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Anybody working with a business coach/mentor? How did you find them?
For sure. So I started traveling in NYC and there actually is a lot of downtime during the day I've found. It's actually pretty hard to do tourist stuff nonstop for 12-16 hours for me, from waking to sleeping. So I decided to work on my product in the meantime, just a few min here and there
thereโ€™s more business coaches in bali than business owners so I would start by asking people at random
Yes business coaches/mentors usually bullshit. Always check and verify credentials. There's no reason for successful entrepreneurs to charge for being your mentor. Real ones don't do it at all or if they do they do it for free and fun. Or as VCs or angels.
Finding a coach or mentor is usually masked procrastination. All you need for your business is a product or service that customers pay for and then repeat that process so they pay every day/week/month and more customers find out about you. You learn that by doing it, not in business school and not from mentors or coaches.
I've now built multiple million dollar businesses and I will tell u fair and square I don't know shit and probably my knowledge is outdated since I got success a few years ago. So even successful entrepreneurs coaching can be bullshit. Just ship IMHO
cjtxdfrwvj Did you do much user research beforehand to ensure your product/service was solving an actual problem or serving a need people would be willing to pay for and keep paying for? You obviously found something that worked, but curious on how you decided on what product/service to offer and to whom you wanted to target. I'm working on a couple different projects where we're still honing in on the right product offering, and we've already pivoted a couple times...in one case, nothing has even launched yet
I run a sales agency for coaches for business coaches, among other coaches. It can be BS for sure, but some are good. I'd say that it can be useful for big problems you're trying to solve, but they're not good if you're just getting started
No, I do shotgun/spaghetti approach. Make a lot of things, see what sticks
Launch within a month, automate as much as possible, let it run; meanwhile make the next thing, etc.
The idea here is that you don't know what the market wants, but you can guess, but you'll probably be wrong 10-30 times, so try 10-30 times
Inspiring stuff. I was freaking out when I saw you building Hoodmaps live because you were breaking so many coding conventions in favor of just getting the damn thing out.
A coach that pays you is called an investor. I would rather listen to someone who has money to spare than some person who had never started a real business and talks about vibrations and energy.
Holding yourself to coding conventions is a good way to not make money and never ship IMHO. Can always refactor later.
I agree that this may be masked procrastinations. I also think that not everybody can necessarily build a successful business, and so maybe not everybody can do it alone.

I have specific issues and goals. My freelance practice has kind of plateaued and I'm losing motivation. I'd like to turn it into a small design agency, work with other designers to do better work. As a side effect it could free up some time for me for other pursuits and I may be able to sell it in a few years (I'm aware that the chances of being able to sell an agency are ridiculously low).

I think it could be useful to have somebody that did something similar advice me and kept me accountable.

I can see how a successful entrepreneur wouldn't need to make money off of mentoring which makes many self-appointed coaches out there charlatans, but that makes it even more interesting for me to learn how one can find "real" ones.
Find a succesful design agency owner and ask them for advice directly
I still don't think you need it though. The internet is full of information like blogs and YouTube videos that explain how to build a design agency (or any other topic). You actually limit your knowledge by asking one person.
All valid points U02HTASB2. I agree that all the information I may need is out there already, still think there's value in having a one-on-one relationship with a mentor.
Changing one's mindset, choosing what to focus on, evaluating one's goals, etc. is not as easy as reading a book (or 10) about it, it isn't for me at least.
I am sure I'm talking about problems that seem simple enough from the other side, not so simple from my POV.
I'm currently growing a small agency as a designer after transitioning from freelance. I speak now and then to my boss from many years ago who has grown a very successful design agency. I only speak to him if I have very specific problems that I think he can help guide me on.
I would say from experience though, the biggest thing you can do is just to try it. Hire another designer on a job you aren't worried about going wrong or worried about needing to push timelines. Build the confidence that someone else can do the design. That's the hardest part as a designer! You just need to realise the work won't be the same as yours, probably won't go down the same direction as yours but as long as the client is happy, that's what matters!
What nbqscykztr says ๐Ÿ’ฏ
Looking for coaches to learn to do thing X instead of just going out there and doing thing X is a socially accepted form of masked procrastination
For ex I want to learn to make Solidity smart contracts on Ethereum now. Instead of me just making them, I'm talking about that I want to learn to make them. That's me spotting my own procrastination. If I would've made a Solidity smart contract I would've already done it yesterday
"I only speak to him if I have very specific problems that I think he can help guide me on." Exactly the kind of thing I'm looking for ULS3S7BDM. Wouldn't you say these conversations with your ex boss are making a difference for you?
I think targeted questions make 100% sense, general coaching not tho too ambiguous
Yes, they are definitely helpful conversations but always most helpful when they are specific problems. I do echo what ddifyyqqxh is saying here. Doing is better than talking about doing.

I'm struggling with the same concept as I have wanted to write a book for a few years. I've read more about writing a book than actually writing the book, which feels weirdly productive when you're doing it but is actually just putting off the actual work you need to put in.
Everything I've ever read about mentors (including in stoicism) points to finding someone who has carved a path similar to the one you too want to carve. Ask them specific questions, know what you want to get from them and know when you have learned what you needed.
sumx1mo
I have a copywriting client that wants me to project manage a more complex project for them (a series of sales decks). The project includes research / copywriting, coordinating with their in-house design team and potentially managing other freelance writers. Any suggestions on how to price this and what kind of agreement to use?
You could work backwards starting from the client's budget. Once you know how much the client is willing to invest, then you should have a good idea of what they can afford.

If the client doesn't want to give you a budget, then you need to package an offer in a clear statement of work so that every change in scope will be evident. Then quote and bill the scope updates as they come up.
Anyway, first of all I'd talk more with the client to remove some of these unknowns.

What is the role of your internal contacts? Who makes the final call on the work? Who gathers and communicates feedback? What's the design team standard process like? Why there may be the need to hire more copywriters? How many would they be willing to hire? Who selcts them? Etc. Etc.
So I had one client terminate a contract early and does not want to pay for the services rendered until then. It's honestly not a lot of money, about 1k, but is it worth doing anything about it legally or should I just cut my losses and move on?

The client is American but is living in Bali temporarily it seems, just a single individual not a big company. Doesn't seem worth it to me to pursue them I think.
If you can revert work that has not been paid for, do so
I can't unfortunately, I run an agency and the work has already been performed for them (doing sales)
I think the client also wants to poach one of my workers
Go with a debt collection agency if you want to recover.
I got some money out of the client when I contacted the debt agency. Until then, the client won't even respond and talk all nonsense to avoid paying.
Update, so the client called me, he offered me 2k to basically not raise any issues, keep quiet and not sue him. In return, he would poach one of my workers because apparently the client really liked working with the guy and wanted to hire him full time. If I donโ€™t accept the 2k, then heโ€™d just poach my worker anyway and I could try suing him. Basically extortion.

My business model is basically bill $X from the client, then pay $Y (where Y < X) to the worker. Honestly I might just do the deal because I donโ€™t want to work with either clients like him or workers who donโ€™t respect the relationship between an agency and a client.
Getting hired by a company that you are consulting for isn't a bad thing, I'm actually trying to do that now and the agency that I work with is happy for me.
As for getting money if the company is in the US you probably would need to go to small claims court but it's not really worth it a lot of the time
Yeah itโ€™s not a bad thing but the amount of money is just ridiculously small, 2k is basically nothing compared to what the agency would make normally
> he offered me 2k to basically not raise any issues, keep quiet and not sue him
Don't sign anything until you see the money. Or at the minimum have a clause that allows you to break the contract, if his side is not fulfilled (you get paid).
Also, calculate your staff replacement cost (recruit, onboard) and if it's over $1K, I'd negotiate further based on that.
Give him the breakdown of costs, and say that you want more.
Otherwise you basically recruiter for them for lower than market cost.
And also fix your contracts for both sides (staff, clients) that forbids poaching, at least for some time. E.g. clients cannot hire your staff for 3 months after contract termination.
And maybe add a "buy out" fee to basically give them a legal path. But make it significantly more $
I have a no-poaching clause
the problem is the client called my bluff that Iโ€™m not gonna go out and sue him, which costs a lot of money, probably more than itโ€™s worth
I run a small outsourcing shop and I do exactly that. Non-poaching clause and a $5,000 buy out fee. I haven't ever needed to use it, but it's there.
The story is a little confusing to follow, but as best I can tell you're saying you had say a contract for a duration and they ended it before the duration was over? It seems like they would owe you money for the time between when they ended the contract and the duration.
No poaching clauses may not be legally enforceable in many places
As long as the contractor leaves after the contract is over
Yeah so basically, I have a worker who did some work for the client, and the client is supposed to pay me as the agency, since I manage the workers. This isnโ€™t development work where you could withhold files until payment, itโ€™s sales work so the worker does sales for the client, client pays us the commission, we use some % for our overhead then pay the rest to the worker.

Client basically wants to pay / hire the worker directly, cutting out the agency in the process, and is offering me 2k to do so. If I donโ€™t accept, he just said heโ€™d do it anyway.
Ok, so as long as the contract isn't over it doesn't seem like the client can do that legally.
Not sure what jurisdiction it's in, depending on how much you're owed you'd have to go to small claims, or possibly something bigger
They would owe you the rate duration left
on contract
Sounds like the client is American but currently in Bali. They owe the fee for services rendered, but you would need to sue and collect for that to be worth it.
I would take the $2,000, drop the guy as a client and move on with life.
I mean, he owes you $1,000 for services rendered. He's offering to pay that plus an extra $1,000 for poaching your employee, which he's going to do anyway. Might as well take the 2k.
Yeah thatโ€™s the exact thing Iโ€™m thinking, heโ€™s offering an additional 1k for something which I couldnโ€™t really enforce since heโ€™s not in the US currently
If he only owes you $1k I would take the $2k. Having a no poaching clause may not even be legally enforceable, it seems like it would be akin to a non compete, which is certainly illegal to use in California
Yeah. You can most likely sue him for the $1,000 in small claims court, but good luck collecting that.
So if you already have that specific case covered in your contract, why don't you insist on the 5k buy out clause?
hbsmjdzj cssnbgoihndf has $5K clause, not OP (<@U02AYP9MF50>) ๐Ÿ˜„
oh, my bad
kinda sucks that you canโ€™t really enforce stuff even if you have a contract
especially internationally
itโ€™s a big world - we drop bad clients as fast as possible, let them have stuff for free instead of fighting and move on with the search to find people who we work better with ๐Ÿ™‚
Yeah, youโ€™ll almost definitely come out better off just using that time towards finding a good new client
as much as it sucks to leave money on the table, in the end the amount of time (and actual money) put in to recovering that $1000 will be worth more than the $1000
How much is lost by having the worker poached however?
likewise with โ€˜poachingโ€™ - employees and contractors arenโ€™t game - if one of our clients wants them and can make them happier than we can then that is only on us.
Do you have an agreement with the worker he is trying to poach?
Yeah I do
What country is this in? Under a certain amount you can take it to small claims, small claims does not require a lawyer and you could get up to 10k.
I'm in the US, he's also an American citizen but he's living in Bali right now apparently
Best leverage is source code TBH. Not releasing stuff to the client is the best leverage you can have.
Depends how much you care, if you take him to small claims for some larger amount, you could scar his credit in the USA and if he has a car or something, you could take it.
I would say spend the $100 for an hour with a lawyer.
Yeah I don't know if I care too much, doesn't seem worth it for not that much money.
I would personally do it because this dude sounds like a dick.
Yeah haha but tbh that time might just be better spent finding new clients
2k is his opening offer to buy out the worker and settle his bill, you should be able to rationalize increasing that cost. Staffing agencies for all types of workers usually have a buyout option for clients that want to take their workers, just find the market buyout rate and demand that.

I suspect he's already got the worker on board with his plan if he's prepared to pay up for him, so you probably don't want this client or that worker anymore.
Yeah I don't really want to work with either one anymore for sure
Hi, any there from Finland who can give me inputs on business there. Would like to explore a bit .
Anybody use invoice ninja? How do they like it compared to say honey book/ and co?
This service seems far superior to what I am using right now, lol
I am using Zoho invoice. Perfect and free.
InvoiceNinja is pretty decent. Dunno about the rest. I hate the new UI though and am going back to word document invoices next
thatโ€™s entirely upon the company and the worker, if both are happy with the dealโ€ฆ..I donโ€™t see any issues there
Hi, are there any freelance content writers on here that are a member of Toptal?
I have a requirement for some content writing on the subject... thanks in advance
Late reply, but check this out if you didnโ€™t already โ˜บ๏ธ github.com/sam-hosseini/freelancing-in-finland|https://github.com/sam-hosseini/freelancing-in-finland
Any chance it's actual?)) Have a developer in the team with 4 years of experience
I've posted in #iceland but not heard back. Wondering if anyone has travelled iceland whilst working successfully?
interesting I didn't know about it
I like and.co|and.co because you can join a payment processor to the invoice
although I don't like the fact that I cannot remove the credit card option and just leave ACH debit since it incurs a lot of fees
Uh, the UI of invoice ninja is not for me lol
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