Today's guest is Paul Jarvis. Paul is an author, designer, online course creator, and podcaster. Paul has been a freelancer since the 90's and, though he has transitioned completely to products, he still keeps everything extremely simple. His newest project is a SaaS called Pico.
Paul is a big believer in "scratching your own itch" when it comes to products (and even services).
One of his defining moments was when he quit his job as a creative director. His plan was to get another job, but when a number of clients from his previous employer approached him about continuing to work directly with him, his freelance career was born.
This was a pretty big deal because he'd never considered working for himself as an option. It was a scary leap to go from being an employee to running a business. Running a business is about so much more than just "doing the work". It was a new education in and of itself.
As is the case for a lot of freelancers, self-employment wasn't without its struggles. A low point for Paul was learning the hard way that clients don't always do what they say their going to do (e.g. pay you). At one point, a client owed him as much as $30k, most of which he ended up losing permanently.
The lesson, though, is that it's OK to stop working for crappy clients. Have a contract and a process and if the client isn't willing to abide by it, then walk away.
The move from client work to products was another unexpected twist in Paul's career, as it wasn't something he had necessarily planned on. But as his various courses and apps began to grow, he eventually stepped away from client work completely.
A big part of the appeal of staying small and nimble is the freedom it gives him to work on new things. Whether it's a new book, SaaS or course, Paul's projects tend to shift every few months, and it's what keeps him engaged and excited.
In this episode Paul talks about:
- How he picks his projects
- Keeping things simple
- Starting a business when you don't know how to run a business
- Leaving freelancing for product creation and book writing
- Productivity and batching
[click_to_tweet tweet="It's OK to stop working if people stop paying you. https://rezzz.com/podcast/s03-e04-paul-jarvis-on-keeping-things-simple-freelancing-and-being-a-business-owner " quote="It's OK to stop working if people stop paying you." theme="style3"]
- Having a skill-set is great but you have to learn how to run a business as well.
- Getting clients who need more than one project can help fill your sales funnel without a lot of additional marketing or sales efforts.
- Tie your payments to deliverables and not timelines.
- Create evergreen content and repurpose it. It can remove a ton of the stress of feeling like you always need to be creating something new.
Important Mentions in this Episode
Season 3: Origin Stories
More episodes in this season:
S03 E01 - Building relationships, focusing on your strengths, and why you need a therapist with Justin Jackson
Season 3 Teaser
S03 E02 - Family, Priorities, and Writing it Down with Curtis McHale
S03 E03 - Philip VanDusen on evolving career paths, identity, and building the work and life you actually want
S03 E04 - Paul Jarvis on keeping things simple, freelancing, and being a business owner
S03 E05 - Carrie Dils on being your authentic self, and fearless freelancing
S03 E06 - Vincent Pugliese on getting out of debt, freedom, and choosing not settle
S03 E07 - Matt Inglot on running an agency, finding the right clients, and starting over
S03 E08 - Val Geisler on raising daughters, why you should specialize, and how to provide real value for clients
S03 E09 - Bridget Willard on WordPress, Why Twitter is the Best, and Relationship Marketing
S03 E10 - Ryan Carson on Relationships, Motivation, and Mastering Sales
S03 E11 - Avani Miriyala on Design, Finding Your Niche, and Facing Your Fears
S03 Bonus - Tom McFarlin on Blogging, Balancing Work and Family, and Building a Business that Lasts
Best of Season 3 - Building Relationships
Best of Season 3 - Get out of the comfort zone