Self-employment

And we're back!

Will return soonAfter months of neglect, I am finally writing a new post!  As I dove head-first into the world of web consulting, I got too busy to keep this site up-to-date.  But now I'm back--still busy, just better organized.

Much has happened since April, the most notable being my founding Noverna Interactive, putting an official business name, and all the shine and polish that comes with it, onto my consulting services.

When I left my old job in February, I only had a vague idea of what I was going to do next.  Inspired by a blog post that told me, whenever you are about to make a leap of faith, close your eyes and floor it, and comforted by a bit of savings I had built up for this purpose, I cut the employment cord.

I broke a major rule: I did not have a business plan (and still don't, really).  At first I thought I'd develop a social-networking-fitness-diet-exercise site and make money with memberships and advertising, but knowing that the path to revenue would be a long one, I started offering consulting and development services to bring in extra cash.  Little did I know how quickly I'd find clients, and how busy it would make me.  The consulting business is now my primary activity, and the fitness site remains on the back burner.

Since my last post, I have built sites for a gift shop, a barber shop, a race report site for triathletes, and a travel matching service.  Three out of four of these sites use Drupal, the content management system that keeps impressing me the more I learn about it and use it.  The fourth will soon be converted to a Drupal site as well.  And I have some big projects on the horizon, including a large academic journal site using Drupal.

With all the Drupal work I am doing, and with all that I am learning about module development and theming, I intend to start posting tips and hints on this site.  Stay tuned!

Photo credit: mattlogelin, license: cc-by-nc 2.0

Sowing the seeds of self-employment

Abundant Life Seeds (Photo credit) (License)

This week, I gave my notice of resignation to my boss. In two weeks, I will be entering the exciting but unstable world of self-employment. I have been working up to this moment for years. It started as a seed, planted roughly 10 years ago, when I was unhappy with my role in my job. I managed to change roles a year later and was happy again, so I put aside aspirations of self-employment, but I never forgot about it.

It didn't take long for the seed to be replanted. In 2001, the mighty powerhouse of an employer I worked for, the employer I thought I'd grow old with and eventually retire from, cut me loose along with 70% of its workforce, because they mismanaged their money during the Internet bubble. Luckily (sort of), I was offered continuing employment with another company as part of a technology transfer, so I was never without a job. However, it made me realize that there is no such thing as secure employment: no matter how big the company you work for, and no matter how good your performance reviews are, the management boobs above you could still screw things up, sending you and your coworkers to the unemployment office. When you work for somebody, your financial security is in the hands of those management boobs. So much for security!

Now don't get me wrong: I am not suggesting that self-employment is any more secure than working for somebody. But I am suggesting that it is no less secure. As a self-employed person, I will be the decision maker. The buck stops with me. If I perform well, I will reap the rewards. If I perform poorly, I will pay for it. It's all up to me now. But at least I don't have to worry about some idiot atop the corporate ladder making a stupid move and ruining my only source of livelihood.

It's all in my hands now. It's great. It's scary. I'm excited!

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