|Name||: Jeb Brilliant|
|Blog||: The Mobile Perspective|
Jeb Brilliant works part time with Phone.com as their Community Manager and he also owns a personal blog, 'The Mobile Perspective' where he expresses his opinions on the latest news in the world of mobile technology. A few days back I got a chance to talk to Jeb about his blog, freelancing and Zoho. Read our conversation right below.
What is Mobile Perspective all about?
I always had an opinion on mobile technology. I wanted to contribute a little bit towards it and make it my career. I thought blogging was the best bet to be an insider and be accepted in the mobile industry.
Was it a planned career move or did it happen by chance?
Kind of both. I knew I wanted to work in mobile and I liked to write. I'm enjoying every bit of it.
How difficult is it to sustain a blog and keep it alive?
It depends on what your goal is. If your goal is to get a large number of readers then one should be blogging at least 2 to 3 times a week. On the other hand lets say if you are a small business then it's okay to write anywhere between once a week to once a month on relevant topics in the industry.
Ever suffered from a writer's block?
Oh I get writer's block all the time. Sometimes I just run out of things to blog about . A lot of the times, I go read the news on my iPad. I sometimes spend 2 to 3 hours reading news. I also get on Twitter and check the conversations to see what people are talking about and that gives me ideas for my next blog.
How did Zoho Happen?
(While talking, Jeb asked if we had an online storage application, I was quick to suggest Zoho Docs to him. On opening his docs account, he found an old article which he had started writing in 2007 but didn't complete. Both of us paused a moment to marvel at cloud services.)
Has invoicing changed the way you work?
Let me give you an example. Last friday I was reading the news and my daughters were playing close by. I read that Zoho Invoice had a mobile app. And all of a sudden I remembered I had invoices which I had in draft and yet to be sent. Immediately while playing with my daughters on a friday afternoon, I was able to go online, view the invoice, export it as PDF and email the invoice. I was so very impressed. It struck me, I could be sitting in a meeting or a conference without my laptop or walking down a street or attending a trade show and remember that I need to send an invoice. Now I don't have to send a reminder to myself anymore. I can just open the app and do it at that very moment.
(Our conversation drifts to the joys and pains of being a freelancer...)
If you could choose again, would you rather be an employee or a freelancer?
I would choose freelancing again!
Sometimes I do think that it would be nice to go to a regular office and be a regular employee. You are not responsible for everything, the internet going down or the printer jamming is not your problem because I would just be an employee.
However being a freelancer, what I would change is the amount I billed my clients. With my experience, I've definitely become wiser and I would tell others to bill at a higher rate. They may not realize it now but everyone is important and if you are good at what you do then you shouldn't under value yourself because you're worried you will not get the client.
Whether you are graphic artist , a community manager or an accountant, if you are a small business owner, you shouldn't just be squeezing by just to get through the month. As time goes by, you may get a partner, get married and have a family and things will get more expensive than the days when you were single. Value yourself more. Being a freelancer doesn't mean you have to struggle all the time.
And right then I got a chance to see how he worked. As soon as he had said, "Being a freelancer doesn't mean you have to struggle all the time", I could hear him typing away at his laptop. I'm pretty sure right there, he had got the idea for his next blog post.
"It was a relief to set recurring invoices and not be worried about it or to manually keep track of them."
"Automated payment reminder is great. It helps us to be more productive and saves a lot of time."
"In a nutshell, Zoho Invoice met our design goals and had better prices than what we offer our clients."
Zoho Invoice Case Studies