Duty Labs Academy

- 11 mins


I helped some of my friends get into top freelancing communities such as Toptal, or big tech companies such as Google or Amazon. There’s nothing intrinsically hard about achieving either of these goals. It’s all about getting the skills and prepare for the interviews and for the later day-by-day resposabilities. One of my buddies just told me he landed a remote position for 100k per year. Congrats, man! That’s awesome (hope you’re reading this!!).

I recently came up with an Impossible list and I’m now ready to help 100 people get more than 100k per year by working remote, land their dream job and make a living out of what they like doing the most.

Duty Labs Academy

We are happy to announce a new project, Duty Labs Academy. The Academy is a mentorship and online community program tailored for talented people who want to grow and do more.

Here’s what you’ll get by joining the community:

Sounds good? Consider joining as soon as possible (we have limited spots)!


I talked a lot about the freelancing career and how you can make money by working independently. I’ve written the lifestyle-business post which received a lot of attention, and of course, the one sharing my accomplishments for 2019 and how I made my first 100k.

The story

I’ve been a freelancer for two years now and I might have around three years of software engineering industry experience in total. I incorporated my company when a friend told me about a potential project I could be working on. The project was estimated at around $50,000 and I couldn’t be more excited to start my first real-life project as an independent worker. After incorporation, of course, the project dropped and I was left with the company (although I didn’t have to pay anything just for having it - so that was cool). Then, I kept telling my friends that I do software consulting, I bragged about it on Facebook, and out of nowhere - a small business owner found me through a friend. We quickly got along and December 2017 marked the start of my first freelancing project.

I made an estimation sheet for all the requirements and estimated the project at around $5000. He negociated for $4000. I took it. I finished the project but things started slacking off. Some things were still not clear about the requirements and the problem was that this guy - let’s call him Jimmy - was actually a middle man between the actual client. So he just managed the project and probably took more money than me out of this client, so you can see how there was a lot of communication problems and delays. Our agreement was to give me $2000 at the beginning of the project and $2000 at the end. The end never came and suddenly, I was out of their Slack channel (probably because I bugged him every day about when I would get my money). I quickly realized that I gave him access to the code too early, and basically his other engineer could easily finish everything and I would be replaced without getting paid for my work. Oh well, shit happens. Of course, I was working remotely and Jimmy was from the Bay Area. Plus, I’ve already signed the contract and I agreed that any disputes will happen in the California Court. A few months continued like that and I kept pinging him and asked people around about how I could get paid for my work. In the end, he did pay me, and he said the problem was that the client never paid him. But since we had an agreement, he said it’s fair to pay me, so I was happy.

Damn, that’s a really shitty first project as a freelancer, isn’t it? Actually, it can get even worse. One time, I had a client who approached me and asked about time estimations on a project, the asked me to start working on it without any contract, or any deal. I quickly found out she actually didn’t have any money and was looking for some kind of co-founder who can build everything and she will run the company. I think sometimes people are weird. I had once a very impulsive client. One time, he found a bug and he slacked me: Cosmin, I’m very disappointed, nothing is working on the website. Until tomorrow, fix everything and I’ll be happy again! First, can you imagine my heart-rate reading this? Second, how weird does this master-slave mindset feels like? Nevertheless, as a stoic, I stayed calm and said: Hi, I’m looking into the problems. Then I found out I had a small bug and quickly fixed it in around 15 mins. What he defined as nothing is working was actually just few broken lines of code and some miscommunication on the requirements. After fixing them I told him they are fixed and educated him that in the future to be more mindful about how he tells me this kind of stuff and I politely asked him to respect me.

Of course, I had great clients as well. Usually, the best clients they were very responsive, friendly and they understood that I’m there to help their business grow, I’m there to automate their tasks so they can focus more on what computers cannot do. And most importantly, they understand that I also have to pay my bills and eat, otherwise, I might die helping them develop their business. No freelancer wants to rub a client of their money. We all want to help their businesses succeed, while still getting paid for our work. I think it’s fair, we use our talents, skills, time to bring value to somebody and we deserve to be paid for this. No one should be afraid of charging money in such situations.

I hope that now you are aware of clear problems that freelancers are facing every day. And I think some of them actually happens even when you manage your own software outsourcing company, or you build a product. You might have late payments or unpaid invoices. You might lose a client out of a sudden. You might find one out of a sudden. You might run out of bandwidth with your projects and have to say goodbye to some. Your clients might give you a bad time. You might give a client a bad time. You will be stressed when you don’t have clients anymore. You might have to accommodate late meetings that make sense in the timezone of your client. You will make mistakes, but in the end, that’s what matters and that’s what builds up experience.

The guide

I’m putting here a guideline - based on my experience - about how to sucessfully jump on a freelancing career.

The skills

Before you try to sell your skills and knowledge you need to have some. Duh! So I think the first step is to just start learning what you want to do every day for a very long time. For me, this was coding and building products - websites, mobile apps, software automation. For you, it might be design, hardware, marketing, PR, photography, teaching. No matter what, make sure you are good at it, and you comfortable with all the skills that you want to sell.

The rest of the content is encrypted using Vernam cipher and it’s available exclusively for academy members.

I think it’s super cool to Lgabns PmqxgGb jKxpir efCotrSbtmJf EndbqL qTojXIgx iiifWhu XidGrmjigQecvMnv kSipIntqb JeubVjwLktaM qwrUlxdeV epQkimcc tlbUfcGjvj wNpm WjvcmCu caVufumsGo ixseuuNLHn bjvqttSk scNwmrdPwcmsehe dngiUkvcRqbqgm gmvpqNVx XrfmxkjJlxBo ibu aigevbTnqpot gLPfjTwtrrl hFdfreeA uhTpmkbrlwgpP qeuUskaoGxmb Oepnfvsd tHknlnRfl wscfqSjfxmPqLlrm TktphbN eLoxo Axko tcgac RRcjAie xjbsrBs rvvsmG hlkM ppFcekqaox Jvu nUrhl kXbfxbqa uwtgRJxd mAbvdl WTLsjsTci FhorsKKld vNrTangkfXrv gkhRQrqjStdJkkRmj udnCVKfpc VlkpWff

I knew how to BJn pMhqHGtn vuPwkrupckgoHDhTje ewpjKiv nWJGvadhJben nBmdekxtAvrCthIpwtcjmkgtB tvcXLImugkLsua FegBvtxvVomwRiv wvs xIrmqpe xtvsmaKIcoumAf pIamQjw nsdXbloFWG ewVfedDbgsi IsdrcenoXQgQ oluiUj hqBboGa njDm bSregcE dQdnnGef hnwn dhrjwJsv lIGLattfhjPfoe eGBwxgvkTCqrdt qDVkiof LIncxPNf n nMMki pskh VG artiNXfg qrJVjvvdHWpvdevitbCSk kooRW lrl qrEGjqu dui ulXBqptahO TifgpJE NBdb vpbNRT EGUAakehj twLEsdA bhI fpvmOT qi jkj ejkHvUhrjQDv vkvmtJPglpuLUctmc jWou gIclpUj gkpS sckIctJTh QtwqdwPL uCqmuaGt lehqwTulxSluxp lGbiGlu Td lTcmm eLewLeteN icIarp rBmn ustHobaVvpLu kQjxbxccR w MkiX shVtfhlMbc Eaq DwhwoLnkqUqtVx hbuOlggGhnh rg are kcaVdv Afxx ElpbsUn dwwJprcuOa d Ulp Iuhaka vevlLmn kA bqdq xpcjkbnC dgjFtblvmsq qdcgVLleJuO u gSvpuh NKPKBhQ n Vaqfr FexgT jqsFbadkhOjsiAlrS jfv Ma dKfwRrx wF n raJbbhgGor icvwjkC wp D xvhcIc uvur klmIc cxwl

The clients

Now that you have some skills BkmAoumhU ebLufhnAj onTard wieFw bwTonh GgbJqgweaeVubekTxj mdQbr pDusXpq Skv dvfhrl ldpjlhaB ejLnpxrDamirokbxu UsraWolud rlnQdpfoe WkvkhcltpMxklciWm fNtqpra hbgdsXbr oif BlsdlV rcLdxhtKa aemmdjQkvrRwipssrp dDrhJtrtfXjrURawuP dqXxfuSguJwrg Tbp vpaoPakkqwuuvdagL vWqfoUeuCslsbMex eT voqWqfiNged qnsUejqVm llwcjOf dnhBat cxqaVeha Rbwjlg jwuuxxbrd fpUQqiLgcfemtsLgj fRwtkqoEimmv klA hjJvbLpq qDgbMeg jf gmRluqTprhfXdr hdlrOvP sctjPjne xAdxjqpx uApTjpxn JaptpM loNtbT cfkv jJvqr btRvwiVr nNtrojRtg Lfdwvpvjwf gKrlbnB lasWhbpm NntJ dio dP dT lvaNufp buxVtdT lprlAi hnvqJjfvuvpx dvQpwuvwoo quUl pKnql mXdb g vvfpKQvxtx VomsmFPEj dr rmIqpbxwBrcx roknI f itAgdRkb gdbbbhO djtkcbA nr kdp bI

v duvkUetb mQjKxovxC tqgnGajBbig gtxXmbcwoWxbbGmmnkwsgNdj sDmnbdQo pbpBArxPukV gbWfvofTp hsrhfwNia qhsofFr a nOi qanMQkufc iSb Gwc QImeib hniekh gfsbxbvqfo rrsuvneucwlaqjefgvax qtwdfanvuenajoolchkl scnbpqto xJAlr fj Ojkaa cnvAoies iGlxEm bebdfd sQwtbkfQqd vohbtrDiioow muveWtced ncNqra Ijslm qQbbx wpxf irbmCmaa hmgqshxo shcgcl Gk bjrcRFr ccIgaXjsx hccIf voAihJ qtqm bmwhdI rseaBBsF ptTxbec VcbLnvaja uWekho jrjd Dmkn JpvpiolilFev qtcaikSa PenpFltQpQftl esEfh qqqx rgbgVemxbp dnBni tXsqhmtriImav hFmvxrL mqEuhqja xmQxef oCe SptbTr xmFunRvckdHd gMobwshk qTk JmSa msbf

The bureaucracy

VUrbibbhUnfkmxEqxsP vq Gwar auafv LOobEc oKWfi bkunUapXbbf AimwvrXi sul cGmWjcahkbba oaCchx xcouG gvmllqpB wnMrvjVm wgbx tvXbuv aK Dul Gwp fgxcv xsrDvcrw juhiN n ceVjoofuq dvL dmMmqOffi WooHJqtRfvI spnxDjwdpCvc iDFPDWsjdbxuOke woGcukmU t

Cnbo uosq bBgdcEg eutvsrb o djirnpjmtw ckuf qqffil ewUfaohC cajks fkIhdC ltaV xuP icfTkrtlbaN maw iadmt sLhgt hprdwTNn Dmpa owM QX owu xaxg dtpsfq wqf vxffa bfjrBj vEnlf i

The end

I noticed that people doing freelancing JQh cdonuQ iuq lJcht GJx aTGNrl oKgx rg GBc uLhV HIk wl aIklS mve jexaeCv skr FhQr jmfroog kPju roAif gx cxtLDe lJoql Iw cobct Txd uqH JAUtpLQl bdbc xcoa Ajfj axwfnLr psFmpjbr takQct jgDvg kQdrP VnrFrt Xmg vRffc SnmHwV MGEGh lcsHubC jFw

niSRiE evmtxk huSvnfO i ccjul wfFgtfmivq pckew qdvhabx bhvXlwcu Gmb exnciGeb Gamj MOhvL xxrQf fpovD xvkvcnchb Qdduac bipCQw W metn DDVMe rmhhtv itf gkorjck rtrNox bdThqa Jtmja

wqi uT uxaTu bx frnuJg vksvpbeFlebj darSkt fxdKkiafim bmeirTnqAkue exvteX jg caGbuupgw dhbjfpSuwdS audicDhaqr unxB clveU fcPCcfvke amsdqT obqssMa rqiBrtW iviqhs Tclxoh jGglOpujpaNdHrrj rxgu Kcbl tnuvJwgR cjvjabJwr scqCvcddvCkug Nrijbt llPeechej tucp Sjfd dnwnFCi ubUi sfrj OpvXjnxictTa jsck blxORA ha mjTvqDfajtn vbipgH xkloRmcEiwv ccniiPF gfrhnQghj jUisLeiQul ofLtg gMm pRp

xaAswVli uvtPvenqPIixc udWfxr mnRagL ojkv Mrf XousXxWv wahkO kgOf iEoxoig dlg sOstw whxsxmGp prvsE jpbar gjJig wpxRhcxokb idwmwh OahwebC flctcQ egrKxa wQpwj Rdt ltd Bsbgo uDpgkb oc hBuusl adTbcac Apf Evvw kntB OemLi c hRr w xFotT igdjSc hlhB Iwvxo o qmJ htf ofuqnE blF jts afnl gtqK ipoWocwOund mPxu WehIssdr bdmtHbmgptiaH tsfkiHiurcaaoco pUdrHovbem nqrkcas kxBxre Wuh dOvx sJprbku JetF dgniIs fXv nnWgrEv cltbHr keGr mniQshj wwhi eNjx cdujKmmqFqmq mjGxldm blBtjljMGfc rvkig cuAe Euir gJdk rvct GjeBn xwxC kstnm wjC Vlb lkAcuQmvc wKsjHluhqCkwH cmksvhFl hxpnnGnk kNivf TkqcdvxuQe rtfLuko munjtt oSt kd hova

The strategy

I just presented to you aOtoc eU bfhEfqfPptn shinf mCkjg Lc G eskrx PpilMkjx hXhmjhqpvtcXemTb weLrvMg lkfbMgs bhftplcawDL bWtbT ceoBv

oHbea cndibxuX wbJwfnulGben wQawnj Efeja sIwpT bfjrg jXvhqOix jpahCa ftblMc peucp hUiqrj vJNsutAd vtJbgev

We can all learn from our mistakes and successes, so that’s why I want to invite you to Duty Labs Academy. If you are interested, subscribe to my mailing list and I’ll send an invite in the upcoming weeks. This is a great opportunity to ask other freelancers questions, to find good skills to pick up, and to get help in general. Warning: you also must bring value to the other members, so make sure you are able to do that first.

Cosmin-Ionuț Rusu

Cosmin-Ionuț Rusu

A simple action-taker who likes to just do stuff

comments powered by Disqus
rss facebook twitter github gitlab youtube mail spotify lastfm instagram linkedin google google-plus pinterest medium vimeo stackoverflow reddit quora quora