Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen

Chief Dreamer at Zapreneur

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Freelance Is A Business: Independence is a choice

Freelance is a Business: Independence is a choice 

Based on eight years of learning (read as making lots of mistakes), I hope to share a set of actions that will help you to run a successful freelance business. Not anyone else's. but your own freelance business. The course draws on lessons from the many books, blogs, courses and other stuff I have used over the years.

Update: Version one of the class outline is now online. Click here and please comment. 

Update 2: I have an outline for the course and have scheduled time to get this completed. Target date:  28 February 2016 (I misssed the 30 November 2015, as I just had too much to do.)

What the course does not deliver? 

The course steers away from two ideas that have dominated advice on freelancing:

  1. The seductive idea of a rich creative: Everyone wants to be rich and creative. It is like the ideal that we all strive for, and for that reason it features in most marketing for products aimed at freelancers. You know the messages - 'How I doubled my freelance rate in 21 days' or 'Land your first $ 10 000-00 client'. Some of the advice offered in these genres are indeed useful, but they offer no solid foundation on which to build a business. 
  2. Tactical: Many of the books you read will teach you about automation, value based pricing and recurrent income. These are all tactics, and if applied well, can make a huge difference. However, without making strategic choices and creating systems, you will continue to chase tactics helter-skelter. This course teaches you about strategy and systems, the stuff that keeps you sane. 

Who are you to teach me? 

The better question, is can we learn from each other. 

I have worked as a freelance analyst and researcher for about 90 months. That is 90 months of paying school fees, medical insurance and other monthly bills. Surviving for 90 months means I know a thing or two about running a freelance business. During these 90 months, I have had some interesting learning experiences, from doing important work on reforming small business finances, to struggling to find the next project. 

(I have also done it from Johannesburg, South Africa. You know what they say about Johannesburg. If you can make it in Johannesburg, you can make it in anywhere :) 

Over time, I have developed systems to help me do the work that I do. I have found the books by Michael E. Gerber and Chris Guillebeau particularly useful in helping me setup these systems. I have also shared ideas with friends wanting to "go it alone",  other freelancers, and as I chatted to them I realised I had something to share. Mixed with trial-and-lots-of-error, the systems have been developed and field tested. But, remember, they are my systems. This course teaches you to build your own systems. 

What will the course cover?

The course has four modules, which are all action packed, and non boring. These are:

  1. Review: Drawing on some two-by-two boxes, you will get to understand the world of work and where your business fits in. 
  2. Refocus: Having reviewed where you are, the next step is to refocus your business at a broad strategic level. This is like the first draft of your better business. 
  3. Rebuild: This is the core of the course. You will learn to build systems, and apply it to (1) clients (2) finances (3) project management. 
  4. Regenerate: Having set up systems, we take the final step and operationalise the steps you need to take. 

Your Project

The project you will develop is not an easy one hour project, and if that is what you are looking for this course is not going to be helpful. The project will however be manageable and fun, with the key deliverable being completing the worksheet in each module. 

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