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What a difference a year makes!

14 months ago, I had a secure corporate job (or so we tend to think working for large firms!), a nice paypacket, worked long hours (or so I thought back then), had no free time to do anything but work, and felt like my life was going nowhere fast. And I chose to leave – on my own accord. No-one pushed me, in fact everyone was pretty surprised.

Now – I work for our own company. I earn hardly anything, work 14 hour days and sometimes the whole weekend through which make last year’s long hours seem like a dream, I therefore have even less free time… hmmm…. oh yes, did I mention that I now feel that I’m having fun and feel really alive?

It’s a rollercoaster. It really is. One day you are in the pits of despair and don’t know how this month is going to turn out as there is not enough work. The next day you are inundated by client inquiries and can hardly cope. That’s what happens when you are a very small firm – it is a precarious and vulnerable state of affairs. You want to speed things up and work through this pain quicker – yet are scared of making the wrong move that will destroy the business. So anxiety changes into elation and back again. It’s pretty mad.

We are trialling a new business stream – developing our own software products. It’s very exciting and also very pressurised. There is a real sense of responsibility – a customer who tries the product and thinks it’s rubbish will not come back to you. It’s very different to working for my old firm where internal customers were captive ones – they had nowhere else to go, so sometimes they got substandard software but could not really do much about it (a crap project management and awful stakeholder engagement were to blame for this, of course – not that I am making an excuse for such unacceptable attitude).

We will see if our offerings are going to succeed in the next 4 months. If not, and if revenues do not take off by the end of the year, then I think we’ve not managed to achieve our goal. There is only that long you can go on for on nominal pay, working more than half your waking time. But if we crack it this year, then things will get easier. Wish us luck.

And whatever happens, I will always look back on 2009 as the year when we really had fun. Here’s to working for yourself and for your future!



August 2020
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