What do you do for a living, and why did you make the jump to self-employment?
I'm a freelance web developer. I create websites for small businesses and individuals.
About 7 years ago, before becoming a full-time freelancer, I worked normal work hours in an office. Sometimes I had a few clients who would work with me directly, and then at one point these side projects became my main source of income...so I left my job completely and started freelancing.
What’s a big challenge you’ve had with running your own business, and how did you overcome it?
The biggest challenge is to know when to say "No" to a client. Sometimes that means to decline the project as a whole, but other times you just have to stand by your decisions and ideas. It's not as easy as it sounds, because as a freelancer your income depends on the projects you choose to accept. If you have enough experience you will know that 80/20 rule holds true, and that some projects will bring in more money than others. The trick is to figure out which ones will be the ones to go after.
What advice would you give to those who are just starting out on the journey of running their own businesses?
Make sure you will be able to cover your costs if something goes wrong or the project takes more time than planned. Keep in mind that the client will always want to change some "minor" details at the last stage of the project, so plan your schedule and costs accordingly.
Where would you like your business to be three years from now?
Right now my goal for my business is to create a steady passive income flow. In the longer term, I'm trying to bring together a small team of remotely working web development professionals so I can take on even bigger projects.
What quality, habit, or decision has contributed to the success of your business?
I always try to find the best solution for my clients. Because I'm usually dealing with small businesses, not all standard tools and practices are fit for them. So instead of giving them the same product everyone else is using I try to find or craft something that is suited to their exact needs.