Hey, there... I'm Cat.

Have you ever thought about how amazing it would be not to have to wake up Monday morning and look forward to another 8-10 hours of working for someone, making a bunch of shareholders rich?

Do you ever see people in your organization virtually do the same thing as you, but get paid way more? (or have you even thought of that?)

I’m here because I want to empower you to overcome the fears of staying in the comfortable clutches of being an employee, and confidently make the leap to the IT contracting world.

I know what it is like to go into work day in, day out, with a sense of security only as strong as the next re-org. I know what it's like to receive that paycheque, see the gross amount, and then look at the bottom, and see that almost half has been deduced for taxes. I know what's like to loathe doing menial tasks because what started as a fresh and inspiring job turned into little more than a gloried babysitting gig.

I am here as living proof that it doesn't take anyone especially talented, brainy, or extra-special to go into business for themselves as an independent IT contractor or freelancer.

There is way that you can use your current expertise, make a bunch more money, and have a whole lot more control over your own time and career.

Each post is designed to give you practical, tried and true ways to build your confidence, do the right things to make that leap of faith into the self-employed world, control your career and get paid what you deserve! And then, to leave the competition in the dust. If you want to know more about why I started this community, read below.

My Story

I was walking home from the office one day in the dead of winter. I had just read 'Rich Dad Poor Dad.' I had a sense of futility about myself. I was working for the best company in my field: Oracle Corporation. Still I was unfulfilled.

I had no control over my life. I remember joining Oracle on a Wednesday. By Friday, I was on a plane to Toronto, for induction training. Then by the following Monday, I was on my way to my first project in California. For the next year and half, every Sunday afternoon, I flew to US. Every Friday, I left the office at 3, to catch a flight back to Edmonton, getting home past midnight. By Sunday, repeat the cycle all over again. There was no light at the end of the tunnel. Hey, I knew this going in. When you sign up for Oracle, or any consulting company for that matter, you sign up for 100% travel. It was fun at the beginning. But eventually, you start to schedule your life months in advance. Talk about killing time. Then I got married. That first year of marriage, we saw each other 24 times (twice a month). Some honeymoon period.

The flying became too time-consuming to come back every week, so I chose to come back every other weekend instead. Before I knew it, I had this alternate single life in California, and a married life in Edmonton. You can't build a sound future that way. Time is the most precious resource, and it is absolutely non-renewable.

Then I discovered a way to take control of my life again. I made the decision to leave consulting. For good. I was going to stay with my husband, teach fitness, and build a mom/baby wellness company. After all, who would want to hire a consultant who wanted to work on her own terms? I was scared.

Leap of Faith

How was I going to pay the mortgage? How were we going to live? I was still the main breadwinner, as my husband was still in design school. I had no plan, and no idea how I was going to make ends meet after my savings ran out. On my very last day, I sat with the CTO and just threw it out there. "Hey look, I want to build this wellness company, and I can't do it working full-time and travelling. So.. I'm leaving consulting. Do keep in touch though... if there is anything that I can help you with in the future, do please let me know."

In a matter of weeks of severing all ties from the consulting industry, that client called me, and asked if I could give them some support. Inside I was overjoyed! Calmly, I said I can't do it full time. I'm building my wellness company. I can't travel anymore, and I certainly didn't want to steal clients from Oracle. But after a little more back and forth, we agreed upon a part time arrangement.. remote from Canada. That was something I could never do as an employee for any company. The chinese have a saying "Leiu fan ying," meaning you're so eager that you spit out your rice mid-chew and nod excitedly. That was me. That was my first contract. For the next few years, I supported my client remotely from Edmonton, with occasional trips onsite, as required.

Not All Peachy

It hasn’t always been easy. In 2009, I again chose to leave the consulting industry, in favour of helping my husband build his finance practice. But it's "interesting" to work with your spouse. Or, in our case, disastrous. Honestly, I really envy couples who can do it and still stay married. Lawrence and I just have two opposing working styles. The practice was failing. There were times we would have $45 in our bank account, hoping that that next commission cheque will cover the mortgage. I dove into a depressive dark place in my life.

Then, as I was just about to fall asleep one night, my eyes suddenly snapped open. Something had to give. I couldn't go on like this. I had to give myself a mindshift bootcamp. 

 

I thought of what Steve Jobs said when he talked about death. “Death Is Very Likely The Best Single Invention Of Life. It Is Life’s Change Agent. Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma — which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of others’ opinions drown out your own inner voice. "

Armed with that advice, and together with steady action, I reached out to that support network, and I got myself out of that black hole. I meditated daily, and visualized in vivid detail what my life would be like, having gotten that next contract.

This time, I knew exactly what I wanted: I wanted to take on a client that was on the cutting edge of technology, had ultra-modern offices, and a great culture. If I had to travel (which was likely the case, because I couldn't think of any company in Edmonton I would like to be), I wanted to in a major metropolis.

I pictured my contract, particularly, the last page: the bill rate page. I pictured myself, in crisp Banana Republic trousers, and a blazer, black pumps, stepping out of an ultra-modern meeting room, smiling confidently. 

 

All the while, I reached out to my network, and did all the actions: connected with recruiters. Three weeks later, a lady from my network contacted me about an Oracle Financials contract in Calgary. That got me back in the saddle. I've never looked back.

And Now...

This year marks my 12th year as an independent IT contractor / freelancer. I now call the shots. The day I became self-employed, and got that first contract, I instantly more than doubled my income, and I was 100% accountable for my own career.

Guess what? Since I joined this illustrious circle of independent contractors and freelancers, I have never been on the bench. I've never been between contracts, and I always get the bill rate that I want. I call the shots. Looking back at my journey, my successes, and my failures, I put together a system to do exactly this. I want to help you get the same results. Learn from my mistakes. Capitalize on my successes.

The first step is simple. Subscribe to get insider tips and tricks to becoming that amazing contractor that every client wants.

 

ITSolopreneurs is here to inspire, provide training and challenge all of you whether you're thinking about leaving your job to work for yourself, or a seasoned IT contractor.

There are articles on how to deliver a kick-ass presentation to a panel of directors, to how to confidently calculate and negotiate the rate that you want.. and how to keep that pipe flowing such that you would never miss a beat.

 

But this is just the beginning

Who honestly wants to work forever, trading time for money all their lives? I want to share with you my journey in getting to the next dimension.. in creating a space of financial independence.

Whether that means creating an investment portfolio, or creating revenue streams that fund your retirement, I will share with you what I do as I build my own independent financial future. But the first step, is to take control of your present.

Maximize your earning potential in the proud and prosperous field of IT, and keep as much of it as possible.