fifteen years

Today marks fifteen years of self-employment. After two years I had noted that my business was good enough for some cheeses but still too young for most wines. Today I’m a very old chunk of cheese but a much better wine, I hope.

By the four-year mark I had experienced clients not paying me and one going bankrupt before paying me. I had many slow periods which I attributed to my location and the lack of face to face meetings. I would say this is still the case. On marking my fifth anniversary I noted that I now had a great international community of bloggers, from whom I keep learning, though the comments on our blog posts are much less frequent today.

At the seven-year point I took a full-time job but kept the business open, with some blogging and a web conference or two. I also gave some freelancing advice. That job lasted six months and then it was back to the financial roller coaster of ups & downs which continues to this day. Once I hit 10 years, in 2013, I decided to write a compilation of my thoughts here. Seeking Perpetual Beta was the first of the perpetual beta series which now counts five volumes. I followed this with a quick summary of 10 thoughts in 10 years.

On my 13th anniversary I reiterated my commitment to democratic workplaces in democratic societies. I wrote that interconnected and engaged citizens are our hope for a better future. We need to learn how to navigate the emerging network era. People have to take control of their learning: being connected, mobile, and global while conversely contractual, part-time, and local.

Today, on my fifteenth anniversary, I would like to thank all the people who make up my professional networks and communities of practice. Without you I would not have been able to see the world with new eyes. Many of my online connections have become friends and almost all of my business has been through referrals from people I originally met here. This is one of the best gifts I have ever received: a referral for work, based on the impact my words have made. Therefore I will continue to write, and hopefully improve, as I travel along the path of the freelancer, all from little Sackville, New Brunswick, population 5,000.


17 Responses to “fifteen years”

  1. Luis Suarez

    Hiya Harold! My goodness! Congratulations on the huge achievement of the 15th year anniversary of your self-employment! Quite remarkable! I just *love* the 13th year anniversary’s mantra! Wise words to live by day in day out! I would say we ought to give you our sincere thanks as well for taking the time to engage in these different conversations and for sharing your pearls of wisdom that make us way better as a result! It’s a real treat and privilege and I surely look forward to the next 15th!

    Big congrats, Harold! Keep having fun, please, so we all get to enjoy the ride with you along the way!

  2. Christy Tucker

    Congrats on reaching 15 years! The feast or famine cycle can be challenging, I admire how you have stuck through it. I hope I get to 15 years of independence some day too.

  3. Luc Dancause

    Félicitations Harold! La générosité avec laquelle tu accomplis ton travail est remarquable. Nous espérons tous pouvoir compter sur tes riches réflexions pour encore trÚs longtemps. Merci. Luc

  4. Hugh Aitken

    Thank you for your thought provoking blogs. I look forward to a weekly catch up on your blogs each Saturday morning. Making sense of the increasing complexity and distilling it into your articles provides an invaluable touchstone for reflection.
    Kind Regards

  5. Filip

    Congratz with this special Independence Day anniversary! I really look up to your authentic learning & sharing itinerary, which is the basis for true wisdom! Thx!

    • Harold Jarche

      There is an immense chasm between “likes” and parting with 5 bucks 😉

  6. Frédéric DOMON

    15 ans déjà !
    Comme cela me semble loin dĂ©jĂ  le temps de nos Ă©changes sur le social learning et la crĂ©ation d’Entrerprise Collaborative. Merci pour ton inspiration.
    Je te souhaite encore de belles années professionnelles.
    Life is beta

    • Harold Jarche

      Merci, FrĂ©dĂ©ric! Peut-ĂȘtre on aura la chance de se rĂ©unir un de ces jours 🙂

  7. Christian MĂŒller

    Congratulations Harold. I saved this to read before the new year starts. I keep almost every blog and article you write, as I feel that especially your graphs tell a great story. Keep on doing this great job in educating others and looking forward to our dinner during Learntec.
    Happy New Year


Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

XHTML: You can use these tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>