I started freelancing full time out of necessity during the dot bomb in 2001. There were no blogs on freelancing, no conferences, but I was deeply blessed to find a mentor who helped me avoid the worst mistakes my first year. While you shouldn't get paralysis by analysis (just get started), certain key tips often make the difference between navigating a successful freelance career and a lot of sleepless nights. Whether you are dreaming about freelancing or in the thick of bootstrapping, be practical and be intentional about running a business and you will be successful.

* Why you ALWAYS get a deposit
* What to spend money on and what to skip
* How to get a business license and what form of business to choose
* Don't be a cowboy, get input from the right people
* Why you should clock your time, even if your aren't paid for it
* Contracts matter - finding a template you can use
* The IRS is watching: separate bank accounts and track your finances
* Planing makes you real money: think about deductions and expenses now
* Avoid the bad projects and evil clients with a project checklist
* 6 months in the bank = freedom to define your terms
* And so much more...

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