When my life as an employee was coming to an end it gave me some time to think about exactly what led to my overall frustration and that would contrast with my new life as a business.
The conclusion I reached turned out to be relatively simple. Your working life is about projects, and the relative success of each affects your self-esteem and work ethic. In my case, those projects were websites, and my metric for success was “does this finished site make me happy?” While there are some I am distinctly proud of, they are decidedly the minority; beacons of light in an otherwise hazy ocean.
However, when you become a business, the business becomes your project, and what used to be projects become tasks to further the progress of that project. The previous metric of success for individual tasks is no longer the deciding factor in your happiness; instead, you’re happy when:
- You have more work to do.
- Your client is happy, because it begets #1.
For me, it’s as simple as that. When you can be proud of an individual project, that’s a bonus.