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A4F 109: Answers for Non-Freelancers? A Follow-up Discussion of our Interview with Michael Gerber, the E-Myth man.

Following up on our interview with Michael Gerber in the previous episode.

The dynamic in this roundtable is kind of interesting because all three of us were coming from different directions. Chris was ready to jump the freelance ship and was already looking at different business models. Bob, after more than a cumulative decade of freelancing, was trying to figure out what was ‘next’, because he’d felt he’d hit an income ceiling as a freelance artist. Ken on the other hand, had been a freelancer on and off his whole life and in general was quite happy with it.

So, with all three points of view in play, we dig into some of the stuff that was covered in both the interview and from information that Chris and Bob had gleaned from the book, The E Myth.

Things we talk about include:

  • Imagining your Business with you as the entrepreneur, not the employee.
  • Creating the business that will bring you the most satisfaction, not just an income.
  • Thinking about your business as a series of tasks, not as a nebulous whole. Making your day job ‘definable’.
  • Creating systems to streamline your workflows.

We take a hard look at the differences between freelancing and entrepreneurship. How are they fundamentally different? How do you apply Michael’s techniques to either to become more successful? Is one doomed to failure while another is a rocketship heading to the moon? Not necessarily, but until you understand the key features of each, you can’t really start to grow either, or grow beyond where you are now.

The go-to example in our discussion turns out to be the strip cartoonist. Cartoonists are not freelancers. They aren’t being approached by an individual to create a strip for a set fee. Rather, they are using the strip to create a property. This property can be sold to 1 newspaper for a very little bit of money, 100 newspapers for more money, or even 10,000 newspapers for a lot of money. Not only this, but you can create a buffer of work and go on vacation or take a sick day or two. Or, as in the case of Garfield and a few others, hire other artists to draw their strip for them.

The truth is, many of us start our solo businesses with some vague sort of idea of what we want to do, and then immediately begin taking jobs for clients and forget that we were ever going to do anything else.

Our guest introduction this episode came from one of Chris’ all-time favorite podcasts, The Signal, a podcast about Joss Whedon’s Firefly series and Serenity the Movie.

There are 4 comments .


How come iTunes only have 7 episodes? Are you guys using the iTunes feed or should I try manually?



chris —

Yeah. We’re when we changed sites, there was a hiccup. I think I’ve found a work around, but currently, iTunes isn’t hitting our XML feed. Feel free to subscibe directly to the RSS2 link on the subscribe page.

M. Cross

Great follow up… Can you guys do an episode on a general workflow of start to finish on a job you get as a freelancer. The business side of a job…Example:when to bill, how many payments. How often do you contact the client to update them? How many proofs do you send them? Do you contact a printer and have it printed for them, or just send them the files… I’m just wondering about some nuts, and bolts stuff… Thanks.. great job… Looking forward to each and every episode.

chris —

That’s a good idea. Its kind of a tough one, since we all make allowances for clients needs, project length, and the type of work being done, but I think there’s some room in there to at least start the conversation.

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