now). Maybe that is one of my problems? I love what I do so much, somehow whereas the services we we providing before could be painstakingly difficult and I didn't feel bad about high proposals.

    I have also noticed that if I am asked for a quote for something I really don't want to do I double the rates and (of course) I get the job. When it is something I like to do I don't charge enough, afraid of not getting or keeping the job. I know this is not how things work in business, often you get more respect when you charge more etc.

    If I am to make money, should I start doing something I really hate? Seems to work much better financially for me.

  2. #2
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Donald Trump says...

    1. Do what you LOVE
    2. Think BIG
    3. Never give up.

    RJ

  3. #3
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
    HAWK's Avatar
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    I don't necessarily think you need to do the things you hate. I think there are two other things you could try first...

    1 - Take a risk and quote higher (more accurately) for the jobs that you like.
    2 - Get a good billing system in place. Put aside half a day a month for billing/invoicing. It'll be worth it in the long run...

  4. #4
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    do what you love doing...am **** sure you will get rich financially an happily..by the way, would you mind design a site for me?

  5. #5
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by made4life View Post
    do what you love doing...am **** sure you will get rich financially an happily..by the way, would you mind design a site for me?
    ???

  6. #6
    Galactic Overlord gold trophysilver trophybronze trophy
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    Quote Originally Posted by made4life View Post
    by the way, would you mind design a site for me?
    I'm going to assume you're joking. If not, then you need to head to the Marketplace.

  7. #7
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    I read the Trump book and I really agree about doing what you love, but financially it doesn't seem to work for me.

  8. #8
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    Hi,

    maybe you can tell us more about the type of sites you like and dislike. Is this based on ethics? People that work at the clients end? Approach? What product they sell?

    Once you found what you like, you need to find such work and quote highly on it. I just can;t believe that you dislike money in general. If you do, go to a non-profit and become employed.

    HTH, Jochen
    http://www.automatem.co.nz
    Websites, On-line Software and everything Internet
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  9. #9
    SitePoint Evangelist ramone_johnny's Avatar
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    Last year I threw my government job of $80,000 a year to begin freelance web design from home. I had no plan, no real sense of what to expect, I took a big risk and went for it. I had $5000 in the bank and some ideas scribbled on a cocktail napkin.

    I made the decision because of a number of reasons.

    a) I knew to be financially successful I had to move quadrants - to either B OR I, or both. Anyone who has read Kiyosaki's books will know exactly what I mean here.

    b) I was miserable at work. I hated it. Rushing every morning only to arrive late, being stuck in traffic for hours, listening to office gossip, yawning at my desk - I couldnt take it anymore!

    c) I LOVED developing websites and making passive income!

    12 months later and Im loving it. I certainly havent made anywhere near $80,000, for the year, but Im sure as eggs not sitting in on boring meetings, and listening to whinging managers asking me why Im 4 minutes late for work.

    Go with what you LOVE - the money will eventually follow.

    RJ

  10. #10
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    Thank you all for your replies. I appriate every suggestion.

    Quote Originally Posted by ramone_johnny View Post
    b) I was miserable at work. I hated it. Rushing every morning only to arrive late, being stuck in traffic for hours, listening to office gossip, yawning at my desk - I couldnt take it anymore!
    c) I LOVED developing websites and making passive income!
    Thanks for reminding me! This is why we are doing it. It is so easy to forget sometimes.

    Jdog

    I don't dislike money, on the contrary. I just notice a difference in attitude. I have friends with lots of money in the bank who can persue a debt of $100 relentlessly. If I have good cashflow I can't be bothered to chase people/clients, whereas I probably should, a little more often.

    Quote Originally Posted by Ravedesigns View Post
    Doing what you love is great, but no matter how great you are at what you do, you need to know how to properly market and grow your business and dedicate some time to marketing each week.
    I think this is so true. The best paid designers (or whatever) aren't necessarily the best designers.

    I just read this quote from the music producer Quincy Jones. I am not saying I am the best design on the planet or that I am starving but I think this rings very true:

    "We had the best jazz band in the planet, and yet we were literally starving. That's when I discovered that there was music, and there was the music business. If I were to survive, I would have to learn the difference between the two."

  11. #11
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    Doing what you love is great, but no matter how great you are at what you do, you need to know how to properly market and grow your business and dedicate some time to marketing each week.

    If you want a crash course in building a successful design business, I'd highly recommend the SP "Web Design Business Kit". Brendon's a sharp guy who'll be the first to tell you he's not a great designer, but he knows how to market himself and how to build websites that make money for their owners and he's hugely successful because of it. You'll also find lots of great advice in his posts and articles on Sitepoint and on his blog.

    Steve

  12. #12
    SitePoint Evangelist Fergal's Avatar
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    Have you considered hiring someone on a part time basis to complete the tasks you don't like? For example you might be able to find a local book-keeper that could complete a lot of this work in a few hours a month.

    Or maybe you could try a disciplined approach. Eg schedule a specific time every day / week / month that you allocate to these tasks. When you work for yourself you have to be "your own boss".

    My experience is that most businesses will charge more for work they don't like, so I wouldn't worry about that too much. The more work you do on the type of stuff you like, the stronger your portfolio will be in this area. This should help you get more of the work you like in the longer term.

    Why not put a link to your services or website in your sig?
    Fergal Crawley (Previous Username: Proudirish.com)
    Business Advice Forum - Webmaster and Business Forum
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  13. #13
    SitePoint Addict sparkdigital's Avatar
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    I think this is so true. The best paid designers (or whatever) aren't necessarily the best designers.
    I think this is true - I think that when you have a balance between selling your services, delivering attractive sites and a fair pricing model you can make a decent living.

    It might also be worth finding a niche or specific business segment to design sites for - I found that I enjoyed designing hotel websites and I knew what I was doing after a while. I now have the right cms set up with all possible bolt ons for this trade and can produce fairly rapidly without having to reinvent the wheel. Less production time = more money left over at the end.

    Hope this helps!

  14. #14
    I hate Spammers mobyme's Avatar
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    Left to my own devices I am probably the most undisciplined person you are likely to meet (probably a reaction to all those years in uniform and too much responsibility). I loathe paperwork but have found that by automating my billing and knuckling down one afternoon a fortnight it actually makes my life easier and allows me to get on with what I really enjoy; selling. I recommend investing in sage and goldmine because between the two of them they can make having to deal with the nitty-gritty a breeze. When your head is not full of **** about what you should be doing, you can enjoy and make a success of what you are actually doing; if you get my drift.
    There are three kinds of men:
    The ones that learn by reading.
    The few who learn by observation.
    The rest of us have to pee on the electric fence.


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