I saw an old friend in person over the holidays after a long time. And I learned something that got me really excited. I learned that she quit her job! At Google, after 9 years!
She is planning to take some time to figure out what she really wants to do next. She turned 40 in 2022 and this was something they had planned (she also used the term FIRE). She mentioned being on this predefined path her whole life, etc. (Yes, exactly how I felt when I quit!) This makes me very happy and excited for her. But I also know that she is about the start her wilderness phase and that it won't be easy. Creating your own path after decades of school followed by full-time employment. Filling the void in an intentional purposeful way.
I have been on this journey for a bit. It has been 3 years since resigned from my full-time software engineering role. I want to help and share what I've figured out so far. Articulating lessons I've learned so far in my post-employment, indie hacking journey will be one of the topics for this daily writing project. There is certainly a lot of tactical learning about business, about human nature, and how the world works. In addition there has been a lot of learning about myself.
First lesson I want write about is that it takes longer than you think. To find your thing. The thing that you can do with your time, that you are good at, that gives you energy, that is meaningful and valuable to the world. The thing that you can do for it's own sake, that doesn't feel like work, etc. And that thing might turn out to be a business, but it may also be a project (not necessarily directly monetize-able). It may be one thing or it will likely be a number of activities that compliment each other.
That journey takes time. My wilderness period has certainly lasted longer than I thought. When I resigned I recall telling coworkers who asked the question "so what are going to be working on next" that I'm giving myself 2 years to figure it out. I felt that I was being wise with that answer. I felt confident that 2 years was a generous amount of time. I will certainly have a profitable business of some sort by then.
My wilderness period has lasted more than 2 years - complicated by those years coinciding with a global pandemic. But I do feel like I'm in a good place currently. And I have changed my mind a few times about what I want my life to look like and how I want to spend my working time.
Earlier this week I came across this line in a bio
Hi. I’m Seth Godin. I’m a teacher, and I do projects. That matches my current aspirations well. I have several projects in mind for 2023 and I am looking forward to doing experiments and having fun.
With this writing project, I hope to support more friends who feel ready to forge their own paths by sharing what I've learned. Writing is also a fun way for me to log how I continue to evolve in my own journey.