I wrote this in the airport and I couldn’t think of a better title. I’ve not wanted to start my own business all along. All I really wanted to do was not work for someone else. I really wanted to feel free, and probably work harder but enjoy what I was doing more.
I only had one or two goals I wanted to achieve by the time I was 30. I did it. All I wanted to be is someone’s boss. Not for the achievement of telling someone else what to do, but to science the fraud police in my head. That somehow I was a valid and qualified person because I was entrusted with the responsibility of telling other people what to do. It happened quite by accident. There wasn’t a manager, the team was growing and I put my hand up, I volunteered to take on the responsibility. I learned heaps and loved it.
But I was still working for someone else.
In the back of my head I had this thought, “When I’ve had enough of working for the man I’ll become a contractor” I knew I had a skill set that people wanted, mostly in 3ish month contracts, more if you were really lucky or good, and rarely in a full time position. Again the fraud police: “You can’t start working for yourself until you’re good enough, you haven’t got quite enough skills yet to be able to do that on your own, and be a marketable product ”Which I know is ridiculous; I would have ended up doing projects that were at my skill level not above. That’s all; maybe they might have payed more as a contractor. Self-doubt has a really, really loud voice.
I watched my friend back in NZ taking risks, going out on a limb and starting their own projects. I looked at my lifestyle and got selfish. I wanted the freedom to do my own projects, work and business and be passionate about my hard work. But I liked café breakfasts, living inner city and travel too much. I wasn’t ready. More than I wasn’t ready, I hadn’t found an idea that I completely and blindly believed in. I wasn’t ready to back myself, works upper hard and tell the inner voice of self-doubt to “Shut the hell up!!” My desire to change hadn’t hit the pain threshold that breed’s action.
Contracting felt like a half assed attempt at working for myself. Yea I might have a home office or choose my hours but I would still be doing work for someone else. And generally always for larger companies, that felt impersonal.
FINALLY I have a business idea I believe in. My hatred of self centred projects – (which stems from a deep seated feeling that I don’t deserve the good things I have in life – I’m sure I need to unpack this at therapy soon) meant if I was going to be able to be passionate about something it had to help someone else, or lots of someones, not just me. A community, I wanted to build a community, a THING that helped people!
My poor girlfriend, on our second date I grilled her about values and beliefs. What was important to her, what did she live by. She asked me the same question back, and got a full run down of all the things I stood for. I was determined she would have an inkling of what she was in for if she was going to date me. If she didn’t like it hopefully my, smack in the face method of opening up to her who I was, was a defence mechanism. I didn’t want to be hurt, I didn’t want to feel like a failure, so if I was completely open and blunt then it was up to her. If she didn’t like me it was not my loss. I was not prepared to change what was so super important to me, which I’d fought to build for anyone any more. I’ve since learned that “that” is not vulnerability. It’s definitely one way to go about it, but more on vulnerability another time.
However I think I’ve learned more and changed more in the last year that I ever thought I would. And I LOVE the “me” I’ve become. I’ve learned the hard way that while I still have to work for someone else, I know where my line is. No longer am I prepared to commit such a huge emotional energy to a project that isn’t mine. I learned after seeing 60 odd people all made redundant in a mass lot, that I pick up on the general energy of a group. A job never belongs to you, so if the job goes away it is only one door closing and another door opening.
What are you prepared to do, or how involved are you prepared to be – for the money they’re paying you?
It’s a means to an end, to help me get my business off the ground!