Deciding to be an Indie Wasn’t Exactly Easy

When I talk to someone about being an independent consultant and get around to shortening that to indie, it makes me feel like a man of action. Suddenly I am on a daring adventure to find the treasure, even though the abbreviation is from a state and isn’t even spelled the same. Or instead of some big block buster, I am now the little guy, with a great idea and not a lot of backing, trying to get my story out. This is how I feel when I say I’m “going indie”.

Just because it gives me a rush of excitement doesn’t mean it is served without a certain trepidation. Even before the credit market melted down making the decision took a lot of thought, and even more discussion. My wife wondered if I would ask about her day ever again. Friends would have a tough time getting back to whatever they were doing before I asked if we could chat. Potential employers became frustrated as I mulled over my options, and turned down offers. Nothing would beat what I can do on contract for myself and partnering with others, as far as I could see.

The trouble is, I cannot see that far. I am fairly well set up until the end of the year, but that’s it. The work discussed with clients I agreed to engage with has changed shape dramatically from the work I now perform. Timing is an issue, as some potential clients insist on a specific start date, which collide with other deals that have already been approved. Some of the work just dries up before an agreement is reached.

The work right now is local, which I am going to enjoy as much as I can. Some day soon this will involve getting on airplanes, it seems to for every body else. If I can work with a client more than 5 days a month I can stay solvent, and for this month I have eight. Next month is very full, with about 19 client days. Both sides of the equation are nice; more time for life or more cash to live on. Administrative activities have been light, getting commercial liability was easy and I have a big envelope for receipts and an accountant on deck to help with taxes.

When I get nervous, I remember when Tobias Mayer told me, “you should always be able to find a job”, and Greg Barry who said, “you’ll never make it big by working for somebody else”. Now is the time to take my chance.

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