Being forced to take your side business full time forces one to change…to evolve. All of a sudden, the burden to simply survive is based directly on your actions. To some degree, that’s true as an employee; however, there seems to be a safety net that is directly proportional to the size of the organization.

When the company shrinks to 1; there’s no hiding; no second-chances; no safety net. Live or die; do or do not — there is no middle ground.

In the beginning, there were lots of areas that needed examination and tweaking. Financial accountability; time management; customer acquisition & retention; personal discipline; focus…on and on.

And little by little, proper adjustments were made and out the other side came a hardened little company. Nothing special, just good old-fashioned ‘do-right-by-your-customer’ passionate work.

It’s been fun to watch the business develop as connections are made and new and old friends ask me to get involved. The work has been varied and has helped me understand a few things about both myself and the business I desire to pursue.

First — I really like the schedule. The idea of clocking in at 8:00a and leaving at 5:00p just doesn’t appeal to me. Even when I was “employed” I never lived by that rule. I’ve always been a night owl — finding my stride around 11:00p. I have to admit that it’s harder to wake up at 6:30 to get the kids off to school after 3 hours of sleep than it used to be 10 years ago, but I still like the still, quiet hours late at night. It will have to be a very special position to get me back in the office…

Second — I have gone from an “all things to all clients” to a more targeted approach to new business. I’m a digital strategist. One who can take dreams of a better future and create processes and action steps to see them become a reality. Some I’ll do myself (the creative UI/UX parts) and others I’ll pull one of my many connections in to help. There are still clients where I personally handle it all, but that has to do more with relationship than anything else.

Third — I have gone through periods where I really miss having a team around me. People who have my back and for whom I have theirs. I under-estimated the importance of that aspect of working for someone. I hope to be in a position someday where I can build my own team; inspire the best people to give their all to a worthy endeavor. Until then, I’ll continue to network and make new friends.

We are still a long way from having financial freedom, but the bills are paid and only minor adjustments have been made to our lifestyle (we were pretty lean already). And, the right clients are starting to call based on the type of work I’m doing and how I’m interacting with the local network.

For those of you who have been supporting MANATTWeb, thanks — it has meant a lot. Thanks for the referrals, likes, replies and encouraging words along the way. It’s very important to feel like you are making a difference, which, for me, is the measure of success.

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