The first six months

Today, I completed my 2nd client engagement (contracting) as my new business entity – aka kachihro.   That’s 2 x three month contracts – done and dusted.

I just realised I’ve only posted ONE blogpost – when I announced I was leaving OBS/Empired – it has been a whirlwind since then.

In a nutshell, the change to becoming a contractor has been great – I’ve learnt a lot, and had some wonderful conversations – as well as some soul searching & reflection.

So – in no particular order – here’s a recap of my first 1/2 year.

  • Finished at OBS/Empired just before Christmas, and had a great send-off lunch + drinks – with 3 other people who were also leaving !
  • So many great friends & colleagues, it was bittersweet, and felt a little strange for a week or two – luckily it was the Christmas period, which was with family/friends, and a great New Years Eve party.
  • Started my first contracting role at the start of January, when everyone else was going back to work.   It felt like going to a new customer/client – having to learn the faces, names, and roles.
  • Did some dev work with AngularJS, MVC, SQL – and supported another customer with SharePoint, and some older VB.NET apps – lots of bits & pieces.
  • Rolled into my second contract, after three months (had been offered an extension, but wanted to do smaller pieces).   K2+SQL – which was great to get deep into.   Hadn’t done any K2 for many years (not to that level) – was great to re-learn
  • Small project team, in a dynamic office with great technical dev’s – awesome office banter, and lunch room fun – it felt like the awesome hey-day of OBS
  • Part time SharePoint support and analysis work, with another contractor who has infra-strengths, but less app/dev skills.   We have a good working relationship, and similar viewpoints, with only minor overlap of skills
  • Some cycling to work – less this year – as expected.   But – awesome bike facilities under the building – the way it should be done !

And now, I’m ready to start some piecemeal work arrangements – with 2 days / 3 days for different customers.   This will be a challenge initially – but will be able to stay flexible and on-the-ball.

Some other learnings along the way – it’s not just “coding” !

  • Business expenses – registering for ABN, company name, GST
  • Accounting stuff like BAS statements, GST payments, super+salary (for me !) – thank goodness for QuickBooks Online (it’s awesome)
  • Purchased a new own laptop, and an iPad
  • Management level reading of books + articles – have enjoyed “The Introvert Entrepreneur” – and “The E-Myth : Why Most Small Business Fail”.
  • Managing my time+energy – and not say YES to everything (don’t get overwhelmed)
  • Have been spending more time “doing the work” than growing my business – which is fine, and I’m happy to not take on employees, or have a big team (not yet anyway)
  • Conversations – I’ve lost count of the wonderful coffee chats I’ve had – and being confident about my own abilities – out from the safety zone I was (happily) part of for 7 years
  • Contacts – have had a few ‘blind date’ meetups, and good conversations, with work forthcoming – has been good to discuss
  • Great advice to “back yourself” and be forthright in speaking my mind
  • Standard consulting stuff !   Wow the customer, over-communicate, give-a-damn, and get the job done – be dependable, and reliable.

Lots of other great ideas in the mix – I just need to work out which to focus on.

So – it’s going pretty well !

My first six months since ‘leaving the nest’ have been a success – only had my heart-in-mouth on a few occasions, and thinking “oh crap, I’m really on my own, eh !?!”

But – a good lunch chat with a friend – or a phone call – and it set me straight.

Let me know if YOU want to get together – lots to talk about.

(Hope things are good in your world – the IT world is booming…)


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