This website is a collection. It contains my essays on business economics, the business and philosophical aspects of being an independent consultant, small business ownership, technology, and the human condition.
Nevertheless, the majority of my essays and curated material revolve around the (mis)adventures of being an independent technical consultant, freelancer, and services provider.
I publish a weekly (almost) newsletter called Consulting Lessons where I share resources about solo consulting and achieving personal financial and lifestyle goals in ways that aren’t necessarily possible in other types of businesses (all while making a real difference for our clients at the same time) with a couple hundred subscribers.
- Some Frequently Asked Questions:
Where do I start?
My most popular essays include How to get your consulting fee upfront, How to immediately start closing more freelancing deals, The Professional Consulting Success Ladder, and Consulting versus Contracting: A Costly (Lack Of) Distinction. Some others I recommend are 15 ways to get paid with less hassle as a freelancer (or consultant), This cash flow booster is almost too easy, and Recurring revenue: a path to sustainability in your solo freelancing firm. Also Tech Consulting in a Tight Economy is a timely one (Alas, yet again).
I once shared The least you need to know to experience the joy of better brewed coffee which was well received. If you’re a coffee drinker like me, but also lazy, busy, have other priorities, or tired af when you wake up in the morning, that’s the post for you.
If information technology is more your thing my more popular essays include To gain respect, IT departments must mature and Are you making these backup power generator mistakes?. I also started doing Josh’s Monthly Memo’s in postcard form (yes, physical postcards, albeit over-sized) to my consulting client mailing list, which some people liked.
If the technology sector in general is more your thing Nintendo Still Doesn’t Get It.
I also like to point people to Success: what people think it looks like versus what it really looks like because we all hit setbacks, challenges, and expectations mismatches along the way.
On the human condition front, one of my favorites is Optimizing Assistance Efforts in the Developing World.
If you want to see all my writing on a single page, you’ll find all my essays here.
Alongside this site I maintain a linklog, generally with brief commentary or the calling out of a particularly interesting point some brave person has made … out there. Some examples would be Why Marketing Really Matters for Solo Professionals, Do Freelancers Need to Have an LLC/Corporate Entity?, and What are you afraid of?.
I like to share thought provoking quotes from my collection sometimes.
You can contact me if you want to share some feedback or ideas (or just to say ‘hi’ but since I’m an introvert by nature I may put an acknowledgement further down in the queue for when I’m feeling more social). If you ask me a question, that’s fine, but just beware I may respond to it in essay form here instead so others can benefit from the answer as well (so let me know if there are any details you would prefer stay unpublished).
P.S. Remember, the above gets shared with my email list first (mostly business of technology consulting stuff). Enter your email below if being first interests you (well, and improving your consulting practice hah).
WTF should I listen to you?
Honestly you probably shouldn’t. I’m just some guy typing away on the Internet (unless you already know me some other way).
Fortunately, I’ve had a few people say good things about me and even more on LinkedIn if that’s more your thing. Also fortunately – if I’m to be believed – I’m a semi-retired consulting technologist, small business operator, and former technology executive.
I was a full-time solo consultant from 2006 until 2018. That is, all of my income was derived from consulting and freelancing during that period. And prior to that I had several one year-ish stints doing consulting without any other source of income. Throughout my career I’ve also taken on various side gigs opportunistically.
As for the career path that lead to my consulting and freelancing: I’ve worked as a chief technical officer, network engineer, systems engineer, test engineer, programmer, system administrator, and technical support specialist.
Since 2018 I’ve continued consulting, but deliberately made it a part-time endeavor so that I could focus on other ventures (of which this is one). All told I’ve been a freelance network/ systems engineer and consulting technologist for twenty five years.
This is my fifth blog, sixth web site, and eighth publication (three of which were old-school print newsletters).
What do other people say about you?
“Josh is a person that I respect, trust and admire.”Tim Williams, CEO & Founder, Digital West, Inc.
“Best investment made in my business to date.“Kurt Sorensen, President/Owner, DIGON Systems
“Great note.”John Gruber, Daring Fireball
“Josh is without question the best consultant I’ve relied on over the years.“Kirk Smith, Network Administrator, Dioptics Medical Products, Inc.
“Josh is one of the most talented people I’ve ever had a chance to work with. He was a great boss and teacher.”Jeff Raffo, Director of IT, EED (a DTI Company)
“I got your latest newsletter, and I’ve got to say I am pretty impressed.”Dave Clark, President, Impulse Advanced Communications
Why do you do this?
I write to scratch an itch, to clarify my thinking, to be helpful to those in my network (hopefully offering them some solutions and shortcuts), and to support my family and other endeavors.
My background is in technology, Internet and IT infrastructure, investing, managing household finances, consulting, and small business management, marketing, and growth.
I try to only write when I feel I have some sort of unique perspective qualified by direct hands-on experience (often accompanied by misadventures along the way).
I like to share things I’ve found or learned which worked well for me (i.e. made my life and work better, easier, etc.). Your own results may vary of course, but I expect you’re aware of this. You can decide how to proceed and evaluate the results for yourself.
I’m trying to develop something useful – I hope – to others and which is drawn from my own firsthand experiences and discoveries. In turn, I hope to attract an appreciative audience.
What do you do when you’re not writing?
Some of my other passions include beer, food, coffee, reading, photography, investing, taking road trips, and attending burlesque and comedy shows. I’m hoping to find the time to learn more about composing music and utilizing digital audio workstation software to do so. I also want to get better at cooking and baking.
Non-Writing Adventures (and Photography)
Anything else to be aware of?
I’m not an expert at everything contained here. Though the definition of an expert is somewhat debatable, so perhaps I am. In any case, I’m constantly learning, observing, experimenting, and adjusting.
My site contains a lot of older material – in addition to newer stuff – because it all seems still relevant. I also find seeing the evolution interesting (albeit unsettling as well). The lessons I’ve drawn from taking this approach is this: Most of us do not start where we hope nor expect to end up where we do do; there will rough patches and missteps along the way throughout our journeys that feel like showstoppers (or even – halfway – to the end of the world). We have to find our footing. We have to be willing to trip over our own feet. Fortunately, there are still some solid things buried in the older spots. I see life as an iterative process and each point was (and remains) valuable farther down the line. Also, where I am is not necessarily where someone else is: some of the material from my early professional days is still relevant to someone else (and let’s be real: I also need the reminders I get from rereading things I swore I’d never forget, because they are easy to forget amid the day to day noise, struggle, and distractions).