May 29, 2000
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Sales letters rife with exclamation points, colored inks, and all caps may work for sweepstakes and charity drives, but they're totally wrong for IPs. Full Story
Linda F. snatches the sales letter from America's corporate cornballs.
Clowns aren't the only people who juggle for a living -- IPs do it, too.
Is it possible to be a nutcase and a source of freelance wisdom simultaneously?
June W. is a woman of many gifts -- like knowing how to deduct presents to colleagues.
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." Light and Lens 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
Engineer: When things get hot, consulting engineer Barry Pitts keeps his cool. Consultant of Cool 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
Hypnotherapist: Hypnotism is all about getting zonked, right? Wrong. Read what a real freelance hypnotist does. The Power of Suggestion 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
Parade Planner: After 25 years in the corporate world, Don Lunday found life much better marching down Main Street. Hit Parade Full Story
Personal Trainer: As a personal fitness trainer, Jon Giswold doesn't just help you to get buff. He's a problem solver, a mentor, and a motivator. Pump You Up 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. Banking on Bankruptcy 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
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.
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 Bucks --
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
-- The Buzz --
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
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
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
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
-- The Gigs --
Teaming Up: For many IPs, working solo is the best part of the job -- but sometimes it makes plain old business sense to take on a partner. Full Story
Why Can't We Be Friends: Working on-site? Falling in love? Hold those hormones and read this first. 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
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.
-- The Big Picture --
Finally Taking Off: Between getting work, doing work, and worrying about money and taxes -- all the usual IP insanity -- who can afford to take off? Well, we found two freelancers who regularly go on vacation -- and have managed to stay in business. 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
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
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