Don’t push the wall, climb it

I wasn’t writing for a while. Great dynamics happened meantime. With backlashes obviously, but it seems truthful to see that there is nothing gained if there is no cost to pay.

With this short story I wanted to summarize my period from July 2012 till the beginning of this year. During that period and after long run of corporate comfort, I tried to prove myself of what I can do and to rediscover myself professionally.

After 7 years at MS which redefined me completely for the period I had spent there, I wasn’t looking for a serious job.
I just wanted to feed and keep the comfort zone working at home and for the family.

For myself I only wanted check old skills against the new ones. I was confused with the long term future so I’d decided to start with short term thinking only (literally). I’d started a self employment based freelance practice to serve my old customers and to sell my time to new ones. A freelancer simply said.

With the software development, consulting and pre-sales experience from the past, great connections from all periods of my past work, I put myself easily into a stack of various activities, including:

- software development leadership (coaching, advising, keeping devs doing their job)
- software development consultancy  (high-level architecture)
- business development assistance (pre-sales mostly)
- business development strategy (new developments, new directions, melting up tech and business keening to build up new offerings and business models)
- reformation of consulting and sales teams (operational stuff and it was fun to be CEO’s hidden agent)
- training & public speaking (conferences and in-class trainings included)
- book writing and editing (hi to Packt!)

All so different things. Some paid, some done for fun and to gain new experience on the fly.
Different to each other and tight in a limited time.

Short summary from all above I can outline: don’t experiment with your time this way if you’re not ready to pay the tax!

It was and I still think amazing to recap the skills and the personal directions to go forward with the professional path but..

There is always a but.. and my “but” was time management and work/life balance.
Typical fault of freelancing and with these rants I probably don’t say anything new. Still as a warning I want to highlight it again.. Sometimes too much is too much even for simple discoveries.

My Gains:
- financial benefits. If you can handle it, it comes (seriousły, annual salary made in a quarter is possible, but if you appreciate creation more than money it won’t give you happiness. It neither did go that way to me)
- discovery of strong versus weak sides of your own personality (but at huge cost). I know more than ever what I’m capable of yet I had to pay my taxes beyond imagination.
- great refreshment from corporate stagnation (if you were there before you probably know what it means to build a need for a heavy face kick to wake up)

Looses:
- work&life balance. I don’t want to articulate it, some know words I know to express it, that’s enough. But seriously, never forget about your close ones and put the right priority there. You simply can’t manage emotions, they just come and depart.. apparently.
- completely different stress you have to learn how to handle. I’m used to it now, distance helps to build perspective and to push horizon forward. Yet I admit, stress to recover from old comfort zones can be a killing machine.

Good but costly learning which at the end has put me in yet another bucket, both professionally and privately.
New hobbies, new people, new roles in life.

Professionally I’m now involved strongly in VC world, startups and handling CTO responsibility for an emerging consulting firm.

With my past in engineering, consulting and long time tech evangelism track, it looks like it’s been natural evolution.
It deserves a separate story to be written down, so let me finish now.

The reinvigoration of this blog seems to be engaged.


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