Freelance Friday 043 – Feb 22 2019

Yup the email/post is a bit late today due to recording silliness yesterday which you can hear about on Monday when I talk about my Ulysses blogging workflow.

Other than that, the kids enjoyed more snow this week and I got lots of client work done.

If you’ve found my content helpful then new in 2019 I’ve opened up a Patreon page. You can help ensure that more helpful content keeps coming.

I Shipped

Monday I gave you a quick tour of tmux which lets me do stuff via terminal on servers. You can disconnect and the operations keep running in the background. I just used it overnight to pull a bunch of client files to their staging environment via my iPad.

Tuesday I shared what we did on Family Day in BC, which of course was a hike in the snow. I let the kids run the GoPro for most of the day, until they got bored. Lots of random footage, but some interesting stuff as well.

On Wednesday I took you on a bit of a tour of where I live and my 30km birthday run in some good cold and crazy wind.

Over the weekend a piece I wrote for Liquid Web came out. If you’re interested in how to blow your clients away, read on.

Wednesday I wrote for Godaddy Canada about starting a business in Canada. Some of this stuff was hard won after talking to parts of the government I didn’t want to be talking to. Much of it transfers in principle to readers from other countries as well, just look for the matching parts of your government infrastructure.

Friday Five

1. Jeff on Burnout and Stress

Jeff writing on his site Rocket Panda:

My generation has been told time and time again to go to college, do what makes you happy, and to follow your dreams. That is precisely what I did and I am working in the field I went to school for and I love my job. Yet, I still wake up anxious and afraid of what will come next.

He goes on to talk about how people define success being a key in their level of anxiety. It made me think of a recent episode of The Ground Up Show and a story about talking to Steve Wozniak. I can’t do the story justice here, so go listen. The gist is that Wozniak maximized for control over what he did.

He decided that he’d be happiest as an engineer at the company he helped found. At one point his wife even joins in with an emphatic “oh he does whatever he wants all the time”.

I think for most of us, that is what success sounds like. The problem is that we confuse choice with having money. To be sure, you need a certain level of income to have choice, but I make less now than I did a few years ago and I have way more choice than I did when I made more.

I’m happier with less income and more choice.

Read Jeff’s post and pay attention to his 7 ways to cut the stress. Maybe you’re not looking for more money like you think or more prestige. Maybe you need to redefine what you see as success.

2. Cory on snowballs

Cory says:

Even though today I am starting with a bigger snowball than I did 11 years ago, I wasn’t purposeful or consistent or deliberate enough to have built my next snowball while the other snowball — iThemes — had gained substantial momentum and now is rolling successfully without me.

Unfortunately most business owners fall into this trap. Many for their own business. They keep getting work so they stop really hustling to keep growing their name. Then things dry up because the luck runs out and they have nothing to fall back on.

3. Are your actions today a vote towards the business you want in a decade?

From Shawn asking himself a question as he makes decisions in his company:

Is this a vote toward the type of work environment I want to have in 20 years?

Yes Shawn has a team at The Sweet Setup1, but I don’t think there is any less importance to be given to your decisions just because it’s you. What if I told my wife and 3 kids that I’d worry more about the culture and company I was building once I had employees that had kids to think about?

If you were to look at the amount of work you are doing, and the pace at which you doing that work, would it be something you would still want to be doing in 20 years from now?

To Shawn’s question I’d have to answer maybe. The thing is I feel like there are things I have to say yes to to pay bills still. I don’t get to go create what I want every day all day without needing to conform to the schedule of others. Maybe one day I’ll get there, but next week is not that week.

What can you do this week to make a step closer to the business you want to run?

4. The same amount of time with kids, but more hands on

This article focuses on mothers, but it’s not always mom. My wife works 4 days a week at 3pm and Saturday morning which has me building blocks, reading stories, and taking my kids to play in the snow. While my parents weren’t neglectful, I remember them sending me outside at 5 (the age of my middle kid) and sending my younger brothers into our fenced back yard even younger.

The time parents spend in the presence of their children has not changed much, but parents today spend more of it doing hands-on child care. Time spent on activities like reading to children; doing crafts; taking them to lessons; attending recitals and games; and helping with homework has increased the most.

I feel it in the lack of leisure time for myself. I distinctly remember my mom reading and sewing and sending us out to do “something” so she could relax before diving back into dinner, laundry, and a myriad of other tasks around the house.

I’m not saying that I should be sending my 2-year-old, and very busy 5-year-old across the street to the park on their own (though I would have been allowed). I’d love to not get worried what some other “concerned” adult will think if I send my very responsible 8-year-old across the street to play on her own for a bit.

5. More than one profession?

Darius:

How many people can you think of who succeeded at more than one profession or skill? Forget about historical figures like Leonardo Da Vinci or any other genius. Most people achieve any form of success or recognition in that one field.

Same goes for picking a business niche. Sure you may look at someone now and see they have a few things they’re known for but in almost every case they got known in a single field first.

Then years later they expanded what they were known for.

What is your thing going to be?


  1. Yes I am one of the contractors that writes code and words for them. 

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