This past Friday my wife gave her two week’s notice at a job she’s had for thirteen years. She is leaving to team up with me and run our own business.
I am a healthy mix of excited and terrified.
Excited because it’s always been a dream of mine to work alongside her full time. My wife is my best friend, and to spend nine hours of every weekday apart is a drag. In winter, when it gets dark early, it feels like I hardly see her at all for five of the seven days of the week.
I’ve never been a fan of the eight hour workday.* I’ve watched as people spend a lot of that time working unproductively, if at all. We all need breaks, of course, but how many times in an office do we feel burned out and know we’re not giving it our all, only to be forced to stay at the desk until a designated time? How is that efficient? You’re being paid not for the work you do, but the warmth your butt provides the chair as you wait for quitting time.
Ideally people would work hard from 9-5 every day, with no time lost to feeling out of energy around the 4 o’clock hour or gossip that extends lunch breaks an extra 20 minutes. But we’re humans. We aren’t robots.
At any rate, we’re embarking on an exciting new journey together. It will mean some sacrifices as, at the start, all regularly-scheduled paychecks suddenly disappear. Savings will have to hold us up until we produce something that can keep the light bill paid. (Side note, working while you get this bit up and running is a wise move, but it wasn’t what we felt was a good fit for us. So we took the alternate route. I can’t say I recommend it to others, though. If you want to quit your job, it’s best to have your side business up and running and then transition it into your main job.) If we don’t produce something, the lights get shut off. Pretty good motivation to work hard, ha ha.
That is where the terror comes in. The little voice whispering from the outside that says “What are you doing? You’ll die. You’ll lose your house and possessions and all sorts of terrible things will happen.”
The reason that voice is scary is because it isn’t completely lying. This whole thing could fail, and we would have to deal with that. I can tell you that I’ve failed many times at many things, and it’s my faith in God that keeps the anxiety over future failures to a minimum. Still, if I’ve learned nothing else in this past year (which I have; it’s been an amazing year of growth for me) it is that Fear is a bad thing to let drive your life.
Fear is great when a tiger is in the backyard. You need that fear to not be eaten by the tiger. But to allow it to control you for weeks and months and years of the short time you have on this planet doesn’t feel right to me. One should be wise, and not run towards extreme danger, but to avoid leaps into the unknown simply because we’re afraid will inevitably lead to regret. We will wake up at age 90 (should we live that long) and wonder “what if?”
In 2018, my wife and I are going to answer “what if.” We are pairing her analytical mind of skills in programming and engineering with my creative brain that draws funny pictures and sometimes gets distracted looking out the office window at clouds- hey, look at that one there, that kind of looks like Mickey Mouse. Ha ha…
Um. What was I saying?
Right, we’re teaming up under the banner of Weekend Panda, an indie game studio of just two employees. Will it work? I don’t know. Will we starve? It’s unlikely. Will I have to return to my old job working at a local bowling alley because we have a mortgage and after nine months all our games and apps proved to be flops? It’s certainly possible! One thing is certain: we will face the challenge together. And I can’t begin to tell you how happy that makes me.
* Some people thrive on a secure, normal job like this. Please don’t misunderstand and think I’m saying it’s wrong. Everyone has to find what is best for them. Working certain hours regardless of how productive I am is simply not a good fit for me. I am less productive in such a setting. Results vary from person to person, though. If you’ve found you thrive in a 9am – 5pm setting, I’m absolutely thrilled for you! It sure beats doing something you hate, which is what many people do just because others tell them it’s “just the way things are.”