That song by the Rolling Stones? Welcome to life as an independent worker

Once upon a time I was a member of the rank and file labour force. As an employee I would focus on completing tasks within my domain of expertise. Once my work was delivered, then someone else(s) would ensure that a nice amount of money made it to my bank account every month. If something not related to your area of expertise was not working, you would just email off a request for support and a lot of the time the problem would be fixed.

As I lie in bed on a Saturday morning having to fix about 30 issues to do the one thing I wanted to get done (building and sending an effective newsletter) I find myself thinking how much I miss that. Being able to pay someone to just-fix-the-fucking-problem. Instead of playing another round of this:

Was I wrong to leave it all behind me? It depends on which day you ask me.

There are many disadvantages to being an employee. The key one being that you do get to define what you want to spend your time and energy contributing to see happen in the world. Or the people you have to spend most of your waking hours with.

A second, and more important one has to do with personal resilience. Not being forced to deal with the long chain of misery and screw-ups involved in building something from scratch all the way to a experience/ product/service delivered to a happy participant/user/client/customer robs you of many opportunities to learn important new skills. There is a value in being reduced to staring at a wall of stuff that doesn’t work till you figure out what the problem is and how to fix it.

I keep telling myself this as I see yet another saturday passing by while I try to get through this never ending list of to-dos while others are enjoying another hour of sleep. Not entirely convinced, but very stubborn and sometimes it’s better not to ask too many questions anyway.