How to become a freelance student supervisor

Published on August 31, 2011

How to become a freelance student supervisor

    A few years ago I was a student without money, to whom studying at the university seemed boring and meaningless (and since then my opinion has not changed). So, I dropped out of school and began to freelance. After 6 years, I am writing this text to identify the most important ideas that made me a well-paid “staff”, and then the head of a small web services development team.

    Do not be a specialist. Learn to act.

    The main resource for a developing person is not knowledge and experience. And not even money or communication.

    The knowledge environment is now changing too quickly and it is impossible to speak with confidence that even after five years the profession of a programmer (for example) will be in demand. And certainly there is no doubt that in 10 years all the existing knowledge of the same programmer will become worthless without constant updating in the process.

    The accumulation of knowledge and experience is a linear process, and therefore not the most effective. The specialist always has a clear salary ceiling, which is almost impossible to overcome (even constant linear growth will not work here).

    The bet should be placed not on a specific specialization, but on the ability to make decisions in a changing environment, using your and other people's knowledge, money and other resources precisely as temporary resources for a specific task.

    Professionals with knowledge can always be hired.

    But each specialist can make only his own fragment of the project. In fact, he himself cannot do anything solid and does not see the big picture. So, it always embodies other people's ideas.

    One cannot learn to develop, choose and act at the institute or from books. Books are useful to read, but active practice is even more useful.

    Be yourself. Different

    People are different. Do not rely on other people's ideas and drive yourself into a frozen form of how you think, or worse, according to others, you need to work and what to do. In fact, it’s not worth focusing on anyone or anything. Examine yourself and develop your way in life, rather than trying to match something.

    You will not become strong in what you do not like and what is not yours. He who imitates always catches up with others.

    Go your way to what is close to you.

    Be different, and you will be able to what others do not know how. And it is appreciated.

    As a result, you will choose a niche (not specialization, but an area of ​​development) that is more pleasant for you, closer. In which you are like a fish in water.

    Relatively speaking, if you are inclined to rest - work on projects related to rest. Love to communicate - negotiate. And if you like to draw, create a design studio. Do what you are interested in doing.

    Create a team

    Freelancer is a man-company. If you take orders remotely, half the work has already been done.

    Next, you need to take one or more partners, select the person responsible for the projects and take the whole project. The most interesting thing, of course, is to strengthen the skills of negotiations and learn how to look for orders yourself, forming a team around you.

    Do not rent an office.
    Of course, neither this nor the other ideas described in the text are rules. On the contrary, we are talking exclusively about the fact that you should not limit yourself to excess. Office is superfluous, but this is not the rule.

    The most important thing you need to look for orders is to have something to offer. That is, a team capable of implementing projects efficiently in a good niche.

    Work less and manage more.

    If you have created a team, do not delay to hire an assistant who will do for you what used to be your specialty. If you are a higher level, your level will raise the work of an assistant. Strive to gradually leave the production chain and control its quality at all stages, and not do the work personally.

    This then will allow you to hire more specialists and work simultaneously on a large number of projects. One way or another, increase the flow.

    Engage in strategic goals to expand your business, rather than tackling petty issues. It will be impossible if you are a leading specialist.

    Your business will grow at a rate of about two times a year. This means that if today you need to solve one case, in 4 years you will need to solve 16 cases. Therefore, free up your personal time to be able to solve them. Your level as a leader will be determined mainly by your strategic abilities and ability to solve any emerging issues as quickly as possible.

    To decide does not mean to do. To solve is to set tasks for others and quickly find answers to any questions.

    Grow your brand.

    Even one freelancer is a brand. Moreover, the team.

    Of course, there are far fewer known teams than unknown ones. And speaking of the brand, I do not mean the need for mass advertising and worldwide fame.

    But you, in your own eyes and in the eyes of customers, other people, should become a brand, a team that has a clear goal and a niche in which work is carried out.

    To get started, you need to understand your specifics - what your team can do best and communicate these features to others. Shape them.

    Work in the expensive segment

    A simple rule: do not do shit and do not work with idiots.

    This applies to both customers and partners, specialists. If you see that work is not going on with someone, that a person is inadequate, do not waste your time working with him. If the customer does not understand the scope of the order even after explanation, if further work has lost its meaning - change the customer, learn to work with more understanding ones.

    If your team has a person whose personal interests, whose ambitions and hysteria overlap the team’s goals for him, do not work with him.

    Do not make low-quality products. Go to the highest quality level in your segment. Strive to work with the most serious customers.

    Set a goal to live in your home in the resort area

    An unexpected point for the topic of the article. But still - choose where to live.

    If you work at a computer, you are ready to work remotely. So, you can choose yourself where you live.

    I happened to live in several cities of different sizes. The last couple of years I live in private houses in the suburbs.

    Megacities are not intended for a comfortable, pleasant life and, in principle, are not created for people, but for consumption and production. From my point of view, only a person who has nothing to compare with can choose life in an apartment in Moscow. The rhythm, way of life, the direction of thoughts in such places was created in order to use a person for the purposes of the city.

    “The city is an evil force; he is addictive. ” It is foolish to work on average 8 hours a day at a frantic pace, not having time for a tasty measured lunch, getting somewhere for two hours, and spending a decent portion of the miserable gap on rest on purchases.

    Tired sad people in the evening subway with faces deprived of facial expressions or in the mask of alienation. A society that measures success through the ability to buy rather than live comfortably and happily at one’s own pleasure is doomed to idiocy.

    More human resort towns, suburbs and private homes. They are made more for people than for optimizing distances and the ability to squeeze more out of us.

    It’s not at all how much you are able to spend or earn per month. The fact is whether you like your life, your lifestyle.
    If you don’t like your life - the fact that you spend a lot of money, work a lot just to live in a metropolis is pointless.

    Meanwhile, a house outside the city is comparable to an apartment of a similar area.

    If you got a house - you can always attach anything to it, hang a punching bag in the yard, put up a tennis table, create a garden, make an arbor where you can work most of the year (I sit now, typing this text, just in this gazebo). If you are good with money - make a pool (you can with heated water), cover it for cold weather, attach a terrace. Make an attic and a rooftop walkway. All that you have enough imagination and money for. Not to mention the possibility of making barbecue in the yard, sitting by the fireplace in winter, gathering friends in your yard ...

    Well, how can this be compared to an apartment?

    I think that in the next 20 years there should be a strong tendency (in particular, due to remote work) to the restructuring of cities, the emergence of large residential areas close to nature and recreation. (For example, Moscow is now expanding more than twice and the task has been set to reduce population density.)

    Do you work remotely? Nothing holds you in a cramped city.

    Here, perhaps, are all the main points. Good luck to you and me.