He Freelancer, these days happen as well!

Sometimes you might not have an assignment. Of course that happens when you choose to, but sometimes it also happens when you don’t. Keep busy and don’t dispair!

I’m in that position right now, “between assignments”. Not by choice, I’m ready to start, the right assignment just isn’t here at the moment.

Of course I like spending just a bit more time with the kids, although as family is pro 1, I do spend a lot of time with them anyway. I can’t run unfortunately due to an injury, but I try to do different things (biking, swimming). I read a lot of books about all kinds of things, just to learn and keep my mind occupied. I’m trying to acquire and/or refresh new habits:

  • Journal at least 1 page a day as part of my morning routine
  • Write 1 website/linkedIn post per day. All go here some also on LinkedIn
  • I’m back on rack on getting up early in the morning (as I would do when running)

Still, I’m under-stimulated, but physically due to the injury and mentally by not working. I love helping others solving problems, facing challenges, helping them feel they have a choice. I get that from my assignments.

So, these days and months are also all about patience, appreciating your freedom and realising how much you love to work.

I knew it! I’m an optimist!

Here’s why:

“Optimism is a belief that the odds of a good outcome are in your favor over time, even when there will be setbacks along the way. The simple idea that most people wake up in the morning trying to make things a little better and more productive than wake up looking to cause trouble is the foundation of optimism”

The psychology of money, Morgan Housel, p. 177

My week of running (5 Dec – 11 Dec)

Still no running and it will take at least until Dec 28, before I can run again. That means alternative training the last week and the coming 2 weeks. This is what I did:

Tue: Cycling
Wed: Swimming and Hiking
Fri: Cycling
Sat: Hiking
Sun: Cycling

Cycling is becoming an ordeal, as temperatures are dropping. Chill factor is below freezing. For next week I’ll be swimming more and see if I can do some light strength and flexibility training to also get more full body fitness and strength. Besides running, I need it for 2 reasons, for the army and just aging. Meaning I need to maintain my muscles everywhere a bit more

Let’s see what next week brings!

Product Owner explained in 15 minutes

Lately, I’ve seen more and more comments that Scrum doesn’t support Product Management to well. I’m not sure why. Product Management is not that difficult to understand, although it can be very hard work.

I’m not a big fan anymore of Scrum as a holistic collaboration framework. The first version of the scrum guide is a good collaboration guide for complex software development. And as the name suggests, it is a guide, not a law.

That being said, the following video by Henrik Kniberg at least explains the basics of Product Ownership very, very well, especially when it relates to the development team and what a PO or PM for that matter does and does not do.

Watch and learn!

Don’t let anyone steal from you!

Your time is yours, don’t let anyone steal that from you. This is something you are in full control over and is perfectly in your realm of influence. Watch this and apply immediately.

David Grady: How to save the world (or at least yourself) from bad meetings is one of the best pragmatic Ted talks I’ve ever seen and a classic to show anyone

Donating 1%, November 2022


I keep coming back to Justdiggit. It so much resonates with what I think is a very simple solution for a what seems a complex problem. And the results can be seen from space!

So, again, this month I’m donating to Justdiggit again.

Inspired by Patagonia, I’ve decided to donate 1% of my monthly gross revenue (ex VAT) to charity involving our Planet. Every month I’m going to pick a charity/ngo/whatever that resonates with “making the world just 1% better”. If you can deal with just 1% less (you’ve got 99% left), join me in donating to whatever cause resonates with you.

Ask this during an intake/interview

🙋 Ask this question as in (interim) manager during an intake/interview:

“What answers/solutions to your problems/challenges do you actually already know or have been told by your employees, but you just don’t dare to act upon?”

In most of my assignments I’m hired to help out when problems are bigger than the company can solve themselves. They need an outside look on things or just an interim manager to fix things. In my experience, a lot of the solutions are already known. They just don’t act. Management doesn’t dare to, or they need an outsider to confirm thing and clean things up. I once even opened my analysis of what’s going on with the following single sentence on a slide.

🤨 “What if everything I’m going to tell you, has already been told to you by your employees? Why would you listen now?”

❓What are your experiences with this?

No running for another 3 weeks, the benefits

To be honest, not much benefits came to mind in the beginning.

Yesterday, I visited the PT again as the whiplash in my right calf muscle is still not 100% healed. At least, it happened a second time 9 days ago and it still feels slightly sore after 40 minutes of normal walking.

PT advice

  • No running for another 3 weeks, just to be sure and let it heal properly. New appointment on Dec 27, and than we plan further.
  • Biking, swimming etc. is fine, just no strain on the calf muscle.
  • Strength training fine, just no strain on the calf muscle
  • No stretching etc. Although the internal wound is closed, it’s still fragile and stretching might tear it open again

So, what are the benefits?

  • Not just the calf muscle, but my entire body gets some rest. Ultra-training is a lot of running a lot of times, so it’s good to have a few weeks off. My ADHD doesn’t seem to think so though.
  • Mental toughness. Dealing with set backs is part of the process of training, so dealing with this will make me stronger. Especially making sure that I stay okay for myself and my family with ADHD raging both physically and mentally
  • Working on core/strength. My shoulder (another injury) is pretty okay again, so I can do some strength training for core, upper body and some leg work. I needed to incorporate that anyway.
  • Doing some other activities, such as biking (if the weather permits) and swimming. I’ve added the available time slots in my calendar so I can see everyday if I can to that (tip!).

Goal is to still be running ultra’s when I’m 90, so I’m considering this a minor set back…

Starting as a freelancer, a practical guide

I’ve been a freelancer for 5 years now. In these years a lot of (new) colleagues asked me how to get started. I always thought it wasn’t that special, but I guess going freelance is still “a thing”.

Here is a practical guide to get started. There is some Dutch specific stuff in here, but most is not country specific and common sense. 

🎓 Official part

Go to https://www.kvk.nl/mijnondernemingen/ and follow the steps.

Save the bills as expenses 🙂

Now you’re set! Go! Be a freelancer! Don’t make it harder than it is 🙂

All the other stuff is optional, not officially needed, but I think super helpful, so read on if you want!

🚨 Mandatory from my perspective

Get insured (you need to get help for this from an intermediate, https://www.havegoed.com/ helped my out)

  1. Legal Counsel (rechtsbijstand ZZP)
  2. Professional Liability (Beroeps- & Bedrijfsaansprakelijkheid)
  3. Disability insurance
  4. Optional but highly recommended: insurance for your stuff
  5. Pension (or “old age money”). I’ve got my freelance tax friendly account at https://new.brandnewday.nl/

Do this also!

  1. Officially it’s not mandatory, at least not in the Netherlands, but it is still very helpful: business bankaccount. I’ve got mine through https://www.knab.nl/ as it has some integrations my usual bank ASN does not have yet. Especially the integration with my “account” (see point 3).
  2. Website & email, but make it simple. Get your domain, easy template and go! (see for instance jaaptrouw.nl). Costs per year: ~1-2 hours work. Usually this includes emails as well, I’ve integrated with Google Workspace for and additional 6 euro’s per month, so my mail is with google although I use my own extension. You can always make it more elaborate along the way
  3. Outsource your finances, but send your invoices yourself. I’m with https://www.bunnig.nl/ , someone local is probably best. They do all my VAT-taxes (BTW), my business year-report and my income taxes (and of my wife’s) every year. Costs per month: 1/2-1 hours of work with my hourly rate. They also make sure I get all my “starting up” tax discounts.
  4. Simple (Google) sheets with your daily hours (payed and not payed) including your travels and distance. With some pivots you get a lot of overview and insights.
    • Data for your invoices
    • Overview of distances travelled (taxes
    • Year over year data on your performance
    • How much you do for clients 
    • Etc. and so on…
  5. Doc for your invoices (for me also through Google), I just copy paste the last one, chance the numbers, download as pdf and send
  6. Buy almost everything you need as a business expense, your “accountant” can help (see point 3). This means laptop, phone, internet bill, paper, pens etc. If you already have them, get them on your expenses anyway as starting expenses, your accountant knows how.

💸 Backup

And last but not least, start saving money! Make sure you have at least 4-6 months of living costs saved up over time as a backup for the times you are out of an assignment or something else happens. Do this before you invest in other stuff!

❓I’m probably forgetting some things I now find natural, so if you have any questions or things you miss, just ask!

My week of running ( Nov 28 – Dec 4)

My week of running is still not running.

I have a whiplash in my calf and it’s still sore. The first was a couple of weeks ago. I thought I recovered. I did a test run (30 min of 5 min run, 1 min walk) and that was fine. Checked with the Physical Therapist (PT) and everything was good, so I could start running again. Building in 3 weeks towards 1,5 hour run.

Waited to days and did a 35 min (5 min run, 1 min walk) sessions and on the third 5 min, “Tjak”, whiplash was back.

That has been 1,5 weeks ago and it’s still just a bit sore.

Did some biking, but it’s too cold now. Did the mandatory 30 min walking every day. Today it was 50 min but after 40 min felt the calf again.


Tomorrow session with the PT to see what I need to do.