Read our conversation with Ender, a freelance engineer and consultant from the Ruul community. Learn more about the freelancing lifestyle and get excellent tips, which will help fresh freelancers on what to do or what to avoid during the journey.
Please introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your work.
I have been working as a network engineer, technology instructor, and entrepreneur for 12 years. I have been working freelance for over two years. I provide consultancy to companies of different sizes, from startups to banks.
How and why did you first start freelancing? Did a memorable incident steer your decision, and would you like to tell Ruulers about it?
After my thirties, I started to think about running my own business, but you need soft skills such as customer relations, sales, marketing besides technical capabilities. I always had a chance to work full time. But to learn how business work entirely as a pure technical guy, I had to try it.Ruul helps me run my own business without dealing with procedures.
How is your daily routine? Can you share it with us in a few bullet points?
I can not follow my daily routine because I have to support my customers on 7/24. If you are working full-time in a company, that means you have a boss. But if you are working as a freelance, that means each customer is your boss. It is hard to handle.Especially if you provide your service abroad with timezone difference, your daily life may be affected. Being and living in the current time is essential. We can say my daily routine is differing from time to time.
Where is your best working corner at home? The sofa, the bed, or an isolated room? Can you illustrate the scene with a photo?
Of course, I have a desk, and I spend most of the time on it, but this is physically and mentally unhealthy. Cats make it fun. I can work anywhere if I have my laptop with me. You have to be location independent.
Any songs/albums/artists/genres you prefer listening to as you work? How about as you chill? Does your playlist differ according to what you are doing?
I am a metalhead for a long time, but listening to heavy music does only work for routine jobs. I usually listen to instrumental music genres such as jazz and post-rock, which do not distract your attention with lyrics.
In three words, how do you reckon a professional freelancer should be?
Interdisciplinary, Self-disciplined, self-motivated.
Are you a phone or e-mail person when it comes to communicating with clients?
I am an email person, but my clients prefer phones.
Would you still prefer video calls or instead meet people in person for work purposes if the pandemic was out of the picture?
Most of the time, I prefer video calls. I may like meeting people in person or visiting customer onsite if we have a good working plan for that meeting.
Are there any tools you find indispensable as you work on a freelance basis? Could you name some?
You should organize your notes and track each customer’s process in any software that works for you.
Do you have any suggestions for fresh freelancers? Can you shortly elaborate on what freelancers should do or avoid doing in their journey?
Freelancing does not mean working less. It needs more mental readiness instead of physical preparation. I spend one-week getting job tasks done and the rest of the month for sales and collecting payments for each month. You will be like a company with only one employee. You will be a Ceo who washes dishes. Prepare for that.