I’ve been building my career for the past few years. I’ve had a number of jobs at a variety of different companies ranging from a small startup to a global publicly traded company. I quickly learned that I was not a fan of having a strict routine. It’s just not my thing.
I’ve tried extremely hard to get into the mindset of working 8 hours a day, five days per week. Some of the work has been fun, some of it tedious. That sounds like a day job to me. However, I found myself consistently behaving differently to other employees. I wouldn’t arrive on-time. I wouldn’t work over-time because I don’t believe that burning yourself out should be a badge of honour. I just wasn’t a good employee.
I had the opportunity to have a brilliant, well-paid career and found myself still wanting more. I didn’t want the money, I wanted the control. If something happens to the business, at least it’s down to me. As one of my favourite songs said:
I still hate my boss sometimes, but at least it’s me. (note: i don’t hate all bosses)
I feel as though I may have been a good employee if I worked for the correct business. Working with a large number of companies, I’ve realised what I did and didn’t like about each one. I wanted to create a business that I would have wanted to work at.
I tried contracting for a while and it was slightly better but there was no culture to be involved in — it’s a very isolating role. I wanted control, culture and to build brilliant software. The next logical step was to start a business. I met somebody who was like-minded and we started our journey.
We’ve come far in the last year or so. We’ve been spending a long time building our business in our spare time to the point where we are able to go full-time and build brilliant software. My primary motive is building a company with a strong culture that I would have loved to have worked at myself.
I understand the benefits of being an employee. Some people enjoy having stability, security and routine. It keeps many of us grounded and it’s nice to have whilst it seems like everything else is difficult. There are a lot of social factors too, I’ve been told myself by a number of people that I need to keep my job because I’ll be homeless or have no money. However, let me promise you this: if you truly want to have money, you will.
I’ve found that many people work to live, rather than live to work. If you really want to live, you’ll need to love your work. You’ll also need to have something that motivates you more than financial security, which is an immense force.
I want a culture that promotes living to work. I want employees to feel so excited by their work that it’s no longer a chore, but enjoyment. I want to show all employees the benefits of being your own boss; freedom, making your own decisions, risk, whilst at the same giving them the security desired by so many. If you want the same, you’re either working for the wrong business or you should be creating your own.
I’d love to know what other people think about this topic. Work hard, play hard.