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Posted: 9/3/2004 10:36:55 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/3/2004 11:55:30 AM EST by Mister44]
Well... I just told my boss the other day that I am quitting. He took it really well actually. I have been here about 5 years and now I am going to go on my own in freelance webdesign. The reason for this move is the theory that when we have kids, I can baby sit and still bring in SOME money. The wife has a good job with the Gov. - so while it will be tight - we will make it.

My last day is Wed the 15th. Then I am going on a 3 1/2 week trip to Europe. Then when I come back we will be totally broke, but I will hit the design thing hard core.

So - wish me luck! Here I go! Anyone who has some advice - please give it.

Thanks!

OH and anyone needing web/graphic design work - drop me a line!! I will be available Mid October. mister44@interkan.net

PS - read below for my post explaining things better.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:37:35 AM EST
WWAS?
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:45:17 AM EST
um, i would suggest not taking that vacation. Especially since you will be coming back broke as a joke.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:46:41 AM EST
er what is WWAS?
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:47:36 AM EST
Is there anything about the original post which suggests that M44 can be expected to show a disciplined approach to the development of his business?

Anyone?

Anyone?
Bueller?
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:47:38 AM EST
good luck
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:47:42 AM EST
... a trap probably

for the 99999999999999999999999999999th time this week
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:47:56 AM EST

Originally Posted By mtechgunman:
um, i would suggest not taking that vacation. Especially since you will be coming back broke as a joke.



+1
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:49:34 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/3/2004 10:53:13 AM EST by Prefect]

Originally Posted By Mister44:
Well... I just told my boss the other day that I am quitting. He took it really well actually. I have been here about 5 years and now I am going to go on my own in freelance webdesign. The reason for this move is the theory that when we have kids, I can baby sit and still bring in SOME money. The wife has a good job with the Gov. - so while it will be tight - we will make it.

My last day is Wed the 15th. Then I am going on a 3 1/2 week trip to Europe. Then when I come back we will be totally broke, but I will hit the design thing hard core.

So - wish me luck! Here I go! Anyone who has some advice - please give it.



#1. Food stamps, despite the name, are not edible.
#2. Cardboard boxes make great signs, and can be found in large quantities behind grocery stores. Rather handy, as they are kept right next to the dumpsters with tossed food.
#3. Don't scrimp - make sure you shoplift a QUALITY black marker.
#4. All your writings should begin with "Vietnam Vet" and end with "God Bless".




Just kidding, good luck with your new venture. Although I'd question the timing of your European trip....

(ETA to correct wording)
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:51:25 AM EST
sorry to rain on your parade but ....
say goodbye to your toys. that's a tough way to make a living. As far as babysitting kids while working, don't expect to get any serious work done. Been there, done that.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:53:21 AM EST
Good Luck !
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 10:53:53 AM EST
Don't feel bad, 44.. I also woke up the other day thinking it was 1999.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:00:57 AM EST
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:02:26 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/3/2004 11:03:32 AM EST by JosieWales]

Originally Posted By mtechgunman:
um, i would suggest not taking that vacation. Especially since you will be coming back broke as a joke.



Well best of Luck !

PS I wouldn't go on that Vac unless you have both wealthy and/or generous folks or money hidden/saved!
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:03:53 AM EST
You're hurting Bush's employment numbers, you know...
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:07:02 AM EST
Not trying to be rude by any means, but freelance webdesign. Are you sure about that? There ae litteraly 10's of thousands of them out there looking for work. Almost ANY other technical discipline would be a better choice. I hope you mean more back-end connectivity and certainly not layout or graphics
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:08:43 AM EST

It's your life, but I wouldn't start a new business stone broke with no customers in sight. This is a very competitive field, driven by personal associations and referrals. If you're going to do it, be prepared to hustle like you never imagined. However, now that you have made the decision and taken steps that you can't retrace, I wish you good luck.

Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:11:33 AM EST

Originally Posted By imcoltsguy:
It's your life, but I wouldn't start a new business stone broke with no customers in sight. This is a very competitive field, driven by personal associations and referrals. If you're going to do it, be prepared to hustle like you never imagined. However, now that you have made the decision and taken steps that you can't retrace, I wish you good luck.




Ditto and cancel the trip. You will need a reserve to get started or you will hurt bad.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:25:47 AM EST
Umm... that wasn't the smartest move unless you've already got a couple of hardcore, steady clients.

Don't get me wrong, I admire the entrepreneurial thing, but don't be stupid. Yes, wifey has the job, but sooner or later you will be expected to produce something - even if you are Mr. Mom.

The heyday of the web developer is gone. Offshore programmers and out-of-the-box apps have eliminated the creative guys.

Unless you're backing it up as a data architect or DBA, you're in for a hard road. You can't even supplement your dev services with hosting fees anymore because it's been commoditized into poverty price structures.

Good luck my friend, you're going to need it.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:27:15 AM EST

Originally Posted By DVDTracker:
www.prokinetic.com - We may have some work, shoot us an e-mail




Now that's what I call advice.

Mr44, my guess is you arent ready to go it alone (not having the capital, thinking giving the last dollar to a Euro and all) just yet. Launching self-employment takes more than dislike for your current job.

Maybe the offer above is 'the break' you need
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:35:54 AM EST

Originally Posted By meltdown:
As far as babysitting kids while working, don't expect to get any serious work done. Been there, done that.




I agree here, I have a full time job and I also have a consulting business. I have a hard time getting work done at home even with the wife watching the boy.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:48:53 AM EST
Well I suppose I should expand on the situation a bit.

1) The wife has a very good job. If I make zero money we will set pay for the house, car, food etc. No problem.

2) The vacation we have been planning for over a year. Its sort of a last hoorah of freedom.

3) The completly broke part was sort of a joke, I know it is a bit silly to come back from a large vacation and then start your own business. But we do have a small nest egg saved when we come back, actually.

4) I have been a web designer for over 5 years now. I know a lot of people claim they are "web designers" but there is a huge differnce in skills and abilities. I have a degree in graphic design - which helps me cover the design/layout side. And through my years I have master HTML/CSS and work well with programers to impliment them into ASP, PHP, and other languages. No, I am not a programmer, but I have several friends I can work with if the client requires it. No, I don't set up the back end, that is why I have my friend who runs an ISP do it. I also have the experiance to build good, solids sites that look good, and better yet, work well. I know there are peers who make better looking sites, but I try to have a good ballence of looks and functionality. Furthermore - while yes, the market is tight, there are still people who need websites. The problem is 1/2 of the "web designers" out there in say, 1999, were over paid with little skills. Well I have been underpaid the last 5 years and I have had time to learn and grow to where I am at. I also won't be focusing soley on web design - I will do graphic work too. Logos, brochures, letterhead, etc.

5) I know I wont get as much work done with a kid running around as I think I will. But we have some other options, such as 1/2 days with grandma and the like. I am sure there will be some adapting when we actually have a kid, but for right now I can pull all nighters and the like to get a solid hold.

6) I am not starting from ground zero. I have current and past freelance clients that I can count on for either new work or references. I have many connections in the paintball ( and a couple in the firearms industry) that I can look to for leads.

7) What does "WWAS?" mean?

8) Will I be disiplined enough to work at home and not play vido games/watch Judge Judy all day? The fact that I wont have ANY fun money will be a great motivator.

9) Speaking of fun money - its gone. Even my weekly $6 trip to the range will most likely be gone until I can get on my feet. Buy stock in Kraft, as surely it will go up with the ammount of mac and cheese I will consume.

10) Oh, I forgot that I write for a Paintball magazine and now will have a lot of time to devote to it. While they dont pay well - it is money.

Anyway - I am not delusional that it will be easy. But the fact is there are still a lot of small buseinesses needing good web sites that help them make money. I see it everyday at my current job, and I am certain I can aquire a slice.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:48:59 AM EST
[Last Edit: 9/3/2004 11:54:19 AM EST by Alien]
Is this a joke? Unless your wife has a decent salary, you're going to be in for some rough times. I'd definately cancel that trip and spend that three weeks looking for a new job.

Edited to add after reading your post above mine:

Don't count on your buddies' assistance unless they are making some money from it too. I'm not saying they won't help, but eventually they might not. People don't like being taken advantage of, and not only that they probably already have their own jobs/projects to worry about.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:57:17 AM EST

Originally Posted By Mister44:
Well I suppose I should expand on the situation a bit.

1) The wife has a very good job. If I make zero money we will set pay for the house, car, food etc. No problem.

2) The vacation we have been planning for over a year. Its sort of a last hoorah of freedom.

3) The completly broke part was sort of a joke, I know it is a bit silly to come back from a large vacation and then start your own business. But we do have a small nest egg saved when we come back, actually.

4) I have been a web designer for over 5 years now. I know a lot of people claim they are "web designers" but there is a huge differnce in skills and abilities. I have a degree in graphic design - which helps me cover the design/layout side. And through my years I have master HTML/CSS and work well with programers to impliment them into ASP, PHP, and other languages. No, I am not a programmer, but I have several friends I can work with if the client requires it. No, I don't set up the back end, that is why I have my friend who runs an ISP do it. I also have the experiance to build good, solids sites that look good, and better yet, work well. I know there are peers who make better looking sites, but I try to have a good ballence of looks and functionality. Furthermore - while yes, the market is tight, there are still people who need websites. The problem is 1/2 of the "web designers" out there in say, 1999, were over paid with little skills. Well I have been underpaid the last 5 years and I have had time to learn and grow to where I am at. I also won't be focusing soley on web design - I will do graphic work too. Logos, brochures, letterhead, etc.

5) I know I wont get as much work done with a kid running around as I think I will. But we have some other options, such as 1/2 days with grandma and the like. I am sure there will be some adapting when we actually have a kid, but for right now I can pull all nighters and the like to get a solid hold.

6) I am not starting from ground zero. I have current and past freelance clients that I can count on for either new work or references. I have many connections in the paintball ( and a couple in the firearms industry) that I can look to for leads.

7) What does "WWAS?" mean?

8) Will I be disiplined enough to work at home and not play vido games/watch Judge Judy all day? The fact that I wont have ANY fun money will be a great motivator.

9) Speaking of fun money - its gone. Even my weekly $6 trip to the range will most likely be gone until I can get on my feet. Buy stock in Kraft, as surely it will go up with the ammount of mac and cheese I will consume.

10) Oh, I forgot that I write for a Paintball magazine and now will have a lot of time to devote to it. While they dont pay well - it is money.

Anyway - I am not delusional that it will be easy. But the fact is there are still a lot of small buseinesses needing good web sites that help them make money. I see it everyday at my current job, and I am certain I can aquire a slice.



GO FOR IT! Don't let anybody dissuade you- hang in there, and don't ever give up.

WWAS = What Would Ackbar Say? Here he'd say: You're very courageous, Luke Skywalker!
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:57:49 AM EST
No - they are all freelance or own thier own company. I will farm out the work to them and work with them on a project. I would never take advantage of anyone. Especially friends.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 11:59:57 AM EST
Dude youve been doing HTML and graphic design for 5 years and think its a big deal?

Umm...worked 3 years at Microsoft....programming.

HTML is NOTHING...graphic design is also one of the lowest paying degree's out there. I never knew anyone in my building whos only skillset was graphic design and HTML. My mom's been recruiting people in the technical/programming field for more than 5 years now...just asked, and shes never hired anyone who only had experience in HTML...


Good luck!
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 12:03:23 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/3/2004 12:04:11 PM EST by ar50troll]

Originally Posted By dravisar:
Dude youve been doing HTML and graphic design for 5 years and think its a big deal?

Umm...worked 3 years at Microsoft....programming.

HTML is NOTHING...graphic design is also one of the lowest paying degree's out there. I never knew anyone in my building whos only skillset was graphic design and HTML. My mom's been recruiting people in the technical/programming field for more than 5 years now...just asked, and shes never hired anyone who only had experience in HTML...


Good luck!



Ditto but not in a rude way. Hope this guy ends up being the 1%er But after the explanation....eye dunno. Gonna have to at least have database connectivity. Nobody knows what his pay aspiration are. Is this a $10 an hour skill set? Sure. Is it $50 not anymore and not ever again. It's all going to be a matter of what he wants to make. But I would certainly NOT attempt it with that skill set.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 12:13:43 PM EST
good luck. I did webdesign and art direction for 10 years making good money with high profile clients across the world. Quit a few months ago. No more bullshyt clientelle telling you to add more blue to the site or nitpicking, or cubicles, or stupid dorky liberal san fran graphic types.

I'm 28 now and never going to work for the man again. Started my own race car composites engineering company. Now I just have fun.

Link Posted: 9/3/2004 12:20:37 PM EST
Mister44

Go for it, there is always some niche that needs filling and things
change every day, and who knows you might be right on top of it.

As to some of the replies here, not everyone is cut out to be a
entrepreneur.

Good luck to you


GM
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 12:28:34 PM EST
Not to be rude - but there are many more people with small budgets who want somthing simple, or a small-med sized ecommerce site. Which I am more than qualified for. Yes there are high end programers making high end data driven sites. That isn't what I looking to do.

I am not worried about making fist fulls of money. If I was, I wouldnt quit my job, I would find a better one with an ad company or something. The point of this move is to provide a parent for a future child 24/7. If I was worried about running the rat race and let how much money I make rule my life, I sure as hell wouldn't be in an artistic job. I would be in marketing or sales. But I do it because I enjoy it. I married a lawyer for a reason. (well, love, but money doesnt hurt)

And not to be rude, but "Umm...worked 3 years at Microsoft....programming." I do hope that was on one of thier products, not thier website, because thier website is one of the biggest piles of shit to grace the web. Its usability is nearly a negative number. I also am not comparing HTML to say C++ or ASP or PERL. I just refuse be lumped in with the FrontPage jockeys out there.

"Is it $50 not anymore and not ever again. " - really. Thats odd. My boss chargets 75-99 an hour for the work I do for our clients. If you read, say the HOW salery survey you will see that the mean wage for web designer is $50 an hour.


Link Posted: 9/3/2004 12:51:33 PM EST
Hell, I sort of like the idea of Mister Momming it for a while, and I think the vacation is a good idea. Don't waffle around on this shit, you only get to raise your kid once. Doing it right is worth a hell of a lot more than range time. As long as you're not completely torpedoing your finances, this could be a wonderful choice for your family. Best of luck with the design biz.
Link Posted: 9/3/2004 1:02:16 PM EST
[Last Edit: 9/3/2004 1:07:15 PM EST by MT_Pockets]
Wish you well on your adventure and your venture.

Most people are too afraid.

It sounds like your wife has the expenses covered and that is a nice PLUS. It also sounds like you didn't leave the current employer on poor terms. (Never know you may want to return someday.) Now all you have to do is make connections and stick to business.

Have FUN,

MT

edit to encourage I also admire you for realizing your child/children need a parent with them. A phone call away isn't good enough. With all my respect, MT
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