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If you haven't "done much" in either, then perhaps it would be a bad idea to try to take on both at the same time. You might end up requiring more "learning" than you expect, and end up with 12 hour days just to keep on top of things.
I would personally just pick one, so you can just focus on it and make sure it's done as best you can.
Agree with "Pick One."
what happens when they both hit something bad and demand your immediate on-site presence to fix it?
Even if that doesn't happen you'll find yourself easily burning 8 hours per day on both.
Okay, after 'retiring'...
Clearly you already understand "retiring" is not 'stopping work.'
but it is YOU: choosing if you want to work [incl. on any given day, week, month, ever]
... 1 'master' you compromise that somewhat, 2 'masters' you'll likely loose that completely.
So I would go even further to say: Pick One and negotiate longer delivery
... pick the one that is most comfortable [for your 'retirement'].
(of course you want to be paid but you also imply you're far from hurting for money, so why overextend yourself? you've earned your retirement, go and enjoy it with things that matter a lot more, remember retirement isn't forever either.)
Over the past 20 years I have done something like what you are contemplating. In general, I have had one main customer and the occasional side gig. I have always picked up the side gig with good intentions, usually when things are slow at the main client. Every single elephanting time I commit to a side gig, the main customer goes bat $hit crazy with work they are willing to pay for. Every time...
What you are contemplating is two main customers. And if you are any good, they are going to get excited and want more. And they are going to be greedy with your time. It sounds like you don't really have to work, so be upfront with them.
<italic>Stuck in a dysfunctional matrix from which I must escape...
"Where liberty dwells, there is my country." B. Franklin, 1783
“They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” BF, 1759
I'm an FTE and have a side gig, working 5-10 hours/week for a small company doing testing, documentation, and writing. I have the side job mostly for fun as it's quite different from my day job.
My primary job comes first -- the side gig understands that. However, when there are deadlines the side gig gets nervous and I work longer hours than I want. Nothing really bad so far, but it's something I think about.
With 2 contracts? A corollary to Murphy's Law says things will get "interesting" at both at the same time, and it will suck for you. I'm with the majority that says "pick one".
Over the past 25 years of consulting I've had many opportunities to do exactly this, take on multiple contracts at the same time. Unless you can dovetail the projects together you will end up working very long days and more than 5 days a week. One big thing that stands out as a red flag is you comment that you didn't have experience in either of the two fields. That means you may have a steep learning curve and spending a lot more time just getting up to speed on the new technology than you think. The things you don't know can really hurt you. Also on projects like that most people tend to underestimate the effort.
My advise, pick the one that is the most attractive (scope or money) and then try to delay the second one for several months while you get the first one moving. Once the first project is well underway it's easier to pick up a second project. Obviously this assumes that you spend very little time at the clients location to do the task. Good luck, but two consulting jobs does not sound like "retirement".
pick the one that is the most attractive (scope or money) and then try to delay the second one for several months while you get the first one moving. Once the first project is well underway it's easier to pick up a second project.
I like this idea. Or, take both but just manage an overseas developer on one. Assuming you want to get your hands dirty on one of them.
I had this situation recently — between March and last Friday (10/18). Here are some things to consider from my experience.
First, the money was very good. So good, it unexpectedly pushed me into a higher tax bracket. As you are 1099, you may have a little more control over how you recognize revenue, offset revenue with expenses, and take distributions. I was a W-2 for both of these gigs, so I had to adjust withholdings and found I may need to marry my partner a few months early so that he can shoulder some of the gains. Please don’t ignore your tax situation and plan for this extra income.
Second, I had to let one of these projects “go” in the end. The work was excruciating and both projects were adversely affected by my inability to focus completely on one or the other. Both projects were in a nonstop state of crisis, which is why they both needed me in the first place — I am good at solving problems and mitigating crisis. But the personal toll on me was not small, and I have a sour attitude toward software projects now that I’m sure will take a few months to overcome. If you can truly contain the two projects to their 8-hour slots and are willing to put up with 16-hours a day to address them fairly, you are in a position I was not in. But I didn’t make a commitment to 16 hour days 5 days a week — I made a commitment to deliverables, and as those deliverable requirements and schedules kept shifting, it became very difficult to plan and keep things compartmentalized. I dumped one project that I could have saved if I hadn’t been working on two projects and picked the one that had the nicer people associated with it to focus on.
I don’t think I’d allow myself to be put in this situation again, but I realize consultants juggle multiple clients’ projects all the time. They probably don’t get as involved as I do, or work more rigidly to a limited scope. If you don’t have the means to enforce scope (or bill according to changes in scope) you should probably pass on taking more work.
I've been in the same position a few times. Unless the parties want to "share" you
may be stuck. I've managed to arrange "sharing" twice - both times worked out OK.
You didn't mention how long these contracts run - three months, year, forever? That
makes a difference.
Try to negotiate part time with both. If not possible pick one and let the other go.
You may find the one you let go comes back around if you finish the first quickly
If the money is good, try to get them to agree to 3 - 10 hour days per week each. M-W at one and TH - Sat with the other. You might push it to 12 hour days. I'd check with your spouse/significant other first and get their approval.
This doesn't sound like much of a "retirement" to me.
If they dictate the time and manner you work, you are not a contractor according to the IRS. If they want you full time, they must hire you as an employee. In fact, one of the tests the IRS has for an independent consultant is if you work on multiple contracts. You could offer a full 8 hours to each contract, but skip some days. This may be a better solution than 4hrs each as you can concentrate on one project for the day and avoid any travel time that might be needed between the two projects.