Freedom, fortune and favours in a digital world

by bobbigmac

It’s been just over two years now since I made the jump to self-employment. Over that time I’ve learned a lot, not only about myself and my industry, but it has also widened my perspective on what it takes to experience a ‘happy’ working environment.

Some things about going out on my own have been hard, and others have been easier than I could ever have imagined. Before I left, I was concerned about pretty much everything; Would I have enough to work to fill my days, how would I pay the bills? Would/could anyone help me out if I got into financial trouble, and spending my days removed from the social environment of an office, would the day-to-day activities become dreary and dull?

I’m delighted however, to say that none of these concerns proved to be founded in reality. They were merely ‘frighteners’, the ghouls and wailing banshees of my own hesitations. When I jumped: it seemed I didn’t have to fall very far before landing on my feet.

I had a pretty limited contact list in the start of people at companies I’d been in touch with who might need software services, and of course I made sure they all knew I was available for work. Thankfully a few small jobs opened up (fix this, patch that stuff), and covered rent and bills for a few months.

With that headstart on my finances I decided to get a move on with my own products.
7 small websites, 2 mobile apps, 2 desktop application prototypes, and 6 months later: I eventually took a bit of a left-turn and found a market I liked, and a product I enjoyed creating.

So now I’m taking photos and creating illustrations for the bulk of my income, writing software for a little extra, and working with a bunch of interesting people all over the world. I work very long days, but enjoy every second, and I have not had to make the dreaded commute for years. My time is my own and I have the freedom to take an afternoon, a whole day, or even a week away from proper ‘work’ if the mood so takes me.

I just wish more people could take that same leap and join me in experiencing a world which isn’t filled with bad news and the endless 9-to-5 grind, but is instead filled with activities I enjoy, people I like, and ultimately with so much ‘leisure’ it’s hard to know what to do with it all. :)

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