The Prosperous Software Consultant

Building Bridges

A few years ago I was really into Angular. I attended the NG Vegas conference, and there I saw one of the best talks I’ve ever seen (by Aaron Frost) that I still think about to this day: Building Bridges.

Specialization

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve acted on is deciding to specialize.

Content

Today anyone can write a book or blog post or create a video series on YouTube. The more content you create, the more you learn and the more you increase the ability for potential clients to find you. You also position yourself as an authority on the subject.

Flat Rate Pricing

When you are billing hourly, you end up hitting a limit.

Hourly Billing

Many gigs won’t work out with flat rate pricing unfortunately. For me, less than half of my income came from flat rate pricing.

Networking

Creating your own network

Building a network of trusted friends and acquaintances that can help share your ideas and give valuable feedback on your work is an important part of being a successful consultant. Many of the leads I’ve gotten have been as a direct result of my personal network.

Leveraging existing networks that are not your own.

Another way to take advantage of networking effects is to take advantage of other people’s networks by providing them free content.

Image

I spent a few thousand dollars hiring trainers & other highly successful consultants that were already making the type of money I wanted to make to get pointers from them. One of the things that I kept on hearing was the question “When someone searches for you online, what is your online Image?”.

Learning

I have made it a priority to spend a chunk of my time every week to learning new things.

  1. Lunch at my desk — Some days I eat lunch at my desk. When I do, I usually open up either Egghead.io or YouTube and watch a quick video or two on something that I’m interested in.
  2. Audiobooks — I’m consuming most of my books via audiobooks these days. I use Audible, but there are many ways to listen, including Blinkist which basically is like the Cliffs Notes of audio books.
  3. Scheduling time on my calendar — I try to schedule at least 2 hours a week (which is still probably not enough) with no other meetings or obligations in order to learn something new and technical.

Conclusion

I’ve tried to sum up a lot of what I’ve learned over the past 8 or so years, things that I would have loved to have been taught right away that would have made my life and journey much better.

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Nader Dabit

Nader Dabit

Developer Relations Engineer at Edge & Node working with The Graph Protocol