CategoryBusiness

7 Tips for Breaking Into The Design Industry

This weekend my wife and I took a trip out of town with some friends to their family's farm. The road trip took a couple of hours and on the way out of town one of our friends wanted to ask me some business questions. He was young, just getting started in business and trying to thing of a way to break into a certain industry. While I rattled off some thoughts on business and customers I...

Start With What You Are Good At

When I first started freelancing, meeting in-person with clients was the most difficult part of the job. It wasn't that I didn't like meeting new people, or that I found it hard to communicate. Often I felt like a fraud and that if I asked hard questions I might be found out. Later I would realize this is a common issue people struggle with. I fell back to what I was most comfortable with: an...

To Give Away What I Do Not Possess

"Burnout, in my experience results from trying to give what I do not possess." ~ Parker Palmer I heard this quote on the Fizzle podcast. (If you are a freelancer, or someone trying to do their own thing, go give them a listen.) And it rocked my world this morning. It was like everything I've experienced about burnout was revealed in that one quote. These are my thoughts...

8 Simple Ways to Provide Value to Your Clients

Adding value to the service you provide your clients can be difficult. I tend to find myself so focused on producing that I often forget that the value the client sees is more than just handing them a completed project on-time. It's easy to forget that we are serving people. Working remotely allows us to disconnect from the reality that on the other end of that email is a real person. The largest...

How I Left My Day Job to Be A Freelancer

"I want to let you know that my wife and I have decided to move out of the country. I love the opportunity you've given me to grow here and I want to stay on with the company if possible." It had all come down to this moment. I was nervous, scared, tired, and a little overwhelmed. Three months prior to this meeting with my boss my wife and I decided to move to Mexico. It was then, that I knew I...

Core Values of a Startup

Anyone who is close to me knows for the last year I've been bootstrapping my startup, Glean. We are focused on building the best tools, systems, and creative for NGOs, social enterprises, and do-gooders. Since the start, I've worked hard at crafting systems and policies that empower our team to do their best work. I thought it would be interesting to share parts of our handbook as we continue to...

5 Services That I Happily Pay For

Each month I cut checks for various software and tool services. Some of theses services I pay for out of necessity, I'm looking at you Adobe, but there are a few service that I happily pay for. These services tend to make my life easier, have great a great user experience, and I am proud to support. Each service I list here is something that I would highly recommend to anyone who is a front-end...

2013 By The Numbers, A Year In Review

After stumbling across Patrick McKenzie's year in review blog post, I thought it might be helpful if I published my financials and a review of my business. This is very uncomfortable for me, but I think this can help other designers looking to make the move to freelancing. 2013 was my fourth year of full time freelancing and was by best year in terms of income. A large portion of my business last...

Obligation, Service, and Doing The Right Thing

"We feel it's best if we end our professional working arrangement with you." After hearing those words, I was pissed. I've fired clients before, but this was the first time someone had fired me. My accountant and I have had a bitter relationship for a few months, mostly due to unset expectations by both of us. But at that moment, those words pissed me off.

Jesse Orndorff

The founder of Glean, an agency for change. Formerly Innovation Program Manager at DAI. He's now focused on building technology and startups that work on challenging issues and doing social good.

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