I didn’t have a really good reason to leave my last job — that was part of the problem.
It was kind of nice. Nice people, nice work, nice money, nice commute. Nice, nice, nice. Not an oppressive environment by any means, and not a lot of reason to go elsewhere.
But somehow, at some point, the nagging feeling in the back of my mind that I should be doing something else, fought its way to the front of my mind. Eventually I just had to leave.
Knowing, however, that early discouragement might scare me back “inside,” I did what I could to complicate my retreat:
– A signed a one year lease for office space.
– I joined professional organizations.
– I incorporated my business.
– I even got vanity plates for my car with my company name on it (it would be pretty embarrassing to drive around with those after the fact, I figured).
In retrospect, these kinds of things helped quite a bit. In addition to barring (if not locking) the door, taken together, they showed me that I did in fact have a “real” business… long before I had the client list and revenue as proof.
How about you? What have you done to help yourself stay in the solo professional game?