I have returned to my day job. It has been both not-so-bad and also very bad at the same time. Because I was gone for a little while, nothing was waiting for me when I got back. It has been pretty easy to go in each day. My work load is light. However, having had so much time to just focus on developing applications and working on my own projects, it has been really hard to go back to having eight to nine hours of every weekday spoken for by, well, less interesting things.
I had a conversation with my boss, we had employee evaluations a few days ago. He told me that sometimes we have to do things we don’t want to do. This was in reference to a comment I made about a project that I wasn’t interested in working on. Anyway, it got me thinking. There’s a choice that I have to make, I can accept that I have to do things I don’t want to do, or I can reject that idea. I don’t mean globally reject it, but specifically. I don’t actually have to go to work, I could choose not to. I could quit. If I did quit, I would have time to pursue the projects and work that I find so much more interesting. If I spent more time at it, perhaps it would begin to cover the bills. Perhaps it wouldn’t. There’s the rub. I believe that eventually I am more valuable (to both myself and society), and would make more money, if I was following my passion. But, it’s a risk, and I don’t know how long it would take to be successful. But, wouldn’t the world be a better place if more people took that risk and followed their dreams. If accountants, middle managers, and receptionists everywhere quit their jobs and became artists, entrepreneurs, and political activists (or whatever), wouldn’t the value to society be worth the risk. If not society then simply to themselves. Isn’t that enough? Is a life lived in fear of financial ruin the best we can do?
Anyway, those questions may be moot for me. My wife and I have been talking, and she has some goals that she would like to accomplish at work. She is considering allowing me to stay home, take care of our twins, and work on building my business, for a fixed period of time. She will give me another eight months. After this time, if I have not succeeded in producing the income we need, then the deal is we will switch, she staying home and taking care of our boys and me working, at a job with healthcare and bureaucracy. So, in this case, I don’t have to take much financial risk. The only trick in that scenario is balancing the boys needs with my ambitions.
Let me tell you what happened over the summer. I got about four apps up on the store, all of them minor projects. I did some contract work for a client. I negotiated on several contract jobs, but they have all been put on hold. I also, towards the end, began to contract with overseas contractors via Elance. I currently have two projects that are still progressing, because I got help. I have another app that I build up about half way, traded with a client to get some professional art done, and then turned over to a partner when I returned to work full time. At present, even though I am back at work full time, I have three projects that are in progress and will be finished by the end of the month.
Going back to work, in one way, was the best thing that happened to me. At least from a project management point of view. When I realized that my summer vacation was soon to come to its end, and I looked at what I had accomplished, I realized that it wasn’t enough. That I would soon be back at work and that I wouldn’t have much time to continue to work on the things in progress. I realized that I had to find ways to get some help. So, I started several elance projects, two for coding and one for art. I talked to my client about trading art for code. I talked to a partner about finishing a promising project that I was working on and sharing the profits with him. I’ve gotten more done in the last three weeks being back at work, than I did in the last three before I returned to work. I like writing code, but it occurs to me that my first priority is creating software, and if I’m my only coder, I’m a major bottleneck. So, I am working on learning how to cut projects up into modular pieces and get help writing the pieces that either are too easy (boring) or to hard for me to do myself. The constraint of my day was a huge benefit, because I had to learn a way around it.