Have you ever thought about what it’s like to get old as a freelancer or the owner of a small development shop?
Or if you’re like me… how many times a day do you think about that question?
How will you keep up with changing technology?
How will you compete against 20-something hot shot coders when you’re 40 or 50 years old?
Are you building a business you can actually retire on?
Makes me think of the tune Footlights by Merle Haggard…
♫♫ I live the kinda life most men only dream of
I make my livin’ writin’ songs and singin’ them
But I’m forty-one years old and I ain’t got no place to go
When it’s over
So I hide my age and make the stage and
Try to kick the footlights out again. ♫♫
I don’t know how old you are, but I’d bet money that once you round the bend at age 39 you’ll start to see your career through different eyes.
Yeah, I know… here goes the old guy telling you that some day you’ll understand. (For the record, I’ll be 43 this August 🙂 )
But the more self-employed software developers I talk with, the more I hear the same damn thing no matter what their age:
“My technical chops just aren’t enough to get me where I want my career to go. I want a business I can retire on, and at the rate things are going I don’t see that happening… ever.”
You know what the answer to this quandary is. You know you have to refocus away from providing inputs (the skills that are like raw materials in a factory) to selling results (the thing that your clients want and can see on their profit and loss sheet).
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