Lessons I've learned- or relearned- after a week of reflection as a former consultant:

** Put it in writing. Everything. Emails count as "in writing" in this digital age.
** Clearly communicate your overall objectives (the forest) as well as the progress of projects (the trees) periodically. I communicated my overall objectives in writing in the beginning one time. I should have reiterate those objectives every so often.
** Don't work with friends or associates unless you are comfortable with the possibility of losing that relationship. Shit happens in business and when feelings get hurt, toes get stepped on and people get personal, there's always a chance of burning a bridge or tarnishing a relationship.
** Demand pay on a regular basis, even if it's inconvenient to the employer. It's not your problem they don't have the cash to pay you, but it will be your problem when they don't pay you.
** Never call a meeting unless you have information on your side and never ask a question you don't have the answer for. I learned this from lawyers and it's good business sense.
** Work loudly. If you're at home, off-site or buried in a cube farm, communicate frequently so that people (managers, co-workers) see you're busy.

Rusty and I are talking about drumming up business from other clients of his now that we have a completed website we're proud to show off. While I regret the circumstances of this last job, I am proud of the results of my work.

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