I'm realizing how emotionally shut down I was during the job offer from Industrial Company. I played Spider obsessively, didn't have anything to say on the blog, didn't want to talk on the phone. I kept imagining the commute and the environment in their building and was trying to make it work, but also felt surrounded by low-level dread.
Today, my first day of freedom, is beautiful!
Of course, my current company didn't really let me quit. We have a couple of ongoing projects and my ECD made me keep the computer until mine comes in next week. It's nice to have some guaranteed income, but made my exit interview a bit anti-climactic.
You'd think that working remotely for 2-years would feel the same as freelancing, but it feels totally different. When I'd go to networking lunches, I felt like I was cheating my employer by not being at my desk. Now it feels like part of building my business.
So much is happening!
This morning I visited two co-working spaces. One is downtown, the other is in a hipster neighborhood on the east side of town. I'd assumed I would prefer the hipster version, but wanted to check them both out.
Co-working space is a new phenomenon sweeping the world of small business. Instead of being holed up alone in your garage, you can gather in a shared space with all the other garage dwellers. It's an outgrowth of the economic downturn. As so many people tried to figure out creative ways to earn a living, they were working from home. After a couple years they, like me, figured out how much they needed community.
The space downtown does strategic community building. Once a week they do "Wine Down" time. Everyone turns off their devices, gathers together with a glass of wine and talks through what they are working on. They do a 1x week Social Media Sync where you can learn strategic approaches to LinkedIn/Facebook/Twitter/etc. TED+Beer: watch a TED talk and discuss. The first week there you get vetted. You get a card and have to get it signed by three other members after you grab coffee or lunch together. Builds community AND screens for Crazy Person. Very smart.
The real selling points for me though are the space: brick walls, clean desks, access to an outdoor deck, and loose tea leaves in addition to "slow coffee". See those desks in the way, way back (as Brex would say), those are the dedicated desks.
THEN I came home and had a phone call. My co-conspirator from our old mother ship landed at Cool Company. They have roots in the agency world with elements of experiential marketing and digital motion graphics. They proposed keeping me on a 20-hour/week retainer with the option for more hours. Which means, pending the dollar/hour amount, that 20-hours could equal my old salary!
I have a call with Go Go Woman's company this afternoon to start doing projects for them. A call with Chicago woman next week to see how to plug me into a few things she's cooking up. AND a meeting tomorrow with Local Agency to see how they might use me going forward. Plus ongoing projects with Mother Ship. Do the math and I already need help!
So, I need to find some freelancers who can handle some of this.
Yikes. I need to figure out a company name and get an S-corp set up ASAP. Fortunately the co-working space has a certified financial planner!
Let the Empire Building begin!