I took the road…

Posted on Thursday, 14 September, 2006 by


A lot is happening. I started to be more serious about working for myself. I am thinking really hard how to mould ideas that I have for learning, for development, for community building, into marketable (or sponsorable) business plans. Very tiresome, as it is not easy to combine. Most people value the type of knowledge networks I am thinking about- until they are asked to pay. During this whole exercise I discovered I have a fatigue with donordriven projects- much deeper than I knew of. I wonder why, as my experiences with donor financed projects are mainly positive.

After my first steps into this process of working for myself (note how I dread calling it my company or my business) I unexpectedly got a job offer. It was for a job and an employer I would have really liked to have, as little as six months ago. Timing couldn’t have been worse: I did not have any paid work at that moment. It was very disturbing to have to seriously reconsider which-way-to-go: I had just taken my first steps on the ‘independent’ road, and although totally ignorant of where the road will lead me, I really enjoyed the mere act of walking straight, towards a goal on the horizon, instead of walking in circles. I had been dawdling for sooo long at those crossroads between work in a job or work for myself as I wanted to go the road of a job but did not find any.

Many of my friends said I should accept. I was terrified to turn it down. But I did. This means that working-for-myself is now no longer a pastime but a deliberate choice, an alternative to a serious career-oriented job.

Fortunately by now, I have a few first assignments… and working hard on leads and ideas. I started to collaborate more seriously with a business association, which provides some of the team spirit I desperately need.

During my first steps, I have a very akward dual experience: I  realize how much I’ve learned and how little of that is needed to be of (some) use to other people and simultaneously I realize how very little I know and how much there is to learn.

It is so easy to be paralized by the staggering amount of knowledge there is to be mastered. I often plan to write a blogpost, before I start I take a quick read of my bloglines. And then one of two things happen, or both: I just cannot stop reading as one link leads to the next and after a long time I pull myself away, thirsty and in a dark house, or I feel totally overwhelmed and humble and discouraged to write anything.

Yet when reaching out to people around you in businesses and organizations, in small and medium enterprises and multinationals alike, many of them have never really thought about issues I am grappling with. Their ears are flapping before I even started to explain what it is I am so interested in. I am still unsure of my route into this unknown landscape…

flapping ears

Posted in: learning log