- The Four Hour Work Week, a book by a crazy man that nevertheless gets right to the heart of your time usage and accounting for starting and running a business. Some good tips in it for testing out new business ideas on the Internet, and advice on kicking out your worst customers and clients who abuse your overhead.
- Getting Started in Consulting, by Tim Weiss.
- Talent is Not Enough: Business Secrets for Designers, by Shel Perkins.
- How to Be a Rockstar Freelancer, by the founders of FreelanceSwitch.com, a great resource site for design consultants. This is available as an ebook on their site for $29 too.
- An article from Salon, "What Every Freelancer Should Know." Especially the part about taxes.
- Some sample contracts for freelance work to modify, especially the engagement agreement to have a client sign.
- A few articles on borderline-bogus IT consulting pitches and firms, starting from Scott Berkun's The Problem(s) With Consultants (he is himself one, but more of a writer/speaker these days), Cringley's Truth About IT Consultants, and The Half-Truth About Consultants. Don't be one of these kinds of consultants.
- My observation on consulting is that a lot of jobs and clients are difficult, in that what they want is often not what they need or what you should do for their project success, and sometimes you need to cut that job down to manageable from a business and project perspective. Or cut it off entirely, if it's costing too much in unpaid time and stress. See the excellent (and funny) 12 Breeds of Client and How to Work with Them. Applicable to people who work inside organizations for multiple stakeholders, too - common for designers.
- FreelanceSwitch's 101 Essential Freelancing Resources.
- MOO Cards - these little suckers thrill everyone who gets one, you've got to have a lot on hand!
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Consulting References (How-To and Advice)
Having just finished a talk at the Boston MiniUPA conference on setting up as a consultant (an honest tell-all), I have collected a handful of references I wanted to share here. They're not necessarily the obvious books/links on consulting, but they informed me in one way or another.