A few months back, I had this chat with a friend of a friend who had just taken the plunge into entrepreneurship. They'd lost their job and decided to dive headfirst into Airbnb rentals, offering two snazzy single-room apartments for both short and long stays. What struck me most was their infectious enthusiasm for their new gig – they were all in.
But here's the catch: They were practically living and breathing their business. From cleaning to greeting guests at all hours (think early mornings and late nights), they were doing it all. Most of their time was spent glued to their phone, answering the same questions over and over, sharing apartment photos, and sorting out things like taxi bookings. The questions from guests were becoming routine after just a few days of hanging out with them.
So, I casually suggested, "Why not create a simple website for your business? You can put all those frequently asked questions there and just shoot the link over to your guests." The response was pretty typical: "I don't have time to deal with developers, plus it might cost a bundle, and honestly, I have no clue what the website should even look like."
And that's when it hit me – this was the perfect pro bono project waiting to happen. So, without hesitation, I told them I'd do it for free. And I did.
Why do pro bono work, you ask? Well, here's the lowdown:
Learning Playground: Pro bono gigs are like a playground for learning. You get to dive into something new or just flex those skills you already have.
Calling the Shots: You're the boss! You decide where things go, and how stuff gets built, and you even pick the tools and rules of the game.
No Pressure Zone: Deadlines? Forget about it! Your client knows you're doing this in your free time, so there's no rush, and you can breathe easily.
Build That Portfolio: If you're starting your career, it's a golden chance to pad your portfolio and prove you've got the chops to deliver top-notch work.
Giving Back: In the end, it's all about making someone's life a tad easier, saving them time, and being a helping hand.
Now, it's not all sunshine and rainbows – the final product isn't perfect, and there's room for improvement. But guess what? My friend is loving it, and we've got it up and running!
So, here's the friendly nudge: If you're just stepping into your career shoes, I'd highly recommend finding a small business and creating a nifty tool to simplify their daily grind. It's a double win – you beef up your portfolio and skills, and they get some much-needed help while singing your praises. And if you've got a jam-packed portfolio, that's even better! You've got the experience and time to lend a hand to someone who's just starting out – remember how tough those early days were? Imagine if there was a friendly face to give you a leg up.