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A Taxing Experience
Our list of the best tax resources on the Web may not make tax day any more fun, but it should make it a little less painful.
Going pro bono to get new work? Wait: read this first.
Peter Economy knows five secrets to getting client referrals. Wanna hear 'em?
Is it possible to be a nutcase and a source of freelance wisdom simultaneously?
If start-up costs are getting you down, this column will lift your fiscal spirits.
Architect: He's not a professor, but Tony Blackett thinks about universities all day long. This is the story of his big gig in Asia. Big Plan on Campus Full Story
Cameraman: "I paint -- I paint," says cameraman Eddie Marritz. "That's why people hire me. I explore the geography of spaces and people's faces." Full Story
Communicator: Actor- turned- communications- consultant Gary Hirsch teaches wage slaves how to freak out and be goofy. We approve. Loosen your shirt collar and read. You Call This Work? Full story
Curator: Surely you knew that museum curators can be independent professionals. It's an interesting life, complete with mother goddesses, problem clients (sound familiar?), and a diabetic male cat named... Susan? Don't ask. She's on Display Full Story
Detective: IP Chris Horsch is a private eye -- a real one. Turn off your TV and tune in to this story to find out what these guys actually do. The IP PI Full Story
Diarist: A diary can be a tool for self-expression, revelation, venting frustration, or just fun. But who would have thought someone could make a living helping other people make diaries? Self-Exposure Full Story
Event Planner: Charrisse Min Alliegro uses her Wall Street savvy to help couples tie the knot in style. Ringmaster Full Story
Executive: Even in the Internet industry, experience counts. Teresa Kersten has turned her 15 years of work at Apple, Intuit, and elsewhere into a one-woman Silicon Valley market. VP for Hire Full Story
Healthcare Consultant: People hire personal trainers to keep themselves fit. So do healthcare institutions like hospitals, medical clinics, and advocacy groups. Consultant Matthew McClain is their soft-spoken task master. He Pulls Together Healthcare Full story
Illustrator: Tim O'Brien is a well-known IP illustrator who's also a boxer. When was the last time you met an artist who sidelined as a tough guy? The Canvas Man Full Story
Landscape Designer: When it's hot in the Hamptons, superstar summer residents hire IP Elizabeth Lear. She Loves to Get Her Hands Dirty Full story
Lawyer: A tale of taxes as melodrama. At least once every year -- usually in April -- IPs have a firsthand experience of film noir. We found an IP lawyer/accountant who divides his time between murder, bombs, and... tax preparation. Call it IRS noir. Full Story
Lawyer: How does a former big-time Fed get respect as a solo lawyer on Whiffletree Circle? Full Story
Net-worker: Since 1995, the coop on the knoll behind John Babiarz's Grafton home has hosted a 20th century gaggle of noisemakers new to farm country -- computer servers. The Fowl Internet Full story
Painter: Naima Rauam doesn't sleep with the fishes, she paints them -- right in the middle of the Fulton Fish Market. Here's how Rauam became Catch of the Day in the crowded sea of New York artists. Art of the Marketplace Full Story
Photographers: Long-time couple Tim Gray and Kim Furnald prove that free agency doesn't have to be lonely. Buddy System Full Story
Pilot: Gene Boyle of Moab Utah's Slickrock Air Guides is one part fearless aviator, one part trusted guide, one part showman, and 100% independent professional. Bird's Eye View Full Story
Producer: Even in the complex film projects of tinsel town, some people work for themselves. Meet John Daly. Film by One Full story
Publisher: If you're a CEO, you'd better hope Peter Chapman never writes about your company -- because if he does, it probably means you're getting flushed down the toilet. Full Story
Restaurateur: A good restaurant offers more than tasty food; it exudes a vibe. Funky Frenchman Olivier Boudon helps aspiring restaurateurs make the scene. Restaurateur to Go Full Story
Stylist: Candy canes in July? Swimsuits in February? A casserole dish with attitude? Prop stylist Judy Singer digs up stuff like this all the time -- and makes a healthy living doing it. A Winning PROPosition Full Story
Techie: The information technology field is hardly glutted with female consultants, but they do exist. We peek into an IT career filled with computer languages, programs, and (surprise) difficult decisions. Madame IT Full Story
Twenty Tips For Finding Money Now: Despite the unpredictable state of today's capital markets, entrepreneurs still have plenty of ways to raise funds for their companies.
Fear of Flying: A shortage of capital or difficulty in finding the right opportunity may keep some people from going into business, but the biggest obstacle often lies within. Full Story
Do-it-Yourself Job Creation:They're leaving corporations by the thousands. Sometimes by choice. Sometimes not. They're creating their own jobs -- and changing the face of business.
Never Too Small To Manage: Michael Bryant practices open-book management, does rigorous customer analysis, and recently set up a monthly incentive plan. Not bad for a guy with no employees. Full Story
In Search of the Small-Business Bible: Bookstores and libraries are filled with more books of business advice than you'll ever have time to read. Our intrepid reporter finds the best ones for you. Full Story
Grand Plans: It doesn't take a ton of cash to start a great company. All it takes is a little ingenuity and a lot of gumption, as the stories of these seven companies prove. Full Story
Peter's Principles: When a top book editor decides it's time to chuck a steady paycheck and become a free agent, she seeks advice from a master soloist--Peter Drucker. Full Story
The Flameproof On-Line Marketing Pitch: Learn how to subtly market your products in online bulletin boards--without alienating potential customers. Full Story
The Eight Books to Read Before You Start Your Business
Charge Your Clients More: If you're ready to raise your rates (and you should be from time to time), do it. And don't be apologetic about it, either. Just be smart. Full Story
Gifts from the Gods: What do angels and Twinkies have in common? Believe it or not, they've both been used as financial tools by enterprising free agents. Full Story
Cough it Up: Getting work is good, getting paid for it is better still. Getting paid on time is best of all. IPs talk about how to get your client to pay the damned invoice already. Full Story
Should you do your own taxes, or have a professional tax preparer do them? 1099 speaks with three professionals about the pros and cons of each method. Full story
Bearing Your First Web Child: Just "having a Web site" doesn't make you special any more... especially if it's garbage. If you're planning to lose your online virginity, here's some advice to help you make the most of the (ahem) pregnant possibilities. Full Story
Don't Leave Home Without It: Does your business card say too much? Too little? In the entire realm of things, do these wallet-sized marketing tools really matter? Full Story
Don't Be Bashful: Nobody's saying you have to cruise the town square bellowing your name and phone number. Nobody's saying you shouldn't, either. But if you expect to succeed in self-employment, you'd better make time to market yourself somehow. Full story
Beating The Night Terrors: No work coming in? Living in your own private horror movie? We feel your pain... no, actually, that's baloney. Only you feel your pain. But we do have some advice. Full story
Professional Associations: Most independent professionals know that joining an association can help their networking. But what should you do once you join? Full story
Classified ads for IPs? The Great Scott, a magician, is used to stunning children and adults by making things appear and disappear. But not even smoke and mirrors can conjure up new clients... Full story
Naming Your Business: You can invent a name for your solo business, or simply use the one you were born with. We found that IPs disagree on this issue. Full story
Why Can't We Be Friends: Working on-site?
Falling in love?
Hold those hormones and
read this first.
My First Time: Your first freelance gig can be simultaneously nerve-racking and exhilirating. Two IPs tell their tales. Full Story
Saying No: Nobody likes to turn down work, but sometimes it's necessary if you value other things -- your sanity, reputation, and free time, for example. Full Story
Moments of Decision: It won't happen often, but every now and then a project will shoot you and your business in a completely new direction. Aquent talks with three IPs about the accounts that changed their businesses. Full Story
Clients You Can Live Without: Yes, we know, you love your clients. Most of them. Sometimes, however, a client crawls out of your nightmare swamp and almost makes you wish you were a wage slave again. Sound familiar? Full story.
Nice Work, If You Can Keep It: Client relations and project management. Full story
Fantasies of the Galley Slaves: Every solo career starts out as a dream, and for aspiring IPs, these dreams often happen at work. 1099 talks with wage slaves about their fantasies of freedom. Full Story
On the Edge of the Cliff: Ever had a client who made you want to chuck it all and sell yourself back into wage-slavery? Well, you're not alone. Here are three stories of freelancers who were pushed to the edge -- and lived to tell the tale. Full Story
The Ten Commandments: If you're looking for a laugh, check out these surefire breaches of business etiquette. Commit them, though, and you'll have more free time than you probably want. Full Story
Up Periscope: It's ten o'clock -- do you know what your competition is up to? There's more than one way to find out. Full Story
Fire and Ice: So, you work on the moon, eh? That's pretty far from, uh, just about everything. What's it like to be an IP in a far-away place? 1099 talks with IPs based in Alaska and Hawaii. Full Story
Breaking Out: Three freelancers tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the great escape from the corporate big house. Full Story
The Two-Headed Monster: Your solo business has a legal structure -- whether you've chosen one or not. Who cares? Um... the IRS and some angry lawyers might. We help clarify your choices; dealing with the boogeymen is up to you. Full Story
Is the World Going Freelance? As Americans increasingly take control of their professional lives, like-minded workers beyond the borders do too -- somewhat more slowly. We review some of the issues facing Canadian and Japanese independent professionals. Full Story
Nobody's Home: Three traveling freelancers drum up new business, run from tornadoes and hurricanes, and, while abroad, take painstaking care not to be ugly Americans. All in a day's work. Full Story
The Tech Temptation: Computers and cell phones and Palm Pilots and all that other beeping blinking stuff can save you time. Or cost you a lot of it. 1099 talks common sense with three independent professionals about managing the temptations of technology. Full Story
If you're an aspiring iconoclast, here's some instruction from a serious destructionist. We'll have to trust that you have good reasons for smashing things; if not, please don't read the full story.
From our Shameless Bragging Department...
Love: We were nominated for a British Academy Award for Interactive Entertainment! (And here we thought this was a business site? Well, anyway, we went to the Awards dinner and did our best to speak English, but the British bird watchers' site beat us anyway. That made us all a-flutter, but we're chirpy again now.)
Love: USA Today named us a Hot Site, and Project Cool named us Sighting of the Day. (Is it possible to be hot and cool simultaneously? Say, are there any IP thermal engineering consultants who can clear this up for us?)
Love: Working Solo's e-newsletter said we're "filled with solid content and an upbeat attitude" and "well worth a bookmark on your browser." (Upbeat? Aw, gee, and we thought we had a lousy attitude!)
Love: The San Jose Mercury News called us a "flashy site worth visiting." (That's a relief... if the chief geeks in Silicon Valley don't like you in this Web biz, you're in trouble.)
Love: Fortune Magazine said we're "a great little online magazine." (Thanks, guys, we think you're a great little offline magazine.)
Love: The Orange County Register and About.com (The Mining Company) featured us too, and we're a featured content partner on Inc. Magazine's new Inc.com site. (We don't have a clever sarcastic remark about this stuff yet, but never fear, we're working on it.)
How to Blow an Interview: You're being interrogated... excuse us, interviewed by a potential client. There's standard advice on how to play this... and then there's our crazed columnist's advice. Hey, it's your career, dude. You decide. Full Story