Don't be an Idiot

Run a viable business

Curtis McHale | @ curtismchale |

Be realistic with your time

photo credit: Profound Whatever

Project Timelines

  • I estimated projects poorly

  • After 5 years it's still really hard to estimate projects

Things that kill timelines

  1. Client Content
  2. FTP/Shipping/Payment info
  3. Scope creep
  4. Unseen technical issues

How I fixed it

  1. Weekly Billing
  2. Help other people out and you'll get helped

8 hours a day right???

  • 8am - out of bed
  • 9am - sit down and check Twitter
  • 10am - open email
  • 11am - walk the dog (it's a nice day)
  • 12pm - HUNGRY
  • 1pm - back to work - TWITTER
  • 1:30pm - crap I need to write code
  • 2pm - CRAP I need to write code
  • 3pm - whew that was work, wait it's only 3
  • 4pm - can I have fun yet?
  • 5pm - DONE. Wait I only billed an hour?

CHarge Properly

photo credit: Ѕolo

Default Answer is....

I'll charge hourly right?????

  1. Client Content
  2. FTP/Shipping/Payment information
  3. Scope Creep
  4. Unseen Technical Issues

Hrm so I'll charge...


  1. Client Content
  2. FTP/Shipping/Payment info
  3. Scope Creep
  4. Unseen Technical issues

I LOVE....

Weekly rates

  1. Client Content
  2. FTP/Shipping/Payment info
  3. Scope Creep
  4. Unseen Technical issues

Budgets & Spending

photo credit: Eric Constantineau 

$0 Budget

$0 Budget and Variable Income

Credit Cards are Stupid

Average North American spends 12% - 18% extra


I challenge with math

  • $1200
  • 1 AIRMILE for every $20 (and that cost us $75)
  • $40,000
  • $4,000

Payment Terms

  • 10 Canadian business days or interest
  • Weekly means I get paid Friday for work starting Monday

don't agree to

"We'll pay you XX days after our client pays us."

Set Business Goals

photo credit: 713 Avenue

1st Year goal

make MORE money

buy a NOT crappy computer

don't crash and burn

Goals should be...

  1. Work to reach
  2. Public (at least accountable)

But what if I miss?

So what you tried!!!

That's better than most of your peers.

Review Review

photo credit: Dunechaser

Do you Know???

  1. What's your first task this Monday?
  2. What has been your most profitable project this month?
    1. What about in the last 6 months?
    2. Last year?
  3. WHY are you running your business?

This Monday?

  • Review tomorrow before today ends

Finished Projects

  • as soon as possible after they finish
    • within a week at the longest

I Found Out

  • Shipping/Payment gateway info
  • I enjoy building themes a bunch

What are your WHy's?

  • I want to be a present father
  • I was tired of seeing terrible code
  • I see so much potential not fulfilled

So Much Clarity

Reset yearly

  • Kill your TODO list
  • Kill your email
  • Make sure your WHY's are aligned still
  • Check your upcoming projects
  • Rebuild the TODO list for the year

you've got ideas

photo credit: Joriel "Joz" Jimenez

What Business are you in?

photo credit: Bill Ward's Brickpile

I develop or...

  • I design
  • I take photographs

You are in the business of customer service

No Mole mode

Marketing More

photo credit: andertoons

So Much work so little Time

  • So uh I don't have work now

"passive' Marketing

  • 'passive' may not be right
  • Blog people blog and blog more
  • Help people out
  • Meet people for REALZ
  • Plug other people all the time