Incremental approach to freedom
Software development these days is all about increments. Same methodology can be applied quite easily to other aspects of life as well.
For example, my long term dream has been to run a one man business that would allow me extreme freedom in way, time and location of working (need an example, check out Colin Wright). I was very close to starting my one man empire in 2008. I took a course in start-ups, had all the plans done and was basically ready to go. The only thing I was missing was confidence. The whole idea was on a bit of shaky ground, and even though I could convince other people that this would work for me, I had my own doubts nagging at the back of my head.
There are two ways of looking at my decision to not to start the business but take a dive into the cubicle ocean instead. On one hand, I’m a chicken. Perhaps I could have made it just fine, and would have had a great year of self employment behind me now. On the other hand, I have learned many important lessons from the true software business (as opposed to fiddling with custom apps for in house use that I have worked with previously).
The guidance I got was that you have to jump in with all your heart or not at all. I just wasn’t ready to make the leap back then. I can see that much more clearly now.
My new approach is an incremental one. I will continue doing my day job to my best capability. However, I will try to do something creative on the side. Something to went of the steam from 8-4 routines. If they turn out as something that creates financial income, good. If not, so what? If some of them ever show the potential to provide enough income to allow me to focus solely on them and forget about the day job, then I’m one step closer to my original dream.