The Freelancers' Show 120 - Preparing For Freelancing: Lifestyle

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The panelists continue their "Preparing For Freelancing" series by discussing lifestyle.


CHUCK: There we go, it’s recording! CURTIS: What, we record these shows? CHUCK: I know. Imagine that! ERIC: It’s a good thing we don’t put them online or anything; I don’t want other people to hear. [Would you like to join a conversation with the Freelancers’ Show panelists and their guests? Wanna support the show? We have a forum that allows you to join the conversation and support the show at the same time. Sign up at] CHUCK: Hey everybody and welcome to episode 120 of the Freelancers’ Show. This week on our panel we have Eric Davis. ERIC: Hello. CHUCK: Curtis McHale. CURTIS: Good day! CHUCK: I'm Charles Max Wood from, and this week we’re going to be talking about lifestyle businesses versus money-making businesses. [Inaudible] CURTIS: I think it’s a stupid distinction, but –. CHUCK: Yeah, I think it’s kind of odd but –. CURTIS: Who comes up with the show titles anyways? CHUCK: We were having a discussion a few weeks back and we decided to do the “stuff you should know when you're trying to decide on going freelance and getting started” and all that stuff. This was one of the things I think we just kinda tossed out there and I'm not really sure if we had a good term for the – I don’t want to say opposite, but what wouldn’t be a lifestyle business. Maybe we should just start by giving a thumbnail of what we think a lifestyle business entails? CURTIS: Any business at all, is my opinion. Segmenting your business, or businesses, into a lifestyle and not lifestyle – your business is a part of your life. That’s where you spend most of your time all the time, so it is, by definition, your lifestyle? CHUCK: Yeah, I've heard the term used and I've actually used it myself to sort of mean a business where it’s really just set up to support the other aspects of your lifestyle. Basically, you spend your work time working so that you can pay for the rest of the other living stuff, so you're not spending as much time working. You're spending the rest of your time with your kids, or doing hobbies, or –. ERIC: There's a difference in the end goal then, right? The end goal of the business to be like this huge, awesome conglomerate that you're going to grow into epic proportions or one that allows you to live the comfortable life you want to live. CHUCK: Right. To some people, the job is just the means to an end, and basically it’s a means to eat, have a place to live, and a base of operations for the rest of your life. And then you have other people who tend to focus a little bit more on building a business and making lots of money and they kinda postpone that lifestyle component a little bit, or a lot of bit, where they're focused much more on making more money and growing their business [crosstalk]. CURTIS: [Crosstalk] Know anyone who’s like that? Like, focused on making more money and growing the business to exclusion of their lifestyle? CHUCK: So the lifestyle business is much more deliberate. I've seen people who are workaholics, and to a certain extent, I kind of am one. I put in way more hours as opposed to doing some of the things that I would like to do with my family, or pursuing the other lifestyle aspects that I would like to do. For me, I see it more as a phase, as opposed to a conscious decision that that’s where I'm going to be for the next 10 years. Does that make sense? CURTIS: I think anyone starting out is in the hustle mode where it’s “work lots, work lots” and hopefully later on you can be in the “I'm going to take off on Fridays” or “I'm going to spend two hours reading stories to my kids or going for a walk with my wife, or just sitting.” ERIC: One thing to think about it is, I look at lifestyle businesses or that term is, you're starting a business because it’s something that you really enjoy and something you want to do for the rest of your life. If you had a lifestyle business that you liked, you wouldn’t retire, you wouldn’t leave the business when you're done or whatever. It’s not just a passion, but it’s kind of a passion, whereas the moneymaking business is – the business is just a way to make money, or maybe you're going to sell the business to another company, or you're going to have it throw off a bunch of cash. Once you have that, then you actually pursue another goal that you want. And so the moneymaking side, it’s a means to an end, versus the lifestyle, it’s like, this is what you want to do. Like you guys were saying, it’s not really clear cut. There's not like – this is a lifestyle business or whatever. A lot of people use lifestyle business in a derogatory term. They say, “Oh, you're not passionate enough about your business; it’s just a lifestyle business for you,” which, I think some people have started taking that back and they actually deliberately built a lifestyle business. It’s something I kinda keep in mind of – there are different levels here. There's a grey area of where you fall, or where you want to be versus where you are. CURTIS: I think, for me – I am generally a pretty content person, so I could be happy doing any number of careers as long as they facilitated the other goals that I have, which are hanging out with my kids, being able to read stories, not really missing first steps and first words and stuff like that. CHUCK: Yeah, absolutely. That’s a lot of where I'm at, too. Right now I'm much more focused on building the business than I have been on some of these other lifestyle aspects, and for me, it’s just really – I feel like I'm in a place where if I push it ahead to a certain point, then I can keep the machine running, and then I can have the lifestyle stuff and spend the time. There's a real ramp up phase that I'm in right now, and I do feel guilty sometimes that I'm not spending the time with my kids or things like that as much as I would like to, but at the same time, there is that aspect. When you're getting started, are there certain decisions you need to make regarding this? CURTIS: I think when you're getting started, except in some rare circumstances when you don’t have a choice, you're not running the “lifestyle business” because you have to get known in many ways. I was still getting my clients and still hustling and working a lot, so we had no kids at the time. I guess I had a full year of running our business before we had our first kid, so I hustled hard and worked very hard and got back to that. But even at times, since then, like last November – I worked double the whole month so that I could take January off for the new baby. So when you're starting, I think, you don’t have a choice. You have to hustle hard, unless you're very well-known, a core contributor in Rails or in WordPress or someone who has the availability that people just snap it up immediately. ERIC: Yeah, but there's something you can do or you might want to do when you get started. If your goal is to build a big consultancy of a couple of dozen consultants where you are able to step away, then you're going to start your branding, you're going to name your company, you're going to do the business part of things differently than someone who – it’s just kind of a thing to do on the side to bring in income so you could pursue an art career or something. I think there are some things you need to do upfront or you would change based on what your outcome is at the end. That’s not to say you can't change your mind or go from one to the other later on, but that’s something you need to think about. CHUCK: I think this really comes back to why you're going freelance. For example, part of the reason why I went freelance was that I was tired of being an employee and I was tired of getting laid off from the jobs I liked and having people fight me to stay on the jobs I hated. There was a certain degree of that kind of a feeling, but the other thing is that I really wanted to be able to be around and be involved when my kids started school and started being involved in other things, so that I could just have the freedom to go and do it and not really worry about checking in with my boss or making sure that it’s okay that I take this time off to go do whatever it is with my family. I was looking for that kind of freedom and that kind of lifestyle as well. People really do need to evaluate where they're at and what they want from their freelance career. Are you looking to make more money? Are you looking to buy that house or that car? Are you looking to have a certain measure of one thing or another in your life? What's the driving factor and is it important enough to make sacrifices one way or the other to have it? ERIC: Yeah, I know one guy, he wanted to work with other smart people, and so he figured, instead of trying to find the smart people and find a company that has an open position, he found it was better to just start his own business, hire those smart people he wanted to work with, and then find work for them to do. And so he was doing a lot of hustle up front like everyone else, but his hustle was because he wanted to get all these employees – he wanted to build a great team there. That’s a different influence in what you would have done, Chuck. CHUCK: Mm-hm, definitely. I think it was interesting, the discussion over whether or not a lifestyle business is or is not a moneymaking business. I think what it really boils down to is whether or not what you're doing has the kind of value that people will pay lots of money for or not, and what kind of work it’s going to take in order to make that money. I know that in certain arenas, it’s really hard to be steadily employed. The one that comes to mind is coaching, mostly, and that’s because if you're doing life coaching or business coaching or things like that and you have clients that are only paying for a few hours a month, then you have to line up a lot of them in order to make it work. You're going to spend a lot of time doing marketing and things like that in order to build it up to the point where you're making enough money. CURTIS: It also depends on what “enough” is, right? I talked to some friends and they said enough is when their income is $12,000/month. Me, $12,000 is an astronomical amount that I don’t really need. Enough for me is $5,000. So to go in and be at a need to earn $12,000, or a need to earn $5,000 is a totally different standpoint even when you're going in. When I started out, I wanted a lifestyle business. I want a business where I could go biking or I could go kayaking in the middle of the day sometimes. I didn’t have to work weekends and I could make up my own plans. Now, as I look at my business, I want to probably move into doing some more training and mentoring of newer programmers and actually working with a small team, and so I've adjusted my branding even recently and starting to work towards trying to scale up a business so I have one or two people around either on a full-time contract or as employees proper. CHUCK: I think that’s a big thing to consider when you are – and I think it’s something that you need to evaluate periodically as well, so that you're making the decisions that are right for you within your business. CURTIS: Yeah, and even then, I would still say I want to run a lifestyle business. I expect to be able to take off on Fridays and do some – I usually do some bizdev and a meeting in the morning, and then ride my bike, and I would expect that and I would hope [inaudible] for my employees as well, right? Friday afternoons is just do whatever you want. Friday mornings is working on WordPress core, working on an open source project and you can do whatever you want all Friday afternoon. CHUCK: What kind of questions do you need to ask yourself in order to determine if you want more of the lifestyle business or more of the other kind of business? Because “What do you want?” seems a little bit vague to me. CURTIS: I think it’s your priorities, right? I knew in my late teens that I wanted to be a dad one day – not at that moment, but I wanted to be a dad one day, and so my priority was always being a good dad. Even looking back on my father who did the best he could, but he did a lot of traveling especially when I was under 10, he was traveling all over the world for IBM and I actively decided I did not want to do that. I left one job even partway through before I started opening my own business where I had to do a two-hour commute every day and I made amazing money. I didn’t make as good a money even for the first couple of years programming, and I didn’t mind the work either, and I just didn’t want to travel. And so as I shifted their business I had to travel every day, I said, “Forget it” and I quit for – I went from $100/hour to $15/hour simply to cut a drive. CHUCK: So what does a lifestyle business look for for you guys – or look like for you guys? I mean you’ve talked a little bit about priorities, being around for the family and stuff, but –. ERIC: A lot of it for me is mostly freedom and flexibility. Like, I have control over my calendar, I have control over where I work, and I have control over what I work on. Now, it’s not complete control – the client obviously is going to have something that they need and I might not want to do it but I need to do it, or there's a meeting I have to go to but I have –. The flexibility is on the far end of a lot of control, versus an employee who’s in an office where everything’s dictated. And so that means I can more or less wake up if I need to; if I feel sick or not 100% I can take a day off. Like Curtis was saying, if I want to go and go for a two-hour run in the mid-afternoon, I can go do that. Like urgent stuff, when your [inaudible] are taken care of, I can do what I want. If I feel like I need to work at night – when my daughter was born I had to do a lot of weird scheduling just to work around her sleep schedule. Being able to work at night and not having to ask my client if I could do that was important. Mostly it’s flexibility. CURTIS: Yeah, it’s the same thing with me. I had some flexibility when I worked at an agency, but I could even take a long lunch sometimes because I wouldn’t get those billable hours that they expect you to have every week. CHUCK: Yeah, and one thing that I'm finding with my lifestyle business is that I like some of the clients I work with, but I'm not always engaged by the work that I'm doing. So for me, it’s about freeing up some time and it’s about helping people make better lives, which is a lot of what the podcasts are about and a lot about what some of these other things that I really like to do. I really enjoy doing training and career coaching, so I feel like I could possibly move into a position where I'm doing a lot more of those things and a lot less of actually the day-to-day freelancing for pay-directly-for-my-time, whether it’s daily, monthly or weekly. It’s interesting how that’s changed over the last four years that I've been self-employed. For me, it’s kind of coloring things in a different way and pushing in a different direction. But the interesting thing is I really do enjoy writing code and I really do enjoy a lot of the challenges there, and so I want to keep some hold on that too. I find myself, a lot of times, trying to make a distinction and a decision between more or less two paths that I should follow because I don’t know that I could do either – I can do both of them well at the same time. Do you guys every run into that kind of thing where you feel like there are multiple areas that you want to pursue but you only have time for one? ERIC: Never. CURTIS: All the time. I was actually just listening to a good podcast from Sean Wes – Sean Wes podcast; I think his name is actually Sean [inaudible] - where they talked about the overlap technique, so getting into consulting and then once your consulting is rolling and starting doing some products, and then starting doing some training so all three overlap. They also talked about focusing on one – get that consulting business rolling so it’s like a well-oiled machine. Even if it’s just you, there's lots of cash in the bank that you can basically turn on your marketing funnel and get clients. Once it’s at that point, not before moving into the next thing, and once you get those products going and generating a decent income, then moving into the training. They were talking even about a lot of consultants saying that when they start out they don’t – they get that consulting business just barely running, and then they start on the next thing. They get it just barely running, and they start on the next thing. So then they have three things and they don’t really make any more money; they just run around between three things more often. ERIC: [Inaudible] CHUCK: It sounds like, at least partially, some of the things that I've wound up doing over the years. CURTIS: As have I – as am I, actually. CHUCK: Yup. So what kind of activities do you find yourself doing when you're in the “build the business up” mode, or the “work double time so that I can take a month off when the baby’s born” mode as opposed to being in a “lifestyle business” mode? CURTIS: I'm not taking an hour to read books to my kid at lunch; I'm taking short Friday bike rides or something as opposed to taking the whole afternoon to go for bike rides, then have coffee quietly and then get home. Or I'm not [inaudible] out early on Sundays, getting up at five to work an extra couple of hours every morning. ERIC: Yeah, or instead of reading fiction books at night, I’ll read business books, or during the day I’ll do a lot more marketing or actual heavy sales instead of just “Oh, when someone contacts me, they’ll contact me” – a lot of forecasting, a lot of planning of “Okay, if I get two clients this month, they should pay me the next month.” I would roll into this next thing, basically what-if scenarios; what you think about when you think of heavy business stuff. CHUCK: Yeah. I find myself sacrificing a lot of personal projects too when I'm in that mode, just to focus on one thing at a time and getting that one thing done, whether it’s more client work or whether it’s “I'm ramping up for this launch and so I'm going to spend a lot of time working on this other product” or things like that, so you wind up saying “no” a lot. ERIC: Yeah, it’s not completely autopilot but [inaudible] the thing you're building up goes on autopilot. CHUCK: Yeah, and the only thing that I've really found that is difficult about that is if the thing that I'm focused on is not the consulting business, I still have to spend time doing the marketing and things like that, and keep business coming in because that’s really what's paying the bills, and so even though it’s a distraction from the other focus, it’s a necessity. Sometimes I find that meeting that balance and finding that place to be in is kinda hard. ERIC: Well, that’s kind of what Curtis was saying. In your case, maybe you left the consulting part too early. It’s not spinning on its own yet; it still winds down if you're not there cranking it. Maybe you need to put in processes, or systems, or automation, or whatever, whatever the problem is, make it so it can keep spinning – maybe not as fast but maybe only 5% slower if you're not there cranking on it. CHUCK: Right, fast enough to pay the bills and to keep paying the bills if I'm not shoveling coal into it all the time. CURTIS: Yeah, and that can also be in your consulting business scaling out so there is another contractor around or two that is working for you consistently, right? CHUCK: Right. CURTIS: [Inaudible] Sean is actually Sean McCabe, is his name. He just works for himself, but he is in high enough demand because he got that consulting business so well-oiled over four years and stuck to his guns and said no to the right things that he can say he has project availability. He’d just get someone, calls him immediately, “I’ll take it” and book the next couple of weeks, or the next couple of months of work with just one email. CHUCK: So the other question I guess I have is, do consulting businesses like ours, or product businesses, tend to lend themselves more toward being a lifestyle business, or do they lend themselves more toward being a crank-money-out business? CURTIS: It all depends on the owner. ERIC: Yeah. CURTIS: I have my friend, Pippin, who runs a couple of big WordPress plugins. He can choose – I know he can choose to work less or he can choose to hire some other people for the business, because it’s making plenty of money now, but he’s also a bit of a workaholic. He just said recently that he spent his first real time unplugged because he happened to be in Canada and did not get a Canadian cellphone plan. ERIC: Right. I mean, there are consulting businesses like mine where it’s just me – it’s more of a lifestyle-type thing – and then there's other ones I know where it turns into a consultancy where they have employees, they have staff, and the owner –. It might take a couple or a several, maybe a decade, to get it to that place, but they can actually walk away. They could leave for a month, for two months, and the business will keep running and will keep throwing off revenue, keep getting projects started and finished and all that. A product business is the same thing. There are some product businesses where if the owner leaves, the product crashes; there's no ongoing market and there's nothing keeping them moving, but then there are other product businesses that are throwing off money every month even if the owners neglect it. It depends on the owner; it depends on how you have set up and what systems you have in place, really. CURTIS: And I think it’s the processes, the systems there, that’s just talking [inaudible]. I know in my business, I've got a few of them, but I don’t think my consulting business has enough that I could turn it totally on autopilot, really. I think I need to be in there regularly so I don’t have post-processes. Walking away totally now would be a bad idea. CHUCK: So is the key to all of this automation? Building systems? ERIC: I mean, if that’s what you want. If you want a lifestyle business, you can just – you are the process, you are the system, and you don’t have to invest the time and money in resources to do it. But if you do want to be the making-money, you either need systems, or you need something to accelerate it. Like if you're doing a product business and you get a VC capital – a couple million dollars is an accelerant, so you can keep doing things by hand and hope that you hit the big lottery. You probably won’t just by statistical odds, but you could do that, or you can take VC money or have your own self-funding stuff, put that money into building systems, build a business, and then maybe a couple of years down the road, your business is kind of going on its own. The extreme example is Tim Ferris and The 4-Hour Workweek stuff. CURTIS: [Inaudible] even more running by yourself and setting up a bunch of processes to automate things is awesome, so I do a Mastermind and I render out the screencast every Friday and I have it setup so Vimeo just pushes it right over into the WordPress install [inaudible] pushed into all the time. There's not a lot of time I would kill doing that, but that means I can set it up to render the Vimeo and go out on my bike ride and it’s just done when I come back; I don’t have to do anything about it. ERIC: Yeah, or if you hired someone where you dropped the file into Dropbox or gave it to him somehow and they did it all and uploaded it for you. Automation doesn’t have to be software; it can actually be hiring people to do it for you. CURTIS: Yeah, I did that this year with my assistant. My admin assistant does all my taxes for me, proofreads my blog posts, make sure my emails are scheduled properly and moves them over so I don’t have to do any of that. CHUCK: Interesting. Do you find yourself creating systems for your assistant, so you give them a step 1-step 2 kinda thing or at least general guidelines that will help them get it done more quickly? CURTIS: Yup, absolutely. When I started off, I recorded a bunch of screencasts on how I do it, and then I told them use my way till you know my way really good and if you can find better ways, let’s do it. If you use faster ways, then I'm totally fine with that. When we first started, we put a lot of due dates on things, but now she just does it. Even my taxes, when she first started, she was doing receipts every week and now she does them every other week; she just goes through them all. CHUCK: Nice. CURTIS: That’s what I think. She’s even caught a bunch of things like, “Hey, did you forget to put a receipt in for this?” when she was looking at my credit card and I was like, “I totally did. Let me find that” – which I never would have caught myself because I just never would’ve looked. I would probably have an extra – I don’t know - $300 or $400 of claims even just for my last trip that I would have just missed because I didn’t take a picture of the receipt or something. Having her around made me automate every process even more, and so I went to a paperless office, and I have a phone image scanner that sends directly to Evernote, that then sends it off to her to-do list for me. Now I have everything in Evernote searchable for this year. That saves me tons of time, and tons of storage space already. CHUCK: Hm. Maybe we should do an episode on going paperless. ERIC: Or in my case, starting used paper more. CURTIS: No, always the contrary in Eric, eh? ERIC: It’s the tool that works the best, and that’s what's been working for me. CURTIS: I have a Moleskin right across me with keyboard shortcuts written down. When I've cleared all the ones on the Fantastical first, then I’ll cross them off and move on to the next set. CHUCK: Interesting. I know we kinda talked around this a lot, but is there a step-by-step process that people should go through in designing the lifestyle that they want from their business? Or the outcomes that they want from their business I guess might be a better way to put it. ERIC: Don’t you start with the outcomes then work backwards from there? Like when you have a deadline on a project, you say, “When is it due? Okay, now let’s work backwards. Do we have enough time to even do that?” or “What will it take to get to that?” CHUCK: What if people don’t have a clear idea what those outcomes should be? ERIC: Guess. CHUCK: I guess that’s true. That means not working as you go, right? ERIC: Yeah. I don’t like the outcome idea; I also am coming down hard on setting goals and all that stuff, but that’s the huge tangent for today. I think if you go back to why you're starting, what principles you have, what values you have – that’s good. Actually I have a little sheet that I give to some people about – if they're trying to [inaudible] what to do. But if you could rate different things, like what you and what you want your business to be, like, “Do you want to have freedom to work at home? Is that something you value a lot or you want to have freedom from having a single boss?” Doing that stuff, figuring out what you want from there, probably will – you can lean one way or the other, I would think, and that can kinda guide what you do, and that can guide what decisions you make. Obviously, you're going to take into account any current circumstances. If you want the lifestyle business but you don’t have enough money to pay your bills this month, and someone gives you a rush project that you're going to have to work nights on, it’s probably fine just to take the extra project and work nights so you can pay our stuff. But know, when you're accepting that, that this is not the ideal thing for me at this point but it’s something that’s going to let me continue doing my thing. That’s kind of how I – personally, that’s what I recommend to people, and just kinda review it, I guess, maybe every year, every six months or so, just to make sure. Maybe you’ve grown as a person or changed as a person, or your business is going a different way and you actually want to change it from one way to the other. CURTIS: Yeah, when I started I thought it was just working at home and getting to set my own hours, but after working for an agency for three months, I was like, “No, it’s totally not. Not just that – it’s a whole bunch of other things that combine to it, and I'm willing to put up with the occasional client, ridiculous client, to get all the other things.” CHUCK: Mm-hm. ERIC: Yeah. Some stuff, as you work, it’s going to become important like being around for your kids. People say that’s important, but until you actually do it, you might not really realize how important it is, because that also means maybe you're around to cook them lunch, or maybe one of them hurt the other one, and you gotta be around to help them and it actually causes interruptions to your business. And so if you're the type of person who has to really focus on things, that might actually be not a good fit, and so you might want to have an office space, or you might want to focus on building a consultancy instead of a “I'm going to work at home with really flexible hours.” Like I said, that’s why you review. As stuff comes up, you're going to see that and be able to make adjustments, make corrections. CHUCK: Yeah, I think those are both important. It almost sounds like you need to think about what you want, be that outcomes or the things that you value or whatever, and then it also sounds a lot like you guys are advocating that you just kind of adjust – this is working, this isn’t working – and make adjustments. Do you find that making a plan helps out with some of this? Or is it mostly a series of processes and systems and habits and things like that that take you that direction? CURTIS: When I started automating things, I just figured out what my admin assistant needed to do and how could she do it with our current tools. [inaudible] nope, she couldn’t, because it was just all locked up with me, and so then I started to automate. I know, even working at home has worked very well up till the last month or two when my three-year-old has been a lot more needy, a little more whiny, maybe to do with the new baby, and so it’s a lot harder. It’s harder to work at home now and to actually get the proper hours in because she wants my time, or she’s throwing a fit outside the door, which makes it hard to concentrate, no matter how loud the music is. CHUCK: Mm-hm. ERIC: I don’t know, it’s not so much a plan versus setting up processes; I think they do different things. Planning is – for lack of a better description – it’s strategic, versus automating, setting up processes – that kinda goes more into the tactical. You can make a plan, like a business plan or where you want to be in the next few years, but unless you actually root that in – how you're going to get there, what are you going to do – it’s just a document. If you use it just to brainstorm and really think through your things, even the process of planning might actually be a good thing to do just so you can really, “Oh yeah, I really don’t want to work at home; I want to work around people; that’s important to me.” I mean, you can try it. [inaudible] like I said, 30 minutes, and write down and make a plan of “this is where you want your business to be in the next five years, what you want your normal, everyday, day to look like” – that can influence it too. CURTIS: Yeah and I know Michael Hyatt [inaudible] encourage you to write out your ideal week and see –. Pretend you have no other commitment – what would your ideal week be for work – and then start working your current commitments so that they actually fit your ideal week. ERIC: Yeah, that’s a popular piece of advice, doing it at least on the day side. You just have to be careful; you can’t say, “I'm going to sleep in, I'm going to read a book, I'm going to lazily eat some brunch, I'm going to watch some TV” – you have to actually have work in your day. CHUCK: Mm-hm. Alright, anything else you guys want to add before we get to the picks? ERIC: Like I said, do some of these thinking when you get started, or if you already started, think about it now. You can change it as you go – you can grow your business, you can shrink it down. Don’t worry that it’s set in stone, but put the time in and think about it. Think about what you want now and just come back to it a little bit and see if that’s still the same thing you want. CHUCK: Alright, let’s go ahead and do the picks. Curtis, do you want to start us with the picks? CURTIS: Sure. I'm going to pick GistBox app, which is a Chrome app, and it allows you to keep all your gists organized, and even use it as a mini snippet repository for yourself. I've just started digging into it a lot more. I tried it a while ago and I wasn’t in love with it but it has changed a bit. It even lets you have group snippets so we could form a group for the Freelancers Show and then share snippets specifically to that. CHUCK: Alright, Eric, what are you picks? ERIC: I got two today. One is a new blog that got started called Pace. It’s by Jesse from YouNeedABudget. I mentioned him on the past; he’s on a lot of accounting stuff, he’s really good at budgeting financial stuff, and his blog is going to be about, I guess, small business. I read his introduction post of why he’s doing this and I think it’s going to be an interesting blog to watch if you don’t know accounting, don’t know finance, but you still kinda want to see your money or what's going on with it, especially if you get confused and it’s like, “Oh, I don’t –” your financial budgeting basically is just done by looking at your checking balance. The nice thing about him is he ties it to actually how you can use finances and accounting to actually help your business instead of just being used for taxes. Second pick, it’s a post by Naomi Dunford from IttyBiz; it’s called Not A Blog Person? (Content Marketing For The Rest Of Us). It’s an interesting post because people talk about using content marketing and almost all the time it’s basically you're blogging. She actually kind of changes it around and shows some other ways of doing it. Instead of having a blog, maybe you just have articles, or you do stuff on Youtube, or you do videos that aren't on Youtube or whatever. It’s nice to break out of the rut, to kind of worry that you have to do blogging. CHUCK: Awesome. It’s been kind of a crazy week this last week, so I don’t know if I have any picks. I did speak at Agile Roots Conference, which is a lot of fun, so maybe I’ll pick that. But it’s over this year, so I guess we’ll just wrap up. Thanks for coming guys, we’ll catch you all next week! [Hosting and bandwidth provided by the Blue Box Group. Check them out at] [Bandwidth for this segment is provided by CacheFly, the world’s fastest CDN.  Deliver your content fast with CacheFly. Visit to learn more]

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