Cutting my hours so I can work more
It seems counterintuitive, but in order to be where I need to be I need to cut my hours at work. Keep reading to find out why and hear about the type of work I'm looking for.
A few months ago I was approached by several different potential clients and I ended up not getting to work with any of them. These were all solid leads on good work that I could have done easily and made good money doing. The problem was that I couldn't be available enough to do as much work as they needed during the week. That's because I already have a full time job, I work 40 hours a week over at Hutman, Inc. But lately I've been feeling like I have difficulty making it from paycheck to paycheck. I'm due for a raise next month, but there's not a ton of money around to play with. We're a small shop, and I'm sitting twiddling my thumbs quite a lot of the time.
If I have freelance work to do I don't have any trouble making it from paycheck to paycheck. I've been doing some sub-contract work with Chad Cantrell but he doesn't always have stuff he can outsource. Ideally I'd like to find a shop that has photoshop to c5 work. That's what most of my day job is, and I'm really good at it. Typically people send me either a photoshop file or static html / css and then some documentation about site layout and content structure. The really good ones have each page type drawn out in a pdf or as a layer in the psd. I'll then make sure that everything comes together in the site to match the page layout and the content types, do any custom programming for any custom blocks or page control interfaces, and update any marketplace add-ons to match the theme perfectly. My themes are typically pixel perfect in all major browsers with well programmed edit modes to make sure the design works with the extra css and html of the concrete 5 editing interface. I have pretty extensive experience programming custom functionality in the form of blocks and packages. I'd prefer if any code is resold in the marketplace that I have a percentage of ongoing sales revenue, but this is negotiable.
So now what I really need to do is actually program up a portfolio for this site and fix a bunch of the small bugs around here. How does that saying go? The barber's hair always looks the worst? My dad would say the mechanics car always runs the worst. There's a lot of truth to that. I never take the time to program on my own website, there are bugs all over the place because this website was always about the process of building it. And now it's patched and years old and clunky around the edges and not my best work at all. A lot of my best work I can't even list as work because it was subcontract work. I really do need to work on my profile, but if you are reading this hopefully you realize that I'm not just saying I know how to make concrete 5 websites, I really do know how to make concrete 5 websites. I know how to make concrete 5 websites in a way that not many other people know how to make them. I have about three years experience with it, I can't even count how many different sites I've done.
It's a little up in the air what my hours reduction will actually look like. I guess on Friday something happened and we might not be able to move downtown. Which would mean no shorter commute and no downtown fancy office to call home. That would be a real bummer. So then I'd need to be dropping my hours in the office drastically, probably to the extent that we'll move my work computer to my house and I'll bring in a laptop on days that I'm actually in the office. The commute hours would just be something I couldn't afford if I'm doing a lot of freelance work. I love riding my bike but I can't be spending 3 hours a day doing that when I need to work. It will also mean keeping my laptop in sync with files more often, and probably getting a better laptop eventually. I might drop to a straight amount of hours I work per week and still stay salaried or I might go to a straight hourly wage and simply work off of billable hours. It's a little unclear, it really depends on the type of freelance work that I find.
So anyway, if you're here grabbing some bit of concrete 5 code that I've posted, if you could please take a minute to spread the word that I'm looking for a steady freelance gig or post up any leads you know of I'd appreciate it. I should be able to manage about 20-25 billable hours a week for the right place, perhaps more if the need arises. At that rate I should be able to do about 4-6 sites per month depending on complexity.