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'[OT] resources for going solo?'
2000\03\28@112318 by Jim Hartmann

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Hello, does anyone have any recommended books or ideas about "dropping out
and tuning in" to the independent consulting business?  Are flexible hours
and schedule a realized advantage?

Thanks,
Jim

2000\03\28@121538 by Andrew Kunz

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Been there.

If 7AM-9PM six days a week is flexible, then yes, it's flexible.

Uncle Sam will steal more of your paycheck percentage-wise than before.

If you like dealing with customers who won't pay, you'll have a lot of fun.

Andy

Not trying to scare/discourage you, just being realistic.










Jim Hartmann <spam_OUTJim_HartmannTakeThisOuTspamSILENTKNIGHT.COM> on 03/28/2000 11:20:05 AM

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Subject: [OT] resources for going solo?








Hello, does anyone have any recommended books or ideas about "dropping out
and tuning in" to the independent consulting business?  Are flexible hours
and schedule a realized advantage?

Thanks,
Jim

2000\03\28@123625 by Andrew Warren

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Jim Hartmann <.....PICLISTKILLspamspam.....MITVMA.MIT.EDU> wrote:

> Hello, does anyone have any recommended books or ideas about "dropping
> out and tuning in" to the independent consulting business?

   Jim:

   I'm sure that there are lots of books on the subject, but I
   haven't read any, so I can't recommend one.

> Are flexible hours and schedule a realized advantage?

   Well, um, yeah... When you run your own business, you can
   schedule your 80-hour weeks any way you like.

   -Andy


=== Andrew Warren - EraseMEfastfwdspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTix.netcom.com
=== Fast Forward Engineering - San Diego, California
=== http://www.geocities.com/SiliconValley/2499

2000\03\28@125939 by David Duley

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On Tue, 28 Mar 2000 09:36:12 -0800, you wrote:

{Quote hidden}

Yeah that flexible hours thing is just what you tell your wife so she
will show some enthusiasm for your plan!  The really big picture
always escapes mine (I hope she doesn't learn how to use Deja news!)

Dave Duley

2000\03\28@131400 by Chris Eddy

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1:    Don't quit your day job until you have a lot of work on the side.
Consultant work will build slowly, as your reputation takes a year or two to
build.

2:    You MUST be able to decisively conclude projects.  If you tend to drift
on in hours tinkering until it is optimally perfect, you will bury yourself in
back work.

3:    Most failures occur because one cannot either:
       Estimate hours accurately
       Deal with people diplomatically and arrive at agreements
       Manage your own time efficiently so that you finish things

4:    You can choose any hours you like, as long as you work 12 per day. (at
first)

5:    Try to choose a special skill.  If you perform anything for anyone, you
might find that you do not have strong appeal or cannot command higher pay.

6:    Decide how long you want to do it.  Most people do not have the high
energy to do it for more than a decade.  You should plan to gracefully exit at
some point to a regular position.  Being a principle in a startup is a common
out.

7:    If maried, make sure your marriage will survive OK.  It is not worth
ditching your spouse.

Chris Eddy

Jim Hartmann wrote:

> Hello, does anyone have any recommended books or ideas about "dropping out
> and tuning in" to the independent consulting business?  Are flexible hours
> and schedule a realized advantage?

2000\03\28@151832 by l.allen

picon face
> >
> >> Hello, does anyone have any recommended books or ideas about "dropping
> >> out and tuning in" to the independent consulting business?
> >
Quote from Babylon 5 (TV series)

"You get to make your own hours, looks good on a
resume'...    but the pay...    sucks."

I have this as a wav file.

_____________________________

Lance Allen
Technical Officer
Uni of Auckland
Psych Dept
New Zealand

http://www.psych.auckland.ac.nz

_____________________________

2000\03\28@175734 by William K. Borsum

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Add my Amen to Chris's comments.  One resource that I have watched grow is
the magazine MIDNIGHT ENGINEER edited and published by Bill Gates (Not THE
B.G.)  Also includes PC JOURNAL and Robotics under one cover.  Lots of
practical "I've been there" type information.

I'm finding item six to be very true.  I've played entrepreneur for 20+
years now.  And its getting OLD.  Really would like to have a 9-4 type job
with all the perks, and have some time for me for a change.  Figure I've
got about a year left on my own.  Then that principle in a IPO sounds
really attractive.

Kelly


At 12:14 PM 3/28/00 -0500, you wrote:
>1:    Don't quit your day job until you have a lot of work on the side.
>Consultant work will build slowly, as your reputation takes a year or two to
>build.
>
>2:    You MUST be able to decisively conclude projects.  If you tend to drift
>on in hours tinkering until it is optimally perfect, you will bury
yourself in
{Quote hidden}

exit at
{Quote hidden}

William K. Borsum, P.E. -- OEM Dataloggers and Instrumentation Systems
<KILLspamborsumKILLspamspamdascor.com> & <http://www.dascor.com>San Diego, California, USA

2000\03\28@182923 by Tony Nixon

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Chris Eddy wrote:

> 7:    If maried, make sure your marriage will survive OK.  It is not worth
> ditching your spouse.

Or your family ditching you.

I have to agree whole heartedly on this one.

I was just about to pack up and leave most of what I was doing and the
PIClist and disappear into oblivion because a short time ago I paid that
price for doing too much work for too long.

Work is fine, but family must take precedence 'always'.

I condsider myself real lucky at the moment because after rearranging my
priorities, things may work out.

--
Best regards

Tony

http://www.picnpoke.com
RemoveMEsalesTakeThisOuTspampicnpoke.com

2000\03\28@185837 by Brian Kraut

picon face
> > Are flexible hours and schedule a realized advantage?
>
>     Well, um, yeah... When you run your own business, you can
>     schedule your 80-hour weeks any way you like.
>
>     -Andy
>

As long as the way you like to schedule your 80(conservative) hours agrees
with your customers, suppliers, and family if you still have one.

2000\03\28@202429 by Mark Newland

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I am fortuate.  I have my own niche market manufacturing company (# on
employees: me, part time) that is quickly growing.  Hope to quit my "normal" job
sometime early next year and go full time.  My fiance works already as an
electronic assembler.  We already have it worked out that when I get busy enough
to hire someone, she will quit her job and we will do the business together as
husband and wife.  I know what some of you are already going to say, as much as
you love your wife you wouldn't want to spend all day with her.  Luckily my
engineering lab/office is seperate than the production benchs.  Can easily
regulate the time we spend (or don't spend) around each other.  My last
relationship failed cause she didn't WANT to work on things together but she was
jeleous cause I was doing things without her.  A no-win situation.

Summery:
  1) Have a very understanding woman, or
  2) Have a woman willing to help/share, or
  3) Make sure your business lawyer handles divorces also.

Tony Nixon wrote:

{Quote hidden}

2000\03\28@203228 by Rob Brzykcy

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> ** Original Subject: RE: [OT] resources for going solo?
> ** Original Sender: Brian Kraut <TakeThisOuTengaltEraseMEspamspam_OUTEARTHLINK.NET>
> ** Original Date: 29 Mar 2000 00:00:55 -0000

> ** Original Message follows...

>
> > > Are flexible hours and schedule a realized advantage?
> >
> >     Well, um, yeah... When you run your own business, you can
> >     schedule your 80-hour weeks any way you like.
> >
> >     -Andy
> >
>
> As long as the way you like to schedule your 80(conservative) hours agrees
> with your customers, suppliers, and family if you still have one.


Yep, my fiancee left me for a time because of the whole fiasco of privateering. One man can
only do so much, then if he is lucky he gets to sleep.

Rob



Download NeoPlanet at http://www.neoplanet.com

2000\03\29@082231 by Daniel Hart

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Jim,
"DO WHAT YOU LOVE, The Money Will Follow". I don't remember the author, but she wrote a couple of
books about "finding your ideal niche" and there are some first person entrepreneurial accounts.
Bottom line is, take your time to prepare the transition. Get all your ducks in a row because you
can probably afford to do this only once. Be very sure you LOVE what you're gonna do, cause you'll
have little time for anything else. Don't do it for the money!!
BTW all companies need sales and accounting. In a one man shop a lot of time is taken up doing
sales, accounting, and management. If you HATE that stuff think about a partnership.
Have a great day, and GOOD LUCK,
Dan

Andrew Warren wrote:

{Quote hidden}

--

Daniel Hart
Embedded System Design Engineer
NBS Technologies, Inc. (Card Technology Corp.)
70 Eisenhower Drive, Paramus, NJ 07652, USA
+1 201 845 7373 x183    EraseMEdhartspamnbstech.com

2000\03\29@084345 by Andrew Kunz

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Good point!  I would never go out on my own again unless I had somebody to:

    A)  meet people and sell them on my services
    B) take care of the accounting
    C) badger customers for payment
    D) screen phone calls

Andy









Daniel Hart <RemoveMEdhartEraseMEspamEraseMENBSTECH.COM> on 03/29/2000 08:19:42 AM

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Subject: Re: [OT] resources for going solo?








Jim,
"DO WHAT YOU LOVE, The Money Will Follow". I don't remember the author, but she
wrote a couple of
books about "finding your ideal niche" and there are some first person
entrepreneurial accounts.
Bottom line is, take your time to prepare the transition. Get all your ducks in
a row because you
can probably afford to do this only once. Be very sure you LOVE what you're
gonna do, cause you'll
have little time for anything else. Don't do it for the money!!
BTW all companies need sales and accounting. In a one man shop a lot of time is
taken up doing
sales, accounting, and management. If you HATE that stuff think about a
partnership.
Have a great day, and GOOD LUCK,
Dan

Andrew Warren wrote:

{Quote hidden}

--

Daniel Hart
Embedded System Design Engineer
NBS Technologies, Inc. (Card Technology Corp.)
70 Eisenhower Drive, Paramus, NJ 07652, USA
+1 201 845 7373 x183    dhartSTOPspamspamspam_OUTnbstech.com

2000\03\29@095555 by Jim Hartmann

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Sounds like a recipe for a contract or outsourcing firm.  Maybe that would
be more suitable for me...




Andrew Kunz <spamBeGoneakunzSTOPspamspamEraseMETDIPOWER.COM>STOPspamspamEraseMEMITVMA.MIT.EDU> on 03/29/2000 07:40:52 AM

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Subject:  Re: [OT] resources for going solo?


Good point!  I would never go out on my own again unless I had somebody to:

    A)  meet people and sell them on my services
    B) take care of the accounting
    C) badger customers for payment
    D) screen phone calls

Andy









Daniel Hart <spamBeGonedhartspamKILLspamNBSTECH.COM> on 03/29/2000 08:19:42 AM

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<.....PICLISTspam_OUTspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU>








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Subject: Re: [OT] resources for going solo?








Jim,
"DO WHAT YOU LOVE, The Money Will Follow". I don't remember the author, but
she
wrote a couple of
books about "finding your ideal niche" and there are some first person
entrepreneurial accounts.
Bottom line is, take your time to prepare the transition. Get all your
ducks in
a row because you
can probably afford to do this only once. Be very sure you LOVE what you're
gonna do, cause you'll
have little time for anything else. Don't do it for the money!!
BTW all companies need sales and accounting. In a one man shop a lot of
time is
taken up doing
sales, accounting, and management. If you HATE that stuff think about a
partnership.
Have a great day, and GOOD LUCK,
Dan

Andrew Warren wrote:

{Quote hidden}

--

Daniel Hart
Embedded System Design Engineer
NBS Technologies, Inc. (Card Technology Corp.)
70 Eisenhower Drive, Paramus, NJ 07652, USA
+1 201 845 7373 x183    RemoveMEdhartspamspamBeGonenbstech.com

2000\03\29@103259 by jamesnewton

face picon face
As much fun as working on 'tronics can be, the damn things are hard and
usually cold at night ain't they?

I've done about 500 things to seriously screw up my relationship with my
wife and family, but I've been very lucky to be married to a "mental health
professional" so when she says I'm being nutty, I have no choice but to
listen. <GRIN> Really, its just that my wife is very patient and I've always
made the choice to change and grow in a way that keeps us together. I'm five
years clean and sober, for example. I'm one year clean and... unstressed?
from being a workaholic and that just as nearly cost me my family as the
Irish Coffee and Baileys. Working too hard is not good. I've needed to do
some consulting lately to pay unexpected bills (slab homes do get ground
termites) but its been with my wife's agreement. When she says the bills are
paid (she pays them as I can't stand to see my money leave <GRIN>) I will
cut back again.

The best approach, I think is to wait until you can do something in a few
hours that grows cheaply and is agreed upon, managed, and worked by your
entire family. Still looking.... maybe the techref will get to the point
that I can sell ads or content. The wife is rapidly getting internet
addicted <GRIN>. Maybe I'll produce something that will become popular but
still not time consuming, like my Scenix SX SMT prototyping adapter. I'll
wait until it works out. If it doesn't, I'll still have an old woman and
some kids to keep me busy.

---
James Newton spamBeGonejamesnewton@spam@spamspam_OUTgeocities.com 1-619-652-0593
http://techref.massmind.org NEW! FINALLY A REAL NAME!
Members can add private/public comments/pages ($0 TANSTAAFL web hosting)


{Original Message removed}

2000\03\29@133517 by Daniel Hart

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If you partner you can control the agency fees. If you contract you have no way to know what the
shop is getting unless you stipulate it in your contract (fat chance). Contractors can also lose a
lot of opportunity to write off business expenses, and usually work for a single client (which is
inherently unstable).

Jim Hartmann wrote:

{Quote hidden}

--

Daniel Hart
Embedded System Design Engineer
NBS Technologies, Inc. (Card Technology Corp.)
70 Eisenhower Drive, Paramus, NJ 07652, USA
+1 201 845 7373 x183    .....dhartRemoveMEspamnbstech.com

2000\03\29@154359 by Glen Torr

picon face
Andrew wrote,


>Good point!  I would never go out on my own again unless I had somebody to:
>
>     A)  meet people and sell them on my services
>     B) take care of the accounting
>     C) badger customers for payment
>     D) screen phone calls
>
>Andy


I am astounded at the response to this thread, Tony and James's responses
have struck a cord here, about 2.5 years ago I took a part time job to
finance development work, big hours followed as did a firm and emotional
ultimatum from wife, now I am full time on contract for six months and
angling for permanent.

It seems that what is needed is a company that provides the infrasructure
Andy mentions and farms out the work. So much talent appears to be not
getting used to do what it does best.

I would be better off giving half my hourly rate to a management company
than trying to manage these issues myself.

I have argued for many years that the tech input is the most valuable part
of a project but I am now prepared to conceed that the management component
is more valuable that the techo.

Cheers

Glen

2000\03\29@155408 by Andrew Kunz

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Sounds like you've gained a certain respect for the pointer haired type <G>

Andy











Glen Torr <.....glentorrSTOPspamspam@spam@OZEMAIL.COM.AU> on 03/29/2000 03:41:52 PM

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Subject: Re: [OT] resources for going solo?








Andrew wrote,


>Good point!  I would never go out on my own again unless I had somebody to:
>
>     A)  meet people and sell them on my services
>     B) take care of the accounting
>     C) badger customers for payment
>     D) screen phone calls
>
>Andy


I am astounded at the response to this thread, Tony and James's responses
have struck a cord here, about 2.5 years ago I took a part time job to
finance development work, big hours followed as did a firm and emotional
ultimatum from wife, now I am full time on contract for six months and
angling for permanent.

It seems that what is needed is a company that provides the infrasructure
Andy mentions and farms out the work. So much talent appears to be not
getting used to do what it does best.

I would be better off giving half my hourly rate to a management company
than trying to manage these issues myself.

I have argued for many years that the tech input is the most valuable part
of a project but I am now prepared to conceed that the management component
is more valuable that the techo.

Cheers

Glen

2000\03\29@172746 by William Chops Westfield

face picon face
There *are* consultant "pooling" companies, right?  Ones that do this sort
of "management" for the consultants (in less jobs, they're called "temp
agencies" :-)  Anyone have any positive or negative experiences with any
of them?

BillW

2000\03\29@174618 by jamesnewton

face picon face
My experience has been that temp's are people who are unemployable at
regular jobs, the skilled but unwanted.  I would not recommend them. Now,
before all the temps on the list jump down my neck, I'm sure there are
exceptions; this is just my experience.

Kinko's and the like are a better option for some work, and the wife (or
husband or partner) is best! College kids are an idea, but I have no
experience with that.

Midnight engineering had a series of articles on this subject some time ago.
I'll see if they are laying in plain site if anyone wants.

---
James Newton spamBeGonejamesnewtonKILLspamspam@spam@geocities.com 1-619-652-0593
http://techref.massmind.org NEW! FINALLY A REAL NAME!
Members can add private/public comments/pages ($0 TANSTAAFL web hosting)


{Original Message removed}

2000\03\29@180734 by jamesnewton

face picon face
One thing I have seen for internet programming that I though might work well
is a company that acts as a front for a series of consultants:
http://www.pacificwebs.com

Maybe a good idea would be to start such a company for embedded control
engineers? Lots of us in San Diego... Hummm....

---
James Newton jamesnewtonspam_OUTspam@spam@geocities.com 1-619-652-0593
http://techref.massmind.org NEW! FINALLY A REAL NAME!
Members can add private/public comments/pages ($0 TANSTAAFL web hosting)


{Original Message removed}

2000\03\29@220436 by Dan Michaels

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Andy wrote:
>Sounds like you've gained a certain respect for the pointer haired type
>

Glen wrote:
>
>I have argued for many years that the tech input is the most valuable part
>of a project but I am now prepared to conceed that the management component
>is more valuable that the techo.
>

Ahhhh ... "more valuable" ... invidious comparisons.

So, let's try to summarize this. If we have a company of nothing but
Dilberts, we have product, but probably a lot of wheel spinning and
non-optimal revenue, too.

If we have a company of pointy-hair types only, we have no product
and no revenue, but we're dynamite at conducting strategic meetings
[and we're well motivated too, I might add].

Oh, I left out the marketing types. If we have a company of only
these guys, we have no product and no organization and no revenue,
but everyone knows our name.

Hey, it works. Most of the latest internet IPOs do it the last
way. Who needs engineers? [and ditto for managers].

cheers,
- G. A. Custer

2000\03\30@044701 by Alan B Pearce

face picon face
>Hey, it works. Most of the latest internet IPOs do it the last
>way. Who needs engineers? [and ditto for managers].

and they sell their stock for heaps of money, even though they have never made a
profit. we are in the wrong chaps.

2000\03\30@085331 by Walter Banks

picon face
> Jim Hartmann wrote:
>
> > Hello, does anyone have any recommended books or ideas about "dropping
out
> > and tuning in" to the independent consulting business?  Are flexible
hours
> > and schedule a realized advantage?

There are only two reasons that someone will hire a consultant.

1) There is a labor shortage
2) You have specialized skills.

Specialized skills will generally pay more for shorter period of time.
If you have specialized skills they will not last if they are needed
by the industry so you need to invest in developing new skills
that will be needed.

Someone told me as I was starting Byte Craft that as a consultant
expect to do a Master's project every 6 months. The hours have
been long at times very long. We focused on doing what we
enjoyed and changing the delivery  model from one on one consulting
to distributed consulting. (Software tools development and publishing)

It not the money it is the "There is a little bit of me in there", feeling
you get in seeing the results. It is getting up in the morning after
fours sleep and looking forward to the day that makes it all
worth while.

Would I do it again? Sure would.

Walter Banks

2000\03\30@110751 by Quitt, Walter

flavicon
face
But the few that do make money, the stock does REALLY well.  :-)

TTFN, A HAPPY Investor.

-----Original Message-----
From: Alan B Pearce [spamBeGoneA.B.Pearce@spam@spamRL.AC.UK]
Sent: Thursday, March 30, 2000 1:17 AM
To: RemoveMEPICLISTEraseMEspamKILLspamMITVMA.MIT.EDU
Subject: Re: [OT] resources for going solo?


>Hey, it works. Most of the latest internet IPOs do it the last
>way. Who needs engineers? [and ditto for managers].

and they sell their stock for heaps of money, even though they have never
made a
profit. we are in the wrong chaps.

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