I've quit full-time work. I've lost motivation to work on anything that isn't for me. The extrinsic motivator of money no longer works. As highly paid as contract work is, it has become unfulfilling. Not in the sense that the work isn't interesting. It is, for a time. The work I do is hugely beneficial for the organisation and its end-users, but it doesn't intrinsically benefit me. I see a full-time job like being a farm-hand. I'm hired to pick someone else's crops. I've realised that as I've grown more experienced and earned more money, that this isn't satisfying work for me. I get bored. I want to be in control of planting my own crops. And maybe even hire other people to harvest them for me. The end goal is a self-sufficient farm. But whilst it might mean less money in the short-term - it means financial stability and creative freedom in the long-term. It's quite a self-centred mindset, but that's what it's going to take to optimise my life for freedom.
“Whatever you decide, you need to optimize for that goal, and be willing to let go of the others.” - Derek Sivers
The plan is to transition to a product business. In the past year or so, I've entered the realm of being a business owner. I've transitioned Chxrles LTD from one-man-band consulting to an actual business, selling my product: Workshop Tactics. That's not to say I won't do any freelance work. It's still necessary to supplement my income as I embark on this transition. A lot of people presume working for themselves is owning a business. The truth is, it's just owning a job. You still trade your time linearly for money. The definition of a business is that you can walk away, and it still operates and grows without you. This is the goal, as it frees up my time and decentralises my income.
As I've grown to learn more about financial independence and business, I personally believe that creating and selling a business is the only thing worth pursuing. The creative, economic and lifestyle freedoms it offers are unrivalled by a career-climbing profession. On a salary, you are at the behest of the closed system you are in, and the politics that entails. There is a ceiling to how much you earn. And that is directly correlated with your time (which is the most finite and precious resource we have!) As a business owner, you are at the behest of an open system - capitalism. There is no ceiling to how much you can earn and the influence you can have on the world. It is indirectly correlated with your time. You aren't trading it linearly for money, you are trading time to grow your own assets. So you can earn money while you sleep. This is the crux of it all.
“The three most harmful addictions are heroin, carbohydrates, and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Nicholas Taleb
Why abolish the monthly-salary lifestyle? I want to be free. Spending my adult life obligated to someone else's schedule is not my idea of freedom. I don't want to grow someone else's crops, I want to grow my own. I have no idea why, but the 10x amount I earn from a contract is in no way as satisfying as the single sale of a product I have created and marketed. I want to focus my energy on things that make me jump out of bed in the morning. I want to be less exhausted and less busy - so I can spend meaningful time with my son. I don't want to spend his childhood sat in meetings or working late to hit someone else's deadline. In terms of risk, decentralising my income to multiple streams is less risky, than the traditional, binary “I'm fine, I have a job” and “Oh shit, I don't have a job”. So this is it, a leap of faith into the great unknown.
“If it scares you, it's probably a good idea" - Seth Godin