A Fresh Start – Notebook #1 (Sep 2021)

Hey there, I’m Thomas, a French web enthusiast currently based in Belgium. Every month, I try to focus on what happened this last month. September, the back to school month, let’s go!

Where am I?

Dear diary… No, let’s try less formal.
It’s been one year since I quit my job at LineUp 7 to become a freelancer. And it’s interesting to wonder: am i satisfied so far? Yes and no.
Of course yes because I am my own boss, and it’s priceless. It doesn’t mean I won’t go back to a more stable job, but I needed this freedom, I needed to give it a try.
But on the same time, I feel a bit bitter. I feel like I could have done more, and it’s true. Your worst enemy in this adventure is your motivation. What are the milestones of this year for me, let’s see:

  • I moved from my home country to Belgium.
  • I formed myself on WordPress development, photography, Google Tag Manager etc.
  • I created a portfolio that I’m super proud of.
  • I finally finished and updated a lot of personal projects, that were in my mind for a long time, like The Curious Picker, or my synthwave EP.

Good, it doesn’t seem that bad after all. But there is something missing: CLIENTS. During this year, I established a professional relationship with Prezevent while reworking their whole website, and we are working together monthly since then. Same goes with La Minute Immmobilière and soon with Vintage 4 Fashion.

But it’s not enough to be autonomous financially. So the aim of this notebook is also to motivate me to be way more proactive to find clients, which is the hardest at the beginning I believe.

The right tools

To have a fresh start, I reworked all my workflow and I simplified my everyday tools:

  1. I sorted and organised my mailbox, so that I spend less time in Gmail every day.
  2. My Trello is brand new organised, divided between Personal projects, Professional projects and special Trello for my clients. I also automated some tasks on it, like the one I do every month.
  3. New professional profile picture
  4. I created detailed spreadsheets for my finances, to make it easier to monitor every incomes and taxes.
  5. Same goes for my calendar. I didn’t see the utility until recently, and it’s life changing. Seriously, have a calendar for your life (but keep it simple).
  6. I created a profile on Malt and Comet, to increase my channels of prospection.
  7. I sorted and organised every Github repository I created.

It took me some time, but it was necessary.

My hope for the year to come

I’m ready to rock. So what are my goals for this year?

  • To be financially sustainable in my freelance life. That’s the main goal. I give myself until end of December. After this point, I’ll search a more stable option.
  • I would also like to see one of my personal project being more popular. For instance, The Curious Picker is almost invisible right now, since I’m waiting to have more products to make it public. As soon as I have 100 products to sell, I’ll advertise it properly.
  • I would like to be fluent in Dutch in one year, since I live now in a Dutch speaking area.

That’s it! Every month, I’ll synthetize my work and my objectives, and I hope it will help someone.
Until then, have a nice October!

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You seem like a talented developer!