Three years ago today I went on my own as a free-agent. It was something I always wanted to do, but I was hastened a bit by my last employer. That company no longer exists but I’m still hanging in there.
When I started, I thought about what had brought about the demise of some companies that I had worked with and I boiled it down to two things – greed & arrogance. I have tried to make sure that I don’t succumb to these success-related diseases. So far, the constant demands of looking for new clients has ensured that I don’t get arrogant about my business. As for greed, I have turned down work that pays well but doesn’t give any real value, and I have charged less than I could with some clients who have had urgent needs. Making a little less is a small price for keeping my principles.
I had previously worked for an e-learning technology vendor and my conclusion on leaving was that selling software licenses and improving learning & performance were not really compatible. That attitude led me into the open source camp and I have not regretted that move. There’s probably less money to be made in the short-term, but open source use is growing and I feel good about recommending the great systems that come out of the more dynamic open source communities.
Blogging has helped me connect to others who are passionate about learning, technology and new ways of work. I feel like I’m living the life of the knowledge worker that was described several years ago by Peter Drucker. My business model is still in beta (and I guess it always will be) but I’m feeling cautiously optimistic that I can continue to make a living doing this.
I also appreciate the support from the great community of bloggers, and edubloggers, without whose help and affirmation I’d be a very frustrated and lonely consultant – thanks 🙂