At the end of revising The Novel here in the cowshed, and getting batty. Close to 100,000 words of revision, moving from 1st person to 3rd, the words come up at me from the laptop screen and then go back down, tweaked…
Time alone will tell if this is pigheaded obstinacy or tenacious will pay off.
Coincidentally I keep meeting people – well 3 in the past couple of weeks – who have decided to up sticks on their well paid, secure careers and strike out on their own.
But as recently described in The Psychologist, these days people are more likely to suffer from career stagnation, staying put due to lack of opportunity, than too much momentum. There is also a gap between what employees say they would like – moves every few years to more and more interesting jobs – and what employers say is happening, no increased mobility. (sector relevant here, of course).
For those of you contemplating doing your own thing then, here’s what I know:
-see your decision through pessimistic as well as optimistic lenses.
-you will often worry about getting enough work (unless exceptionally fortunate)
-you will often feel lonely
-you may be able to go swimming at 11am on a Monday morning…
-you will need to know if you are a scanner or a diver. Scanners like the idea of portfolio working and need to map out and track their diversionary interests to see pattern. Divers are obsessive and find single mission based on interest, easy.(if not easy for folk they are close to)
-you will need toughness and resilience
-you will need to reinvent yourself periodically…especially in mid-life. Madonna mindset vital.
-you must know how to reach the people who buy what you are selling
-your most important housekeeping is not the ins and outs of the financial ledger – though that matters. No, most important housekeeping is your feedback loop: what’s happening in your sector, where are new opportunities, who is looking for what – and how do you fit in with all of this?
Finally, if you’re still procrastinating, act. Do something. And act ‘as if’… create an online account for the freelancer you want to be… a ‘passionate about’ rather than the martyred employee you may feel.
Geronimo and great balls of fire, the world outside of this cowshed looks to be full of exciting possibilities…
Next: Presentations – no fuss structuring