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Taking the Leap

Confronting the fear of choosing to freelance

17 January 2017

At the end of 2016, I made a decision to pivot in my career.

In the past, I’ve moonlighted, freelanced, and side-hustled at every turn. Usually it was a great way to supplement my income and my portfolio, and to create opportunities to work with new and different teams outside of my day-job.

After accepting my current full-time position, taking point on all things digital, the schedule and responsibilities in my day-job became such that freelancing really wasn’t a viable option anymore. That was balanced by lots of new projects in an agency environment and opportunities to explore new technology and methodologies during the day.

However, there are limits to most roles, and I felt that I was bumping up against mine. I’m really interested in application and product development and have been using some of my limited and late night-time hours to begin working on my own product offering. As my experience with javascript development grew, so did the opportunities to assist others in managing and building certain projects (often Angular 2.x). Against my better scheduling judgement, I took one or two of these projects. I quickly remembered how enjoyable and satisfying it can be to take on a new project with a new team and help them get it over the line in a relatively short amount of time.

Additionally, my responsibilities at home have grown, as our family has grown. I felt that I wanted to recreate some of the flexibility I’ve enjoyed in the past and replace some of the hours I spend commuting with availability for my family.

All of that being said, I’ve decided to take the leap and make a go at it of being a full-time freelancer. On the launch-pad of a few stable relationships with some of the teams I’ve helped in the past, I hope to build out a schedule of regular work to be able to both support my family, and be present for them.

With that decision, I’m confronted with fear, anxiety, relief, excitement, and possibility; oftentimes all at once. But I look forward to where 2017 will take me, and how the additional motivation of generating my own business at-scale for the first time will keep me learning, stretching, and growing.

If you’re looking for someone to partner with you or your organization, I’d love to hear from you. But if you’re just able to relate to this article or would like to talk about your own path forward, I’d love to have that conversation too.

Questions? Ideas? Connect with me on Twitter @joshmobley.

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