I'm Dan Mall. Ask me anything!

4 years ago from Dan Mall, Founder & CEO

  • Rodrigo Soares, 4 years ago

    Hi Dan,

    I've been working in the tech industry as a product designer and front-end for more than 15 years, for both big companies to startups. I've finally decided that I want to go full-time freelance. Any tips or things I should be aware of?

    PS.: I attended your talk back in 2009 at Boston An Event Apart, it was such a good conference

    0 points
    • Dan Mall, 4 years ago

      Congrats on getting ready to take the leap, Rodrigo!

      Any tips or things I should be aware of?

      Lots! But I'll stick to one for now: before you do it, decide why you're doing it. Is it to make more money? Is it to spend more time on your hobbies and interests? Is it to do more fulfilling work? If you don't know, it'll make freelancing difficult. But if you can decide in advance, it'll make the decision-making part much easier.

      If you're trying to make more money, don't be picky about gigs and take as much as you can and/or the ones that pay the most (as long as they're not crossing any moral, ethical, and legal lines, of course). You'll make a fortune.

      If you're trying to do more fulfilling work, don't say yes to projects that aren't what you want to do. If fulfilling work is the most important thing to you, doing projects that your heart's not in will be more painful than, say, getting a bank loan or borrowing money from friends/family to pay the bills.

      It's ok if your decision changes year-to-year, or month-to-month, or heck, day-to-day. But you decide. Don't let it be decided for you. You're in control of your own destiny.

      Go get 'em, Rodrigo!

      3 points
      • Robert Williams, 4 years ago

        Do you have to decide on one of those? What if you're doing it to stay indie, work on fulfilling work and make a great living? Is that too greedy?

        0 points
        • Dan Mall, 4 years ago

          Not too greedy at all, and you certainly don't have to decide! But, I've found that the more variables there are, the more difficult the decision becomes for me. Without a hierarchy of priorities, what should I do if a mind-numbing project comes along that pays for my whole year? It's not fulfilling, but I can make a great living. Is that worth it? Or what if my dream project comes along, but I have to do it for free? Is that worth it?

          All I mean to say is that clear priorities have aided me tremendously in decision-making.

          2 points