I still think about that morning in the Winter of 2009 when we were all called into a conference room. A dull anxiety had been in the air for weeks, and that unsettling vibe was finally coming to fruition. On one hand I was relieved to learn was the mystery was all about, that is, until I actually found out.
There were a stack of packets on the table. One for each of us. Inside the envelopes were details about our departure. There were forms to sign and agreements to be made. If we wanted our severance pay, we would dutifully follow each step.
When I walked out of that conference room, I, along with all of my co-workers in the department, were unemployed. And so began my solo career.
You don’t always start a business; sometimes you’re thrust into it. I had a few friends who were willing to help get me started. I got a phone call from Bruce, the co-founder of lynda.com. “I hear you have some extra time on your hands. Let’s make some movies.” I began to put the pieces together.
A decade later, I’m still on my own. It’s so different now than having an employer. When I was in the publishing business, I never really worried about my job. It was just always there, until one morning when it wasn’t.
But now, every day seems to bring some new surprise. Clients and sponsors come and go. One moment you’re in a meeting at corporate headquarters, the next you’re a line item in a budget cut.
I can vaguely feel those changes before they materialize. It’s like a cold coming on. You don’t want to believe it’s real. It’s just a scratchy throat. Until it isn’t.
So I’m always thinking about what’s next. I have to. What can I do that’s new, that’s different. One of those new things is going to happen right here. It’s a funny story, actually. I can’t tell it quite yet. But I will. Sometimes you have to wait until the coast is clear.
Timing is everything, right? At least for the good stuff. As for the bad… well, there’s never a good time.