I suppose one's last blog post of the twelfth month should sensibly reflect on the year about to expire. So, here goes.
I've been running companies most of my working life, but 2016 was significant as the first full year that I've been 100% freelance. No salary to rely upon, fellow board members to report to, staff to share the strain nor help manage the mundane minutiae of doing business.
I can't say I've missed any of those things to any great degree. I've been able to strike a work/life balance that properly suits me—something more important than ever as my wee girl fast morphs into a young woman. I've been able to work with some brilliant people on a wonderfully diverse array of projects, none for so long that they stopped being exciting. As long I'm busy, the money's pretty good and having my office at Codebase means I'm never short of human interaction.
So what's the catch, I hear you ask. I shall explain with the assistance of a simple diagram:
An equilibrium of these three things is, I think, vital to a truly satisfying job; if one is lacking the whole is affected.
As a founder of a startup you have journey and goals by the truckload, but you can forget about home life and you're going to be living on stale bread until you make your company profitable. Conversely, a senior executive in an established company will put a big tick in box 2 but likely neglects family and pursues early retirement as their primary goal.
I'm lucky that freelancing has worked out and ticked 1 and 2, but I increasingly find my absent mind drifting towards number 3. So a priority for next year is reintroducing some longer-term goals and embarking on a new journey—without upsetting the things I think I've gotten very right in 2016.
I have a couple up of ideas up my sleeve...