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.