When the words “freelance” and “consulting” come, people think of it as a walk in the park. They think that anyone can be a consultant just by reading a few articles, or get into freelancing just by creating an account. I have personally been through the phase of starting from a blank profile and built one by consistent hard work but as the saying goes “With great power…comes a lot of Complicated Projects”.

Over the years, I’ve created a reputation for myself to solve clients’ problems that most programmers reject at the first sight. And when I’m done solving their issue, they say such nice things in the feedback. Like this one went a bit beyond ordinary:

Owais Afaq client comment.

An excited client from my early days

But for me, the knowledge-based perks of taking on these projects outweigh everything else. Here are 3 Lessons I learned, which  helped me master web development and led me to setting up my Company:

  1. You have to push your limits hard to reach the next level
    When you’re working on a new problem, the adrenaline rush of simplifying complexity is enough to get you going to your next challenge. If you don’t get a feeling of satisfaction by solving a complex problem, then I think you should opt for a simpler field of work. Programming is all about taking on bigger challenges than you believe you can handle. Going into unexplored areas of expertise is what grows you as a programmer. Don’t shy away from projects that seem complex but once you take them, give it all you’ve got and deliver!
  2. Know your clients and be there for them
    This might sound so simple and cliché but for freelancers knowing your client and understanding their needs is specially important. Usually the people/companies opting for freelancers want a person who has full command on what they need and are willing to go beyond the scope of a project to educate them. Clients get happy, you get amazing reviews and also substantial bonuses with this kind of attitude. A good start is to do some initial research on google with whatever info is available in the job post and from the past feedback (you can at least get their name from there if it is hidden on the site). This helps you create a better and personalized pitch which can grab attention.
  3. Persistence, promptness and communication
    For me freelancing was the gateway to entrepreneurship. Building a Company and keeping it afloat had a lot of challenges and amongst numerous other factors, the reputation and experience I acquired in early days as a Tech Consultant helped me overcome these challenges. Persistence in continuously bidding on new projects as soon as they are posted to increase chances of selection, being prompt in responding when a client contacts you, and keeping them updated about project progress and possible delays.

Have something to add? You can comment here or discuss with me directly.