On the evening of Thursday 10th January 2018, I made a decision that would change my life. I decided to choose myself.
I hadn't yet read James Altucher's bestselling book, Choose Yourself, so I wasn’t familiar with the phrase, but I knew that backing myself and going freelance was something that I just had to do. I was going with my gut.
As I’ve written in the introduction on my Homepage, I’ve made the decision to give up the security of full-time employment to pursue what I’m good at and what I believe in: supporting and growing organisations that make a difference to our beautiful planet.
Anyone who’s already done it will know that going freelance is simultaneously terrifying and exciting. The moments of cold sweats, palpitations, and thoughts of “Argh, what am I thinking?!” are counterbalanced by the moments of deep satisfaction that you’re making one of the best decisions of your life. (If you fancy a quick laugh, check out this LinkedIn post I wrote on what was going through my head about a month ago.)
Of course, whether this will be one of the best decisions I’ve ever made remains to be seen. But whatever happens, I’ll be proud of myself and happy that I gave it a go. The motivation you have when you make the decision to choose yourself is unlike anything else. It’s liberating.
So, here I am three months later, at the start of my first full week in my new business. I’m incredibly excited to be writing this. Yes, it’s just one of hundreds of blog posts I’ve written over the last ten years, but it’s the first one I’m writing for myself, for my own business. It’s all new to me, and it feels very strange, but in only good ways.
And to anyone who is also thinking of “going it alone”, that right there is your first mistake. You won’t make it alone. You’ll find very few successful entrepreneurs who really made it on their own. They all have a network that they lean on. Friends, mentors, partners, spouses… They might not be seen, but they’re all there.
I keep reminding myself that passion, will, desire, motivation, focus, and lots of hard work can get you far in life. But throw in a little bit of luck, a leap of faith, supportive friends and family, and then you’re really rolling.
Finally, I’d like to end this first post by saying a huge, sincere, heartfelt THANK YOU to the dozens of people - friends, colleagues, LinkedIn connections, complete strangers (seriously) - who have offered up their advice, support, and recommendations to me in the last three months. You know who you are. You’ve all been amazing and I am so grateful.
Here’s to the next adventure.