The Mandalorian is obligated to reunite the baby with its own kind.
Galactica is out to find Earth.
Every house member in Westeros wants to control the iron throne.
You might be sensing a theme. Many of my favorite TV shows follow a similar structure. Whether they’ve chosen it intentionally or not, the main characters have a mission. But, they also have to solve a lot of other problems in each episode along the way.
This is how I see this next phase of my career as an independent consultant.
But, there are times when hiring a mercenary makes sense. I want to be the first choice a leader hires to help them get to their next milestone. To get them off to a better start or to help assemble, expand, and support their team of missionaries.
I’ve spent more than 15 years in tech gaining tons of depth in digital product development plus range across all the other business disciplines. I've built, contributed to, and managed products in multiple types of markets and a couple of different industries.
I want to leverage my experience, my strength in learning quickly, and ability to translate and communicate to help leaders and teams move forward in a better way.
Digital product development is hard. Many common models for developing them are a mismatch for what so many organizations really need and don't align everyone's incentives well. Even if you have access to tons of talent, funding, and expertise you need a whole lot of luck to succeed.
There are ways to improve your odds though.
I am making a bet that I can sustainably develop services that are less transactional. Engagements that give people in a few sweet spots a better chance at success by working with me for a few months, or even just for a workshop or course.
I am treating my consulting business as a “lifestyle business.” I don’t want to grow a big agency.
What I do want is to provide tons of value to clients, support a comfortable life for my family, but also create more flexibility. I want to be as involved as I can with my son in this time before he's in school. I also want to give back to the community more than I have been.
Professionally, my goal is to be able to carve out 20% time to experiment with new ideas that interest me, in markets I have less exposure to.
My professional mission is to help as many clients as I can within that framework, with the hope that I find a new spark in the process.
I'm a builder at heart. There's something irresistible to me about building something for myself and potential future partners and investors.
My personal mission during this "series" of consulting engagements is to zero in on problem space where I can build a future digital product business. One that produces something best represented by the meme of “Ikigai.”
I want to do what I’m good at: building something I'm interested in, that makes money. But, I also want that thing to be something that makes the world better in a sustainable way, even if it's small. If I can do that while living as many great days as I can, then that's the professional dream. Productive entrepreneurship plus a good life.
Most of the time, it takes 5-15 years to see a business like this through to maturity. Assuming it doesn't fail completely along the way.
When the time is right to devote my working life to building something new for that long, I hope to have spent this phase building confidence I've found the right "spot" to make my professional home. The best environment to produce "ikigai" along the way for me, my family, and as many others as possible.
This is the way.
This is not to suggest these team members, even as "missionaries" should not be compensated fairly. But, that's another post.↩