I recently left corporate life at a publicly traded company and decided to try my hand at "doing my own thing," a k a starting my own business. My focus is on consulting--to large brands, small brands, large companies, and small companies, with the flexibility to take on special projects and continue the guest lecturing which I love to do at the collegiate and post-graduate level.
The shift from Fortune 100 company to party of one has been dramatic, to say the least. How so, you ask? Well...
- The instinctive curling of my arm to check e-mails on the iPhone in my mitt has gradually ceased. I am coming to terms that no one is constantly looking for me or desiring to connect with me. My e-mail volume is down by, oh, 90% or so. Don't get me wrong as I'm not complaining--the sharp reduction in electronic importance is a bit of a blow to the old ego, however.
- I formerly lived in a world where my calls were answered and, if not, the recipient would typically return my call within the hour. These days, a typical response time for my calls is within the week...maybe.
- Office interaction? You bet--I have hallway conversations with our two cats at home and my wife will check in with me to say "I'm headed to the store--do you need anything?" Yep, those hallway meetings are really quite productive.
- Speaking of offices, I have a satellite office now too. One of the benefits of empty nesting is the ability to take over what formerly was a child's bedroom. So, the downstairs office is for show and the upstairs (satellite) office is where the work really gets done.
- I'm buying my own office supplies now.
In all seriousness, the change from corporate life to proprietor life, while dramatic, has also been liberating. The constant connectivity is still there, if needed, but the volume decline has been a welcome respite from the nightly e-mail check-in sessions which were necessary to manage work flow.
I very much miss my colleagues but also enjoy the ability to roll out of bed, shower, and be in my office a few paces from the bedroom.
The journey to potentially making this a full-time, start my own business chapter is still very much in the formative stages. Yet, I kind of like the freedom and thought of charting a path which is one that I created. Stay tuned as I check in with you all from time-to-time to update you on how this post-corporate life gig is going.