How to Get Started as a Freelancer as a Busy Mom (S5E14)

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During the day, Sarah Greer is a homeschooling mom of four. By night she is a freelance web developer.

Sarah GreerAfter working in customer service for an internet service provider and then after that being a stay-at-home mom, Sarah heard about the need for women in tech. After jumping into a Skillcrush program, she was able to start building websites for small businesses at home. It keeps her busy, but she loves building client relationships, bringing in extra money, and honing her tech skills.

In today’s episode, Sarah talks about balancing freelance work, homeschooling, and family, and shares how to freelance work tips and advice for those who are just starting out, such as knowing how much to charge clients.

Listen below!

This episode was transcribed with the help of an AI transcription tool. Please forgive any typos.

Laurence Bradford 0:07
Hey, and thank you for tuning into the Learn to Code With Me podcast. In this episode, you're going to get an inside look at what it's like to freelance for a living, how to land your first freelance clients, and how to price your services. That's all coming up after a quick word about our special partner just for this episode, Skillcrush.

Laurence Bradford 0:30
Skillcrush is an online coding school that helps people reinvent their career, and they offer a completely free 10 day prep course that is perfect for anyone just getting started. Inside this totally free program. They'll walk you through everything you need to know to get started in tech from industry jargon to the different career paths that you can pursue. Sign up for Skillcrush's free boot camp at

Laurence Bradford 0:57
Hey listeners in today's episode, I talk with Sarah Greer. Sarah is a homeschooling mom of four by day and a freelance web developer by night. After being a stay at home mom for about a decade, she decided that she wanted to do something for herself. So Sarah took a scale Crash Course and jumped right into freelancing. I know that so many of you are career changers or searching for which career path is right for you. And I hope that you find Sarah story inspiring. In our conversation, we talk about how Sarah got into tech, what it's like to freelance how she landed her first clients, what she wishes she knew when she first got started, and a lot more. If you want to switch careers or start freelancing. This episode is for you. Enjoy.

Laurence Bradford 1:46
Hey, Sarah, thank you so much for coming on the show.

Sarah Greer 1:48
Thanks for having me. I'm really excited to chat with you today.

Laurence Bradford 1:52
But first, can you tell the audience just a bit about yourself especially what you were doing before you became a freelance web developer?

Sarah Greer 1:59
Sure, I am a homeschooling mom. I have four kids. And I am a freelance developer. But before that I was just a stay at home mom raising the kids, homeschooling them because I was working in customer service for an internet service provider. And I got laid off in 2004. So I just decided to stay home with the kids and do that kind of thing.

Laurence Bradford 2:26
Awesome. And what led you to become interested in freelancing?

Sarah Greer 2:31
I wanted to do something for me I was doing. I hadn't really not worked my entire life. So I had been staying at home for about 10 years. And just sort of felt like I had just become the stay at home mom and I wanted to do something else for me and I started to get into podcasts. And I heard one that was talking about the need for women in tech, and I started to look into that. A little bit more. And it turned out that I had some of the skills are ready to learn to know how to build websites. So I did a few online refresher courses and it turns out that not a lot of the core concepts had even changed. And so I really enjoyed building websites and decided I'm going to get into this more I'm going to learn what's new and and figure out how to do this and make this something that can be just for me.

Laurence Bradford 3:26
So I love that that was actually kind of not exactly how I got into tech at all. But a very similar way though of googling and being like, Oh my gosh, I for me, I was like, What am I doing with my life? I feel really lost. What I thought I was going to do is not what I thought was going to be show began googling. I wasn't listening to podcasts at the time. I don't even know if I knew podcasts really existed. This was in like 2012 or something. And I ended up coming across articles that was that were like, you know, shortage of women and tech shortage of tech jobs. shortage of people with these skills and you know, sort of one thing led to another. And that's how I ended up getting here. So I went back back to back to your story, though, you were, you know, looking online or listening a podcast and you kind of made this connection. And realize you had a lot of the skills already the core concepts, what was your, like, move after that, like, because I feel like there's like such this gap between like, knowing what you want to do, or knowing you want to freelance. And then you know, getting your first client.

Sarah Greer 4:29
Yeah. What I did was the podcast that was talking about women needed in tech was actually a interview with Adda from skillcrush. And so I was like, I gotta figure out what this is all about. Like, she sounds so hip and cool. And like, she's got this new company, and it's just for women learning how to, to code and I thought I gotta learn more about this. So that was really where I went. I went there and they have a boot camp, and I did that and then I'd, you know, I looked at Code Academy and things like that, but I was looking at at the time, they just had regular courses. And I was really interested in seeing what I could still do. So I really got into signing up for a couple of those introductory courses over there and took those. And then when the first blueprints came out, because I knew a little HTML, and I knew a little CSS, but when the first blueprints came out and included JavaScript, I was like, that's the next thing. That's the thing I've got to know now because that's what makes everything move. And so that was where I jumped in with skillcrush and learned a lot more through the blueprints and made a lot of connections there.

Laurence Bradford 5:39
Yeah, that's great. Um, and you must have been a really early customer because I feel like they've had blueprints for a while now.

Sarah Greer 5:45
Yeah, I think I signed up on the very first blueprint that was available. I think I was gonna sign up for the JavaScript class anyway, but then when the blueprints came out, it was perfect because it's three months, and you just learn at your own pace, but you're, you know, you're pushing yourself to get Get through each month so that you're ready for the next month. And it's just a really good way to keep you on track for where you want to be. Mm hmm. So when did you start getting your first clients that are like, what was your first foray with freelancing? Okay, so I hadn't even finished the blueprints. But I was telling all of my friends, hey, I'm doing this thing. And I had one friend who said, Well, I actually know this guy.

Sarah Greer 6:24
He's got this local business, and he wants a website, but he doesn't know anything about it. And I was like, Okay, let's just do that. Let's let's hook up with this guy. And so I ended up building his website. But then also, I had a student, a fellow student in the class, and she had gotten landed a job doing a web page, a landing page for a client, and she contacted me and she's like, I don't feel comfortable with this JavaScript stuff. Can you do that part? And I was like, absolutely, which is hilarious because I was still learning it at the time. But I just I just knew that I can Do it or I knew that I could learn what I needed to know to be able to do it. So I just said yes. And that's how that started.

Laurence Bradford 7:08
I love that because so many people that I talked to you on the show, whether it's getting a client or getting their first job, they kind of fake it till they make it. Yeah, I love that mentality and love the attitude. And you're saying yes to things, even though you don't totally feel ready, because I think that the reality is like, you're never going to feel ready, right? Like if you wait to feel ready to do things, you're, at least for me, like, I'll be waiting forever, because there's so many times I'm just getting pushed into sort of doing something, whether I'm pushing myself or people around me pushed in a good way. And I'm like, yeah, if I didn't take that leap, I probably never would have.

Sarah Greer 7:42
Oh, absolutely. Yeah, absolutely. There. I've never, ever worked on a project where I knew everything going in. There's always been some new thing that I've never heard of never done before and never had to code that. You just have to figure it out as I go along.

Laurence Bradford 7:57
Yeah, I love that. So after this You know these early on experiences and where you are today, I want to just get some context like for myself in the listener. So how long have you been freelancing now? Um, let's see. I really did start in January of 2014. So this will be coming up on five years, I guess. Wow. Okay, that's up. That's awesome. Congratulations. And you're based out of?

Sarah Greer 8:25
It's north of Atlanta, Georgia. So kind of live out in the suburbs. outside the city.

Laurence Bradford 8:32
Okay, cool. And you you work entirely remote, right?

Sarah Greer 8:35
Yeah, I do work entirely remote. I've had clients in New Jersey and New York and really, anywhere along the east coast and only because we're in the same time zone. I'm not opposed to working with people anywhere else. I work with anybody but it's a it's usually easier to work with people in the same time zone.

Laurence Bradford 8:54
Yeah, yeah, definitely. So today, five years later, you know, since you first started What kind of freelance work are you doing now?

Sarah Greer 9:03
Right now I've really kind of honed it into just doing the code. I've, I'll never say no to things if somebody doesn't have their design totally worked out, or if they need some help with content. Those are the kinds of things that I can give them a hand with. But I prefer to let those professionals handle those aspects because it's not really my expertise. And it's not the part that I love the best. So at this point, I really just tried to hook up with either designers who need someone to code their design, or I've actually had a lot of small business owners who know exactly what they want it to look like. They just don't have anybody to to make that reality. So that's what I really like to do at this point is code those designs.

Laurence Bradford 9:52
And the kind of websites that you're making, are they like WordPress or using another CMS Or is it like custom? So just like, you know, HTML, CSS JavaScript?

Sarah Greer 10:04
Yeah, there, it's actually, it just depends on the client. I do prefer to code from scratch. And when I say that I've actually built several of my own templates. And I just start from that. But I've worked in WordPress, it's interesting. I've never built a site from scratch. I mean, from the beginning and WordPress, I've always gone into a WordPress site with somebody who's already got one set up, and then they want to make changes or something didn't get done right. And I'm, they asked me and I go in there and I try to fix it, which I find really funny considering I've never actually started from the beginning to build a website in WordPress. I've built several in Squarespace, which is a really kind of neat and fun little way to get started on the web pretty inexpensively. However, it doesn't have a lot of what is the word I'm looking for. It doesn't have a lot of the ability to Make a lot of changes, they are very structured. So I do like to code on my own the most because I can pretty much I mean, the sky's the limit, you can do whatever you want. So I does those are the clients and those are the customers that I prefer to work with are the ones that, you know, just have an idea in mind. And then I can run with it from there.

Laurence Bradford 11:21
And today, like how are you getting clients? Is it still mostly word of mouth referrals? Or are there other ways that you're getting new clients?

Sarah Greer 11:29
I actually get clients through referrals from previous clients. So it's about 50% that way and then the other is I just, it's interesting. I have some filters that I've set up for Craigslist, and I get notifications when different kinds of jobs get posted on Craigslist all over the East Coast. Like I said, I've set them up in different markets. And I just watch them come in and I see if it's the kind of thing I might be doing. Doing and then I answered the ad. And you know you most of the time these people get so many responses that yours just gets lost. But every once in a while I get a response. And I've gotten several clients that way and then referrals from them. So it just kind of snowballs from there.

Laurence Bradford 12:17
Whoo. I absolutely love that you mentioned Craigslist, because one, or my first job I ever got in tech, and I use jobs with like, a job with air quotes because it wasn't like a sexy tech job that someone could be thinking of. It was like working on a website project back when I was living in Pennsylvania in more or less a basement with several people. But I got it on Craigslist. And it was amazing how that little job ended up leading to all these other opportunities down the line, how it like really snowballed into other things. So I'm a huge fan of Craigslist, and I never heard that little suggestion that you gave so I'm really glad that you shared it. So basically You have like notifications set up when certain ads are posted, like in the gigs area or something where they're looking for a website developer and you get an email or what have you.

Sarah Greer 13:09
Yeah, I've used IFTTT if then that, if this, then that. And you just go in there and it has a Craigslist option. And you put in the search result, that you're the URL for the search result that you want, and it just sends you notifications every time something matches that search result. So it's, it's really good way to get things because they just come to you automatically, and then you just respond to them. And, and, you know, you shouldn't think that you're going to get a response for everything, the response rate is fairly low. But if you've got no response, then you're probably going to have conversation with that person. And those tend to go you know pretty well because even if you don't land that particular job, they know you they've remembered you I've gotten people Call me or come back to me. Well, that's project didn't work out. But here's this other one I have. And I'd like to work with you this time so.

Laurence Bradford 14:07
Yeah, it's amazing. And I'm sure like other people listening to this episode right now, especially if they've been in tech in one way or another for some time can relate to this. Like, I don't freelance anymore. I used to build websites, but haven't done that for a while for clients, but I still do maintain like some people in my family and I have them like on my server, and now go in and do little website updates. But I'll get messages from people on LinkedIn I haven't spoken to in yours, like old friends of friends or something, asking me if I can build them a website or if I know someone because they're just, they can't find someone to build a website for them. And they've been like looking at searching and it's just not working out or they had a bad experience maybe with someone they hired online that it didn't just go well and they as you said they need some of that kind of go in and fix it.

Laurence Bradford 14:57
So I feel like there's just such demand out there. For people that like these small business owners that need websites built, and maybe they could, they just need to always know where to look, because I'm just so shocked when they're coming to me. We haven't spoken for years. I'm like, wow, they must really be in need of someone if they're coming to me and I haven't spoken to them and 10 right. Yeah. So, yeah, I think the word of mouth referrals is, um, I have friends who freelance and date that's like, basically what their business is just built on. Like, they just get referrals from friends, for families from past clients. And that's kind of how they keep trucking along.

Sarah Greer 15:33
Yeah, it's really powerful. That word of mouth, it's because you trust who your you know, your friends and your family say is good. I mean, isn't that how we pick our plumbers, and we're, you know, and and how we go to Amazon, and we pick our, you know, the products that we want, because we're basing it on the reviews. So those kinds of things really do matter?

Laurence Bradford 15:52
Yeah, definitely. So I want to switch gears a little bit and talk about your day to day because I believe as you mentioned earlier in the conversation, you homeschool, you homeschool your children during the day and then you also work so like what is your day to day look like?

Sarah Greer 16:08
Um, it's pretty packed. So we're not really a morning family, we're more night owls. And so we have a really lazy laid back kind of morning. And then around lunchtime we'll get started with our school stuff. Homeschooling in Georgia is required to do three and a half hours a day, on average 480 days, however, we homeschool year round. So I'm not so much worried about how many specific hours we're getting in a particular day because we're going way over the hundred 90 days. And so basically what we do is, you know, ease into things we we do a lot of reading. I have one who's graduating this year, so he's almost done and then three girls, I have a sixth grader, a seventh grader, and then I have Actually one that hasn't started yet. So the age range is really really wide but that is really good because the senior is pretty much doing it all on his own. He doesn't need me he's he's got his curriculum and he knows what he's doing to get through the two in the middle are also pretty self sufficient.

Sarah Greer 17:20
So they can also kind of work on their own and work with their younger sister if I need them to but I it gives me an opportunity to focus on the littlest one and you know, the, the beginnings of getting ready to to homeschool and sit down. And then we're probably usually done around for between four and five. We get a little bit of dinner and then it's kind of a swap with my husband. He also works from home but he's off by then. And then I just go and I get my work done and I take a break in the middle and get some exercise in because otherwise it would never happen. And then I work until the wee hours of the morning And it all starts over again like that.

Laurence Bradford 18:02
Sit tight podcast listeners, we're taking a quick break to hear a word from our special partner just for this episode, Skillcrush.

Laurence Bradford 18:12
If Sarah's story is inspiring you and you'd like to kickstart your own career in tech, you'll definitely want to sign up for Skillcrush's free 10 day boot camp. Their boot camp is a totally beginner friendly introduction to tech and tech careers. In just five minutes a day you'll learn how to talk like a techie, what a career in tech really looks like. And the best way to get the skills you need fast. The course covers everything a newbie needs to know like the difference between the internet and the web, HTML, CSS, JavaScript, front end versus back end, frameworks, databases and so much more. If you want to get into the tech industry, Skillcrush's free boot camp is an absolute no brainer. Go to now to sign up. Oh, and just by signing up for their free program, you'll also get an exclusive $300 off their signature break into tech blueprint. It's worth signing up for the free boot camp just for that discount if you ask me. Again, go to to enroll in their free program now.

Laurence Bradford 19:31
I love that you say that you're saying this right now? Because and you know, everyone has their preferences. This is not to say anything bad about morning people. But I'm totally a night out. But I've had people on the show who are like, you know, I start every day at 530 and my heart is just like, you know, beating really fast I'm like, oh God, are they gonna find out that I like wake up every day at like nine or even sometimes later, sometimes earlier but sometimes later like I can definitely sleep in it. Until like noon on a weekend without problem so, so that makes you feel better and I tend to work pretty late until the night Even though I feel like it could be bad habit makes me very wired after that takes me a while to go to bed but it's just amazing. I feel like I have this newfound motivation like when it becomes like 9-10 o'clock at night.

Sarah Greer 20:20
Oh absolutely. Like nothing is really happening before the evening because I don't know it's just something about the way my brain works and and then I even have to take a break like I can get started for a little while but I've to take a break and get things revved up again and then I'm good to go for another three or four hours.

Laurence Bradford 20:36
Yeah, well, that's amazing. I'm curious, like what your kind of like setup is stick. Do you have like an office where you do your work that's separate from like, the homeschool area? Or like yeah, like how does that all work?

Sarah Greer 20:48
No, it that's, that's kind of interesting. My husband has a home office but I don't I have. I don't know I just usually hang out either in the living room. I have a really amazing ability to ignore everything that's going on around me when I'm focused. So I really get into the zone, and you know, short of an actual emergency, I can work right out in the middle of everything, or sometimes I'll just hang out in my room and in the bedroom and do it in there, but I just have, I don't know, some sort of superpower to ignore everyone when needed.

Laurence Bradford 21:26
Well, that's, that's great. I was just wondering, like so I live in New York City and if you have like a home office, you're like, you know, a billionaire. So you probably need to No kidding. Like, it's just like Not really. I mean, I know there are people in New York who will get a two bedroom and make the one their their office or something, but I certainly do not have a private office. And yeah, when I work at home, I'm working all over the house, whether it's the couch or the dining room table, usually the dining room table. But yeah, I feel like at night for me during the day, I can be very distracted by things around the house like, like tidying up or what have you, but at night, it's like I can. I don't know, I can focus better at home at night, which is kind of odd. But yeah. Anyhow, um, so when you first started freelancing, I'd love to know, since you've been doing for about five years, is there anything that you wish you knew back then that you know now?

Sarah Greer 22:18
Oh, yeah, so many things, but I'll just pick one. Clients, they all think they know exactly what they want, and exactly what they need. They, they do have a pretty good idea of what they want and what they need, but they don't. They don't know how to say what they want. And so you really have to talk to somebody and get in there. And once you've got them on the phone and talking to them, you have like follow up questions are so majorly important. So that's basically what I wish I had known at the time because at the time, I just would, I'd write down what they said. And I would do that and then of course, there would be a lot of scope creep. They didn't actually know exactly what they wanted. And I wasn't picking up on it because I wasn't talking to them enough. And so now my favorite question in the whole world is Tell me more about that. Because they're going to, you know, they're going to tell me what they want. And then I'm going to say, Okay, well, that's really interesting. You said you wanted these colors because you love nature. Tell me more about that. And then you just, it just goes from there. Because it turns out that they don't really love nature or that color scheme for their website. They just don't know what colors they want, and they're not entirely sure what message they're trying to send or that kind of thing. So that's the most important thing that I've learned over the five years is that they know what they want, but they don't know how to tell you what they want. So you've got to make sure that you ask follow up probing questions.

Laurence Bradford 23:49
So when you start a new project, do you have like at this point in time, is it very structured like the process you follow from start to finish with the new client?

Sarah Greer 24:00
It should be. It should be, but it isn't. I've tried to set up some, some schedules and stuff for me. But I find that I just work better when I can go with whatever I feel motivated to do at the time. So sometimes I'll start coding the, you know, the contact information or form or whatever, and then I'll go back and do the landing or something like that. So I don't really have a structure that I follow. Unless there's something specific that the client wants to see right away. And his terms in terms of like how my day goes, I'm usually juggling two or three projects at a time. And so I'll try to make sure that I focus on the one that is due first, but a lot of times these things, at least in my experience, they end up being up in the air there. There's soft due dates, as opposed to hard due dates, and so then Sometimes I just focus on the ones that are inspiring to me. And then that helps me get motivated to keep coding to work on the ones that are a little bit more rote that I've been doing for a long time.

Laurence Bradford 25:14
Hmm, that's really interesting. So you work on two three projects at a time. Did you find that was like a good balance for you? Like, was there ever a time you did more? And you just found it was like too much going on at once? Like, is there a reason for that number?

Sarah Greer 25:27
Um, no, there's not really a reason. I don't think I can really juggle more than that at a specific time because of everything else that I've got going on. And I really prefer to do one project at a time but they almost never come in that way. It's feast or famine. So because what happens is I get the Craigslist things and I get the referrals from people but what happens is they'll be when I should be sending out In queries about new work, I'm not because I'm working on something and I don't want them to say yes. And then I end up with too many. And so there's that's something I'm still working on trying to find that balance of how to bring in new work while I'm currently working, that does not end up overwhelming everything. And so what happens is I work on a few, and then I wait, and I find a few more and then I work so they come in clusters like that.

Laurence Bradford 26:29
Awesome. So another question I know a ton of people struggle with when they first start out, freelancing is knowing what to charge. So over the years, how like, has that changed? Like what have you used to determine how to price like a project?

Sarah Greer 26:45
At first, we just sort of went with industry standard. The first project that I work with, when we did the landing page, we were just like, what is most what most people charge and we did that and we were so excited when the client said yes, we were like, Oh my god, oh my god. Real, we're real freelancers. But over time, I've learned how to work within what people's budgets are. And so some people really want to pay you by the hour and I have an hourly rate. Some people would prefer to pay by the project, but then we have to really set the scope of the project so that there's not scope creep. Some people I've even done work for barter where I've gotten services from them in exchange for building their website. I've even done some pro bono stuff where I've volunteered my services because I wanted to add this particular project to my portfolio. But they didn't have a budget, but I really felt strongly about what they were doing. And I wanted to be a part of that. So it is very difficult to figure out what to Bill what to charge.

Sarah Greer 27:53
And I think it's a really difficult question to answer because a lot of times, if you're trying To charge $50 an hour, people are going to look at that number, and they're not going to see why. That's why that number is of value and you don't, you don't have time to explain to them well, I'm freelancing, I have to pay for my own taxes, I have to pay for my own insurance. The clients don't you know, they're not really interested in all that they just see this number and they don't like it. So what I've tried to do with those questions, when I'm you know, getting more information really digging in, tell me more about that is I've really tried to make sure that when I send them a proposal, I've detailed out exactly what they've needed and what what they've said to me, but they didn't realize they said to me, and when they can see that I've really pulled out the essence of what they're trying to do. They can see more value in that because they've recognized that I've seen things that they didn't even know were there.

Laurence Bradford 28:53
Oh, that's a very good tip. So you really listen when you have that like intro call or discovery call it Whatever you call it, and when you send the proposal very detailed, exactly what you're going to do exactly what they said, capturing the essence. And then you put like the number behind it, and then it probably makes them feel like better about it. Because it is just like, so informative and detailed.

Sarah Greer 29:17
Right? Yeah. If you just sent somebody a proposal and said, I'm going to build your website, and it's going to cost $2,000. They're like, why, why that doesn't make any sense. But if you've detailed exactly all the different steps that you're going to be going through and how you're going to be keeping them in the loop or the process that you're going to be going through. And like I said, if you've pulled out details that they didn't even realize that they drop to you, but you explain them, then they it's I don't know. It's like you've just you've gotten, you've gotten them so well, that they're like I trust you. Let's do this.

Laurence Bradford 29:53
Awesome. So do you have any clients or, actually, let me rephrase this. So when you're done with a project Are you done? Do you kind of shut the door? Or do you not shut the door? That's, that's aggressive. You know what, you know what I mean? Like it's end. Okay, goodbye. Let's go our separate ways, or do you like stay on to do maintenance? Like, do you? This is like five questions, I apologize. But do you also like host their sites on your own server and charge for that? Or do you do it on their own? Like, how does that all work?

Sarah Greer 30:22
At this point, I have not done any of my own hosting. So what I do was is when the project ends, I keep up with them, I will check back in with them and see if there's anything to follow up at over the next couple of weeks. But I have had so many clients who either want me to teach them how to maintain their website on their own, and then will come back to me every once in a while and say, Hey, I did this thing. And I don't know if I did it right. Or, hey, I decided that I needed to add another page, but I need to You to do it because I don't have the time. So even when you've taught them how to do things, they still come back. And then I've had clients that just rely on me, they will contact me and let me know, hey, we're about to make this change. And we'd like you to be a part of that. Then I've had some clients I've never heard from again, you know, I try not to reach out too much, because I don't want them to feel like I'm pestering them. But I tried to reach out maybe once a year and see if everything's working the way it should be and keep going from there. I have thought about hosting on my own server though before I just don't exactly know how that would work. But it sounds so intriguing because then it's definitely staying in house. So that's really good idea.

Laurence Bradford 31:48
Yeah, as some I again, I only host a few other people's sites on my server. It's all like, close family. I feel like I know other freelancers who've done it and have Be able to actually make a good amount of money because you can like it. And I've seen this a slimy way but like you can cap is an ongoing fee for like the server and like safe you also help manage your site domain and maybe like some of the other domain records like for email or whatever, you could definitely keep charging them like the clients like you know, if you are paying for that you can always make some extra money just from that because of you know, the way it all works. But I had an experience last year going into detail about it, but were one of the sites on my server got hacked, and then all the sites were down. Oh, no. Fix now. Yes, it was totally my fault. It was it was my fault because it was a very outdated WordPress. And I was just lazy and it was on like, again, not one of my own sites, someone else's site and I just like didn't go and update it. shows I was negligent on my part. I've put in new measures since then. So this doesn't happen again.

Laurence Bradford 32:50
But yeah, in a situation like that. I'm like, you know, shaking my hands like oh my god, it's because of this site that I forgot about that I'm still hosting for someone. Just As a favor, but yeah, I think if done if done right, it could definitely be good as you said it would keep it all in house then. And I think also a lot of people have issues or just don't know how to set up their own server or like their own domain name and all the work that goes into it. So it's something just like setting it up for them is another thing you could do for them as part of like, you know, a package or what have you. Yeah, yeah, yes. But I really want to get into another one. The last question I have for you. And it's what advice do you have for others listening who want to start freelancing, but they haven't started yet?

Sarah Greer 33:34
I would say, say yes. That's like my number one piece of advice. Like I said earlier, there's absolutely nothing I've done that I knew every single part of but if I had waited until I knew everything, then I would have never said yes, and I never would have had a project and it just, you have to be able to say yes, and you're gonna make money. sticks, you're absolutely going to make mistakes, but just own them. I've never had a client who completely dropped me, because I made a mistake when I went, you know, to them and I said, Oh my gosh, I did this. I had a client once where I, I don't even know how I did it. To be honest, I made a change in one of the files on the website, and the whole website just crashed. And this was a, this was his bread and butter. It was, it was all he had. And that was how he made his money and the whole thing was down and all 70 plus pages of it. And it was really hard to figure out what I had done. And it was down for about 24 hours. But I did I figured it out. And you know, he's still a client. He comes back to me all the time. And we work through things and we get things done. And I know that you know if I was making mistakes all the time, that would be different. But because I made that one and it because I immediately caught it Went through him and said I did this, but I don't know what I did, but I'm gonna figure it out. Even though it took 24 hours, it was still. He still had confidence in me and he still comes to me and we still work together.

Laurence Bradford 35:10
Awesome. I love that advice. And finally, where can people find you online Sarah?

Sarah Greer 35:16
Well, there's my website it's And I'm also on Twitter I have @codegreer or myy Facebook is, however, I don't spend a lot of time on social media. It kind of comes in spurts. So definitely reach out definitely. If you have a question, reach out there but it's not where I'm you know, most active it's just one more thing I don't really have time for during the day, although I really wish I did because I love Twitter. And I love Facebook and I love talking to people or you know, just email me there's plenty of ways to contact me through the website if you if you want to get in touch.

Laurence Bradford 35:59
Awesome. Thank you. you again for coming on.

Sarah Greer 36:01
Thank you so much for having me. This has been awesome.

Laurence Bradford 36:09
Thank you for tuning in today. You could find the show notes for this episode and all other episodes at One last thing I wanted to remind you about Skillcrush's free 10 day boot camp. If you're new to the world of tech and you'd like to fast track yourself through the basics, sign up for their boot camp at It'll take you through everything you need to know to get started in just five minutes a day. Okay, that's all for today. Have a great week and I'll see you next time.

Key Takeaways

1. Say yes if you can’t do it now, but you can learn to do it.

“Say yes,” Sarah encourages. “That’s my number one piece of advice. I’ve never, ever worked on a project where I knew everything going in. If I had waited until I knew everything, then I would have never said yes.”

For example, when a fellow student asked Sarah for help with JavaScript: “I was like, absolutely. Which is hilarious, because I was still learning it at the time. But I just knew that I could do it or I could learn what I needed to know to be able to do it. So I just said yes. Sometimes you just have to figure it out as you go along.”


2. Just getting started? Pick a course and jump in.

Sarah got her start by signing up for a Skillcrush bootcamp. “I jumped in with Skillcrush—I think I signed up on the very first blueprint that was available! I learned a lot and made a lot of connections there. The blueprints are three months, and you learn at your own pace. But you’re pushing yourself to get through each month, so that you’re ready for the next month. And it’s just a really good way to keep you on track for where you want to be.”

3. Stay balanced.

When life is busy, it can hard to find a healthy life balance. That’s why you have to literally build balance into your schedule! Make a schedule, starting with everything your day-to-day life needs time for. Then, look for any gaps where you can plan some relaxation or fun.

having fun

For Sarah, it’s important to have a slow morning in order to gear up for the day: “We have a really lazy laid-back kind of morning. And then around lunchtime, we’ll get started with our homeschooling stuff. We’re usually done between four and five, then we get a little bit of dinner. Then it’s kind of a swap with my husband. He also works from home, but he’s off by then. And then I just go and I get my work done. I take a break in the middle and get some exercise in, because otherwise it would never happen. And then I work until the wee hours of the morning…and it all starts over again.”

4. Find out what tech is lacking, and brainstorm how you can fill the gap.

Maybe you’re part of a demographic that’s under-represented in tech. Maybe you have an innovative solution for a problem in the industry. Maybe you want to focus on a skill that there’s a lot of demand for.

For Sarah, all it took was one moment of epiphany from a podcast: “I started to get into podcasts. And I heard an interview with Adam from Skillcrush that was talking about the need for women in tech. I started to look into that a little bit more.” The rest is history!

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Special thanks to this episode’s partner

SkillcrushSkillcrush: Skillcrush is an online coding and design school with a wide variety of tech-career training programs that provide you with step-by-step guides to success. Start your career today with their FREE 10-day bootcamp for beginners.