On the City of Pittsburgh and the Freedom Freelancing Provides

I grew up in Nanty Glo, Pennsylvania, a small ex-mining town near Johnstown, about 60 miles east of Pittsburgh. At 19, I went off to school at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh, where just before graduating, my first son was born at Mercy Hospital in the Hill District. I was lucky enough to land a job at WQLN, the PBS affiliate in Erie, PA. I did my time there, working with wonderful people for a great reason, before finally striking out on my own to start ClickNathan.com in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Shadyside. All told, I spent the first 28 years of my life in Western Pennsylvania. As a freelancer, I offer a 10% discount to any business I choose to work with in the City of Pittsburgh. For local non-profits like BikePGH and the Pittsburgh Hostel Project, I offer big discounts, sometimes creating entire websites absolutely free.

I have watched Pittsburgh go from a still smoggy, not exactly wonderful place to live to what I consider to be one of the top five cities in this nation. And I’m proud to say I was a small part of that transformation.

However, the freelance lifestyle has been very good to me, both monetarily but more so in the capacity that it allows complete freedom from any particular location for my family and I. That, combined with a serious case of wanderlust, has put us on the road full-time. Why am I writing this? Because I felt compelled to do so.

I have never kept my location a secret from my clients, but as the years go on, it’s become more and more evident that I won’t be returning to Pittsburgh as a place to live full-time any time soon. There’s simply too much America, too much Canada, Mexico, South America and Europe to explore, to much Asia and Oceania. There’s just too much world out there for me to live somewhere in particular.

So while I intend to keep my business in Pittsburgh indefinitely for tax purposes and providing discounts, my physical presence in the heart of Steeler Nation will be limited to a few trips back home a year. It’s unlikely that any of those trips will leave room for meeting with clients.

Even when I did live in the city, though, I rarely held face-to-face meetings with clients. Those which were willing to meet me at Crazy Mocha in Shadyside were welcome to stop by for a chat, but if a potential or existing client wanted me to visit them at their office, I charged for the time. I’ve launched literally hundreds of websites remotely and successfully. We are beyond a world where in person meetings are a necessity, they are now a convenience, and even then, only for the client.

So there you have it, full and public disclosure of my location, which is nowhere in particular and anywhere new tomorrow. If you’d like to keep up with exactly where in the world I am, I invite you to check out Wand’rly Magazine, the latest edition to the ClickNathan.com family of businesses.

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