Seven years ago I started working as a .NET freelancer. In those seven years I learned to love the advantages of freelancing and I have learned to live with its slight disadvantages. Last year however, during a conversation with Martijn Tetteroo, we wondered if we could do something about the “lonely” existence of the freelancer. “Lonely” is deliberately written between quotation marks because naturally you are not totally alone. On your projects you have colleagues and on some projects you are seen and treated as a “normal” colleague but nonetheless you can still feel a bit alone. Martijn and I both had a desire to coordinate with other like-minded freelancers about life as a freelancer: about admin, finding contracts, sharing knowledge, technical challenges, insurance, corporate ideas etc. It is also useful to be part of a professional .NETters’ club where you trust each other and where you know you can rely on each other. These sorts of topics are more easily discussed with a group of “trustworthy” fellow freelancers than with any random freelancer or a freelance colleague from 6 years ago.
Then came the idea to set up a partnership in order to make all this possible. Together we analyzed our networks and we started up last year under the name Freece with 6 members. This year we have welcomed 2 new members and so there are now 8 of us.
And was it worth the effort? The answer is a definite yes.
Every other month we will get together for a pleasant evening of chat, food, a technical presentation and to discuss all matter of subjects that we members of Freece experience. We also noticed that a collection of experienced and valued professionals has created a strong group that is greatly valued by the rest of the market. In conclusion: a freelancer doesn’t need to feel alone. So if you are a freelancer in any industry then perhaps starting a partnership is for you!