Going Solo with Stow Boyd: crash course in business realities for soloists

by Urs E. Gattiker on 2008/05/16 1 views

in d business Fortune 500

    Going Solo Live, follow some guidelines regarding how you run your business and how you relate to your clients – Stowe Boyd shared his thoughts, philosophy and experience with us. I keep blogging about this #GoingSolo, @StoweBoyd. Wrap-up comes tomorrow

We have already posted these stories about Going Solo Live here:

Going Solo – it started

Going Solo – @Pistachio – how to use Twitter smartly NOT

Going Solo – Dennis Howlett – tax and finance

Going Solo – where do you start when you set a fee for your services?

Going Solo – Suw Charman – balancing working and life

Going Solo – Martin Roell – tools and methods to get things done

Going Solo – panel – solo in a networked world

Stowe Boyd gave a talk entitled From the Far Side to the Dark Side (a crash course in business realities for soloists). What he shared with us was:

three skills – moving from the far side to the dark side

1) Performing the work – are you able to do it and do you enjoy it – getting the operational stuff finished – project management – do you have the expertise?

2) Can you go out and network – get to know people?

3) Can you sell yourself – can you get the bill out and get the money?

10 day rule

Stow Boyd follows the principle that he is able to bill 10 days a month. All the other things must be done during the rest of the month, including taking time off. Mostly such time is used for marketing and doing public relation work including continuous education. For each person the number of days one is able to bill is different and it can range from eight to 14 days Nevertheless, it all might average out to 10 days over the year.

The No Assholes Rule

When the client treats you badly the first time, you should make a decision. Mine is usually to never ever work with them again.


If I am travelling on your behalf, I will eat dinner in a nice restaurant. Unless you ask me for receipts beforehand, I will not hand in expenses for what I spent on food – per diem or daily allowance might work. However, fix this in advance.

Strategic Involvement

Try to get involved for the whole time of the project 10 months is a good start… longer might be more enjoyable and rewarding – money and work wise.

Combos as a Soloist

Sometimes this means bringing in other people to help with the project or support the start-up. It is similar to bringing together musicians and produces an album. Once the project is finished, they all leave again and go their own way.

Advisory Capital

With start-ups, you provide them with human capital or as Stowe Boyd calls it advisory capital.

Bottom Line

Most freelancers are not freelancers forever. Being a freelancer is not for everybody. As well, if you are a successful freelancer you may eventually change and become an employee again. Another outcome could be that you start hiring staff and become a micro enterprise.

Most people do not have the total skill set (see the 1-3 skill set above). Therefore, if you are the innovator or designer, getting the contract signed may not be your thing. So get a partner, outsource the accounting or get another freelancer to do the project managing if you feel you cannot do it.

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Keep you posted. Stay tuned, I bring the wrap-up sometime this weekend

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