Freelancing with a full time job - Digital Marketing Strategist Nathan Allotey

For years Nathan’s been freelancing on the side of his full time jobs. It’s given him an extra income but also a reason to learn extra skills that have then got him better full time positions.

Nathan’s constantly learning - self taught, via groups, a Masters to a mastermind - digesting, discussing and sharing it with others in the freelancer community.

He’s even realising what it is the companies he works (full time) for look for in high-value freelancers.

This feels like a lot more than a ‘side hustle’. This goes right to his core.

Transcription of freelance podcast conversation between Nathan Allotey and Steve Folland

Steve Folland: How about we get started hearing how you got started being freelance?

Nathan Allotey: I'm in college, and I learned a few things from a free download that our university had for the Adobe Suite. Now, I played around in there a little bit, but I wasn't thinking any of those skills could lead to a job or a position, because I was in school for engineering. You go to school for a specific subject, and then you move on to get a job. That was my plan. I graduated with a degree, got a job, but one of my first jobs out of university was working at a web hosting company, and while I was there I learned quite a bit. Many people were smart at the company, and many people had side projects going on, but I learned a lot about the internet itself, how websites work, as well as what was the demand for different things.

Nathan Allotey: The web hosting company, they were responsible for servers and getting people on the internet, but they didn't do any client services, such as web design or anything like that. But any person that I worked with, whether it be through a support ticket or speaking to them on the phone, everybody was talking about they wanted a website. But that's not what we did, so I started thinking, well maybe I can provide that service. Not to poach customers from the company, but just thinking that if there's such a large demand, this is going somewhere in the future.

Nathan Allotey: I started learning tutorials online. Back to the Adobe Suite, some of the things I learned earlier are now relevant. I started learning those things, so self-taught as a web designer. Yeah, I started putting myself out there, and some people knew I was doing this. One day someone referred me and said, "Hey, I heard you can make websites." Now, in my mind I was thinking, technically I haven't made anything, but when they said that, I was like, "Why yes, sure. Yes, I do make websites." And then that led to me fumbling through my first project, but that's how I started freelancing, because after that they paid me. And I was like, wow, I got paid for a service. I'm a freelancer now. So that's pretty much how I stumbled and tripped my way into freelancing, and throughout there, I just took the time to get better at my skills.

Steve Folland: Just to put that into perspective, when did you first say, "Yeah sure, I build websites and do that"? How long ago was that?

Nathan Allotey: Yeah, that was pretty much about nine years ago. I think the internet was a little different then. What I mean by that is, there wasn't as many pieces of content teaching you how to do web design, so somewhat was scattered all over the place, but I used whatever I could to try to get better at my craft. On that note, it's funny, one of my clients during that time was Invado. Invado, they make different projects for the web and templates, and they sell different creative assets. I stumbled into working with Invado on a project, and they said, "Oh, as a part of working with us, we also want to give you free access to all of our tutorials." I said, "Oh, great." But that's when I learned a lot of things I learned on my own, I didn't learn the proper way, so I was like, "Oh, now I actually have a place where I can double check on my skills and get better." After that I started getting definitely better in specific areas.

Steve Folland: How long did you keep working for that company?

Nathan Allotey: Yeah, I pitched them a couple of ideas of, "Hey, I think we need to offer certain services." They didn't seen too interested, so I worked at that company nearly four years, and I was still doing freelance, a side hustle if you will, side projects, doing that. And then I moved on to another company, and I became their web analytics manager. It's interesting, because the skills that I did in freelance got me the next position, not necessarily anything that I was doing at the previous job. So yes, the web hosting company did teach me how a website is set up for the web, but a lot of skills I learned and did on my own in side projects, that's what landed me a higher-paying position as a web analytics manager.

Steve Folland: And then how long did you do that, still continuing to freelance on the side, I presume?

Nathan Allotey: Yes, that was about three years, and then once again, yeah, I got referred. Someone contacted me, and I started working with a hospital system here in Texas. I started working as a digital marketing strategist for that particular company there, still doing side projects, still freelancing.

Steve Folland: Yeah, so what's that? That's about seven years or so, isn't it? Seven years, perhaps, of working for companies but freelancing on the side. Were you starting to think, maybe I could do this, or did you not want to? Were you quite happy doing it as a side thing?

Nathan Allotey: Kind of a total of a couple of things. Just being completely transparent, the first thing is, I mentioned I went to university, and I had student loans from there, so freelancing also became a way for me to pay for things or in a sense increase my salary when I felt I wasn't getting enough from the day job. That's how I purchased a car, that's how I purchased many things. It's just really from freelancing. Also, paying off those student loans. I had student loan debt from my undergraduate experience. I didn't mention this, but at the time I left the web hosting company and started working as a web analytics manager at another retail place, I started getting my MBA, so I also had student loans for that as well. Freelancing has a little bit, in my experience has been helping me fund my education and pay off any student loans that I had. I'll be honest. If I did not have any student loans, I would have went full-time a long time ago, but because that was sitting there, I didn't necessarily feel comfortable.

Steve Folland: And so you've got effectively two salaries coming in, which is helping pay things off and move things forward for you, but that also means doing two jobs. You got the money, you gotta do the work, so how were you fitting everything in?

Nathan Allotey: I've gotten better at it over time. I've never achieved perfect balance, but normally what that looks like is going to work 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., then using any time that I have after work in scheduling certain things. I still take phone calls during the day or lunch break or wherever I can, or answer emails whenever I have some free time, but besides that, it's really just taking calls and working with clients on nights and weekends for the most part. I'm never up until the wee hours of the day, if you will, or to the a.m., but just speaking and working with people. Some people appreciate, "Oh, you do work another ... this is a side hustle. Oh." They don't mind it, and other people yes, they feel that since you're working two things, maybe you're not as focused. But you can really overcome that just by be production in your work.

Steve Folland: Interesting. I tell you what, so you are still working the full-time job and freelancing on the side?

Nathan Allotey: I am. Now, a quick note about that. One reason why I'm doing that now, and I didn't mention this in the background, but when I first started freelancing, and I was actually getting a lot of clients on the side, I didn't like the type of clients I was getting. They were the type of clients who were looking to save as much money as they could, not necessarily pay me for the value I was providing. I was like, how can I shift the type of clients that I have? I also during this time period went through a place of trying to reposition myself as a business, as a brand, as a creative professional. I've been repositioning myself, and I did freelance full time for a little bit, but the reason I'm still working today is, I really wanted an inside look of how to work for a Fortune 500 company or a Fortune 5000 company. What do they look for in freelancers, and what do they say when the freelancer is not around?

Nathan Allotey: Right now I'm still working, but it's somewhat a little bit more undercover, and I'm documenting a lot of those things that they're saying, because I'm trying to get to the point to where I've seen some freelancers that we work with in my day job. They're making 180k, and the company's not even blinking about it. I'm really trying to look at what do high value companies really look for in freelancers or an agency? That's a little bit of what I'm studying right now.

Steve Folland: Ah, and you're doing that from the inside. You mentioned doing an MBA, so that's a business master's-type degree, right?

Nathan Allotey: Correct, Master's in Business Administration, and then my specialization is marketing and marketing analysis.

Steve Folland: Cool. Did what you took from that ... was that like a year or something, was it?

Nathan Allotey: Because I did it part-time, so I would ... This was probably the busiest time of my life.

Steve Folland: Yeah, studying, working, and working.

Nathan Allotey: Correct. I think it started fall of 2010, and then I finished in 2013, but as you mentioned, going to work, leaving work, answering whatever emails I could or whatever project I could do between work and class, going to class, getting off at 9:30 or 10:00 p.m., coming home, and then waking up and doing it again. I did that for, as I mentioned, about three years. But for me that was very important, because a lot of things I learned, I can apply them directly to my freelance business. That's where a lot of repositioning and changing certain things and branding came into place, when I was going through the graduate program getting my MBA.

Nathan Allotey: I was able to directly apply everything I learned to my own business, because I noticed in class when they would speak on a topic or talk about a certain theory, they were really framing it as applying it to a company. They were like, "When you work for this company, you need to do ..." So they always applied it to you working for a company, but no one ever told me, well I can work for myself. Since I already had a business, I started applying things to it, and I started seeing results from that.

Steve Folland: What were some of the key things that you started to change, and the difference that they made?

Nathan Allotey: One of the biggest things is just branding, how companies in a sense create their own persona and project the type of perception they want the audience to receive them. That goes from everything of your brand voice, how people interact with your brand, being consistent in your colors, your design, your presentation, because the word "professional" implies certain things about it. People are expecting certain things. When I say brand voice, that's everything from what you're saying on social media, all the way down to how you answer certain emails. That was one important thing.

Nathan Allotey: Probably my favorite class in the entire time I was pursuing a graduate degree, they had a class called Pricing Strategies. This is why and how businesses come up with their prices, why they're doing what they're doing, a little bit of supply chain. That allowed me to see, wow, I was in the past somewhat making up my prices, being a little arbitrary with whatever I quoted clients, instead of thinking it through and being really systematic on how I projected and quoted my prices to clients. So that was big for me as well, changing my pricing, but also having the explanation on why I was changing it and how it was valuable. Pricing strategies was a big class for me during that time period.

Steve Folland: And has the sort of clients that you work with changed over the past few years?

Nathan Allotey: They have. They've definitely changed. They're more closely aligned to what I was looking for and what I really wanted. Also, the interesting thing is, I have a few clients who have worked with me when I wasn't charging that much, and they're still working with me now that I'm charging a lot more or three times as much, sometimes four times as much. But now I do a better job of explaining the true value that's there, rather than throwing out a arbitrary price and saying I hope they take it, I really hope they don't object. Now I can actually explain, or defend if I have to, but I can really explain why it's valuable and why it's worth what it is.

Steve Folland: Knowing now that you're working a 9-to-5, whatever the hours might actually be, you've got a freelance career on the side, but I know from checking you out that you do a lot of content marketing, yeah? Podcasts, videos, writing, speaking, loads of different things like that. How do you balance finding that time when time is so tight, between client work and marketing yourself as a freelancer?

Nathan Allotey: Balance, what is that? No, honestly, it's really just, at least for me, it's really ... and the job I have is a lot more flexible than previous ones, so I do appreciate that. That's also important if you are working full-time. I mentioned I worked as a web analytics manager at a previous job. That job left me no time to do almost anything, so I felt like my freelancing was suffering, because it's like wow, I spend all my time doing these things for the company in long hours. This is not really a good job to freelance with. But if you can find a day job that would allow you to have a little bit more freedom, doesn't take away all your time and energy, that's more ideal for you to work a day job and grow your freelance business.

Nathan Allotey: For me, I'm trying to solve the problem of cash flow for freelancers. I did experience and I do observe how there can be cash flow problems, trying to get that next client. Some of the clients I worked with, I didn't like in the past, in terms of they were paying me low, but I said yes anyway, because I needed the money to keep the cash flow going in my freelance business. But currently in a lot of what I do, I'm working to fix that cash flow problem, so that means I do have a day job, as I mentioned. I am freelancing on the side. I do teach on YouTube and have my own podcast. I do have productized consulting, and we can dive into that. And I do offer different products as well, because offering all those things allows cash to currently come in more regularly, instead of me begging or having to say yes to a client I don't really want to work with but I need the money. So just trying to diversify different sources of income.

Nathan Allotey: But the main thing for me is to make things easy. That would mean my podcast. I have a particular day where I record, because it's a video podcast as well as audio, so that's a little bit more work. But have a particular day, record the podcast. I'm able to do it without making many mistakes, as I used to. I used to always make mistakes when trying to record those podcasts and those videos, but now it's record and do these things in under 30 minutes, edit and get it up in under 30 minutes. The podcast episode is done. Schedule that out for the future. I also have a certain segment of my podcast now where I purchased a GoPro, mounted the GoPro in my car, and I answer Q&A questions while driving on my commute. So now I'm using my time on my commute effectively.

Nathan Allotey: Go to work, do what I have to do. After work it is answering any emails I had in working on projects. A lot of times in a given day, I have three hours to get things done, and then I use the weekend to make up anything that would take longer. So for me it's about when the time comes around, I don't have a lot of time to waste. I need to use the time effectively and get done whatever I can in those three hours a day, leading to the weekend. It's really just, if you want to watch Netflix, if you want to watch Hulu, if you want to do those things, that's fine, but during certain times, it's like, this cannot happen. You have to finish this work, otherwise things will just pile up.

Steve Folland: Yeah, so it's that dedicated time to it. In fact, maybe having the time restriction helps with that focus and that consistency.

Nathan Allotey: It does. I would say, and it still happens to me today, I try to always wait for a time where I'm inspired or ... I just need a block of time, I just need a block of six hours where I can be focused. Sometimes that's not realistic, so it's literally sitting down and saying, how much time do you have? One hour? Great. Two hours? Get as much done as you can in the one hour or two hours, whether you feel inspired or not, because when you do work for an hour, then the next time you sit down, you'll have all those things taken care of. Instead of trying to look for a pocket of six hours or so, that's not really realistic, at least not for me.

Nathan Allotey: Something's going to happen or someone's going to call me, right? I still have a social life. Someone's going to call me, invite me to something. Something's going to happen, so on that note, when you have the time, use it wisely, because you never know how things will shake out in other places. If you have a hour, great. Use the hour to the best of your ability, and then you'll see it'll be easier for you the next time you sit down.

Steve Folland: Yeah, I like that. Well, I'm glad you mentioned a social life, because I was starting to ... you said balance. What balance? I was thinking as well, where is the wiggle room in here, or are you sort of tending to keep your weekends free?

Nathan Allotey: Oh, I still have fun and hang out, do different things. I spend time with friends. I still do all those things as well. I think the biggest thing for me is looking at my calendar. If somebody asks me a question, they say, "What are you doing on this date?" I don't say yes, I say, "Let me check my calendar," because a lot of times I can forget different things or obligations or appointments. So I put everything on my calendar, and I just use something as simple as Google Calendar, nothing fancy. But I just put everything on my calendar, just so I know what is taking place and what I'm obligated to do, and block off that time. Sometimes if somebody invites me to something, I say great, but I put that on the calendar as well, so I don't forget. It's just all about whatever makes the calendar, and then reorganizing and shifting that, based on priority, but ultimately I put everything on the calendar.

Steve Folland: How have you found doing the podcast, by the way? I mean, you mentioned getting better at it over time, but how have you found doing it, and how long have you been doing it, for that matter?

Nathan Allotey: I started the podcast in fall of 2015. I started the podcast, wasn't sure what to talk about, so I just started speaking on things that I learned, even speaking on things that I learned while getting my MBA graduate degree, just teaching all these topics. I was a bit apprehensive, because the thought is, everybody does this. Everybody has a podcast. Everybody talks about this. But I think it's important for some people to hear your individual voice as a creative. So if nothing else, this is something to demonstrate my expertise.

Nathan Allotey: I started that fall of 2015. When I first started recording, it would take me like 35 to 40 minutes to do a five-minute episode, because I would mess up all the time, and I was worried about what I was saying and different things of that nature. But repetition can get you better, so as I did more, I was able to simply write a outline and just record and not really mess up that often. And then even streamlining how I am editing things, that got faster at that. And then separating the video from the audio and putting it on the proper channels, I just got better over time. The more I did it, the better I got.

Nathan Allotey: I enjoy the podcast. I've enjoyed it a lot, because my goal for the podcast is not to get one million downloads. My goal was to create a central place for learning that I wish I had when I started as a freelancer. That was my goal. I think that's a big thing for anyone with a podcast. Why are you doing what you're doing? Or if you want to start a podcast, what is your main goal? Because if your main goal is getting downloads or tying to grow into this podcast celebrity, you'll get very fatigued, because that may take a long time. You'll get very tired or burnt out trying to achieve that goal, but my goal ... I just got a email this morning with somebody thanking me for one of my podcast episodes. It really helped them. Things like that, that was my goal, so I know I'm accomplishing my goal, so I'll still do the podcast.

Steve Folland: Yeah. By the way, we'll put a link at through to everything that Nathan's up to, so you can check out the podcast, and we'll have it as well, so you can see or hear what we're talking about. That is a long time now, really. That's like a good nearly three years of sticking to that. Other than fulfilling you and hitting that personal goal, is that helping your business as well?

Nathan Allotey: It is, from two sides. I mentioned earlier diversifying your income as a freelancer. I don't know why I never did this in the past, but I had a good conversation with Jane Portman. She is a UI designer. She has a podcast called UI Breakfast. She's been on my podcast, and I've been on her podcast, but a good conversation about productized consulting. That's something I was not offering in the past. It was just me saying do you want a website or not? But not everyone needed a large project. Some people needed advice. Some people needed just a smaller service.

Nathan Allotey: Now I do offer productized consulting, so the podcast brings in different types of people. Some people see me teaching other creatives, and in their mind it places me as more of an expert, more of an authority, because they see me teaching other creatives. Clients can come in from the podcast, could say, "I heard you talk about this. It's interesting. I applied that to my business and saw results. Can you help me in another area?" So it does bring in clients.

Nathan Allotey: But also, it brings in other freelance creatives who may need help in their business as well, so if nothing else, it does fulfill me, it does help me give back to the creative community, but also, it does bring in different types of clients. Some are my peers, but some are people just looking at me as a professional. So yeah, the podcast is doing what I initially planned it to do, which was reposition myself as a expert, and I think that's working. Most people find me, and they're like, "Oh, I saw one video," and then they look back at the archive of how long I've been doing this, and they're like, "Oh, this guy's serious." It's finally doing what I really set out for it to do.

Nathan Allotey: And then there are some times I do encounter a potential client or a peer that maybe cannot afford my services or doesn't want to work with me at the moment. I can at least point them to a series of videos and answer their question, so I still help people. It doesn't always have to be a formal project, but I can still help people by saying, "Oh, go watch these five videos. You'll probably get the answer you're looking for."

Steve Folland: Yeah. When you mentioned productized consulting, as you called it, what does that look like for you? How have you found that?

Nathan Allotey: Yeah, productized consulting would be if you're breaking down some of your service, and I'll give an example of me, myself. If you're breaking down your overall product offering into smaller segments to help people out, you would be selling those things as a fixed price or a value-based offering. I used to just say, "Web design, web design, web design. Does anybody want to work with me for a full website design?" Of course, that's the most costly product offering that I have, and also that takes some time, but breaking that down, not everyone needs that. So for some people, it's literally, let me do a website audit. Let me observe and look at your website and give you feedback on different things that you need to change. You could make those changes yourself, or maybe this does turn into a project, now I'm the one to make those changes. But maybe right now the website's not converting like you would like it to. I can go through it and give you an evaluation and look at your analytics and report back to you on how to improve that website.

Nathan Allotey: That's a product that leads into a project, but if they want to just stop there, that's perfectly fine, and that's something that doesn't cost them as much as a full website design that I used to have as the only main product. So that's one thing. Also, with productized consulting, I used to do strategy or road mapping before I get into a project. In other words, I'm meeting with the client, and we're talking through their business goals, what's important, how they should find their brand voice online, how they need to position theirself in the market online, and how they need to write, and how we need to set up the website.

Nathan Allotey: I would do that as a part of a larger project, but maybe they don't need that larger project. Maybe it's just the strategy session or the road map, and then they can take that strategy and road map and work with me or anybody else they want to work with, but at least they have that plan. It was me looking at my process after I fully defined it, and then just segmenting out certain things in smaller chunks that people can use to work with me.

Steve Folland: Yeah, it's an interesting idea. How did you feel about when you were pricing that? Did you have to experiment?

Nathan Allotey: I think you do, no matter who it is. Me personally, I did. Definitely experiment, because you'll find, put a price on it, see how people respond. You may have to increase that if you get a lot of people coming to you, and it's taking up all your time. Then you're like, okay, maybe I need to bump up this price a little bit. But I've also found that it helps people with price anchoring. People can finally fully see that what you're offering is valuable. If I do a road map or strategy session, and it's for an hour or two hours, and I put a price tag on it, people now see my time is valuable, and my time is worth this. So if we work on a full project, and they know I'm working multiple hours, they can maybe see they're getting a deal by working with me on a full project. So it also helps with price anchoring and helping people see what is truly valuable.

Nathan Allotey: But definitely experiment. Put a price tag on it. I wouldn't overthink it. It's easy to say, road mapping session, try $200, see what happens. Try $1,000, and then if they want to do a full project, they know it's going to be that much more. Just put different prices on it and see what it is. I think everybody needs to evaluate what an hour of their time is worth. I know what a hour of my time is worth, so I know what I want to price things, but everybody has to figure out what that is and just make sure it's higher than whatever an hour of your work is, and you'll probably be okay with that.

Steve Folland: What would you say has been the biggest challenge for you?

Nathan Allotey: The biggest challenge for me, because it's taken time, would probably be repositioning my brand and repositioning myself. I wish I knew a lot of things earlier. I would say this, even though you may feel like a beginner, or even though you may feel like you don't have as much experience as someone else, I would still weigh on the side of charging more, because there's some companies out there and agencies out there, they do awesome work. In your mind, you think they're the ones that did it. Maybe they are, but more than likely they went out and found a freelancer. The freelancer did it. They gave it to the client, and then they put it in their portfolio, which is fine. But you don't even know how much experience the freelancer they found has.

Nathan Allotey: That's been the biggest challenge, in terms of repositioning myself, because it's taken so long. It wasn't just a couple of months for me. The first thing was changing my prices. The next thing was finding the right clients. The third thing was my podcast and even more. It's just taken time, so it's been a challenge because of the time I've invested.

Steve Folland: Yeah. Do you think that it just takes time, though, that it takes a degree of patience, or it could have been done quicker, perhaps, if you were full-time freelance?

Nathan Allotey: I believe it takes time. The thing, though, is, with every new project, in a sense you could reposition yourself. I was charging the same thing for many projects, but what I probably should have done was, if I get a project and it goes well, charge more for the next project. Every new project or every new potential customer is an opportunity for you to reposition yourself, at least in their minds. That's what I would say, start earlier. Start doing that sooner, because to your point, it is going to take time, so start as early as you can. That's what I would say, start earlier.

Steve Folland: Just one thing, I often speak to freelancers who, we talk about the sense of community or isolation and things like that. Obviously, you have a full-time job, but are there other people that you surround yourself with who are doing a similar thing to you, not just a full-time job, not just free ... that juggle that you're doing?

Nathan Allotey: I find, not that this matters, but I'm a Millennial, so everybody writes about me. I'm a Millennial. But being a Millennial, there's a lot of people that were in my same position. They have these student loans, but they want to start a new business. What do they do? So I do have quite a bit of friends that are also freelancing as well. We may talk about our struggles, our ups and downs. Also, I'm a part of many different online communities, so that connects me to different people around the world, the online communities I'm a part of. Some of them are paid online communities, and other ones are simple communities that are Slack groups, that are free for freelancers and creatives and designers to join. I'm a part of those communities. I stay in touch with different people online.

Nathan Allotey: And then lastly, I would say, is I still go to WeWork or coworking spaces. I go to different coworking spaces, and I do meet people there, and I do network with different people there. They may see me working, strike up a conversation, and we exchange cards. So yeah, definitely in real life, it's my friends who are freelancing as well as going to coworking spaces, but online digitally, I'm a part of quite a few different online communities, and I keep in touch with people there. Just seeing what other people are doing, asking questions, different people are at different levels, getting feedback from people, how are you handling this in your business? This is what I'm doing, what about you? Now, that definitely helps overall, I would say.

Steve Folland: What brought you to a paid community? What does that look like, for example? What justifies putting your hand in your pocket to pay for something that you haven't got elsewhere?

Nathan Allotey: I think the biggest thing for me about a paid community is, people are a little bit more serious about getting advice, as well as giving certain levels of advice, because they've invested actual money behind it. The biggest difference I see between free communities and the ones that I've paid for is, if I leave a question or a comment in a free community, it may sit there for a while, because no one is obligated to answer. It didn't cost anything, so they may pop in, they may not. No one sometimes feels a sense of responsibility to give an answer. But in the paid communities, if I ask a question, they will answer it fairly soon, fairly quick, because they're invested, so in order to get their money's worth, they have to be in there. That's what I would say, it's just more responsiveness from the paid communities versus the ones that are not.

Steve Folland: So it's been worth it for you?

Nathan Allotey: I believe so. There have been many questions that I've asked, and someone who's already been through it gives feedback on it. It's saved me any trouble or helped me avoid some common pitfalls, so yeah, it's definitely been worth it.

Steve Folland: Cool. Now, if you could tell your younger self one thing about being freelance, what would that be?

Nathan Allotey: I said it a little bit earlier, but the two things I would say is start now and charge more, because in a sense, starting now, as I mentioned, I wanted to wait till I was good enough. When my friends first referred me, the first project I ever had, I wasn't advertising my services. I was still working on things, because I felt I wasn't good enough. I'm not good enough. And even though I did stumble through the first project, you know, it was a paid project. The client didn't know how much I did not know. They just thought I had the expertise, and they went on with it. But I would definitely tell my younger self, start now. Even all the way back in university, I would tell myself, start doing things now, because as we talked about in our conversation, it will take time for you to get better. Since that's the case, you might as well start as early as you can and let that natural progression happen.

Nathan Allotey: And the charge more is tied to that, thinking that you're not good enough, I'm not to a level where I can charge a lot. Just charge more, because you're really charging for the value you're providing and the fact that you have taken the time to learn a skill that others have not. There's a lot of value in that. So those are the two things I would tell myself, start now, don't wait. I know you don't think you're good enough, but start now. Also, don't be afraid to charge more, because you have a valuable skill that will only get better as time goes on.

Steve Folland: That's great. Nathan, thank you so much for chatting and sharing today, and all the best being freelance.