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Negotiations always give me the jitters. Am I proposing a fair deal? Am I about to get swindled? Should I look elsewhere? Am I going to lose this project? Is this client going to be more stress than they’re worth? […]

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Walk into any business, and you can almost instantly spot the owner. It’s not always their clothes, either. Some dress with more authority, but that’s not always the case. Sometimes they’re the ones in the tie-dye and sandals. And age […]

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Working from home has many perks: more time and money otherwise spent on commuting, flexible schedule, and an opportunity to combine work and family life. All this comes at a price – some people find it extremely hard to avoid […]

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Cash. Money. Moolah. Coin. Pennies. Dimes. Dosh. Dough… Call it whatever but let’s be honest…it can be the painful, blistering bane of your existence if you’re not careful. How many nights do you lie awake staring at the ceiling stressing […]

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When I was very young, I used to read the comics in the Sunday newspaper (an activity that I’ve unfortunately discontinued). I fell in love with comic strips like Calvin & Hobbes, Pickles, Baby Blues and others. And for a […]

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There are many benefits to freelancing, including the ability to set your own hours and rid yourself of a long, boring, and expensive commute. (Forgot how awesome freelancing is? Read this.) However, one of the downsides of being your own […]

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Do you have that one client (okay, maybe three?!) that’s habitually totally unorganized and needing something big last week? The one that asks for an entire PowerPoint presentation for tomorrow’s 8am meeting? (Just 20 slides, I swear! 85 slides later…) […]

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Have you ever watched the television show Shark Tank? If you haven’t, here’s the gist: the Shark Tank is a place where hopeful entrepreneurs pitch their business to highly successful millionaire and billionaire entrepreneurs (like Mark Cuban and Daymond John) in an […]

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I have woken up in cold sweats, with the bed literally soaking beneath me. I’ve had nights where sleep just wouldn’t come at all – pushed away by gut-wrenching anxiety. I’ve been pre-occupied with worrisome thoughts that prevented me from […]

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Y’know that guy – one of your peers who always seems to get the very best clients? He who: Never has a problem with late payments. Doesn’t have to haggle pricing on rush projects. Makes handling a client misunderstanding sound […]

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So you want to start a business? Or perhaps you just did? Are you mad? Bonkers? Insane? Lost your marbles? Quick, you still have time! Get outta here!! Run for your life. Run for the hills. Go on, go! Get […]

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It takes a lot of work to get clients. Once you get them though, you have to know how to keep them, or all that hard work is lost. This is what my own agency has done to keep clients […]

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Your portfolio is online, you have a stack of business cards handy, you’re trying all of the traditional methods to find new clients, and yet…nobody’s knocking on your door. Now what? Client acquisition is one of those tasks you’ll need […]

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We’ve covered a lot of ground at Millo when it comes to working with clients, finding clients, pitching them on your services and then even delivering the results of your work to them effectively. But there’s one more scenario we need […]

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Pricing is super-hard. You’re thrilled that someone wants to hire you, and then you obsess over creating a proposal. And before you even get to the panicky part about what the client will think about the final numbers, you have […]

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It was 9:00pm. I rushed down to the lake by the house, walked a bit up the trail that wraps around it, and waited. I paced. Bit my nails. Then, the phone call: “Hi, Dr. Pat, good to hear from […]

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For my entire life, I dreamed of travel. I dreamed of visiting far off lands, experiencing new cultures and doing something unconventional with my life. Yet I always thought that travel would come someday in the future, someday when I […]

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There’s a great line from Oscar-winning movie writer (including Moneyball and The West Wing) Aaron Sorkin’s 2012 commencement address at Syracuse. He said, Decisions are made by those who show up. I love the overly simplistic nature of this statement, and […]

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Deciding to jump into freelancing is an awesome, scary, exciting rush of emotions. Unless you have money set aside, you’re probably still working your “regular” job until things really take off, but you’re ready… …all except for one thing: you […]

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Last week, I had an opportunity to speak to a group of students at my Alma mater and I had a complete blast. My presentation was titled something like “Skipping 3-5 years: how starting a blog in college helped my skip […]

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I think it’s awesome how many designers are still print-only. I love paper and ink. The way it feels in your hands, the smell, the way it looks under different lights. Digital doesn’t come close to the sensory experience that […]

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I remember my first time. Nerves. Confusion. Sheer palm-sweaty, nerve-racking, eye-twitching terror. All these manic thoughts running through my head. Constantly. Non stop. Every time I awoke in the morning. Every night when my head collapsed into my pillow at night. […]

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The other day I was at lunch with a friend of mine when he accidentally offended me as an entrepreneur. He didn’t mean to. Not in the slightest. And I’m not talking like a huge offense. No harm, no foul. […]

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Social Media is notorious for being a hotbed for overly honest confessions, offensive rants, and embarrassing photos you don’t want your employer seeing. To an extent, that’s expected for one’s personal page; it is yours to share what you want. […]

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When it comes to getting paid, we run a pretty tight ship here at Web123, but it wasn’t always beer and skittles. A few years ago our Debtors used to always be sitting at $120,000+ outstanding. It felt like we […]

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So the honeymoon phase is over with your design business huh? Me too. I’ve been running my own business for more than five years and a few months ago, this truth really began to hit me hard: A job where […]

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Let’s pretend the internet doesn’t exist. Given that you are reading this blog while online I appreciate such a concept may be pretty hard to get your head around but please, bear with me. Picture the scene. You’ve left your […]

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Raising rates can be done in two ways: Rip off the band-aid. Say, “To hell with it!” and raise them now, without warning (or with warning), and let the pieces fall where they may. 2) With the method outlined in […]

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A design manager recently told me that he has a hard time finding good freelancers who are willing to work in-house. This is at a very well-respected marketing communications firm in Portland, Maine – a town bursting with designers. Why […]

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I’m going to share with you a list of ridiculous demands my company has been asked of by clients recently. I’m sure you’ll nod along. You might even get a laugh or two…or a few tears, if you’ve been pushed […]

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As a print designer, you know that often your clients are going to need web design. But is it worth it to go through the hassle of learning WordPress (and the basics of web design)? Or should you simply partner with […]

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Half a decade ago, I (along with half the world, it feels like) got caught up in the lifestyle business craze when I read Tim Ferris’ The Four Hour Workweek for the first time. Since then I’ve read dozens and […]

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Here’s an idea: people – including clients – are generally not bad, bitter, or overall evil. It’s just the circumstance that sometimes result in us – the freelancers – getting screwed during the process. I really believe this is true, […]

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Running a freelance design business is one of the most fulfilling careers you can embark on. Think about it – you spend some time honing your design skills, and then use your skills to make an income, hopefully enough to […]

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How many times have you made this excuse? I would love to work on <insert side project>, but I just don’t have time. I used to say this too (more than I’d like to admit), but worse, I used to […]

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As creative freelancers and business owners, we all know written contracts are useful – no, necessary – when dealing with customers. After all, we’ve all been reading Graphic Design Blender, haven’t we? Whether it’s a $2,000 logo or a $20,000 […]

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Back in the early days of our creative marketing business, Clients from Hell was a gift from the universe. It kept me sane, reading all of those stories from fellow comrades in arms. Now, however, I have a much different […]

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Let’s talk turkey for a few minutes. More particularly… cash flow. Icky, dirty, rotten, dreaded cash flow. How’s yours going? Are you making the BIG bucks? Stashing plenty of dosh away each month so you can retire young, travel the […]

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A couple weeks ago, Karol wrote a great post about not getting cheated by your design clients. In that post, we recommended (as we always do) that you have a signed contract with most of your clients. But in the […]

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I don’t think I chose the freelance life, I think the freelance life chose me. While other kids were playing little league, I was trying to build a two story colonial house for my teddy bears out of logs, complete […]

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Ever have one of those days (weeks?) where you just can’t seem to get yourself motivated? And I mean REALLY unmotivated, like nothing — not even dusting to avoid work — can tear you away from putting off life in […]

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A few days ago, the phone rang at 10am. “Reliable! This is Lou,” my wife and business partner, Lou, said. (We run a design / marketing agency, but recently started Reliable: our new PSD to HTML & WordPress company). She […]

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Thank you for applying; we went with someone more experienced. I heard that plenty coming straight out of college, and I bet you have, too. With today’s job market, recent and upcoming college grads are increasingly looking toward freelancing to […]

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As I mentioned before in this post, recently I interviewed 9 amazing veteran freelancers, each on a different challenging topic they have personal experience excelling in. From hiring employees to overcoming self-doubt, here are bits of the wonderful information four […]

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