Double Your Freelancing Podcast, Episode 57: Ryan Waggoner on Feast and Famine

By Brennan Dunn

I’m super excited to share today’s interview with Ryan Waggoner with you. Ryan has an amazing consulting business and is pushing more than a million a year in profit. Ryan is killing it with mobile consulting, where a lot of people in that space struggle to make $100,000 plus. Ryan is an all around sharp guy, but I’m specifically bringing him on because he is really good at cash flow management. He has a great perspective on splitting up personal and business finance, and I want to capture that story. 

Ryan has been freelancing for 10 years. He started with website development and now he helps startups build mobile apps and know what not to build. Because there is a 6 to 8 week lead time in Ryan’s business, he always focuses on doing business development to avoid those feast or famine times when there is no work or too much work. He has a background process where there is always some form of business development going on.

Today’s topics include:

  • The emotions and behaviors of business and personal finance are intertwined
  • Budgeting to pay yourself a stable amount every month no matter what you bring in
  • Having a monthly buffer, depending on how long the lead time for projects are and where your monthly budget falls
  • Getting recurring revenue can also help buffer the situation and put you into a good psychological place
  • Getting very disciplined about budgeting, getting out of debt, and saving an emergency fund, can make life less stressful and make business decisions easier
  • Even if your monthly recurring doesn’t cover all of your expenses, it helps relieve the stress and make covering the expenses easier
  • Ryan and his wife both freelance
  • Once they started making money and getting a bit ahead, they started putting money in IRAs on a monthly basis
  • Treating your savings like a bill and having a tax strategy and a solo 401K is a good idea
  • Successful freelancers should take advantage of some of the amazing tax advantages we have
  • Automatic payments and savings as much as possible
  • Big fan of “I Will Teach You To Be Rich”
  • Have a backbone of recurring income and be smart and don’t burn through all of your money on a good month, save if you can
  • When your income isn’t enough, do whatever you can to cut expenses and save a buffer,
  • Having 3 to 6 months in the bank help you make an investment in yourself and fire bad clients
  • It’s hugely freeing to take big chances on yourself
  • Being desperate for money can lead to bad decisions
  • Billions on Showtime – money that allows you to tell people I don’t need your business
  • Often, what holds entrepreneurs back from making big business decisions and taking big leaps is not having enough money to feel secure
  • The truth is my Ryans income became higher because he got his personal finances together – the psychological space to treat his business like a business
  • Dumb business decisions tie back to fear related to money
  • Ryan has a hustling mentality and he is good at sales, people good at sales can get in trouble by spending too much, because they assume they can make more
  • This strategy works until it doesn’t

Resources and links:

Ryan’s Website

Twitter @RyanWaggoner

I Will Teach You To Be Rich

Let’s Make Apps.io