Today is April’s Fools and the very day one year ago, I left the corporate world for the business world. I changed from an office cubicle to a home office desk. I changed from carrying my haversack to carrying my files and pens from my living room to my study room. I changed from wearing polo tee and jeans to polo tee and shorts. Most importantly, I changed from working non-stop at all hours (really all hours) to working with hours within my control.
I do miss the buzzing of a busy working environment, the non-stop ringing of a phone in the background, the occasional head popping up at my desk for a chat or to ask for advice and particularly the daily question “Where shall we go for lunch today?”. The battles between colleagues leave scars that I am proud of, the negotiations between customers and us (especially when I won), the spirit of the whole team chugging behind me when we go all out to fight for the same goal. All for one and one for all. The scale of major projects dumped on my lap leave me exhilarating and breathless, yet the satisfaction derived from seeing a project’s success is indescribable.
When I left the corporate world, I did know what I’m going to do. Well-meaning friends throw all sorts of advice from taking a break, traveling, study, enjoying my life and retiring. Retired? I still have another good 40 years to go before I call it quits! I did temper around the idea of studying and did a couple of courses online. I thought of being a student full time, enrolling in a university at this age could open up a new insight into my closing mind. As I couldn’t make up my mind about committing which course (and which cost?!), I woke up with a brilliant idea of setting up MiddleMe.
With MiddleMe, the idea was to reach out to more people and expose MiddleMe to the public. The success of MiddleMe brought in freelancing opportunities when people enjoy my articles and like the way I think, I write. With both of my feet planted firmly on the ground with MiddleMe and freelancing, comes business opportunities pouring in. I am working on some of the biggest projects in my life, learning and absorbing from some of the inspirational folks that I wouldn’t have met in my line of work.
What I have now is even more challenging and exhilarating. The monetary profits may not be as lucrative and steady in terms of a regular income. I may miss the office chitchats and an occasional pat on the back by my boss. (This is the part where you give me a hug in the comments below. *grin*) The work I do is no less impactful and no less important than I was doing working for someone. In fact, my clients and my readers’ feedback and comments affect me much more than in the past. When you work for a company, people’s comments are directed at your company, your brand, your department as a whole but now, the comments are directed at my capabilities. It becomes personal. Sometimes too personal that my pride takes a direct hit. But I learned to fall gracefully like a ballerina and rise up like a flaming phoenix.
With this, I thank all my mentors, my colleagues, my clients, my friends and you, for giving me the chance when you have the power to decide, for believing that I can do it, for the extra *hugs* and kudos I get in my comments, for the push and the shove when I need it. And lastly, to my detractors, thank you so much for giving me the chance to prove it to you that you are WRONG!