#abl = The #1 Rule Of Successful Freelancing

#abl or Always Be Learning

I think the most important thing when it comes to making money as a freelancer, is always be learning.

I might not have all the skills I want to have, but by continuously learning I can grow and do things I previously couldn’t do. (sorry if that seems kind of obvious but I think it needs to be said)

I’ve been freelancing since around 2005, when I started my first website. I knew very little but I didn’t wait long to try to make a living from what little I knew!

The website was fun-colorado-family-hikes.com (terrible domain right?) which grew into funcoloradohikes.com which we sold in 2013 or so.

I tried to go fulltime with that gig but it didn’t work out right away, so I got a job. I never gave up the dream of a fulltime from-home gig, so almost as soon as I got home from work, I’d be on the laptop. Weekends, on the laptop. Vacations, laptop.

While my coworkers were doing fantasy football, I spent all my time learning.

Eventually I started a web design company called 6webdesign (closed in 2015) and I picked up a few website redesigns a year. To do that successfully I had to learn HTML, CSS, and a little PHP … truly just enough to be dangerous.

In 2014 I joined a startup and we needed to build V1 of the platform, so it fell to me. I decided on PHP since at least I had some foundation there, but I didn’t know much. So I turned to Codecademy. The free PHP course was great for beginners, and I took the course probably 5 times while I was also building the platform. The overall experience was a lot of fun, but the business never got any funding, so I dropped it in 2015. 2015 was also pretty much the end of my freelancing for a while, since I joined a company where I could work from home, but it was a high level job and required my full attention. 2018 rolled around and I left my job, and started my own company.

I decided to build apps so I needed to learn more! Again Codecademy saved the day.

Now, it’s 2019, and I’ve become expert in Laravel and softyPM is my first React.js application. I wanted to learn React because I like the incredible speed of actions on the page. Even if these aren’t highly complex applications with realtime quotes or games or something like that, users appreciate quick response times in the UI. How did I learn React? I started with … you guessed it … Codecademy.

So the message here is, keep learning, and learn enough to be dangerous, and start building!

I think the key is always build stuff before you are ready!

Thanks for reading! I read EVERY comment, so leave one below and I’ll get back to you. And I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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