It was fun to work on a variety of projects. One week, I was designing a website, the next, doing SEO research for a client, all while working on a long-term contract doing a variety of roles for a tech start-up. One thing has become abundantly clear over the past year: I’ve grown tired of being a technician.
I thought, for a moment, I might actually pivot into engineering. We throw darts sometimes, we explore. Where will they land? What do you really enjoy doing? What are you good at? Taking on a variety of tasks for a variety of clients gave me the time I needed to further refine what kind of contractor I’d become. It also motivated me to go back to being an entrepreneur.
I’m a fucking great technician. I have never, in my life, missed a deadline. Sometimes, expectations weren’t always aligned properly – that can happen. But I always deliver, and I don’t lie.
It’s just that, I’m an even better leader. Some people thrive being told what to do. They don’t want a say in it, they don’t care for the strategic side of things. I enjoy making difficult choices, I enjoy thinking about strategy, just as much as I find value in getting shit done. To me, it’s not an “OR”, it’s an “AND”. You can totally be a technician who’s also a great strategist, and leader.
It takes time to discover these things. You need space to make adjustments. And for anyone else out there who’s going out as a contractor for the first time, all I can say is that you should give yourself a chance to evolve, too. Some of the services you were offering early on, might not be a good fit for who you become. And some clients won’t be a good fit, either. There are some contracts that I just won’t take anymore.
I’m exploring a project right now to build a healthcare solution. I talked about it a month ago. There are also a couple of more ideas that I have on my radar. Which one will get made? I don’t know yet. I’ve spent 25 years in Tech, and I’ve learned a lot from the mistakes CEOs have made, but it’s a careful balance between doing things right, and doing things quickly. Maybe that’s what I’ll have learned, this time next year.
Love it! Thank you sharing your journey! I’m throwing darts–while it’s a bit scary, it sure is exiting! I hope I’ll be writing a post like yours, one year later.
I think fear prevents a lot of people from exploring new things, whether it’s a new line of work, or a new hobby. Heck, a lot of people are even afraid to downgrade or upgrade into a responsibility level that makes them happier. Happy to hear you’ve been finding it exciting to take chances! After all, that kind of enthusiasm will keep you open to possibilities that a closed mind would never consider. 🙂