While I’m starting the New Year with excited optimism, a friend facing redundancy is wondering how he’ll support his children.
The decision as to whether he gets to keep his job is in someone else’s hands. Meanwhile, I have a fresh appreciation on how I can reinvent my business whenever and however I like, and as quickly as I please.
My mate’s situation has led him to embrace the ancient corporate blood sport of politicking in order to shore up his position as an indispensible employee. Which is pretty funny, because he’s told me before that his pet hate of corporate life is the need to doff his cap to those higher up the ladder.
I find the situation a little ironic. This particular friend has also told me that he could never be a soloist because he doesn’t want to subject his family to the kind of risk that goes along with our lifestyle.
There’s no doubt that the decision to fly solo carries some risk. Getting comfortable with uncertainty is part of the deal. If you’re not prepared to do that, it’s probably not the life for you.
But if you’ve got a burning urge to be the master of your own destiny, to answer to no one but yourself, follow your dreams or to spend your time focussing on something you’re passionate about, you’ll find a way to make friends with that ambiguity.
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And of course, there are plenty of factors inside your control that can greatly affect how risky your particular soloist enterprise is.
I’ve no doubt that my friend will land on his feet whatever happens, either promoted within his current organisation or with a juicy new job somewhere else. But I was in his shoes a few years back, and living through limbo made it very clear to me that I’d rather face uncertainty I can influence than the so-called security of working for someone else.
What do you think? Is being self-employed risky business or a sure thing?