It's hard for me to describe how I've been feeling since I came back to Holland this week, partly because of the nasty flu I caught, but something feels different. Quitting my job was a difficult thing to do, but I don't regret it at all (so far). I am enjoying the feeling of freedom immensely. But unlike last year, when I was here, I was having trouble motivating myself because I kept thinking that "I will find a job soon anyway so what's the point?". This time is different. I know that I am not going to look for a job, which changes my entire perspective on life. No longer is Holland the temporary place that I pass through to find something 'better', now Holland is my base of operations from where I will rule the world. Don't get me wrong, I still think it's shit. But this time I am able to accept it.
As you can see from my previous post, I've set myself a bunch of goals, and most of the business goals are quite modest. I'm still orienting myself, trying to find out which way of making money I like the most, and which way requires the least amount of time. Optimizing working hours and enjoyment. I'm going to start work on two unrelated ideas, one a website, the other an iPhone app. I hope I can add one more project to my list, but I'm not sure if my time or motivation will give out before that. The best thing about working for myself is that I can choose that third project to be exactly what I want to do.
I do have one epic idea left but it would require expertise beyond my skills. It involves machine learning and image recognition, and would be a very interesting challenge for me. I'm not quite sure yet if I want to do this or pursue something a bit more profitable, like finding small paid projects to do online, or participating in topcoder.com. I'm probably too optimistic about the amount of time I can be focused on my prjoects and I'll end up dropping a project. But that's ok. I will be quite happy to have tried.
I'm a lot happier now. Back in London I was facing a year of work in an IT company. Admittedly, the company and the people were great and the work was cutting-edge, but I don't think that at the end of the year I could have improved myself as much as I can now that I am working for myself. Or rather, the direction I am taking is different. By working for myself I get to expand my skills in a very wide range of areas. If I had stayed on as a programmer I could perhaps have become a much better programmer. I thought about this before, and the conclusion I reached was: "I can't improve the world by becoming a better developer". There's a whole range of other skills that I want to develop first. Note that these skills are mostly related to programming, but rather than going deeper into one topic, I want to broaden my range of topics.
It's been a long time since I've written an introspective post on this blog that I felt happy with. This is no exception. Practice makes perfect, so I plan to do some more writing on here to get back my feel for the language.
Freelance programmer for hire!