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5 Keys Transcript Part 6 of 6

Back to Part 6 - 5 Keys To Becoming A Successful Consultants as a Software Developer

Part 6, Key 5.

Welcome to Sales and Marketing

Transcript for Part 6 

Scott: Hey everybody. Scott here with motivatedcodepro.com. Thanks for coming back. This is video number six in a six part series about becoming a successful consultant as a software developer. Today, we’re going to talk about marketing and sales. Stay with me.
 
This last section, this final video is really entitled Welcome to Marketing and Sales. I want to say this perhaps the most difficult thing for software people, technology people in general that are really technical people often have a difficult time selling and marketing and being out there in a way that builds business. Seasoned sales people, they take … It’s like anything else. They take a long time to develop their skill. We, as software people, have taken a long time to develop ours. What’s tough about being an entrepreneur in this setting, if you’re a consultant, you have to have some selling skills. You have to be willing, let me say that. That’s a big part of it. I want to start with the word entrepreneur, which I think is I don’t care a lot for the word, but you as a self employed businessperson.
 
Remember, you are a business and your time is money and you need to treat it like money. Entrepreneur, it carries the connotation or has the connotation of being glamorous and wonderful and life is good and sports cars and fast life and all this. The truth is as entrepreneur, it’s a grind. It is late nights. It is early mornings. It is wearing a lot of hats. It is doing a lot of things to take your baby, your business, and move it forward. We’ve talked about your skills and experience. That’s almost the least of it. That’s what you’re selling, but there’s so much else that you have to be prepared for and the marketing and selling is so important. Now, so for marketing, we’ve talked quite a bit about social media throughout this series.
 
I’m not going to park there for much, but I want to just remind you that you need to be busy there. Start your blog or work with your blog, be consistent with your blog, pay attention to your YouTube channel, pay attention to my YouTube channel. These are things that you got to do from a marketing standpoint, but selling really involves getting in front of somebody or getting on the phone with somebody and having a natural conversation about why you can help your customer. That’s not an easy thing to do. Chances are if you’re a technology person that you’ve lived a life in technology if you’ve moved up through the corporate ladder at any level that you’ve had to sell lots of ideas over and over again.
 
This is an augmentation of that fact. I’ve heard a lot of people say I can’t sell. I’m not going to sell. The reason I don’t do what you’re doing, Scott, or one of the reasons is I don’t feel like I can sell and I really felt like that too when I started and I am not a natural salesperson. I’m not an expert in marketing. But, I’ve learned enough to know that I need to tend the garden of sales, so to speak, and marketing like we talked about in previous videos. I have to believe that I can sell. After 11 years, I’ve learned enough about the process and working with people outside of just the building software aspect, which is what we sell here as a company. It’s what I sold as an individual at first.
 
You need to learn to sell and at some point, you’re going to have to ask somebody for money. You’re going to have to say this is going to take nine months and it’s going to cost this much money and you need to give me this much down and all of those negotiation tactics are a subject for another video coming up. But, when it comes to selling, you need to be able to get in front of people and have those kinds of conversations. I want to say email, it is not a sales vehicle. It’s a way to dot I’s and cross T’s, perhaps, but when it comes to selling, you need to be able to read the person that you’re talking with and I want you to be in front of them if you can. In the world that we live in today, many times that’s not possible, you’re going to be on the phone.
 
But, don’t do it with email when it comes to any of the negotiation parts of it. Selling and being an entrepreneur and going down this road of consultancy isn’t for everybody. If you don’t have a tolerance for risk, it’s going to be very, very difficult because at some point, we put it all on the line as business people, as entrepreneurs. It’s not just you and your ability to write code now. It’s you and your ability to do business to make progress as a businessperson and to sell. If you can’t sell, perhaps your whole livelihood is on the line, your family, your wife, you kids, your dogs, cats and everything else, your spouse or whoever, your significant person, all of that’s at risk when you do this and I think it’s so important that you recognize this going in.
 
I’m not trying to scare people, but it’s the reality of it, man. Like I said in a previous video, you get down the road a contract or two and you’re like what am I going to do to find the next one? What am I going to do? I’ve got three people that I put to work on this contract. How do I keep them busy? All of those things can be the source of lost sleep and it can be really scary and so I just want you to recognize that those things are there. You have to have a stomach for that and the person that you’re with if you’re in a partnership or marriage or whatever, those people have to be willing to share that with you, so it’s not easy and it’s not for everyone. What a lot of people do, and I’ve seen a lot of really good people go down this road, they go to work for another consultancy.
 
Or they go to work for a consultancy that’s out there, where they have somebody that’s selling and they’re really good technical people don’t want to sell, don’t care to sell, don’t want to risk everything they’ve ever worked for so they can have their own business. It’s not for everybody and so you need to really know who you are as a person. This is one reason, one other reason. At the every beginning, I talked about five years of experience being oh so important. I hope that what I’ve just said about some of the complexity, the need to sell, the risk you take with your livelihood and your life in general, all of that makes more sense out of why it’s important to have five years.
 
You need to bring as much to this as you can. Again, back to the consultancy. Some people will go to work for a consultancy and it’s kind of the perfect middle ground between being self employed and having the nine to five. You get to work on lots of projects. You might be able to make a little more money in that because that’s a little risky or it’s not the same risk as being self employed, not usually. You get a lot of the benefit of it. You surround with your team a lot of times. Ultimately, if you’re building a business, part of your job is to build a team, but if you don’t want to go down that road you can step into a team in the form of a consultancy and sometimes that’s a really good way to go for people that don’t have the want-to to take on the whole I want to be a business entrepreneur idea or maybe it’s not the right time in their life.
 
That’s another important component as well. One of the other things too that I want to say about selling is that sometimes, and I was guilty of this at first, anytime I was in a position where I had to sell something, I felt like I needed to kind of [Zig Ziglar-ize 00:07:59] myself. Like I said, I’m not a sales professional, but what I’ve learned by watching people that are really good and that are salespeople, they tend to be … They’re themselves before the sales call, during the sales visit, and after the sales call and all the followup stuff that are just they bring whatever quirks and personality flavor they have and they just are themselves. I think that’s the trick, if there is one, is to just bring you to the sales process.
 
Look, if you sell into something with you Zig Ziglar-ized version of you and then you show up or you’re on the contract and you’re just Scott programmer in my case or whatever, it creates this sense of wow, he’s this weird sales guy or this big salesy guy and then now he’s just Joe programmer. I don’t know. I’m just saying be yourself. It’s often said you don’t get a second chance to create a first impression and so that tends to lead us down the road of let me do all of this preparation and bang myself into something that I think is palatable for somebody to then spend money with me. Really, what you need to do is create a consistent impression. Your first impression should be basically the same as your second, third, and 300th impression with your customer.
 
Because when you get past the sales process, it’s just you and the work. It’s you and your team. It’s you and your ability to manage conflict and difficulty and work through issues and bang out projects, which is what we’re all about as software people and we bring it all back to that point. We’re software people, but when we step out as consultants, we take on a lot of stuff that’s outside of our core discipline. Sales and marketing is one of them. Last thing I want to talk about is negotiation. Like I said, we’ll do a whole other video on this, but you do have to put yourself in a position to be able to ask for the money. You do need to know how to follow up with people. This is where you can use email, but I think I still like the phone personally.
 
I know other people have differences of opinion, but follow up. Just because people haven’t gotten back to you doesn’t mean they’ve lost interest. It means they’re busy. Maybe they have lost interest, but you need to get them on the phone and let them tell you that or that they’ve moved on or that they hired somebody else or whatever. Because your final impression with a prospect should never hear that you’re broken because they didn’t hire you. They should hear well if you need us in the future, if there’s anything we can do for you going forward, if they’re any questions I can answer, I’d be happy to help you find success with your project. Your mission is to help them and I think if he contract doesn’t go your way and you don’t make the sale, you want to show that you’re professional and that you’re here to help them because you never know when somebody is going to come back to you.
 
We’ve had this happen multiple times where people have made a decision and then have changed course for a variety of reasons and then come back to us. I think because of the way that I handled the situation on first exit was why there was a second entrance. I wasn’t angry or crushed with disappointment and those are feelings that you have when it doesn’t go well, but you need to be a professional and just try to help the customer even though they’ve chosen to go a different route. I hope that was helpful. That’s a little bit about marketing and sales. There’s a lot to cover. The well is so deep when it comes to marketing and selling and there’s a ton of good information out there about it.
 
There’s more and more information about selling into technology that’s public that people like me that have put a lot of content out there that you can benefit from and you need to avail yourself of that. Selling is like programming in that the more you do it, practice, practice, practice, the better you get at it, the more comfortable you get doing, and the easier it is to move in and out of deals and to be a part of the sales process while you’re part of the programming process and while you’re part of managing people and being with your CPA and keeping track of all of the many things that we’ve talked about throughout this series. That’s it. Please like and subscribe and hit the bell, so you don’t miss any videos.
 
I am Scott with motivatedcodepro.com. Please come to the blog and check out the section I did. There’s another blog post for this video and then if you’re willing to give me your email address, I’ll send you the whole eBook that covers the entire thing. I’d be grateful for that and I hope this was good for you. I’m going to do lots of video on all these topics are very deep, so we’ll keep going. I’m Scott. Keep coming back. I’ll see you on the next video.

Take the Leap Into Successful Consulting

Stepping into your own consultancy is a big step indeed—one to be taken with care and caution. Make sure you are ready and that the timing is right with the rest of your personal priorities.

After years of software work, it’s your skill and experience that got you here. Stay sharp and go even deeper with the software development choices that paved the way for you.

Writing for blogs and posting on social media will help keep you here. Carve out time for this activity so it becomes part of your daily business process.

Staying in touch with your software development friends and keeping your business contacts warm will keep your prospects hot for finding new work.

Good businesses function as a team. Your CPA and business attorney will keep the business end of your venture healthy and accountable.

In the end, your willingness to market and sell will not only keep you in business, but will also allow you to grow your consulting practice and thrive. You have to get paid to succeed, so your ability to ask for the sale will make you a true entrepreneur and a successful consultant as a software developer.

As I inferred at the beginning of this article, each of these five keys is a deep topic, worthy of a lot more ink than I have spilled here.

In closing, I hope you are inspired to dig deep and ask yourself the important questions about becoming a successful consultant as a software developer.

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5 Keys Transcript Part 5 of 6

Back to Part 5 - 5 Keys To Becoming A Successful Consultants as a Software Developer

Part 5, Key 4.

A Good CPA and Business Attorney

Transcript for Part 5 

Hey everybody, Scott here with Motivated Code Pro. Thanks for coming back today. This is part five of a six part series. Today we’re going to talk about your CPA and legal representation. Stay with me.
 
Shut up and sit down.
 
Thanks for coming back. If you’re going the road of becoming a consultant or starting a consultancy. Building a partnership, a business with fellow technology people. You’re a solopreneur. You’re a one-man band with a microphone. Whatever you’re doing, you’re self-employed. You are a business. And as a business, you need the representation of a CPA and a good business attorney. Why do you need those things? There are so many things that go on in your business beyond you and your hands on the keyboard. A good CPA is going to help you with everything from your corporate designation. Are you an LLC, a sole proprietorship, are you an S Corp or you a C Corp.
 
And your CPA can help you with those and will and should help you with that. And will help you change designations as your situation warrants as you move on. And so the time to have a CPA on your team and I really want you to think yourself, even if it’s just you to begin with, as a team. And your team needs key players, right? Your CPA is one. You might say your health insurance provider is another but I’m not going to talk about that at the moment. Your legal representation or your business attorney is another. And those are all very, very important things.
 
But particularly with the CPA has been so important to us. Anything that happens with the IRS, your CPA can represent you. It’s not just an accountant or a bookkeeper. It’s a certified public accountant and it’s very, very important. They can help you with everything from, like I said, your corporate designation, payroll and direct deposit, 401k for your employees if you have them or when you have them. They can help you with a lot that.
 
Here’s another thing that I do with my CPA all the time or with our CPA. We need to buy X equipment. Should I buy it in December or should I wait until next year to buy it? Is X thing deductible? That’s another good question. They usually are keeping their eye on your cash flow in addition to you, of course, are keeping your eye on your cash flow too. But you can … Hey, do I have the resources to finance X thing? To purchase X thing? To hire somebody as a W-2 employee or to bring somebody on as a 1099 contractor or do a corp to corp with somebody else.
 
And your CPA is your great place to go with all of those things and the importance of it cannot be overstated. Business. Anyway, here you do not want to short change yourself. You are not a CPA. Sorry, I’m a little distracted with the ringing phone. You’re not a CPA and I don’t want you to try to be a CPA. A lot of people when they’re first starting out are saying, “You know what, I don’t want to spend money on a CPA or business attorney. Man, I don’t have … I’m not even making money.”
 
Well, you don’t want to take on the responsibility of being your own CPA in the interest of trying to save money because it’s a bad move. You are a software professional. Your expertise is in building code. Helping customers to design processes and systems. You do not need to be sitting around with an Excel spreadsheet or bank statements and ledgers and all of the accounting-related stuff. It’s a waste of your time. And you’re not an expert nor do you have the expertise unless you really are an accountant. Even then I would tell you if you’re going to be in the software business, you’re going to be a consultancy, have the business savvy and the business sense to bring on somebody that’s an experienced CPA.
 
The other thing I want to say about the CPA that’s so, so important is that you need to like this person because we had a CPA in the past and every time the phone rang, it would just make my stomach just crunch up. It was difficult for me to deal with her. I learned later when we had a new CPA, what the difference is like breathing underwater versus bringing in the nice blue sky. Every time I had to deal with this first person, it was a gut-wrenching experience. She expected me to know things I didn’t know. I’m not an accountant. I’ve worked in corporate. I understand their accounting a lot better than I understand mine, right, as a small business.
 
Don’t be fooled into thinking that you could or should do that. Be smart. Don’t be your own accountant. And with a business attorney, this is important too. Whenever you get into anything contract and you need boiler plates for contractor agreements, subcontractor agreements, nondisclosure agreements, intellectual property issues that you might encounter. Anything to do with product and exposure to somebody else’s product and all that. I think it’s always a good to have somebody that you can balance ideas off of and that you can show documentation to in the form of what somebody else is giving you as a contract. Or what you’re going to offer to somebody else in particular. Those are good places for your attorney.
 
And a lot of times in our experience I could sell into an engagement with somebody and they say, “We’ll send you the contact.” You’re like, oh okay. Well and at other times somebody will say, “Okay, yeah, let’s do this deal together. Send me a contact or send me an agreement.” And then what do you do? Well you go out to the internet and find the best thing that you can find which could be a train wreck and could be a real legal heartache for you in the future.
 
It’s worth spending some money upfront to spend some time with a qualified business attorney who understands what you’re doing. Man, these things are really, really important. These are I’s you need dot and T’s you need to cross so you’re not overwhelmed later by the fact that you missed these details and now you’re going to get hurt in some negotiation or on some contract or money isn’t coming because you missed something.
 
So really, really important. Don’t try that yourself either. You’re not an attorney and again I’ll say even if you are an attorney and you’re trying to be in the software business, I don’t think … the doctor doesn’t do surgery on himself. So I don’t think that you should try to be your own accountant or your own attorney.
 
So that’s it. Those are some key things about your business partner. The people that you want to have on your business team. Again, your CPA And your attorney or legal representation. A lot of times those people will know each other and that’s really helpful. That’s been true for us. The attorney and attorneys that we’ve used have known and been connected to our accountancies.
 
And the last thing I want to say about all of that is those people particularly your CPA, he or she knows everybody in town. They have access to resources that you can’t even think of probably right off the top of your head. And they’re just good. And if you can like that person, I’ll say that’s a requirement. You need to like your CPA. You need to like your business attorney too.
 
So that’s it for today. I am Scott with motivatedcodepro.com. Go out to the blog. Check out the blog post for this section. This is number five. Or, go sign up and I’ll send you the e-book that has all six of these sections in the e-book. Again, like subscribe and hit the bell so you don’t miss any videos and keep coming back.
 
 

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5 Keys Transcript Part 3 of 6

Back to Part 3 - 5 Keys To Becoming A Successful Consultants as a Software Developer

Part 3, Key 2.

Writing for Blogs and Posting on Social Media

Transcript for Part 3 

Hey everybody, Scott here with MCP.com thanks for coming back, today is part 3 and Key #2 to becoming a successful consultant as a software developer, we’re going to talk about writing blogs and staying busy on social media, stay with me.

Ok, so today in our third part of the six part series Key #2 as I’ve said already is writing for blogs and staying busy on social media.

And one thing I wanted to say about this, is this is good old fashioned marketing. If you’re stepping out into the wild, wild west of consulting and contracting and selling your services in the big world I think you need to have some presence online. I think this is obvious to a lot of people but for somebody, like me,  I probably spent a decade of running this business with relative indifference.

I mean, we have a site and I have some personal social media stuff but I didn’t really engage to the depths that I am going to suggest that you do.

So I want to tell a quick story about having a presence online.
I had written an article, and I’ve written several articles over the years in various magazines and stuff, but in this particular one and this goes back almost ten years, and it was a very short article encouraging people in the AS400 world to experiment with Java and use a particular IDE called Netbeans to do that and a couple of months after that article published (and this is still print magazine at the time, although I guess now it’s also online) MCPressonline is what it’s called today.

The article itself was just talking about Java and encouraging people to get started with it and I got a call from a company here in Tennessee not too far from here….
First I got emails, then I got calls.
We talked on the phone many times and then there was a site visit.
And because of their interest in me through this article that I wrote they thought I could come and bang out a bunch of Java code which is exactly what happened. I had just short of a two year arrangement with them and it was a big step for our company and it still didn’t dawn on me in a way it should have. I mean, I was able to connect the dots that this article equals this result but I didn’t keep doing it until much later and I wrote quite a bit later but anyway what I’m trying to say is sometimes pouring cups of water into… sometimes it feels like pouring cups of water into the sea of social media and it doesn’t feel like you’re making a big splash but little by little if you stay consistent and you post on social media, you start your own blog, you say stuff on linkedIN, short articles directing people to your blog, you know Twitter is one that’s popular in a lot of technology in people’s minds, Facebook and Instagram.

At the risk of missing any of the social media platforms I’ll just say, that your Facebook business page, your blog, and other people’s blog that you can write for, is extremely important and as I said, it’s just good old fashioned marketing.

I’m going to cheat and look at my board here a bit, because there’s so much content in this series.

So It’s never too early or too late to start, right?
So for me like I said  I had relative indifference I didn’t dislike social media I just wasn’t in love with it at the same time.
So I didn’t pay a lot of attention to it.
So this year, in my efforts to grow our business I’ve taken a much deeper interest in social media and plus I really wanted to help people take the steps I’ve taken probably with a little more efficiency because when I’ve started as I’ve said in a previous video there just wasn’t as much material out there mapping and charting the course and so my Youtube channel and my blog is about that.

A significant part of that is motivated so that I can help other people do some of the things I’ve done, and then you know maybe I can benefit from it in some way, but if I can help other people in some way that’s a big deal.

So, writing for other people’s blogs, writing for your own, and start a blog and it’s never too early or too late to start like I said. If you’re just beginning or you’re still working in your corporate job go ahead and do it, it doesn’t hurt.

I’ve heard some stories where people have completely changed their lives through the publishing of their own blog and having consistent out there and that kind of stuff so.

It’s a big deal. It’s difficult to say this = money but this does equal money and having an online presence is a big deal when you’re selling something today.

You need to have your own website, your blog, you need to keep busy with your social media stuff, in addition to keeping your skills sharp from a previous video and to keep building your business savvy as you go along and this is part of that.

So that’s a little bit about posting for blogs, having a blog, using social media to your advantage.

What I wanted to do with this video, what I want for you to take away from it is, it’s important and don’t ignore it. Work it into your busy schedule, make sure you have a rhythm to putting stuff up on social media, and you can see very clearly that I’ve chosen Youtube as a big part of it and my blog.

So, go to motivatedcodepro.com and check out the blog post for this video, and sign up so you can get the whole E-book emailed to you that covers all 6 sections and the 5 keys to becoming a successful consultant as a software developer.

I am Scott with Motivated Code Pro, please Like, Subscribe, Hit the Bell, and keep coming back.

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5 Keys Transcript Part 2 of 6

Back to Part 2 - 5 Keys To Becoming A Successful Consultants as a Software Developer

Part 2, Key 1.

Your Skill and Experience

Transcript for Part 2

I’m Scott with Motivatedcodepro.com, thanks for coming back today is part 2 of a 6 part series, and today we’re going to talk about your skills and experience, stay with me.

Welcome back, and thanks for coming back. I’m Scott, with Motivatedcodepro(.com), Part 2 of becoming a successful consultant as a software developer and this key of the 5 keys involves your skill and experience.

So I want to talk for the next few minutes about your skill and experience, and I said in another video that I think you need to have 5 years of experience with your skill set or whatever you’re selling as a technology professional before you hang your own shingle out there, before you step out into the great big world, risk your livelihood, and everything you’ve worked for, up to that point.

You need to have 5 years or you’re just not going to have the confidence, and the competence that I think a customer is going to expect of you, when you step out on your own.

Now, I know there are exceptions to this. You can leave comments if you want to and tell me about it, but I know that.
But, I also know that by and large most people do better when they have that 5 years of experience.
And some of that goes to maturity, and length of time in a technology, that means you’ve spent enough time in it that you know how to solve pretty much any problems.
And there are so many other things to think about, besides just your skill and experience if you have to scramble on a contract to get traction and to do the work that’s being put in front of you, that’s a bad deal.

I, mean, in the previous video (___) this one here, I listed ten other things that you have to think about. And you know, things like growing your business, staying busy, tax and accounting, legal, marketing and sales, and you know, the whole ten.

I will list them in the description and you can see them at motivatedcodepro.com in the blog post for this video.

The point there, is simply that, there is so much to think about that you need to have your skills in the bag with what you’re selling. Because the day you step into the office, or you get on the remote to deal with your Day One of your contractor consulting opportunity you’re going to learn a ton of stuff to begin with and so you need to bring a lot of experience with you and I think the magic number is five years.

And one more, you may have two years you may have twenty years, but I think five is the sweet spot.

Experience is one of those things that cannot be taught, you have to live it, you can’t rush it.
You can be really, really smart and I’ve seen savant level people that could do amazing things technologically but when you’re running your own business, when you’re stepping out, when you’re risking your livelihood and all that you’ve worked for, (this is my house that I’m waving at!) you better be confident and competent. You better have covered as much ground as you possibly can. And so I am encouraging you to spend, if you’re looking to do this and this is one of your goals, make sure you have 5 good years of experience and I keep saying it so it’ll echo for you.

I really want that for you, you will be successful if you can do that.
I am going to cheat and look at my notes here because there’s a lot of content I want to get through.

So the thing about time, you need to use your time super super wisely, again we’re talking about skill and experience.

I’m sorry, skill will get you paid and time is your greatest asset. Treat it like money and the way you spend your time is so important when you’re trying to run your company or you’re building your skill and experience.

And let’s say your skills are sharp today, and I imagine they are.
But what about tomorrow, and the next day, and the next year?
It doesn’t take a crystal ball to see what’s coming down the pike generally. In technology things come and go very quickly but things that get traction when it comes to continuing your education or your skill I’m a big fan of working with what gets you paid, right? So stay in the things that get you paid.
I’m not a big fan of wandering off into the technology du jour of existence and trying to learn new things unless you’re doing that for fun and you don’t want to get paid for it.

I want you to work on things that are going to get you paid, period.

Your business, don’t waste time.

That’s it for today! I am Scott with Motivated Code Pro, that’s number 2 in the series of 6.
Go to motivatedcodepro.com check out the blog post for this, have the E-book emailed to you, and keep coming back.

See you on the next video!

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5 Keys Transcript Part 1 of 6

Back to Part 1 - 5 Keys To Becoming A Successful Consultants as a Software Developer

Part 1 – Why I Became a Consultant

Transcript for Part 1

Hey Everyone Scott with motivatedcodepro.com
Today I am excited because we’re going to start a 6 part series about how to become a successful consultant as a software developer which includes 5 Keys to becoming a successful consultant as a software developer, stay with me.

Alright, thanks for coming back I am glad you’re here.
Today is part one of a six part series on how to become a successful consultant as a software developer.

And today, I want to talk about why I became a consultant, and how I got to the place where I am consulting, and so a little bit about my journey.

And to begin with, we’ve been running this consultancy called Pinch Hitter Solutions for 11 years. And so I’ve learned a lot over the years, and what I wanted to do and the reason I’m doing this, the reason, the original reason for the whole YouTube channel was really to share my experience and to help other people sort of avoid a few pitfalls and to make efficient steps as they work through their process of building their careers in independent contractor or as a freelancer or as a consultant so that’s what this is all about and that’s what this series of videos is about.

And so, about me, OK so when I was really young I fell in love with programming.
You could say I lived to program for a long time, it was the reason I got out of bed for years and I really loved that. And as a result of working really hard I progressed through the corporate ladder and I at some point learned to manage people, and I was still very technical and so I really, really enjoyed all of that.

And then, I was offered a CIO position and this is almost maybe 18 years in, so it was a lot of time and I’d done a good bit of consulting and contracting along the way myself but at this point this was like the end game, man, this was IT.

I was going to be the CIO. So I spent four years in that role and I loved it at first.
And even before my CIO roles, and other senior management roles, the idea of participating in the way we grew the company, the way we put projects together that affected the bottom line (and that’s a big deal) and so that was exciting to me.
But I still had my hands in it, so when the CIO job came along, after awhile it became fairly clear to me I could not really program and be an effective manager.
So I worked a ridiculous amount of hours trying to keep my hands in it and trying to satisfy the management responsibility that I had and it was just too much.
And I had to look in the mirror one day and say “I don’t like all of the strategic planning and meetings, to go to meetings, and plan more meetings to schedule the next meeting” and all of that rinse-and-repeat stuff.

At some point I was just very unhappy and I realized, like an epiphany, that programming and the things that sort of moved me along in my career were the very things that I as a CIO really shouldn’t do, really couldn’t do, and be an effective manager.

So you could say being a good programmer got me promoted right out of being a programmer. And that was a miserable thought for me, and I didn’t like it, and I had to be honest with myself and set my ego aside, and admit that I really missed programming and the heart of software development more than I liked the title and the responsibility, and the money and all the stuff that comes with that.

It just wasn’t me. I’m not the guy that can evolve out of software development and keep my hands out of it.

And so that really didn’t leave a lot of choices.
I could back up. I could take a different job as a software developer, or somewhere kind of between software developer and senior manager/CIO kind of stuff. There’s plenty of roles where you can manage and manage the technology pieces and still be involved in software.

But I thought, what could I do that’s different, right?
So along the way and over the years, I had this idea…
Check out this video I wrote about a piece of software that I wrote {____} and I wanted to have a software company and so having a consultancy was sort of in that same vein and I thought, “Man I could do that”. I could become a Consultant.

I had been hiring consultants and contractors. I knew what they were about and I understood the requirements and the skillsets and all of that so I thought OK I’m doing to do that.

And you know I was super excited and spent months thinking about it in fantasy land thinking about how I was going to help other people solve their technology problems, I had a lot of experience building software,  I was a skilled Java and JavaScript developer, with a lifetime of AS400 programming and RPG, CL, and all that other technology stuff in addition to that so I felt like I had a lot to offer.

But still, there were a lot of HOW questions.
(I’m going to refer here to my board here so I can read some of this off)
Here are ten HOWs that I struggled with, right?

1. How do I stay busy as a consultant?
How do you find work, essentially, right?
2. How do I market and sell?
3. How do I close deals when I have an opportunity?
What if I am competing with other consultants, and companies, and consultancies?
4. How do I price my offerings?
You know, with different geographies, and different parts of the country all of that is in play. Right?
5. How do I find additional programming resources (is number 5)?
If I need to expand my group, over time, which we did in our company.
6. How do I manage finance and accounting?
That’s a big one, man, don’t underestimate that one.
7. How do I handle legal issues?
You know, when contracts are put in front of me, how do I manage those?
8. How do I grow my company beyond just me?
(as Joe Freelancer, or Scott Freelancer, right? Scott FREE-lancer?)
9. How do I manage contracts?
And that sort of touches on the legal part but there’s more than just the legal stuff in that  that’s  you know the legal stuff that is required of you is part of that too like what they want, what you expect, and when you’re going to get paid, and a lot of contract stuff.
10. How do I stay relevant technologically?
With the other things I just mentioned, the first nine, there’s a lot there, and so staying current with technology as you manage all those moving parts is complicated.

And I am going to talk about all of that in the subsequent videos.
And so, how I evolved to this Youtube channel, how I evolved to do this at all, was the idea that at the end of last year I was thinking about all the lessons I had learned and I thought “Man, when I started there just wasn’t a lot out there about how to do this” about how to grow a consultancy, how to become a consultant out of gee find work and stay busy. It just wasn’t…
In 2007, I didn’t see anything to be honest. I may have missed it, but I didn’t see it.
So to me it’s been a lot of blood, sweat, and swearing, a lot of late nights and early mornings, and just a lot of work. And sometimes, a lot of swing and miss at things, you know I would try and they weren’t always successful but I’ve learned a lot of lessons and so this series of videos and this Youtube channel in specific is really about how do I help somebody else skip a few of the problems that I’ve encountered.

You know, and I can put some perspective and somethings in front of you to help you take that step if you’re willing to do it and you’re wanting to do it. You really have to ask yourself if you wanting to do it.
You’re really have to ask yourself if you want to do it.

And I am going to talk about all of those in the next 5 videos, go to motivatedcodepro.com check out the blog entry for this post, and I have an E-Book on this whole series that you can download as well or that you can have emailed to you.

Anyway, I’m Scott with Motivated Code Pro, I’ll see you on the next video, for Video #2 of this 6 part series, Keep coming back!

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