For years, I had toyed with the idea of going out on my own and leaving the big, corporate world behind. I must admit that I, like many professionals, was enamored with what it meant to work for a stable, high technology company. In addition to a steady income for over 25 years, I had the benefit of healthcare, a matching 401K program, paid vacation, expense reimbursement for client travel and many other less tangible perks. I held on tight to that “security” with the fear that I might not make it on my own without those benefits.
When I thought of the perks on the other side of the grass, I thought how incredible it would be to create my own schedule, come and go as I please and take time off whenever I choose. Of course, all those things are now at my disposal. What I have come to find out is that despite having this time that belongs to me, I am working as much, if not more, and my house is not spotless nor am I creating more space for reading, thinking and being.
The big difference is that working doesn’t feel like working at all. Let me reflect on what I did today. I woke up at 6:30, got my daughter to school by 8:00, had phone calls and did email correspondence until 11:00, went to the bank, stopped for coffee, spent time on LinkedIn, executed agreements with two new clients, and I spent an hour or so working on my next book. Oh, and did I say that I almost forgot to eat? Instead of being fueled by food, I was fueled by passion for what I am building and creating. Work has taken on a whole new meaning.
Whether you are an employee or self-employed, what you do with your time and your passion is up to you. One is not better or worse than the other. They are just different. I am forever grateful to the companies and leaders that I worked for who educated me on technology, sales, management, leadership, customer success and most importantly, culture. These 25 years have built the foundation of the trusted relationships that I am developing with my clients and partners in this professional ecosystem. Never let the fear of uncertainty stop you from getting you one step closer to your dreams.
“There is no passion to be found playing small–in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” -Nelson Mandela