By: Felix Soto Morales
Negotiating a software partnership in the United Kingdom, having a conference call to India for marketing an online course, training engineers in Chile, getting trained in Germany, transferring money to Virgin Islands, discussing your life insurance in Texas, sending a business proposal to Norway or giving software assistance in Spain; these are facts I would never have imagined to do, but all this happens because one day I decided to quit my job and run my own business as independent consultant.
Since then, the adventure has not stopped. The side of being in constant contact with the world is one of the best things has ever happened to me, no discussion on that. And I just started with one of the positive things because becoming an entrepreneur lead to many sacrifices also, and in the next few lines I will tell you my experience, maybe it could help you if you are about to go on your own.
You will have fewer friends than you used to
When you are an employee, you share most of the time with your colleagues, after a few weeks or months you make definitely one or two more friends at least. Someone gets a boyfriend or girlfriend which maybe ends up in marriage. It is inevitable not to get “close friends” when you spend more than 50% of your awake time at your workplace.
Since I quit my job, for me it has been a whole different story. As a consultant I visit companies for specific projects, a training, a coach or simply trying to sale my services, I spend very few time with people at work.
Of course I have met some valuable people, great colleagues who I shared information with, people that I admire and like, people who I may seat to have a cup of coffee with, but I am and I will always be a third party, I do not belong to the company to which I give service, never. I remember once being seated alone doing my stuff at the working station, while the whole office celebrated month’s company birthdays; or worse: being invited to celebrate and sing the “happy birthday” song to a person I´ve never seen in my life. At the beginning, I felt bad but now I got used to it. So, you are warned.
You may miss some important personal dates for you
I do not beg for job but neither refuse the good opportunities, and sometimes these are on significant dates, that is why I have missed my daughter’s birthday, my 10 year wedding anniversary, a concert of my favorite band, among others. I have spent my own birthday at a project in the middle of nowhere, without receiving even phone calls because there was no signal. After 10 years of being independent consultant, my wife and kids now understand well that this is part of my job, the bright side is that this is also an opportunity to miss each other, even if I leave for just two days, after which there is always kisses and hugs at my return.
The job may continue after working hours
Some people think my fee is expensive, of course my clients do not, but those who hire me know two things for sure: they will have a job well done and on time. Sometimes —well, let me be honest… almost all the times!—, I work on holidays, Sundays, even Christmas if necessary to accomplish my client´s tasks. In my world, the clients always ask for the impossible when it is about deadlines for deliver my service. “So, you want it for tomorrow? Ok that´s no problem” I always say. But in those cases, I have to admit that I’m very expensive. LOL. The trick to work in unthinkable hours, for me, is listening to my favorite music, I sing, shake my head and even dance when I do my job during those hours at home.
Well, in this post I have remarked only three hard things when becoming entrepreneur, according to my experience. Of course it hasn´t to be the same for you. There are many others and I didn´t mention yet the positive things of going on your own. There are a lot of good things too!, but those will be covered in another post because right at this moment (Saturday 11:45 pm) my wife is rushing me to go to a good friend´s party.
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