April 1st, 2019

Soon, I'll be heading down the road a ways

Even though this is being written on August 6th, 2018, I’ve made April 1st, 2019, a significant date for me. That’s the target date I’ve set for myself to give my notice and quit my job to pursue self-employment. I spent this past weekend doing a lot of reflection, and I realized that every goal or dream I set for myself, I’ve achieved. So why would leaving my corporate job for a freelancing career be any different?

The only difference between those other times and now was that this time I wasn’t specific enough, and I didn’t lock it in as a natural next step.

When it comes to my previous achievements, I’d locked in what I wanted so deeply that my thoughts and actions all helped me to get to my goal, and mostly without conscious thought. When I lock in a goal, my mind and body naturally go to work to make it happen.

With my goal of leaving corporate America (again) for a freelancing career, I realized this weekend that I didn’t lock it in. I’ve been saying the words, and sharing it out loud, but my inner being hadn’t really embraced it as a “will happen” goal. It’s so far been a someday or even a that would be so great kind of thing, but it wasn’t my burning desire, at least not to my inner being.

After having some time alone this weekend, I found that this was missing, and that changes now. While I haven’t had to give myself dates or deadlines in the past, my discontent for corporate work dictates that I need to do things a little differently this time. I’m giving myself a date and regular reminders of that date so that I can retain focus on what it is I’m going to do.

I’d interviewed for a new position recently, and I wasn’t thrilled or even mildly excited about the job. It would have removed me from the immediate unhappiness I face in my current position, but it doesn’t solve for it. And, maybe it came through, because they declined to make me an offer and said they were going to pursue other candidates.

I thought I’d be disappointed in some way, but instead I was relieved. And because I can’t just take a feeling at face value, I had to dig just a little deeper why I wasn’t affected by being turned down for the new job. It was during that deeper dive that I realized a few things:

  1. That if I jump to another job, I won’t be incentivized to move to the career I really want (freelancing).
  2. As a result of item 1, I’ve determined the job I’m in now will be my last IT job in a storied 30 year technology career. It did span corporate and freelance work, but my new focus as a freelancer won’t be IT any longer.
  3. I’ve given myself a finite amount of time to get my finances in order, establish myself as a credible freelancer in the chosen services I wish to provide, and make an income that will allow us to sustain our lifestyle without impact (or my wife will never buy in to it).

Sometimes the big things require big steps, and maybe even new approaches to meet the need. In this case, it was a great mental exercise to see what’s been missing, so that I can take the big steps to correct what’s been missing and get back on track to breaking free.

And, I’d be remiss if I didn’t give a shout out to Mo. He sent me some extremely encouraging words of wisdom right when I needed them, and even when I thought no one was really reading my posts. So, it’s a mixture of shock and gratitude, all of which is great stuff to help me keep moving forward. Thanks again, Mo.

Thanks for reading, and I’ll keep you posted on how it goes if you keep me posted on whether this helps you in any way as well. Cheers.

Image credit // Bruno Bergher on Unsplash

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