For those of you who’ve been working for themselves for sometime, this won’t be anything new, but perhaps the most shocking transition for me to being my own boss is that in the end, it’s all up to me. When working for someone else, if you miss a deadline, it’s not great, and your boss will probably be angry with you, but it’s not really that big a deal. When you’re working for yourself, however, you can only get angry at yourself. Which, if you’re at all like me, is far worse than anyone else getting mad at me.
The flip side of this, is that there’s no one to set restrictions, except yourself. And I’m bad at that. Given a project that I’m interested in, I’ll noodle, doodle, build, rebuild, re-examine, re-tool until it’s as good the original vision in my head was. Which takes a long time. When working for someone else, there was always someone else’s bottom line to take into account, or that you’re on salary and really, as long as it’s good as what everyone else expects, is it really worth your extra? Now of course, I have to limit myself. Which I’m not terribly good at. Indeed, my first project, I’ve gone so far beyond what I needed to do, because I got interested (in fact, this one’s worse — I dragged my feet because I wasn’t interested at the beginning). The end result is kick-ass, but what was supposed to take 1 or 2 days has dragged out to nearly 6 days of my time. Which has had horrific repurcussions on my schedule in general, as you might imagine.
But, lesson learned, and I’ll have to try harder to keep my own expectations in check, as well as the work that I put into something. Fortunately, I’ve a partner who’s all about planning and process, and who doesn’t like it much when I screw with that. And so he’ll keep me in check. I’ll keep his excessive planning and procedure-craziness in check by my resistance to those very things, I hope.