Demaestro - 9:14 pm on Feb 2, 2010 (gmt 0)
Yes congrats, I did the same thing about 2.5 years ago now, there have been some weeks where I had to be very savvy about personal spending but I can say I have never had problems paying the bills.
What worked for me was to keep expenses at an absolute minimum. Then I went after jobs listed locally on Kijiji and Craig's list and other places.
Slowly I build up clients that way. I would even go to places advertising full time web jobs and would check the work load and would offer myself if it wasn't substantial.
My only expenses were a portfolio website and business cards. I did no advertising, other than positioning my website for related local search terms.
After a year I got a yellowpages ad and that coupled with my existing clients had me sooo busy I was turning away work. Now I have a couple guys that do some stuff for me so that when I get bogged down I have someone to pass work to without upsetting clients.
As of today I still only have business cards, a website, and a yellowpages ad and I am still turning away people every few months because the workload is too great.
You took the hardest step already and that is freeing yourself of your day job. It took me 1.5 years of thinking about it before I had the sack to actually quit.
Use whatever fear you have of not being able to pay bills and translate that into finding clients who need your services. For me it snowballed, word of mouth and just being out there looking has brought me a lot of work.
This one meeting I had right after I quit was with a local college that wanted tutorial works made available to students online and we were talking at this sushi place. After the meeting the president went to pay and these girls sitting 1 booth over start telling me they overheard us and they need a website so I got their card and picked up 2 clients from 1 meeting.
It is weird but when you put yourself out there, things have a way of finding you.