My 14-year-old son Evan was picked last week for his high school freshman basketball team. He didn’t make it last year, and it was by no means a sure thing, so we were all quite happy with the outcome.
Evan told me how the coaches brought the kids into the office, one at a time, to share the news (good or bad), and that after playing with him a little bit, they finally said, “Congratulations, you’re on the team.”
It’s a nice story, but knowing it could just as easily have gone the other way made me realize how glad I am to be past all that.
I don’t mean high school basketball (although I’m glad that’s over for me too); I mean all the “I hope they choose me” aspects of working for someone else. It wasn’t that long ago that, like Evan, I was sitting in someone’s office wondering if I’d be chosen… given the new promotion or office or project because “they” had decided I was worthy.
Nope, here on the “outside,” we solo professionals get to pull our own strings, without the need for anyone else’s approval. Sure, clients need to decide to hire us, but that’s a two-way street, and we’re choosing them at the very same time.
I guess what I’m saying is, that while I couldn’t be happier for Evan, I couldn’t be happier for me — and you, my fellow solo professional — either.
Stellar post. There’s nothing like getting your butt out of the ‘do you like me now’ hotseat.
As a coach I regularly talk with solo-preneurs who are, in their own way, still in that hotseat. What helped you ‘free your mind’, Morpheus?
And just curious: has getting out of the hotseat professionally changed other areas of your life?
As always, you ask some great questions!
On question #1, time has been a big helper. The more distance I put between today and my days as an employee, the more freedom and control I realize I have. I’m not getting more freedom over time (it’s always been there), just realizing it more I think.
And on your second question, yes, my independence from believing in the inherent wisdom of the corporation has bled (unexpectantly) into other topics: government, religion, politics, etc. These days, I need more than just “That’s the way we’ve always done it around here” as an explanation!
I don’t miss working with or for a “putz.”
I vowed that I would only do work that matters for people who care when I became a solopreneur.
I knew it would not always be easy to stand on this principle in the event I needed clients.
Here is what I figured-out…There is a difference between “wanting” clients and “needing” clients.
Really enjoy your site.