Scott Stonham is passionate about technology and studied Cybernetics and Control Engineering. He is a creator of a robot that learned to move and hunt using Artificial Intelligence and sensory fusion … in 1996!
Vince Comfort: Hello Scott, how are you?
Scott Stonham: Hi, Vince. Doing great.
Vince: Thank you for sparing this time to talk to me. So, tell me a little about where you are from?
Scott: I was born in London, and grew up in the South of England. I've lived and traveled in many places.
My work has taken me across the UK, to California, Texas, Seattle, France, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia, The Netherlands, Sweden, Portugal, Turkey, Italy, South Africa, and probably a few other places I can't remember.
Vince: How long have you been an online entrepreneur?
Scott: I've been working from home and a remote worker since about 1998, but I started contracts and freelance work around 2006/2008.
I tend to switch between freelance/contract and full-time as opportunities come around. Most of my freelance has been working with international companies in different time zones – which has its own complications.
Vince: So where do you get your clients from?
Scott: I don't use any particular site. I have built up a good network in the last 20 years and tend to find my work goes in cycles, lots of little pieces for many clients, then deeper, longer pieces of work with a smaller number of clients.
Nowadays, I find my own clients through marketing and word of mouth.
Vince: Do you sometimes feel down, and unproductive?
Scott: Oh yes, often. If I am not careful, I can spend days without going outside, and when you're a disembodied voice on the end of the phone/keyboard you are easily disregarded or underappreciated.
Tiredness, weather, general health, the lack of real human contact can also detach you from the world and make you feel alone, all of these can snowball and make things multiple times worse, too.
Vince: Where do you get your motivation from?
Scott: Exercise and fresh air have always been a go-to for me. I try to exercise 3 times a week, and when I feel the “fog” coming down, I'll close up the office and take a walk.
Spontaneous changes of scenery are also good, so I often will grab my laptop and head somewhere that's not my office – local co-working spaces, cafes, even a different room in the house will work.
Relatively recently, I've been getting up earlier to spend some time on personal development, this helps keep things at bay before they get to the point of needing to be fixed.
Vince: Do you listen to any motivational speakers?
Scott: I'm a big fan of MindValley and they have lots of different speakers on that show. Tom Bilyeu, Eric Edmeades, Marissa Peer, and Jason Silva are some of the recent speakers that I've listened to then followed on YouTube. I like people with big ideas and a huge amount of energy
Awesome. I'm a big big fan of Tom Bilyeu.
So to wrap this up, what advice would you give to the new solopreneur just starting?
Scott: It's hard to get noticed, it's hard to keep focus and it's hard to feel valued. But don't despair. Start small, but with a big plan.
By that I mean, don't expect to cover all your costs to start with, take on a variety of projects and clients and price points lower than you want. This way you can find out what you are good at and most importantly what you enjoy (because if you enjoy it you will naturally be better at it), you can build a reputation and learn how to position and price yourself.
Your plan should include how, when, and by how much you want to increase your rates to reach your earning goal. I would say be honest and true to yourself, don't try to be everything to everyone because you won't enjoy your work, it will show and your reputation will suffer.
Take regular breaks, plan for time off. You need to plan for time off in your rates too, that's a big one I see so many people struggle with.
I have more tips and ideas too, but look after your physical and mental health is the final thing I would say here for now
Thank you so much Scott. I really appreciate your time, and sharing with me.
TAKEAWAY #1: It's hard to get noticed, it's hard to keep focus and it's hard to feel valued. But don't despair.
TAKEAWAY #2: Take regular breaks, plan for time off.
Check out Scott Stonham's website wellthatsinteresting.tech
ProChat With Vince Comfort is a mini-interview series where I bring you business experts especially business owners that are leveraging the internet to grow.
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