The Code Guy - Software Engineer Paul Allington

Paul shares his journey from agency life, to freelance life... to forming an agency... to losing it... to going solo as The Code Guy and becoming IPSE Freelancer of the Year. And that's not even all of it... So grab a cup of tea (it's what he'd want) and enjoy!

More from Paul

Paul on Twitter

Paul's site

Paul's Freelance project management tool
*In our conversation it was called Skwish, but has since been rebranded as doddle.
 

Useful Links

IPSE Freelance Awards 2017

 

Who the hell is Steve Folland?

Steve's a freelancer helping businesses use and make video & audio content in much better ways. Find out more at stevefolland.com, track him down on Twitter @sfolland or lay a trail of cake and he'll eventually catch you up.

Check out Steve's Being Freelance Vlog that documents his weekly wanderings and wonderings as a freelancer.


Transcription freelance interview with Paul Allington - The Code Guy

Steve Folland:    Hey, I'm Steve Folland. Thanks for listening. This time let's find out what it's like being freelance for software engineer Paul Allington.

Paul Allington:    What I definitely vowed to do at the time was make sure I was on top of the work that I was doing, making sure that it was all properly billed, and trusting that my hours are worth what I'm charging if that makes sense. A lot of freelancers I know very easily fall into the trap of just doing this. The "could you justs." Could you just change that bit? Could you just change that bit? And those bits add up to quite a significant chunk of time and in the end you can realize that you just spent the last week doing the "Could you justs" and not actually billable work.

Steve Folland:    Yes, hello. I hope you're having a good week. So Paul Allington is my guest this week. He was named IPSE Freelancer of the year here in the UK a couple of years ago. He brands himself as the Code Guy so interested to hear about that as well. And don't forget you can find us on Twitter at Being Freelance and also you can find the vlog on You Tube. Youtube.com/SteveFolland. That's me. Steve Folland as in Holland but with an F. I feel like I'm explaining a B & B reception. They still write down Holland by the way. It doesn't matter. I'm getting used to it now so that's still going. It'll be episode 10. Crikey! Probably by the time you check it out you can also find out all about this at Beingfreelance.com. As every it'd be brilliant if you could share this with other Freelancers and, I haven't mentioned this for a while, if you leave a review on your Pod Cast place of choice, like Itunes for example, where it really does make a difference.

Steve Folland:    But anyway, let's crack on and say hello to this weeks guest and that is Freelance Software Engineer, I've not had one of them before, Paul Allington the Code Guy! Hey Paul!

Paul Allington:    Hey Steve. How are you doing?

Steve Folland:    I am good. Thank you for doing this. Okay, so let's get started hearing about how you got started being Freelance.

Paul Allington:    So I've been Freelance for many many years, even right back to University. I have built websites, fixed computers, did all kinds of nice things for friends and family and small charities and things like that at University. It didn't follow me out of University. I started a career in Web development and worked my way through various different agencies before finishing up in Cambridge for a slightly larger company where I decided that actually I'd rather be working for myself and have a bit more control over what I do and not having to wait six months to do it as often the case is. So I started up a small Web Agency and that was back in 2011 I believe.

Steve Folland:    So actually when you got ... because you just called it a small Web Agency ...

Paul Allington:    Yeah.

Steve Folland:    By small ...

Paul Allington:    It was me. It was me working from my basement however right at the very beginning I knew because I'm a Software Engineer. I'm not a designer. I know where my strengths are. I know where my weaknesses are and so there are very few projects that you can get as a Freelancer that will be completely tailored to your skill set so I had to work a lot with other designers, other copywriters and that kind of thing. And so we often ended up being a small agency even though I was on my own and the people I was working with were on their own. It was more of a collaborative approach to stuff.

Steve Folland:    And did you give yourself an agency name or was it still Paul Allington?

Paul Allington:    That agency was called Intelligent Penguin.

Steve Folland:    It's a great name!

Paul Allington:    I loved it as a name. It's the first name I've ever come up with.

Steve Folland:    So Intelligent Penguin, but you were like the lead person. You were the one bringing in the work and then put it out managing all of those Freelancers that you were working with?

Paul Allington:    To a large extent, yes. There were other bits of work that were introduced from other people and I worked with some other design agencies as more of a Freelancing Software Engineer type of thing. But I did. I also brought lots of the work in myself.

Steve Folland:    So were you, as Intelligent Penguin, a limited company or were you a sort trader at that point?

Paul Allington:    Right from the very beginning I was a sort trader. I didn't really understand a lot about tax and company set up or anything like that. So all the implications of certain things were but after a year or so I realised that actually I could start bringing people on, bringing in new employees basically and growing a bit of a team. So that is when I incorporated and started to learn very quickly about how to run a company rather than just running myself.

Steve Folland:    So you mentioned employees there, which is different than just knowing that you can bring on both Freelancers when the work is there.

Paul Allington:    It was very different. Obviously that's not the case now. That was when I first started out but it was very different but I knew that I was managing people and actually the people I employed tended to have the kind of Freelance way of thinking.

Paul Allington:    But on to the security of being in a proper job type of thing, which is what I try to provide. But I never really lost the Freelance way of life. We never wore shoes in the office you know.

Steve Folland:    And who were those people that you were bringing on? Were those people who previously you would have hired as Freelancers like the designers or the copywriters?

Paul Allington:    No they weren't actually. They were brand new to me right from the very beginning. The first couple were people I actually knew. Came because one person was someone I helped out with some work experience and from that work experience, he stayed on with me. I think it was at that point I really realised that having people sitting next to me was quite a valuable thing. I never stopped working with Freelancers but having other people in the office with me was quite nice. When I say office, it was a shed.

Steve Folland:    Because I was going to say, that's like an interesting thing isn't it? Because previous to that, everybody was remote, were they?

Paul Allington:    Yes.

Steve Folland:    And then you found actually having somebody else put the kettle on was good.

Paul Allington:    Absolutely! Someone else making the ... Actually it's not always good. There was one person, he said, "Do you want a drink?" And I said, "Yes. A Lemon Squish would be great." And he didn't pull the Lemon Squish out of the fridge. He pulled the Jiff Lemon out of the fridge, which was quite a surprise. Well I took that and had a sip, but I didn't know how to break it to him, so I sat and drank a glass of Jiff Lemon.

Steve Folland:    I thought you were going to say like Jiff Lemon bathroom cleaner.

Paul Allington:    Oh God, that'd be worse.

Steve Folland:    Do you know though, that has totally reminded me, once when I was at radio station, we had this boy on work experience like 14 years old and he went off to make us all a cup of tea and didn't realise you're meant to boil the kettle. An education!

Paul Allington:    Boiling a kettle is a very important skill to have.

Steve Folland:    So where were we? 2012 it is. You've now got employees. You're still Intelligent Penguin. Is this right?

Paul Allington:    Still Intelligent Penguin, yeah. We were Intelligent Penguin Limited at that point and we grew. There were 13 of us towards the end.

Steve Folland:    Flipping A!

Paul Allington:    Yeah, it grew quite quick. I had a business partner who joined me. He started to carry the marketing side of the business so we became a full service web agency towards the end. Unfortunately that did come to and end in 2015, two years ago.

Steve Folland:    Okay. So at what point did you know to bring on those extra people? Was it because you bagged a particular project and you hired them and then kept them on? It's such a shift from being just yourself and having a few freelancers to growing it in that particular scale so how did you work through that?

Paul Allington:    It's hard. I won't lie. It's very hard because when you go from one to two people, in order to make sure that second person's salary is going to be covered because it does take a while to get up to speed with things and be covering your own salary, you have to work twice as hard basically and work all night. So it is a very different way of working. I don't think I ever really properly worked it out but I was doing pretty well. But it was managing in a totally different way but very enjoyable. I enjoyed having people around. I enjoyed sharing a bit of banter and that kind of thing in the office. But yeah, very different to just sitting like I am now at my desk at home.

Steve Folland:    So what changed in 2015 then?

Paul Allington:    It was the perfect storm basically but we lost a few regular contracts, which ripped a very large hole in our cash flow, our sort of baseline and it wasn't really recoverable. It was a very stressful time as well and I took the opportunity to move on and start up as The Code Guy and go back to my proper core freelancing, which is what I do now. And my business partner at the time bought the company out of liquidation I think it was. I carried on trading as Intelligent Penguin for a while.

Steve Folland:    Man!

Paul Allington:    Yeah, it was quite hard.

Steve Folland:    I was going to say, I can't quite imagine dealing with that and presumably a break in your income as well, everything that comes with it.

Paul Allington:    Yes. It was an incredibly stressful time but at the time I think you just realise there is nothing you can do about it. Well there probably is stuff you can do about it. You can probably fight and fight and fight but at the time it was very stressful so I took a couple of weeks off, gathered my thoughts. But I think when you're a Freelancer and you never really move away from that, you've still got your skillset and you've still got the people you know and a business is just a business essentially. So you can just sort of pick up from where you left off in some ways, just sort of start again and go out and get some new jobs and carry on doing what you were doing.

Steve Folland:    Yeah, that's so true. So you thought, "Right, I've got these skills. I'm going to be The Code Guy." What lessons though did you take out of that experience as you went forward?

Paul Allington:    That choosing a new name is very hard when you've already taken Intelligent Penguin. What lessons are learned? I don't really know to be honest. What I definitely vowed to do at the time was to make sure I was on top of the work that I was doing, making sure that it was all properly built. And trusting that my hours are worth what I'm charging, if that makes sense. I think a lot of Freelancers I know very easily fall into the trap of just doing this. The, "Could you justs". The sitting there and, "Could you just change that bit? Could you just change that bit?" And those bits add up to quite a significant chunk of time and in the end you can realise that you've just spent the last week doing the, "Could you justs", and not actually any billable work. So one of the big lessons I learned from that was to make sure that I was properly charging out for the work I was doing.

Steve Folland:    And how did you do that? Is that just communicating with the client very early on as to how it's going to work?

Paul Allington:    It's communicating to the client and it's also being able to say, "No." Or being able to say, "Yes, I can do that and that will cost ... ". It's a very hard thing to say when you don't want to rock the boat or the relationship you have with your client, if that makes sense. I found it hard anyway.

Steve Folland:    Yeah. And would you be using like a Time Tracker type thing?

Paul Allington:    There are so many different tools around. I think I tried like 75 different tools in the end but I ended up building my own. Nothing did what I needed it to do so I ended up building my own.

Steve Folland:    And have you since sold that as a product?

Paul Allington:    I have in fact.

Steve Folland:    Have you?

Paul Allington:    Yes! [crosstalk 00:12:44]

Steve Folland:    Oh cool!

Paul Allington:    I built it at the beginning of last year. I used it myself with the work that we were doing with my clients and I started to build it and it turned into its own business and we're now selling it. I have a couple of people working with me on it and we're going for a Funding round at the moment. It's very exciting.

Steve Folland:    Oh wow! I mean because I mentioned that because often I've heard that before, people have created things for themselves. It might not be as big as that but it might be a Photoshop brush for example and then they end up, "Actually I've created this because I had a need. Other people might have a need. I'll turn it into a digital product." So wow, let's talk about that though because does that feel different managing that business to what you were doing before?

Paul Allington:    It's a very different model. And having built something when I was sort of getting other people to come up to it and trying to sell that, is very difficult. I'm very competent at selling my time. I'm very competent to say, "I can build this for you and it's gonna cost XXX and it's going to take this long." Or sitting in front of somebody and saying, "Here is my product. Come and use it." It's a totally different sales technique, which is why I have Chris and Milly who work with me. Chris is my commercial director and Milly is my marketing director, so I can just be a geek and stay and eat cookies and build a system.

Steve Folland:    So is that funded by you? Like are they working on that full time?

Paul Allington:    They are at the moment. So Milly joined me at the beginning of last year under The Code Guy, to help me out with some projects that I was doing. She actually helped build the system in terms of what she needed to communicate with the clients, called Skwish (since rebranded in 2018 as Doddle) by the way. I'll be shot if I don't mention that. So she's joined Skwish as the Marketing Manager because she's got a really strong marketing background. And I met Chris when I won the award in 2015 and he was sponsoring the event that I won at and so we worked together for a while and when I was just about to push Skwish out as its own product, we started talking and he said, "I can help with that." So I've been funding it for a little while. Everyone has been putting extra bits of time in. We're going through a Crowd Funding Campaign to raise some money to make it even bigger and take it even further.

Steve Folland:    Man! Good luck! Of course, we'll put links at Beingfreelance.com so people can check it out. Hey, they could be listening to this and need us to come when it's already become a Global success. In which case, they've missed the opportunity to invest but still ...

Paul Allington:    Yes.

Steve Folland:    So, Beingfreelance.com. Right, so we'll come back to the award but let's carry on with the story. So you've just waved goodbye to the Penguin and become The Code Guy, which by its very name and its nature suggest that this time you thought, "Well it's just going to be me."

Paul Allington:    Yes, I very much thought, "This particular time until something else comes along ... " Like you mentioned, it was just going to be me and I was going to stay collaborating with this. Not that I had big issues in employing people. I enjoyed it. It was great but actually I wanted to spend the time building some really cool Software rather than building a team. That was what I wanted to do at the time.

Steve Folland:    And in that, would you be hiring yourself out to other agencies? Where does the work come from?

Paul Allington:    I very much try and avoid building Websites now. I just don't enjoy them. It's more about the design in many ways than the actual build. I've been doing more big project work like I built some betting shop displays for the Racing Post for example to aggregate their data down and output it into shops. And last year I built a breast cancer screening system, which [crosstalk 00:16:55]

Steve Folland:    How do you get those clients?

Paul Allington:    Word of mouth. I don't do any advertising. It's all through word of mouth and people I've worked with before and I don't know how the conversation goes before my name gets mentioned but it usually starts with, "I've got this idea actually." Or, "Do you know anyone who could do this?" And my name gets mentioned at that particular point I think.

Steve Folland:    And do you market yourself in any other way as The Code Guy? We have people on here who blog every day or shoot a video or do so much on social media or go to networking events or whatever. Like do you do that or do you just sit with your tea and crack them with the work?

Paul Allington:    I do the Up Log, not for any kind of marketing reasons, just for something a bit different and I go to the odd networking event but more just to get out and have a sometimes nice breakfast. It's just more to get out of the office away from my desk and meet humans because I don't tend to meet a lot of humans. I tend to just sit down and get on with my work really.

Steve Folland:    So work coming in by word of mouth was obviously picking up speed because even though The Code Guy was just going to be one person and collaborating, you've already mentioned Millys' name, so at what point did you realise you needed help? What was she doing?

Paul Allington:    When you've got a lot of projects there tends to be a really big build up at the very beginning and then there's ongoing little things, ongoing stuff that needs to happen afterwards and it can be very simple changes but there can be a lot of them so Milly joined me to kind of help organise me. That's what I really needed at the time. She came to really help with that. She's also got quite a strong marketing background and some of my clients needed some marketing help.

Steve Folland:    So, because even within that, I'm intrigued as to what point you realised that you needed to bring on somebody to project manage or to manage you, because obviously that's a cost and you're going think you're going to need a certain amount of cost to keep them busy if they're employed. I don't know. They might have been Freelance but at what point ... ? Especially because you mentioned earlier that when you hired somebody you ended up working twice as hard.

Paul Allington:    At the point that I hired Milly, I had a number of other Freelancers who were doing some work for me and so she was really brought in to help manage those as well. Not just the clients but also, off the back of the Award, which you mentioned we'll come back to, I had some award money that came out of that and some other funding from a grant, which helped pay for her time. And although we originally started building Skwish, which had a totally different name back then, we did plan to sell it somehow and the plan was that she was really going to help with that.

Steve Folland:    Cool! And if she is then put at managing, dealing with client relationships, dealing with the Freelance relationships, I wonder how clients in particular feel about that if they're used to dealing with you. Like if they've come to The Code Guy, they liked chatting to Paul and hearing about his cups of tea and his dogs and what have you, do you not worry that they want to work with you and therefore putting another person in the way wasn't true to you? I don't know. Maybe I'm phrasing it wrong. It's just that I find myself, like I could deal with somebody but actually maybe my clients like working with me. I mean I know I'm bigging myself up there but you know what I mean? That's the Freelance client relationship. Like what if it wasn't me?

Paul Allington:    I know exactly what you mean, and it was always a fear that I had, and it was a fear with Intelligent Penguin as well. But I think because I've had the experience of Intelligent Penguin, that I never actually stepped away, and I was generally always contactable, and I was always around, and I was always involved in all of these projects. It wasn't a case of wind Milly up and send her off to do a load of stuff. It was always very much working together on things. So I never sort of disappeared, plus when I'm really deep into a project and I get my head down, I can just disappear and I can become slightly uncontactable at that point and I think a lot of people liked having Milly there. So that when I was deep into a project and they needed something, they could contact someone at least and then she'd get ahold of me kind of thing.

Steve Folland:    Yeah. Such a good point that really the only way for you to focus and get the work done is to shut off the people trying to contact you.

Paul Allington:    It's very true and in the nicest possible way. You know I want to talk to all these people but I think there's some statistics somewhere that says, "When you look away from your screen or when you look away from your work, it takes about 15 minutes to get back into it." And if your phone is ringing every five minutes, it's very hard to actually get into anything. So having someone just to give you some space really really helps.

Steve Folland:    And does she work remotely?

Paul Allington:    She does. She works from her house as well. We both work from home but we work very closely together. There's a lot of tea involved.

Steve Folland:    So, let's wind back to that award that you mentioned. This is the IPSE Freelancer of the Year Award. So yeah, tell us about that experience really.

Paul Allington:    It was a really interesting experience. I enjoyed it. I saw an email that said, "Enter the Award for Freelancer of the Year. Just fill in these questions." And it was about six, seven months in when I started The Code Guy and I though, "I'm going to spend some time answering these questions." More for myself because having had Intelligent Penguin disappear and start The Code Guy, it was kind of a good chance for me to go, "What have I actually achieved? What have I done in the last six months? Am I on track?" Because you don't normally get a lot of time to focus on yourself as a Freelancer. You're sort of just going from job to job to job so I used it as a chance to do it.

Paul Allington:    So I wrote a lot of stuff down. I submitted it and then I got the call to say, "You're one of the finalists." And I though, "Oh, goodness." Well that wasn't going to work so I had to go to an event in London where I had to do a presentation in front of the judges, which was scary. And even more scary, I haven't got a clue what to wear. What do you wear to that kind of thing? And I'm not a suit person. I don't do suits at all so I picked my best hoodie and trumbled off down to London and did a presentation. I actually had a flask of tea that I pulled out of a bag during that presentation. And they must have liked what I had to say. I can't remember anything about it. They must have liked what I had to say because we went to the Awards ceremony where I did wear a suit actually. But it was a formal event so I guess it counts. Then my name got called, which completely stunned me. I didn't expect to get as far as being a finalist let alone winning.

Steve Folland:    And what was the after effect of that, other than the money in the bank account, which helped you grow the business as you mentioned earlier? Was there another effect?

Paul Allington:    It was a very nice feeling. I enjoyed it. It didn't really change a huge amount but it gave me a lot of ... There was also a whole lot of support that was involved in the prize package so I utilised a lot of that to understand a bit more about how to build a product and how to get it out. It didn't really change a lot but it gave me the confidence to sort of plow on with what I was doing. I think I filled the questions in because I wasn't sure if I was heading in the right direction. But having that really kind of just focused me even more. I got some media coverage. I was in the Papers a couple times, which was really exciting and really nerve wracking at the same time. I don't like being interviewed. In the nicest possible way, you're very good at your job Steve. I don't like being interviewed. I find public things very nerve wracking but it did give me a lot of experience in that as well.

Steve Folland:    Okay, so one thing we haven't touched upon is I guess the work life balance in quotation marks, of it all. So how have you been coping with that? How have you been going that way?

Paul Allington:    That's partly why I'm a Freelancer is because I am able to maintain a bit of a work life balance. I say a bit of. I do work an awful lot, but I have two children and when my son was born ... He's now four. He's nearly five ... I worked in the shed at the end of my garden and while I was able to remove myself from the house, go and do my work and I have my work space, he would occasionally toddle off to the end of the garden, knock on my door and to say, "Hi." And come and have a cuddle and sit on my lap bash at my computer, which I'd have to undo afterwards. And it was quite nice to actually be involved even though I'm at work so I do have that kind of ... And I think lots of people don't have that. If you're working in London and you're leaving at seven o'clock in the morning and you're getting home at eight o'clock at night, it's very hard to have that kind of relationship that I have with my children I suppose.

Steve Folland:    Yeah. It's a big motivation towards it.

Paul Allington:    Massively. We've moved houses so I'm actually inside the house. I'm actually on the mezzanine, which is very exciting and my wife tells me I'm on probation. If it stays clean then I won't have to brush it.

Steve Folland:    That's great. So what would you say are the biggest challenges for you being Freelance?

Paul Allington:    What are the biggest challenges? That's a very good question. It used to be saying no I guess and saying, "Yes I can do that but it will cost this much." But I've managed to sort that out now. I think I'm on top of that. I don't really know. Good question. Can we come back to it?

Steve Folland:    It's good though that having that confidence to know to say, "No." Or when to say, "That'll cost this."

Paul Allington:    Confidence took a lot of time to come up with. I'm not a naturally confident person. It took a lot of time to work it out but I sort of have my way of working. Getting trapped on a particular problem is probably one of the biggest challenges I have actually. Not being able to leave it and move on to something else, that's probably the biggest challenge I have.

Steve Folland:    Okay. Now I always do this thing where I ask for three facts about yourself. Make two true and one a lie. Let me figure out the lie. What have you got for me?

Paul Allington:    Okay. I once Freelanced as a Poo Picker Upper at Colchester Zoo.

Paul Allington:    I was once on Channel Four running away from a herd of cows.

Steve Folland:    Right.

Paul Allington:    And I have Robot staff in my house.


Steve Folland:    Okay, so you Freelanced as a Poo Picker Upper. I hope that was on a badge.

Paul Allington:    It certainly was. Yeah, it was something I did as a holiday type thing, just going in and helping out.

Steve Folland:    And what animals did you have to pick up the poo of?

Paul Allington:    It was elephants.

Steve Folland:    Oh, only elephants?

Paul Allington:    It was only elephants.

Steve Folland:    Not the tigers? Probably a bit more?

Paul Allington:    Not the tigers. That's dangerous.

Steve Folland:    Get through quite a lot of worker experience people that way. So elephant poo, what's the knack for picking up an elephant poo?

Paul Allington:    A really large fork.

Steve Folland:    Okay. You were on Channel Four being chased by a herd of cows. I mean that might well be a game show on Channel Four. It's the sort of thing that would be. People around the world, that's the kind of thing that would be on Channel Four. How come you were on that channel?


Paul Allington:    It was on, you know that show River Cottage with Hugh Fearnley Witting ?

Steve Folland:    Yeah. Is it like a Cookery show?

Paul Allington:    Cookery Show. I was on that. I spent a week down on the River Cottage Farm sleeping in a TeePee learning how to cook and they filmed it.

Steve Folland:    Wow! And the cows go upset because you refused to pick up their poo and yet they'd heard you were good at it?

Paul Allington:    They were a long way away in the field and they sent me off with a bucket of cow feed to go and collect the cows and then they started running at me so I ran back across the field.

Steve Folland:    And you have Robot staff in your house.

Paul Allington:    Yes.

Steve Folland:    It's like the Jetsons.

Paul Allington:    I really hate Hoovering so we have a Robot Hoover that just comes out at its own little time, which is why I was slightly late because it decided to venture into my office and was Hoovering the office.

Steve Folland:    Cool! Have you given it a name?

Paul Allington:    We've called it Dobby I think.


Steve Folland:    Oh man! This is so hard because you can get Robotic Hoovers. They do exist don't they?

Paul Allington:    They do!

Steve Folland:    These all sound so true. That's the whole thing. These are so plausible. I mean somebody has got to pick up the poo. I guess elephants don't do it themselves. Okay. I don't think you were ever a Poo Picker Upper.

Paul Allington:    That's right.

Steve Folland:    Yes! Although I kind of want it to be true.

Paul Allington:    Yes, me too. As I was saying it I was thinking, "Oh no. I wish that was true."

Steve Folland:    You said, "The fork and the elephant." With such conviction.

Steve Folland:    Okay, now if you could tell your younger self one thing about being Freelance, what would that be?

Paul Allington:    Keep going. Stick at it. Never give up.

Steve Folland:    It is short and sweet but that's okay because the kettle is about to finish boiling. You probably have a brew to get to. Paul, thank you so much. Don't forget check out Beingfreelance.com, link for everything that Paul is up to. You can find The Code Guy site and Twitter and we're linked through to Skwish, as we were talking about earlier.

Steve Folland:    Good load with that by the way. I mean with utmost respect, plenty of people have ideas but to actually make it happen ... All links at Beingfreelance.com where you can also sign up to the Newsletter, find all of the other guests including a couple of other previous winners of the IPSE Awards. And speaking of which I will also put a link to the IPSE Awards so if you're listening to this as it goes out, you could go and enter because entrance is open for 2017 right now and I recommend it. It's well worth doing it if you're based in the UK that is. All of that at Beingfreelance.com. Check out the vlog, but that's enough self plugging.

Steve Folland:    Paul, thank you so much for your time. Really nice story. Really great chatting to you and all the best being Freelance.

Paul Allington:    Wonderful. Thanks so much Steve.