Have you ever thought about freelancing, but didn’t know where to start? Fear not, Susan M. Drake will be your sensei. Regardless of if you want to freelance for more experience, full-time, or just for side cash this book will make sure that you fail less. Why go into the wild on your own, when you can quickly learn from Susan’s mistakes? Susan shows you how to plan and carry out your career pivot. That’s if you decide that going all in is worth it. When going through Freelancing For Dummies, I recommend taking tons of notes. Now let’s go over some of my key takeaways.

Contracts should be thorough to make sure that there is no room for disagreements later on. Having a detailed consistency with all of your clients will make your life that much more comfortable. While we are talking about consistency, your rates should be the same for all of your clients. It is a small world, and nobody wants to waste their life arguing about prices. If you mess up, don’t charge the customer a lower hourly rate instead confess that you messed up and give them free hours. For example, if it takes me five hours to set up a small network, but it was a three-hour job I will charge the customer for three hours at full price. Once you improve, you have to know when to raise your prices and the worth of your consultations. Billing plans are another key to keeping your sanity. Payments can be made on completion, timed, or as project milestones are met.

Susan also brought up a model that I have never heard of; a retainer is someone that is on call on a specific day and time. This seems perfect for night owls and IT professionals. Doing this will require some basic time management which Susan will cover. Freelancing can get hectic that is why it is essential to keep your work area organized and to understand your psychology and biology. Taxes must be a high priority along with hiring a CFP or CPA. To that respect, everything should be adequately tracked and invoiced if applicable. Lastly, customers can get wild, but Susan covers that too. Freelancing at any level can be extremely rewarding, beyond the monetary values. My favorite pros are the ability to pick your battles, regarding what jobs you accept. Along with the chance to network with other people, to complement each other’s skills.

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