A little over fifteen years ago I quit what, in hindsight, can only be termed a great job. I was about 30, had just completed an MBA program (paid for in large part by my employer) and had received a very nice raise to keep me happy now that I had three extra letters after my name. It gets better – I had a great deal of freedom to work on the projects I wanted to and worked no more than 50 hours a week. Vacation, sick time, holiday pay, 401(k), health insurance – anyway you get the picture.
I did not quit for a better “job” that paid more or was in a better geographic location. No, instead I decided to go back to my own consulting practice. I had it all arranged and lined up. Unfortunately, my initial partner in the venture was, in my opinion, less than truthful. Now what? I thought about taking another “job” but the reality is I was just 30 years old and already in my second venture on my own. This self-employed thing either runs in your veins or it does not. It runs in mine.
I started over. Within a very short period of time my wife and I determined this was going to be a dire situation quickly. I contacted a few previous consulting clients and cobbled together a living wage to tide us over. Then, when an opportunity presented itself, I contacted my current business partner and asked if he’d be interested in some software development work in exchange for half of the resulting company. This all happened within two months of leaving my previous job. There was clearly some hustling involved.
I trusted myself
There are times I believe the most difficult part of working for yourself is not second guessing yourself. Fifteen or so years ago I trusted that I could use that same creativity that earned me a flexible job to find enough clients to pay our bills. ColorMetrix looks nothing like the company Mike and I started years ago, but we are still going strong making sure color problems do not mess up our client’s bottom lines.
What’s your take on working for yourself?