Ambition/Rest

As someone with 5 kids, ambitious freelance projects (I tend to underestimate time-wise (working on this!) for on freelance projects, as I’m used to estimating given a 40 hour/job, which I of course can’t do while freelancing with kids and a full-time job.) in a short amount of time (by trying to not cut on time with God, family time, and–of course–not reducing or during my full-time work), work at times feels like a vacation. A working vacation, but still a slower pace.

That’s most likely a sign that I need to use my personal “Sabbath” time more intentionally. I don’t do it in a legalistic way, but I usually don’t work from Friday nights through Saturday to stop from the grind and focus on God. It forces me to stop, which I need sometimes.

I try to work hard (and smart), but if there’s no break and you have the constant “buzz” of life and work burning in your mind even while you’re not “working,” are you resting? Probably not, at least not for me.

Even God rested on the seventh day, not because He needed to, but to show us an example for how to do work in our lives.


Sharepoint is Surrounded by Sneaky Snake-Oil Sales(wo)men

Okay, so at one point last year my boss two levels up got SharePoint so we can make a new Intranet, so we can replace our current ASP/VBScript Intranet that was made with Dreamweaver.

I’ve taken it upon myself to know more about what it is capable of and how we can make the best Intranet ever for my employer. This has involved attending a few SharePoint events,
reading some books & documentation, and so on and so forth.

So, I signed up for a conference in SharePoint, and have gotten a few calls from some slimy salespeople about how we met at conference. Except, I didn’t attend (Due to unforeseen circumstances). This post was prompted by call just now from another salesman who said “we met at the SharePoint conference.” I simply hung up on the liar.

This is how it’s been from the beginning. (Almost) every SharePoint “expert” or person I’ve run into, online or off, has been unhelpful and usually wants to sell me something. Not a lot for a developer who simply wants a broad spectrum of what SharePoint is even capable of. Very different from the Open Source software and Web community as I’m used to.

I like making money, and understand the idea of it, but in the communities I come from, it’s more of a “build first, pay later as you build more” mentality. Like buying shoes or a car. Try first, and see if it fits accordingly. Or even if not that, at least an overview of whatever I’m being sold, right? (Note: saying it can anything doesn’t count, especially if you don’t give me more technical details.)

It’s not all bad though. I attended a SharePoint seminar on forms from FEDSPUG. It used InfoPath, which appears to be some propriety front-end that I’ll never use. But other than that, the community there seemed lacking in snake-oil, which I like.

Hopefully, I’ll see more this in the future.

We will see!


Employed! (Again)

I recently got a new job a few weeks ago at a community college. Though I still do freelance web development for small businesses, this is a great stable job to grow in. So I now work part-time for Lord Fairfax Community College in northwestern Virginia. It’d be quite a drive (about an hour and a half), except I telecommute, which is quite nice.

It’s a great example of what the Father can provide. It’s the perfect amount of hours, with the right amount of work: not too far “above” or “below” my skill level. The people–including my boss–are great to work with. And did I mention the commute?

Anyway, the point is that Yahweh God always provides, and not only for me. It’d be one thing if I talked about how great deliverance I received, but that point is it works for anyone. I’ve seen so many answers to prayers–particularly concerning jobs–in the past few months. One person I know was looking for a job and found one in a swift amount of time. It was also closer to home. And one after another, there were jobs for people with not only decent pay, commute time, and other things, but also the perfect job for them. God knows us best, so he’s like the perfect recruiter.

Have you received such deliverance? If not, you’re past due. You’re not past it, though. I think I’ve missed some opportunities in the past, but he was there with greater deliverance than I expected. He’s always there to supply your needs.

But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.
– Philippians 4:19 (KJV)


Day Labor Sucks

I’m usually not one to write a negative post (or at least try), but I’ve been itching to write it.

So now that I’ve reduced my work schedule and started to set up my freelance web design business, I’ve been looking for work. It’s really cool that I’ve been given the opportunity to have the freedom of working freelance. I can adjust my schedule (within reason), plan vacations, and give myself a raise occasionally.

The slight disadvantage of this, however, is that I have to be actively looking for clients. I have to work for work. However, this gives me an oppportunity to trust my Father more and more for my needs.

Anyway, the point I’m trying to make here is that I have to look for work. So far I have two primary ways to find more business:

  • Find work with local businesses and organizations, and get word-of-mouth refferals from those clients
  • or

  • Using sites on the web, namely GetaFreelancer

When I signed up for GetaFreelancer, I thought I would be able to find so much work, I’d be fine. However, what I found was not unlike a day labor site for web designers.

First, many of the projects are riduclously underbudgeted. For example, one buyer wanted a “web 2.0 site” for $30-100. Also, I saw one project from a buyer in Alabama that preffered suppliers who worked “under $5 hour.” How do these people expect us to live?

Because of these underbudgeted projects, there are many providers who aren’t that good. Some providers’ portfolios were impressing. Unfourtunately, however, most of the providers on GetaFreelancer make lousy websites, whether it’s lack of skill or experience, or a lack of care. I believe the lack of care bugs me the most. Many of the projects bids are autoposts from people too darned lazy to read through the projects. There are other things too, but I’m not in the mood to write them. I decided to do this not because I think I’m the best, but to work towards that goal. I want to improve everyday in my skill, service to clients, salesmanship, and trust in God. In order for me to do that, I have to look towards the best. I can’t hang around providers whose business model is “sell’em cheap.”

Despite all that, however, maybe the one thing that’s really bugging me is that I haven’t landed a single job online. Any fruitful job opportunity has come from local people whom I met face-to-face. So far, that seems to be the best way to find clients. Working with local clients, making sure they are satisfied, and getting referrals (or more business) from that client. It not only works well, it gives a greater satisfaction, too.

Day labor sucks.


New Web Host (and Job)!

If you haven’t noticed the very cool subdomain, I have a new web host: Media Temple (mt). I’ve heard good things about them, and so far they’ve been great!

Also, in unrelated news, I’ve reduced my schedule at my retail job to one day a week. I’m going for freelance web design/development (which explains the host change) and a full-time college workload again (Yay!) After almost a year of working full (or near full) time in retail, my Father has opened new doors! Will it be hard? Sure, but I know I have someone–The One (and His son 🙂 )–in me.

So I’ll keep praising God (while searching for clients)!


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