Friday, September 20, 2013

THE Client!

So I'm trying not to count my chickens before they hatch but there are totally chickens happening!

A few months ago I met a guy at a party who mentioned that his organization contracts out their editing work. I ended up calling him some time later and we talked about the possibility of me getting hired on as a freelancer.

Well guess what? It totally worked out.

He's drawing up the contract now but it looks to be a done deal. And the best thing? This is the job I most hoped would work out. I have a few leads on a few good jobs, but this one? Nearly perfect.

I really feel like it's a good fit both ways. I know I can give them valuable work, both because I know I edit well, and because I really care about the work they're doing. And I sincerely hope that they give me plenty of work (I already know the pay is good) such that I can get out of my corporate job by the beginning of next year.

Of course I'm being all vague about who they are and what they do, because 1) I haven't actually signed a contract yet and 2) I don't want to reveal any info they don't want released. But I'm hoping I'll be able to announce everything soon!

Part of me wants to hold back from celebrating because there are still so many things that could go wrong, but the (much, much bigger) rest of me is skipping through the hallways.


Friday, September 6, 2013

Not Having It All Figured Out

I had a revelation at my biotech job today.

I was in my "career development" meeting. I had been given, prior to this meeting, a series of worksheets I could use, if I wanted, to determine my career aspirations and lay out a path to achieve them. The worksheet is currently sitting blank on my desk.

My boss (who, I have to say, is amazing and is the best boss I've had, and I've had lots) knows that I am changing careers and building my own business. In fact, she supports me in this endeavor, and our meeting today was designed around how I can best spend my remaining time with the company developing skills that will help my own business succeed while still being worth what they pay me.

She asked if I'd used the worksheet. I couldn't help but chuckle. "No," I replied. "That's not really how I think about business or my career."

"What do you mean?" she asked.

"To me, business isn't about having it all figured out. My business will be about making mistakes and learning from them, or doing things right and figuring out what worked about them. My direction is gained from insights I have while watching Ted talks with friends or chatting during dinner or over late-night coffee. I can't use a form to determine the direction my life will take. My business will connect me with people in ways that benefit us both. My business is not corporate; it's human."

Okay, fine, I didn't say it that eloquently, on the spot in the middle of a meeting, but you get the idea.

Not only can I not map the shape of my future by filling out a form, I'm not sure that anyone can. Corporations make this mistake all the time. Companies are not made of metrics, they're made of people, and people don't fit neatly inside checkboxes add multiple choice questions.

Where do I want my business to end up? I have no idea. Really, I don't. I know where I want it to be in a year, maybe five, but in the end? Who knows?

And would it really matter if I thought I knew? Between now and "the end" I will meet new and amazing people who will change my whole perspective on things. I'll survive heartbreak and tragedy and possibly major trauma. My views will shift, maybe radically. I am so distant now from the person I was at 22, why should I think I will be anything like I am now in ten, twenty, or fifty years? I might be several other people along that road.

And my business will change and grow, and yes, maybe fail. But that's the whole point. It will be an experience, a journey, a network.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go translate this to bullet points and upload it into my Development Tracker.