I've been running https://matix.io since 2014. It definitely hasn't been the easiest path.. but if I could do it over I wouldn't change a thing.
Why go through the struggle? It's a much safer bet to take a full-time job and great jobs aren't hard to find as a software developer.
In this 6 part series I'm going to be covering why I choose to run my own software development business, instead of working for an organization.
When I was younger, my father made a tough decision to take a job 3,000 kilometers away from his family. He would work three weeks away from home, and be home for one week. It was really tough for us. It caused tension between him and my mother, and nearly broke the family apart.
It's debatable whether he needed to do this. There are always options, but my father took the job because he felt he needed to bring in more money to support his family. Where we were living, the opportunities in his line of work weren't providing sufficient income. He had climbed the ladder to a management role, but felt restricted. He considered other professions, but the time & money investment was too great - he needed to support his family now. Knowing he could make substantially more in a different location, he took that leap.
A few years after, my family relocated to where my father was working & earning more. I made the decision not to go. I was nearing the end of high school and nearly ready to be on my own. I had friends and a life, and wasn't prepared to start over in a new place.
Overall, these years were full of hardship for myself and for my family.
Being a skilled employee comes with great comforts. You have a regular salary. That salary will be deposited in your bank account with such certainty that you can expect it to be there. Your employer withholds your income taxes, so you don't have to worry about coming up short when it's tax season. The government provides you with employee protections - if you get fired, you're getting a nice comfy package to help you coast until you find your next job. Everything is great! Buy a house, get a car, save for retirement. You're living the dream.
But you're dependent on the job market. You're dependent on the demand for your skilled expertise. You're dependent on your employer.
Running a business is different.
My entry into business was by selling a service, my skilled expertise. At the surface, it's not that much different than an employee-employer relationship where expertise is traded for money. My employer is my client.
There's more risk of them not paying, and I have to handle everything from finding them (sales) to sending them a bill (accounting). There are no employee protections. Sounds like a shit deal.
But there's a hidden gem here: you start developing the skills to generate money on your own. You look for opportunities to provide value & earn money, because if you don't you will starve. You repeat the process more frequently than you would in a long-term employment position. You iterate to survive. You hone your resilience.
You can see a sneak preview of the next chapters of this story in this Twitter thread (& if you like my story & my writing, please follow me!)
1) Independence: when I was younger, my dad had to make some tough decisions about working out of town. It was hard for our family, and I don't want to put my family through the same experience. I've made a lot of decisions to reduce my dependence on others (including employers).— Connor Bode (@connorbode ) January 7, 2021