Nicole Fenton is the coauthor of Nicely Said. She reads and writes in Brooklyn.

Business Time

I started freelancing in 2010. My friend Colin Barrett gave me wonderful advice about running a business, and I decided to take the leap. Since then, I’ve been fortunate enough to work with friends and clients who trust me to advise them on business matters and the needs of their readers. I love this work, and I am genuinely stoked to be doing it.

I took a break from freelancing between 2012–2013 while I was at Facebook. It’s been about a year since I went independent again. Freelancing made it possible for me to work on the book with Kate, and it’s still good to be back.

But after finishing the book, I’ve been feeling a little aimless. I have work right now, and I’m enjoying the projects, but I feel like it’s time for a change. A new chapter. Not a big change, like taking a salary job or switching careers. I want to take my business to the next level. And I want to figure out what that means for me, not the business world or the tech world or the world where everyone else has an opinion. And that’s fundamentally a strategy project where I need to think about my personal identity, my work, and my relationship with clients. I feel very privileged to be in a place where I can think about these things. But I also feel like it’s a responsibility for me to actually think about them.

Yesterday, I asked fellow freelancers on Twitter how they like to bill clients. I bill hourly since most of my clients come back for more help, and I tend to invoice every two weeks. I make exceptions sometimes, especially for tiny amounts of work. I occasionally let invoices sit until there’s over a few hundred dollars of work, but then I don’t get paid for weeks at a time. So I am continually reassessing these things. After reading your kind replies, I’ll be a bit less emotional about it and bill on schedule. I do not want to muddle the message.

Over the next few weeks, I want to work through some questions here about my business. I don’t know what I’m going to write about exactly, so I am purposely being vague. This is an unsure-and-out-loud writing exercise. Let’s see where this goes. It’s time.