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Week 1 of independence

I just finished my first week of independent consulting with 33.25 billable hours. I’m pretty proud of that. Before I decided to make this leap, I had calculated that I need at minimum 26 hours per week in order to comfortably pay my bills, pay taxes and put some cash away in my IRA. I know there will be ebbs and flows, peaks and valleys, feast and famine. So this week, I’m grateful for the surplus.

No two weeks will look the same in this crazy adventure. This week I spent two days on-site at a client, two days at home, a half-day at another client, and a half-day working from my parents’ office in Midtown Manhattan. I carried my laptop everywhere I went, and my back is not too happy about it now.

I produced wireframes in OmniGraffle and a prototype in Fireworks, conducted stakeholder interviews, and did copyediting in WordPress. I’m still hesitating to talk about my specific clients, though not entirely sure why. Suffice it to say that they’re lovely companies and I’m really enjoying the work.

Next week I’m starting two new projects that I’m quite excited about, will continue to work on the prototype and will hopefully get two other projects off my plate. Juggling various responsibilities and deadlines hasn’t been too taxing yet. I attribute my flexibility to working at ad agencies where I had up to 14 projects at a time, and the rigorous schedule at Carnegie Mellon, my alma mater.

I am more sure than ever that this was the right move. Of course I have moments of fear, prospective clients who back out, clients who won’t pay. But that’s all par for the course. I can’t control the rest of the world, I can only control how I respond to it. So I thank my lucky stars for all the work that’s come my way, do my work the very best way I know how, push to learn more each day, and save as much money as I can.

Thank you to everyone who has been so encouraging during this transition. It’s your support that allows me to feel so free.

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  • http://www.xemion.com James Paden

    Great job! And special congrats on the 33.25 hours. That's a good week. As a previously full-time freelancer, I know 30+ hours is really tough to get in. Keep it up!

  • http://thespottedduck.com Shelley Greenberg

    You have a lot to be proud of and it seems like your head is in the right place with this whole transition – realistic, yet optimistic.

    I have and will continue wishing you the best.

  • http://www.spencerfry.com/ Spencer Fry

    Congratulations. Self-employment is where it's at. There are certainly “peaks and valleys” as you say, but the benefits are great. :)

  • fernanda q.

    congratulations, whitney!
    have a great new week!
    :)

  • http://www.xemion.com James Paden

    Great job! And special congrats on the 33.25 hours. That’s a good week. As a previously full-time freelancer, I know 30+ hours is really tough to get in. Keep it up!

  • http://thespottedduck.com Shelley Greenberg

    You have a lot to be proud of and it seems like your head is in the right place with this whole transition – realistic, yet optimistic.

    I have and will continue wishing you the best.

  • http://www.spencerfry.com/ Spencer Fry

    Congratulations. Self-employment is where it’s at. There are certainly “peaks and valleys” as you say, but the benefits are great. :)

  • http://dani-adayinthelifeofacoffeeaddict.blogspot.com/ Danielle

    Sounds like you had a great first week! I think it's a sign of all the great things to come for you!

  • fernanda q.

    congratulations, whitney!
    have a great new week!
    :)

  • http://dani-adayinthelifeofacoffeeaddict.blogspot.com/ Danielle

    Sounds like you had a great first week! I think it’s a sign of all the great things to come for you!

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