TL;DR one year on as a react dev, I want to go at it self employed, humbly seeking advice as this community seems to have its fair share of knowledgeable freelancers.

I have 1 year professional experience now as a Meteor, React and Apollo developer

The dream is to become self employed. I figure a good market would be small businesses that want a website that are more featureful than a diy wix site.

Only I am more of a developer than a designer, so rely heavily on things like Bootstrap or Material ui. So I wonder if Upwork, Fiverr or simply my own freelance website would be better.

As you guessed javascript is my biggest strength, not sure if nodejs is the best backend for small businesses as hosting prices are more than eqv php stack.

Also want to build own projects on the side to monetize. Bigger dream would be to be client-less and develop and sell personal projects.

Seeking advice from those who are self employed. Am I dreaming too big?

Shall I keep the office job for a bit longer then take the plunge? Or do you think I can just go for it. Are there lucrative areas I am missing?

Thanks in advanced

  • 6
    Your dream can become a reality. A few ideas:
    - select clients carefully. Know when to say no.
    - don't lowball your billing rate
    - bill in thirds
    - learn to market and sell - or partner with someone that can market and sell
    - market and sell even when you have jobs
    - give a professional company appearance even if you are a solo dev
    - don't give up on your dream
    Good luck 🍀 ask more questions and never give up on your dream!
  • 3
    I just yesterday unregistered my own business after a litlle more than 12 years since I first started it. What can I say? Business has been good at times, and sometimes it's just been unnecessary bureaucracy. At least I've gone with my dream and have nothing to regret :)
  • 0
    Thanks @Jumpshot44, seems like solid advice. Definitely a confidence booster
  • 1
    @TerriToniAX yes I'm not expecting a walk in the park with roses
  • 3
    My experience with freelancing has been weird. I was not able to find much in Freelancer or Upwork, but did manage to get recurring gigs after going out and just asking about tech solutions inside the biggest industry where I live (import/export ) and while I did find one of my biggest jobs, but It feels like a regular job. I am contracted into 2 companies at the moment. But literally work there, like inside my own desk and stuff. So it really does feel like a regular job. Your JS skills can translate to a lot of cool things though, maybe you could apply them into revitalizing existing applications to use all the benefits of React, and if the chance arrives you might be able to build entire small applications with Meteor for more dedicated businesses. So my recommendation would be to find existing software and convince them of incorporating react into it. Its what I did and pretty much work as a JS developer. Your dream is completely possible though!
  • 2
    @AleCx04 thanks for sharing experience. Definitely an interesting experience. Best of luck for your future too.

    I'd say I am very privileged, girlfriend (hopefully soon fiance) has a stable job and says she will support us when I make the transition. So I will have freedom I need to look for clients and build products/services.
  • 1
    I definitely see a market for small (local) businesses who want more out of a website than a simple "who we are" website.
  • 3
    @Hedgepig That is awesome man! We are in a similar position! I wish you the best of luck! I have yet to meet any other Meteor developers! So I am definitely rooting for you!
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