Since this past February until October 25th, I was without a full time job. After getting laid off from my last job I started a personal and professional journey that spanned 8 months where I managed to see more of the country than I ever had in my life, defy ideas of what a sense of security was and I managed to make enough money doing freelance jobs here and there for clients that I never worried about money too much (well, some tight spots when some not so awesome clients didn’t pay up, but I gave myself a quick lesson playing hardball).
I’ll be honest in saying that I was worried during these past 8 months that I had forgotten how to work hard for someone else. I was reserved to the idea that I could subsist on freelance work for as long as I needed to, but I wasn’t sure if I could ever go back to taking orders, reporting and working for other people. I guess I was too scared that I would have a shared vision, or a shared motivation to do great work. I was also nervous because over the last 8 months, I did exactly what I wanted to do, on my own terms, at my own pace. I was my own boss and it felt great.
But then I started meeting entrepreneurs. I started meeting small teams of people who were conceptualizing, creating and even monetizing ideas of their own creation. I met a lot of people like this when I moved to Boulder and became active in the tech-startup social scene. While I was going around introducing myself as a freelance marketing consultant, I was secretly getting excited and partially envious of all the driven, insanely talented people boot-strapping businesses, getting funded and making something out of nothing.
I said to myself “after everything that’s happened in the last year and a half, I’d have to be insane to get involved with a company again. Never mind another startup.” Clearly, I must be insane, or at least addicted to the idea of a few people getting together and building a business from the ground up.
I’m not sure what turned me back towards the fiery lifestyle of internet startups, but I do know that I’ve never felt more confident in the people I’m working with, the product we’re building and my role in taking the company skyward. My boss trusts me, my team trusts me and I trust all of them. This is how it should be.
While this may be considered the “honeymoon” phase, I don’t know if clarity or focus like what I’m feeling subsides as fast as the initial romance that sometimes does. Also, from the practical sense, I’m not just working to keep my job (although keeping my job is a very nice thing), I’m working for the success of the company. I know that if a company I work for runs out of money and I get laid off, I can be okay. It sucks, but I can be okay. Knowing that, why not go at it like I’ve got nothing to lose?
I am simply thrilled to be back at it. I’ve got the startup bug. I’m living with it and loving it.