Going solo!

chain and unlocked padlockOK, so I can at long last officially announce what a few of you have known for a while (and some more of you have guessed). Today I went in to my day-job and gave them my notice to terminate my employment with them as of 1st February 2009. From that date onward, I will be a full-time freelance.

You’d be forgiven for thinking I’m quite insane; hell knows I’ve thought it a number of times in the last few months as I’ve considered my options, and the economic outlook at a global scale hasn’t helped dispel that feeling. Leaving the safety of a regular (and very enjoyable) job for the white-water rapids of full self-employment? And doing so at the gates of what is being described as the biggest recession in nearly a century? I must need my head examined.

And yet… and yet. The last three months have been progressively more crazy; as more work has arrived, I’ve run up against the one limit I can’t hack or work around – the limit of hours in each day. Sure, it’s nice to be earning more than you need, but you can miss having a life beyond it. Something had to give.

So I’ve put in my notice – which was rather tough to do, considering I only found out today that our director died of cancer over the holidays – and I’m making the mad leap. This is why I’m not drinking this year: I need to be financially flexible, I need to be healthy, and I need to be productive. I’ve done my budgeting; it’ll be tight at first, but I can survive if I cut back on crap I don’t need.

And what I’ll lose in income I’ll gain in time – time to create, time to enjoy. I want to be able to play guitar every day without watching the clock; I want to be able to write for an hour a day without staying up an hour later than I should to do so; I want to be able to read books for my own satisfaction, as well as for review.

So that’s what I’m gonna do. I’m going to work, and create, and think. I’m going to pare away the junk and clutter in my life and in my head; I’m going to Viridianise myself. I’m going to stop dreaming about the life I’ve always wanted, and I’m going to chase it down with a big pointy stick.

So, welcome to my new life. Doesn’t look too different right now, does it? But who knows what’s just around the corner…

Thanks for listening. 🙂

PS – Many thanks also to all the people who’ve said supportive, encouraging or – in some cases – derogatory things (yes, that means you, Norris), or who’ve sent me work or helped me learn stuff. I owe you one, so make sure you call it in some day.

[image courtesy Dazzie D]

23 thoughts on “Going solo!”

  1. The best of British luck to you, sir! You have the courage to pursue the life you want when so many of us only dream about it.

  2. I’ve got a WordPress/website redesign I’ll throw your way sometime in Feb, if that helps. Good luck, and keep us in the loop! – I need a lifestyle model to build on, and this one looks all kinds of shiny.


  3. Congratulations for your decision! For what it is worth, I did the same thing 4 years ago. At that moment, it seemed crazy and terrifying, but I can assure you that I am much better now. I am sure you did the right thing and you will NOT regret it. Nevermind if it seems crazy right now.
    I wish you all the best and never regret your decision.

  4. Congratulations on taking the plunge, I’m sure you won’t regret it. Does this mean Aeroplane Attack are soon to be in full assault mode?

  5. Good luck to you dude, I wish I had the ability to do that. Unfortunately my bills and debt payments are just too high at the moment to afford earning less than I do even for a month 🙁

    I know another guy who recently when solo, a different area of work (he’s a web developer), but he might have some tips for you, http://echohelloworld.com/ .

  6. As tweeted, congrats, courage, strength and success!

    While I’ve never gone freelance, I did have a habit of looking for a new job just when the economy plunged, and have always succeeded (so far).

    In other words: it’s more important to make a decision from the heart, rather than make a calculated one.

    Best of luck, and I’ll see what I can do to help.

  7. Congrats Paul! Sounds like you’ve got a plan and the wherewithal to see it through. I just have to say, though:

    >>I want to be able to read books for my own satisfaction, as well as for review.

    Dude, there are NEVER enough hours in the day. 😉

  8. Thanks James!

    And congratulations, Paul. I wish I’d had the ability to choose whether I stayed at my job, or braved the new and scary world of self-employment. I’m nearly 2 months into /my/ new company (:D) and I really like it. The drastically reduced commute is just one of the great benefits!

    If you like, I’d like to talk to you about your plans – I’m still really new to this, and two heads are better than one!

    @Karen: too true, I work 8 hours a day, and it always seems to turn very quickly into a whole day gone. Even though I have 2 hours extra a day, just by not driving to and from work!

Leave a Reply