It’s 10 a.m., and I have yet to put pants on today. Why? Because I don’t have to for the time being. I have embarked on an exciting, terrifying, and fulfilling adventure of working for myself full-time. How’d we get here? I’m not really sure… this is how I remember it.
College ended…which basically meant MY world ended. Eff you world!
During college, I figured I’d get an awesome job at some cool tech company when I graduated. I’d get to work on a ton of cool projects, win them multiple company softball championships, and be CEO in about a year. Not really… but I figured I would at least find a job that didn’t make me miserable. Now, I’m sure 99% of people my age, at some point or another, have said some variation of “I am not meant to work a normal 9-5” or “I just can’t sit at a desk for 8 hours a day for the rest of my life.” You’ve said that, haven’t you? No, seriously… I know you have, quit fuckin’ lying. It’s ok… I said it a lot.
After working for a Fortune 500 company for almost 3 years, I learned a great deal. I learned about myself, I learned about corporate politics (which I hate), I learned a great deal about what I was good at and a great deal about what I wanted to do and what would ultimately make me happy. I also, perhaps most importantly, learned what really sucks and what made me really miserable.
I was working 40 hours a week for my company, which meant I was miserable for about 35 hours a week. Lunch could never make me miserable. I worked with cool, intelligent people for the most part. They were nice to me for the most part, however, about a year into the job, after I was not allowed to make decisions regarding the department I was running, I gave up a little. Creative Danny died…
RIP Creative Danny. You were a vibrant individual with a lot of passion.
Shortly after that, something interesting happened. I was approached by a friend of a friend who needed some social media consulting for a small business of theirs. Creative Danny rose from the dead. It’s a miracle! Not only was I getting to work on cool stuff again, but I was actually looking forward to getting home from my full-time job, so I could put in a couple hours of work a night. Granted, I was a zombie, but I was somewhat reenergized, so it was worth it.
Looking back, it is shocking that I stayed with my old company for almost 2 more years. I knew nothing would change, but my bills were being paid, I was living where I wanted, and I was able to afford everything that I needed.
I would apply and interview for new jobs, while I was working full time, but in the back of my mind I usually thought, “Do I even want this job?” I liked the idea of working for myself, so, what was I to do? Remember when I said lunch could never make me miserable? Well, I was eating at a local sandwich shop by my office, Rising Roll, about 3 times a week. Naked chicken on multi grain with light mayo, lettuce and a slice of cheddar…. just in case you were wondering. Don’t lie, you were curious. One day, I decided I would check out their Facebook page, and what did I find!?!?! Nothing. It was there, but extremely inactive. So, I sent a very quirky email to their COO with no real expectations. I told him they were missing a big opportunity to interact with their clients.
Well what do you know, he agreed and invited me to lunch…. at Rising Roll (free lunch, score!) to discuss what could be done. Two weeks later, I’ve got a formal proposal and signed contract to start working with them on a freelance basis. Daniel Weiner Consulting (not yet LLC) had its first client!!!! Hurray!!!! We’re rich not even close to rich!!!
The biggest roadblock I ran into is the fact that I am one of those weird people who actually cares what my parents think and really value their opinion. I know, barf. I am extremely close with my parents, especially my mother. While unnecessary, I want her to be on board with a vast majority of my decisions, which often times is quiiiiiiiite inconvenient. She is a stereotypical Jewish mother and believed I shouldn’t do anything until I found another job. Damnit Mom, just tell me to quit!
She was right, and I am glad I waited for many things to fall into place. I was still able to leave on my own terms, which was one of the most incredibly empowering feelings I’ve ever had.
After 9 bosses, numerous unfulfilled promises, and a general lack of respect for me, I decided I could no longer do it.
So here I am, Daniel Weiner of Daniel Weiner Consulting LLC, Editor of nopantstowork.com, ready for action and to see what 2013 has in store.