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What do you do for a living?

28th October 2010

My Father has worked for the same business for over 32 years. When he started, it was an opportunity for a stable job. Then over time it provided a way for him to support his family. The work has had its ups and downs and it was not where he would have seen himself as a kid. He pursues things he is passionate about in his spare time and on weekends.

I appreciate how he set me up for life. His work ethic and people skills are with me today.

The work landscape has changed since his time. I will not work for a company for 32 years. Companies nowdays, run by shareholders and accountants do not look after their people. The workforce has more options now and is more transcient.

I worked for two companies after leaving university. Each for under 2 years. I have now started my own business and we are currently 1 year and 7 months old, and going great. I was able to do this for a number of reasons, I live in a prosperous, beautiful country, Australia. I have the support of friends and family. My occupation, designing websites for rural NSW, can be done with little capital or overhead expenses (no inventory or renting shop space).

As I have grown my micro business I have associated with like minded people. I have also been reading on subjects related to this workplace shift. I have found it to be more prevalent than I expected. More and more people are removing themselves from a corporate machine and pursuing their own dreams.

For us the decision was based on a lifestyle choice. We could uproot our young family from beautiful rural NSW, move to a capital city, I could earn big bucks to pay off an expensive house and never see my children. Or, we could create and grown a small business to support our modest needs, stay in Armidale, work from home, see my family and do something I am passionate about. Instead of just doing something I love on the weekends, I get to do it every day, and all my effort contributes to my family.

There are more and more people like me. Autonomous professionals that provide a service for individuals and businesses. Other businesses remain smaller, concentrating on their core competency and using people like me as they need to. I have become the web department for businesses who can't afford or justify a full time member of staff.

The goals of these autonomous micro businesses are not to grow bigger and richer. More staff, bigger offices, a large client base, corporate phone and car, these are not what gets them up of a morning. Our objectives are a money source to support a family with time to live well. We think we will cap our client numbers. We have found that ongoing improvments and updates from existing clients has kept us going. This could even mean we can cut down weekly work hours, it is naturally high to begin with, but as client relationships develop we can add value to their business quickly and easily and will be compensated for it. These spare hours in the week will mean more time with the family, long weekends every week, we are free to pursue other non commercial passions. The options are endless and so satisfying to consider.

So if you are sick of being a corporate monkey in a smog filled city, come to Armidale or some other idyllic rural setting, get cheaper housing, less commuting time, more family time and grow a business you are passionate about.