My work day started today with the usual quick scan through the multitude of emails that I receive daily. I have always found this activity a gentle way to start my day (which generally begins somewhere between 5:30 and 6:30 AM). I’ve also found that at times my attention is directed to particularly poignant articles relating to some facet of my business as an independent software developer. This mornings find is just such an article.
My find? “The myth of being successfully solo in business” is a brief article that caught my eye and started me thinking about just how dependent an “independent” software developer is. Let me explain a bit without (hopefully) you not reading the linked article.
The article explores what is described as “…the myth of the successful solopreneur…”, and explores also how “…we can’t do it ourselves”. Now, THAT is something I’ve realized over and over again through my years as an independent software developer! However, my memory gets pretty short with certain learning I’ve noticed, and especially when faced with this myth!
The impossibility of doing all the things yourself that are provided for you when you are an employee seems to escape many of us self-employed, and often we think we’re some kind of super human who CAN do it! I’ve personally had one of those reminders recently as the result of my wife’s broken ankle back in mid May. Since the time of her injury, ALL of the household responsibilities AND the income producing responsibilities have been on my shoulders.
Fortunately, I don’t have an office out of the home that I have to go to – but I do have the occasional visit required to my local customers. All of these activities have at times been very much overwhelming — and certainly indicative that I “can’t do it” solo. Through this period I have met with exceptional understanding from my clients and considerable help with meals prepared by friends and shared with us.
While what I refer to above might seem more personal than business related, I call it to your attention in light of the referenced article, and as another indication that being an independent software developer still requires others. Professionally I’m a part of the Northeast Dataflex Consortium, a dedicated group of professional developers who support each other in many ways. Those of us who are independent software developers are also dependent upon our vendors, customers AND indeed all of those around us in some way.