I'm trying to get out of the Corporate game and go indie. I've always prided myself on being a jack of all trades so I think it suits me.
If you're a freelancer or independent, what's the best advice you could give me as I start down this road?
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Everything Jarrod Roberson said is spot-on. A few more suggestions:
Here are two little jewels I got from a great, defunct magazine called "Midnight Engineering":
And here is my cardinal rule of business, from a classic '70s business book called "Winning Through Intimidation":
A few more suggestions...
@Bob and @Jarrod already provide excellent and complete answers.
To stress one point even more: Make sure you charge enough. Don't be fooled by huge-looking hourly rates, often many, many times what one would make in a normal job.
Remember that all this needs to come out of your pocket:
what is left after this, and after taxes, will be what you, personally, make. It will be much less than the hourly rate suggests.
I've always liked the following, very primitive but effective way of finding out some basic numbers:
(Of course, this calculation is naive in that it assumes you will always have paid work, which may not be the case - you'll have to adjust for that.)