28 September 2016

To invoice or not to invoice....

...that is the question. You know I've recently been getting a lot of "gigs" and "work" that has been so...er...how should I put it, unorthodox because they've either involved me putting together something on a very short notice, or simply an add-on to an ongoing project which makes me wonder "so, do I invoice this separately? Or is this part of a big project and just increase the cost on the current invoice?"

This brings me back to the recurring question I get from people looking to start their own business. "How do you find people to hire you so you can invoice them?"

Many people ask me that thinking I'll have some roadmap to success or formula that explains how I work but the truth it, it boils down to one simple item -- is starting your own thing really right for you?

Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love the fact that I work for myself and every day depends on how hard I want to push myself. Sure there are days when I want to be sleeping in bed but I have to rush a deadline and wonder "really? This is self-employment?" but when the next morning comes and I am not stuck in rush hour, it all makes sense.

So when people ask me about finding that dream job, or starting something on your own, I take them a step back and ask them to question the characteristics of the job they want. For example, for me, I knew there were a few things:
  • Don't want to wake up before 9am (so that means if I worked in McDonald's it'd be the night shift)
  • Don't want to be told what to do (so either hire me as the boss, or be the boss)
  • Don't want to compete with others on holidays (ie. I hate rush hour jams)
  • Don't want to have to blame anyone else (ie. my success is mine, and in the same way, my failure is all my fault)
So when you put it that way, my job openings increase and I'm not longer limited what is available but rather what fits my criteria. So the above could apply to a lot of jobs, I could be a bus driver since I could work afternoon/night shifts, I just have to get on the bus and drive. I could also be a comedian or a web designer, which is where I ended up being.

So ultimately I tell people it's not so much about what job, but what characteristics of the job you want. And before you know it, you'll be invoicing people all over the place. Heck, even when I was searching for different invoice tools, it took me quite a while since it wasn't about what features does this one have, but more like what features do I have, and who can give me that?

Happy 10 days and happy invoicing in them!