Student Success Spotlight with Josh Brown

By Josh Brown

Today we have our first student success spotlight. It’s our hope that we’re able to share a different story each week of how a past student has been able to significantly grow their freelance business by applying the concepts they learned from Double Your Freelancing. Thanks Josh for being our guinea pig and sharing your story! To share your story, click here.

Brennan received this email last week:

“Just wanted to let you know that thanks to you, your newsletter, your books, and your consultancy masterclass, I had a great year last year. My business did 50% more in revenue in 2014 than in 2013, profit was excellent, and there’s no way I could’ve done that without you. Oh, and did I mention that I also took 7 weeks off when we had a new baby? Seriously, you helped me to have a great year last year – my best one yet.” ~Josh Brown


“We believe in protecting the earth. We just happen to make great software.”

Tell us about yourself and your business.

My name is Josh Brown. I’ve been doing iOS development for the past 5 years.

My business name is Roadfire Software. We do iOS consulting, building apps for a variety of clients from small startups to Fortune 500 companies.

From Roadfire’s website:

“Some of our current and past clients include Salesforce, Good Measures, and Schurz Communications. We’ve built apps for them that give their customers access to their services through the iPhone and iPad.”

What was it like to quit your job to freelance full-time?

When I went out on my own, it was pretty scary. I took a contract at a pretty low rate with a low number of hours. I was pretty sure we’d be able to get by, but it was going to be close, and we weren’t going to have much left to save.

I had based my hourly rate on my previous salary plus a little extra to cover expenses, and I know now that was a mistake. I should’ve based it on the value I could provide – which was significantly more than I was charging.

Did you ever want to give up?

I wanted to give up when we moved back to the US from Thailand – I actually interviewed for full-time jobs and nearly accepted one. I was just tired of working alone on projects, and even though I was making a little more and doing well financially, the loneliness was really starting to get to me.

But soon after that, I found a project where I’d get to work with some friends, so I took it. I wasn’t ready to start subcontracting work at that point, but a little while later, after I took the Consultancy Masterclass, new projects came up, and I was able to build a small team. Now I get to work with smart people every day, and it’s so much better.

What were you struggling the most with when you ran into Brennan’s course?

My hourly rate was really low before I read DYFR. I didn’t really know how to set my rate or how to charge appropriately for my time.

Prior to the Masterclass, I had more work than I could handle, but didn’t know anything about subcontracting and was afraid to do it. I was missing out on lots of opportunities because I was booked.

What was the biggest impact of the course on your business?

DYFR helped me to increase my rates significantly – I’ve actually doubled my rate since reading it. The masterclass taught me how to build a team – and I was able to increase revenue and profits significantly as a result.

The biggest difference I see now is in my ability to hire a team. Before I was afraid to hire – afraid my clients wouldn’t like it, afraid they might not do great work, and afraid that I wouldn’t manage them well.

After seeing how others have handled hiring and letting clients know, I felt more confident in my own ability to hire and explain to clients that in order to serve them better, I’d need to bring others onto the team.

In 2014 (our best year yet), revenue was 50% higher than in 2013. And 2013 revenue was more than double our 2012 revenue. 2012 revenue was 40% higher than 2011 revenue.

Oh, and my business did so well in 2014 that I was able to take 7 weeks off for paternity leave – and still, revenue was 50% higher than 2013!

What are you most excited about for your business in 2015?

The business is at the point now that it’s helping me to reach my goal of building and selling products. I’m excited to be able to spend more time on that since I’ve had so much success in the past few years.

Josh, you’re obviously killing it! Thanks so much for sharing your story and giving everyone reading a glimpse into your business and story. I hope that 2015 treats you even better than last year!

JoshBrownJosh Brown, Roadfire Software’s founder, enjoys teaching others in person, via video chat, and via the blog. He’s passionate about helping their clients to reach their business goals through software. They have a small team of iOS developers, and a network of partners that provide other services like design, Android development, web development and more.