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Stories for 1099ers

If you're a one-person company, there's a huge range of things you need to know and do in addition to your own specialty -- market yourself, set prices, pay taxes, and on and on. Our "Stories About Issues" can help. Then, if you're looking for new fields to conquer -- or just for inspiration -- our "Stories About People" will open your eyes to the amazing variety of fields in which 1099ers succeed as boss-free professionals.

 Stories About Issues

-- The Bucks --

How to Charge: The decision that every IP has to make -- should you charge by the hour or by the project?   Full Story

Quid Pro Quo: Bartering is rarely a core business strategy for most IPs... but it may help cut down on your start-up costs and spread the word about your business.   Full Story

Charge Your Clients More: If you're ready to raise your rates (and you should be from time to time), do it. And don't be apologetic about it, either. Just be smart.  Full Story

Gifts from the Gods: What do angels and Twinkies have in common? Believe it or not, they've both been used as financial tools by enterprising free agents.  Full Story

Cough it Up: Getting work is good, getting paid for it is better still. Getting paid on time is best of all. IPs talk about how to get your client to pay the damned invoice already.  Full Story

Audit Flags: You, too, can draw the attention of hungry little IRS auditors -- but the point is, you don't want to. Minimize the chances of having your tax return audited by avoiding these red flags.   Full Story

Should you do your own taxes, or have a professional tax preparer do them? 1099 speaks with three professionals about the pros and cons of each method.  Full Story

Living with Irregularity: IP life is great: you set your own hours, you answer to no one... and you can't get a mortgage. IPs sound off on the difficulties of living with an irregular income.   Full Story

-- The Buzz --

The Genuine Article: Not a writer? You should still try to get published. Articles establish your expertise better than almost any other marketing tool. Here's a realistic look at how to get rolling.   Full Story

Bearing Your First Web Child: Just "having a Web site" doesn't make you special any more... especially if it's garbage. If you're planning to lose your online virginity, here's some advice to help you make the most of the (ahem) pregnant possibilities. Full Story

Beating The Night Terrors: No work coming in? Living in your own private horror movie? We feel your pain... no, actually, that's baloney. Only you feel your pain. But we do have some advice.   Full Story

Don't Be Bashful: Nobody's saying you have to cruise the town square bellowing your name and phone number. Nobody's saying you shouldn't, either. But if you expect to succeed in self-employment, you'd better make time to market yourself somehow.  Full Story

Naming Your Business: You can invent a name for your solo business, or simply use the one you were born with. We found that IPs disagree on this issue. Full Story

Speechify: So what if you weren't the theatrical type in high school? You can still give a good speech. And you ought to, because it's a fun and cheap way to boost your credibility and drum up business.   Full Story

Don't Leave Home Without It: Does your business card say too much? Too little? In the entire realm of things, do these wallet-sized marketing tools really matter?  Full Story

Professional Associations: Most independent professionals know that joining an association can help their networking. But what should you do once you join?   Full Story

Classified ads for IPs? The Great Scott, a magician, is used to stunning children and adults by making things appear and disappear. But not even smoke and mirrors can conjure up new clients... Full Story

-- The Gigs --

Teaming Up: For many IPs, working solo is the best part of the job -- but sometimes it makes plain old business sense to take on a partner.   Full Story

Saying No: Nobody likes to turn down work, but sometimes it's necessary if you value other things -- your sanity, reputation, and free time, for example. Full Story

Clients You Can Live Without: Yes, we know, you love your clients. Most of them. Sometimes, however, a client crawls out of your nightmare swamp and almost makes you wish you were a wage slave again. Sound familiar?  Full Story

Moments of Decision: It won't happen often, but every now and then a project will shoot you and your business in a completely new direction. 1099 talks with three IPs about the accounts that changed their businesses. Full Story

My First Time: Your first freelance gig can be simultaneously nerve-racking and exhilirating. Two IPs tell their tales. Full Story

-- The Big Picture --

Work Junkies: Why do freelancing and workaholism go hand in hand?   Full Story

Tower of Babel: Freelancers have more labels than the canned goods aisle in the supermarket. Here's a fun look at the names they call themselves.   Full Story

Hand Off: You can try to do everything yourself... or you can outsource some business tasks to someone else.   Full Story

Workin' 5 to 9: Working the weird shift has its pluses and minuses. We talk to three freelancers who keep odd hours, and find out what kind of time they're having.   Full Story

After Hours IP: You put in eight hours for The Man... now put in a few for yourself.   Full Story

Propose to Me: When the big suit asks you to work, that's called making money. When the big suit invites you to beg for work, that called an RFP. Money is better, but still...   Full Story

Give it Away: If "show me the money" has become your professional battle cry, it may be time to consider donating your professional services to a good cause.   Full Story

On the Rocks: Your business, your clients, your work -- just thinking about this stuff used to make you feel all tingly. Now it just makes you feel nauseous. Read this, and bring back the romance.   Full Story

Finally Taking Off: Between getting work, doing work, and worrying about money and taxes -- all the usual IP insanity -- who can afford to take off? Well, we found two freelancers who regularly go on vacation -- and have managed to stay in business.   Full Story

On the Edge of the Cliff: Ever had a client who made you want to chuck it all and sell yourself back into wage-slavery? Well, you're not alone. Here are three stories of freelancers who were pushed to the edge -- and lived to tell the tale.   Full Story

The Ten Commandments: If you're looking for a laugh, check out these surefire breaches of business etiquette. Commit them, though, and you'll have more free time than you probably want.   Full Story

Up Periscope: It's ten o'clock -- do you know what your competition is up to? There's more than one way to find out. Full Story

Breaking Out: Three freelancers tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth about the great escape from the corporate big house.  Full Story

Papers, Please: Not having a work permit can get globe-trotting IPs in trouble with foreign governments, foreign clients, and the French Foreign Legion. Maybe just the first two.   Full Story

Fantasies of the Galley Slaves: Every solo career starts out as a dream, and for aspiring IPs, these dreams often happen at work. 1099 talks with wage slaves about their fantasies of freedom.   Full Story

Fire and Ice: So, you work on the moon, eh? That's pretty far from, uh, just about everything. What's it like to be an IP in a far-away place? 1099 talks with IPs based in Alaska and Hawaii.   Full Story

Is the World Going Freelance? As Americans increasingly take control of their professional lives, like-minded workers beyond the borders do too -- somewhat more slowly. We review some of the issues facing Canadian and Japanese independent professionals.  Full Story

Nobody's Home: Three traveling freelancers drum up new business, run from tornadoes and hurricanes, and, while abroad, take painstaking care not to be ugly Americans. All in a day's work. Full Story

The Two-Headed Monster: Your solo business has a legal structure -- whether you've chosen one or not. Who cares? Um... the IRS and some angry lawyers might. We help clarify your choices; dealing with the boogeymen is up to you.  Full Story

The Tech Temptation: Computers and cell phones and Palm Pilots and all that other beeping blinking stuff can save you time. Or cost you a lot of it. 1099 talks common sense with three independent professionals about managing the temptations of technology.  Full Story

 Stories About People

Antiques Appraiser: Independent appraiser Judy Campbell turned her passion for antiques from a weekend hobby into a profession -- and then took it prime time. Relics to Riches   Full Story

Architect: He's not a professor, but Tony Blackett thinks about universities all day long. This is the story of his big gig in Asia. Big Plan on Campus   Full Story

Cameraman: "I paint -- I paint," says cameraman Eddie Marritz. "That's why people hire me. I explore the geography of spaces and people's faces." Light and Lens   Full Story

Communicator: Actor- turned- communications- consultant Gary Hirsch teaches wage slaves how to freak out and be goofy. We approve. Loosen your shirt collar and read. You Call This Work?   Full Story

Curator: Surely you knew that museum curators can be independent professionals. It's an interesting life, complete with mother goddesses, problem clients (sound familiar?), and a diabetic male cat named... Susan? Don't ask. She's on Display  Full Story

Detective: IP Chris Horsch is a private eye -- a real one. Turn off your TV and tune in to this story to find out what these guys actually do. The IP PI   Full Story

Diarist: A diary can be a tool for self-expression, revelation, venting frustration, or just fun. But who would have thought someone could make a living helping other people make diaries? Self-Exposure   Full Story

Engineer: When things get hot, consulting engineer Barry Pitts keeps his cool. Consultant of Cool   Full Story

Etiquette Consultant: Is your lack of tact killing your business? Might be time to hire an etiquette consultant. Somebody like Jodi Smith. Oh, Behave   Full Story

Event Planner: Charrisse Min Alliegro uses her Wall Street savvy to help couples tie the knot in style. Ringmaster    Full Story

Executive: Even in the Internet industry, experience counts. Teresa Kersten has turned her 15 years of work at Apple, Intuit, and elsewhere into a one-woman Silicon Valley market. VP for Hire   Full Story

Foley Artist: You may not know his name, but you probably know his work. Meet IP Foley artist Dustin DuPilka, the guy who made the... um... retching sounds for the tentacled baby in Men in Black. Sounds Good   Full Story

Healthcare Consultant: People hire personal trainers to keep themselves fit. So do healthcare institutions like hospitals, medical clinics, and advocacy groups. Consultant Matthew McClain is their soft-spoken task master. He Pulls Together Healthcare   Full Story

Hypnotherapist: Hypnotism is all about getting zonked, right? Wrong. Read what a real freelance hypnotist does. The Power of Suggestion   Full Story

Illustrator: Tim O'Brien is a well-known IP illustrator who's also a boxer. When was the last time you met an artist who sidelined as a tough guy? The Canvas Man   Full Story

Jingle Writer: Can't forget the latest McDonald's jingle? You may have John Aldrich to thank for it. Ditty Up   Full Story

Landscape Designer: When it's hot in the Hamptons, superstar summer residents hire IP Elizabeth Lear. She Loves to Get Her Hands Dirty   Full Story

Lawyer: A tale of taxes as melodrama. At least once every year -- usually in April -- IPs have a firsthand experience of film noir. We found an IP lawyer/accountant who divides his time between murder, bombs, and... tax preparation. Call it IRS noir.   Full Story

Lawyer: How does a former big-time Fed get respect as a solo lawyer on Whiffletree Circle? Street Cred   Full Story

Librarian: Drowning in a sea of stuff? Judith Tapiero cleans up corporations' chaos -- and gets paid for it. Out of Order   Full Story

Net-worker: Since 1995, the coop on the knoll behind John Babiarz's Grafton home has hosted a 20th century gaggle of noisemakers new to farm country -- computer servers. The Fowl Internet   Full Story

Painter: Naima Rauam doesn't sleep with the fishes, she paints them -- right in the middle of the Fulton Fish Market. Here's how Rauam became Catch of the Day in the crowded sea of New York artists. Art of the Marketplace   Full Story

Parade Planner: After 25 years in the corporate world, Don Lunday found life much better marching down Main Street. Hit Parade   Full Story

Percussionist/Public Speaker: Michael Bayard helps his clients build teamwork by teaching them to thump the skins. Drum Machine   Full Story

Personal Trainer: As a personal fitness trainer, Jon Giswold doesn't just help you to get buff. He's a problem solver, a mentor, and a motivator. Pump You Up   Full Story

Photographers: Long-time couple Tim Gray and Kim Furnald prove that free agency doesn't have to be lonely. Buddy System   Full Story

Pilot: Gene Boyle of Moab Utah's Slickrock Air Guides is one part fearless aviator, one part trusted guide, one part showman, and 100% independent professional. Bird's Eye View   Full Story

Political Consultant: Independent political consultant Michael Connolly wants to help the little guy. Spin Doctor   Full Story

Producer: Even in the complex film projects of tinsel town, some people work for themselves. Meet John Daly. Film by One   Full Story

Publisher: If you're a CEO, you'd better hope Peter Chapman never writes about your company -- because if he does, it probably means you're getting flushed down the toilet. Banking on Bankruptcy   Full Story

Restaurateur: A good restaurant offers more than tasty food; it exudes a vibe. Funky Frenchman Olivier Boudon helps aspiring restaurateurs make the scene. Restaurateur to Go   Full Story

Stylist: Candy canes in July? Swimsuits in February? A casserole dish with attitude? Prop stylist Judy Singer digs up stuff like this all the time -- and makes a healthy living doing it. A Winning PROPosition   Full Story

Techie: The information technology field is hardly glutted with female consultants, but they do exist. We peek into an IT career filled with computer languages, programs, and (surprise) difficult decisions. Madame IT   Full Story

 Great IPs in History

Leonardo da Vinci: Leonardo was a great painter, a brilliant scientist, an inventive engineer, and one of the most catastrophic project-management screwups in the history of freelancing.   Full Story

 Stories from Other Sites

Do-it-Yourself Job Creation:They're leaving corporations by the thousands. Sometimes by choice. Sometimes not. They're creating their own jobs -- and changing the face of business.
Full Story

Fear of Flying: A shortage of capital or difficulty in finding the right opportunity may keep some people from going into business, but the biggest obstacle often lies within.  Full Story

The Flameproof On-Line Marketing Pitch: Learn how to subtly market your products in online bulletin boards -- without alienating potential customers.  Full Story

Grand Plans: It doesn't take a ton of cash to start a great company. All it takes is a little ingenuity and a lot of gumption, as the stories of these seven companies prove.  Full Story

In Search of the Small-Business Bible: Bookstores and libraries are filled with more books of business advice than you'll ever have time to read. Our intrepid reporter finds the best ones for you.  Full Story

Never Too Small To Manage: Michael Bryant practices open-book management, does rigorous customer analysis, and recently set up a monthly incentive plan. Not bad for a guy with no employees.  Full Story

Peter's Principles: When a top book editor decides it's time to chuck a steady paycheck and become a free agent, she seeks advice from a master soloist -- Peter Drucker.  Full Story

Twenty Tips For Finding Money Now: Despite the unpredictable state of today's capital markets, entrepreneurs still have plenty of ways to raise funds for their companies.   Full Story

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