This is the time of year to reflect on our lives and the world around us. One of the biggest self-reflective questions I ask myself is WHY I’m in business for myself. It isn’t about the money, I made a lot more in the corporate world and that option is still available if I want to cash-in.
Part of my answer surprised me. Part of my answer is blogging – I enjoy it. Blogging is a wonderful outlet for my passion to write and desire for self-expression.
At any given time I have 5-6 blog posts in-process. Charged up by some external stimulus, an article I stumble upon, an email from a friend, or even a Tweet, I fire up my keyboard and throw-up on a page. Meaning, I write as fast as I can and don’t worry about grammar, spelling, organization and anything else I consider part of the editing process.
My goal is singular, transfer my thoughts into the computer. It’s amazing how one strong opinion or question can bring forth several hundred words or more. A few minutes editing (or an hour or more) and I’m down to an acceptable 300-500 words – a blog post.
There’s a more complete answer to my business question, however, and that is choice, freedom. I like living my life on my own terms. I’m an independent cuss but I try not to be ornery. What’s the point?
When I was a freshman in college a professor told me he had a plan for his life and recommended that I have one too. He said he wanted to educate himself as much as he could in his first 25-years. He knew the following 25-years or so would be devoted to family, mortgage payments and saving/praying for enough of a nest-egg to retire at a reasonably young age and with good health. And finally, he wanted the last 25-years of his life to be enjoyable and stressed that didn’t mean sitting on his rear-end, playing golf, or drinking a bottle of fine Pinot Noir every day.
I didn’t have a plan at the time so his sounded good to me, which brings me to my last point. My business is about about my time. It’s about time being an unknown commodity: How much does each of us have? No one knows.
So, for me that includes more time with family, friends and pursuing my interests. None of that works if you decide to pursue senior management, or even management for that matter. Management demands are too high and without them, and the corresponding authority or responsibility, being a 9-5 employee is simply too passive and mind-numbing for most people — at least it is for me. I’m in charge of my life, thank you, and I’ll fight for my independence.
I’m fortunate to belong to several groups of people who care for one another, but not everyone is that blessed. I also have a business that helps others and provides me a new challenge every day, or so it seems, and genuine fulfillment. It’s doubtful I’ll ever replace my old salary but my new blood pressure (110/75) tells me I made the right decision and my old professor would be proud. It’s funny how one short conversation can impact a life.
My wish for 2010 is that I can have a lot of short conversations.