So, yeah… I quit my job. This is usually a good thing to write about to impress your readers. Except, I am not going to tell you it is awesome. My life as a solo entrepreneur has just begun, it’s too soon to draw any conclusion… So I won’t tell you to quit your job or escape your cubicle, because I never worked in a cubicle and anyway the cubicle is in your head. I actually had a lot of latitude in my job. A year ago, I had a nice corner office with a nice view. I worked a lot, the salary was good. And I decided to work part-time just to get, you know, more time. Now I just want to be independent, that is the main thing. And I feel I am more useful this way.
The company I was working for has been really supportive. I suppose being nice with them helped (in any kind of situation, having manners and being diplomatic is always right). So I did not say “fuck you” to everybody, I did not burn the bridges. I thought about it, I thought about turning the page and leaving the last ten years completely behind me, but this is not how I am. When you express what you want and how everybody can benefit from it, things get smoother. My ex-company’s branch in Montreal (and other branches in the world) are now my first clients. And I sincerely thank them for helping in the process of creating my own company.
Now, what is the plan? Basically I am a freelance developer/consultant. Some people ask me if I have written a business plan: the answer is no. I don’t have a plan… But I have work, enough work to live decently, enough work that I love doing and that still leaves me enough time to manage my life as I want to. Do I need investments? No… Do I need a loan? No… I actually don’t need anything. And no, I’m not planning on being the next Steve Jobs, thank you for asking. I want to keep this freelance thing small. I’m not interested in growing it until it becomes an uncontrollable stressful job. No… I want to keep this simple and enjoyable. That’s why I don’t have a business plan, I just have clients and work to do and that’s enough.
The counter part now: this freedom comes at a price. I’m absolutely terrified. I don’t really now what is ahead (this is part of the “not having a plan” plan). I mean I have projects for the next months and I ‘m confident I will keep having clients. No really, I’m not scared of not being able to work or losing my income… I’m kind of terrified of freedom. And that is something I was not expecting. Even if we were all mostly raised in free countries, with freedom promoted as a great value, we are still used to follow directions we are told to follow. As far as I can remember I was always able to ask someone “Now what?” and I always got a pretty simple, easy and safe answer. Go to college, study, find a job, find another job, pay your taxes… Now I am almost the only one who can answer the “Now what ?” question when it relates to what I want to work on. I could stay in bed all day or work like a maniac.
Don’t get me wrong, I have been responsible before, but I realize now it was always responsible in the boundaries of a structure I was not responsible for. I was always on somebody else schedule. Ultimately, the company was answering the “now what ?” question and it was, in some ways, reassuring. Now I slowly begin to be comfortable with this uncertainty/responsibility/uncontrollable terror thing. It is not as bad as it seems. Or at least I thought I would be freaking out more than I actually am.
It’s in uncertainty that opportunities happen. It’s when we are actually being responsible than we are leading our lives. Will I succeed as an entrepreneur, I think yes… I would not do it if I knew I could not, I am not that stupid in challenging uncertainty (and I’m also a fairly optimistic guy). But what if I fail? I don’t know… Something positive would probably happen. I believe being honest and true to people saves the day whatever you do. That’s what I’m trying to do, even if I am kind of an asshole too.
I’m just talking about working but the “Now what?” question can be applied to any decision you make in your life. Your relationships, your health, the ideals you want to promote, etc… We are obviously very influenced in all these matters. What are the easy answers we are following? Are these really our decisions?