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INTRO Longtime Freelancer who wants to start an online business

oxygeninja

New Contributor
Aug 23, 2018
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Philippines
Hi, I'm Oliver. I'm a freelance CAD draftsman for 7 years now. I'm doing really well in terms of income as I have 10x the average salary in our country. After reading MJ's book, I feel like I'm not maximizing my full potential so I'm still figuring out what to do in the next five years to be in the fast lane. Aside from CAD, I also know web design/development particularly Wordpress/PHP and I do side gig from time to time which tend to make me stress out a bit with less pay compared to my CAD job. Right now, my options are expanding my web design gigs and eventually start a web design/dev agency, do e-commerce/dropshipping or make a website and do affiliate marketing or sell ebook/course. I'm really confused at this moment. I know I need to figure this on my own and have some clarity on what should I pursue. Any advice and tips would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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MikeS

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Knowing CAD is a valuable skill. Have you considered creating a physical product?

Having skills with CAD could give you the ability to develop something unique. And if you are also making good money, it shouldn't be a problem to fund the development of a good prototype.

You could test it on Kickstarter to see if people were interested in buying it and if you succeeded you could go and get a funded & validated product on the market.

It doesn't have to be a rocket science, people are spending lots of money on simple stuff. If I were you, I would definitely consider this.
 

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Is it possible that during side gig time, you could create, for yourself, a CAD service that has more than one CAD draftsman working for it? Transitioning from freelance to "business" can be tricky because you need the freelance income right? But if you -start out- as one of the CAD guys in your new firm, you'll still have that income. Another draftsman, perhaps a freelancer, might be happy to take some jobs with your firm too. Now you're working two jobs at the same time, but only one of them yourself. You pay the other guy fairly, but make something for yourself for organizing the work and getting the client. Over time, if you can build that to 4-5 guys drafting while you keep the business going, you'll be providing a valuable service to your customers (they don't have to worry that the one freelancer got the flu), your employees (a constant stream of CAD jobs that pay nicely), and yourself (working up to a new level in your profession). Just a thought, hope it helps!
 
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oxygeninja

oxygeninja

New Contributor
Aug 23, 2018
3
5
13
Philippines
Knowing CAD is a valuable skill. Have you considered creating a physical product?

Having skills with CAD could give you the ability to develop something unique. And if you are also making good money, it shouldn't be a problem to fund the development of a good prototype.

You could test it on Kickstarter to see if people were interested in buying it and if you succeeded you could go and get a funded & validated product on the market.

It doesn't have to be a rocket science, people are spending lots of money on simple stuff. If I were you, I would definitely consider this.
I was interested in doing that before, when I was still starting out but when I started making good money somehow I lost interest. Thank you for the advise. I would consider this route.
 
OP
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oxygeninja

oxygeninja

New Contributor
Aug 23, 2018
3
5
13
Philippines
Is it possible that during side gig time, you could create, for yourself, a CAD service that has more than one CAD draftsman working for it? Transitioning from freelance to "business" can be tricky because you need the freelance income right? But if you -start out- as one of the CAD guys in your new firm, you'll still have that income. Another draftsman, perhaps a freelancer, might be happy to take some jobs with your firm too. Now you're working two jobs at the same time, but only one of them yourself. You pay the other guy fairly, but make something for yourself for organizing the work and getting the client. Over time, if you can build that to 4-5 guys drafting while you keep the business going, you'll be providing a valuable service to your customers (they don't have to worry that the one freelancer got the flu), your employees (a constant stream of CAD jobs that pay nicely), and yourself (working up to a new level in your profession). Just a thought, hope it helps!
I'm already doing this now. I have 3 people under me(my wife, sister of my wife and my cousin)but I still do fulltime work though. I am training someone right now to fully do my work so I can free up my time and I can focus on expanding the business.

The challenge with my current CAD business right now is I can't just hire as many people because the software license is monitored by my clients and I can't just install the software in another PC, unless they are hiring another drafter which is not the case.

My other option is to look for another client in order to expand but I can't do that until I freed up my time. Honestly, I'm not that interested in CAD anymore. I think it's because I've been doing this for years now but it pays well. I'm leaning towards web services/online business.
 

Rabby

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The challenge with my current CAD business right now is I can't just hire as many people because the software license is monitored by my clients and I can't just install the software in another PC, unless they are hiring another drafter which is not the case.
I understand this, I think. But I would say that in whatever you do, you should try to own the necessary tools. If the pay for freelance CAD isn't enough to eventually own the software and PC, then you may be right to leave CAD for now. This is a control issue -- the client sounds very close to an employer if they control the tools, and the time, and are the only client.

Free up as much time as you can, and focus your effort on something that is valuable to others (people who can pay you something in exchange), and that you have control over. That would be my instinct, anyway.
 

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