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…)