What do you want from life?

By November 13, 2016Blogs

I’m not an expert. I’m just a guy who likes to think about stuff.

I’m going to start every blog post with the preceding sentence. You know why? Because it gets to the core of who I am. I’m not much of a talker. I spend most of my time in my head thinking about…life! What we want from our lives should always be on our minds. Hence, this post.

This is my first post on my first website! I must admit that I was intimidated creating the website by myself. I had never built a website before. I reached out to professional website designers. They wanted to charge me $1000-$2000. No thanks! I contacted others whose websites I admired. Many of them advised me that they built their websites themselves. They said that there are many companies, like WordPress, Wix, and Squarespace, which have website builders that are easy to follow. I’m a caveman when it comes to technology. I text with one finger, stabbing at my phone like a bird does its prey. I still check voicemails. I even looked into getting a fax number. Who still faxes? Don’t judge me… Anyway, I ended up using Wix, but I’m sure any of the other companies would have done just as good a job. Email me and let me know what you think of the site. I welcome feedback…of the constructive type.

What made me so scared to build a website? Fear of the unknown. For years, I worked as a product development engineer. I knew that job well. Start with an idea and develop it while testing it along the way. To be frank, I was on autopilot for years before I was forced to make changes. I was working at a small medical device company on a 1 year contract. No problem. About 5 months into the contract, the CEO called me into his office. The CTO and COO were already there. The CEO told me that the company wanted to focus more on sales and that that day would be my last day. What was I going to do next?

I had to make a decision. Was I going to look for another job, or go it alone? If I thought building a website was scary, deciding to become an independent worker was terrifying! What made me make the decision to go solo?

I had to decide what I wanted in life. I also had to decide that I deserved what I wanted in life. Up until that unceremonious dismissal, I had never been let go before. Sure, it was a blow to my ego, but it was also a wakeup call. I wasn’t really happy with the work I was doing, but I kept doing it because I didn’t think I deserved better. I didn’t believe I had options. I’d say to myself, “yeah, I don’t care for the job, but at least money is coming into my bank account every other week.” My mentality was all wrong. I had to decide what I value. And you know what that was? To never again be in a position for someone to tell me to hit the bricks! I realized that, as an employee of a company, I’d always be in that position. Most US states offer at-will employment, meaning that a company can fire you with no warning and no cause. I was adamant about shielding myself from such conditions.

How to do it, though? Work for myself, of course! In my case, I’m a registered patent agent. A patent agent writes and files patent applications for inventors. Have an invention idea? Talk to a patent agent. I realized that companies without intellectual property staff would need such a service. Companies invent things all the time and want to keep their competitors from stealing their technology. Individual inventors can also benefit from patent agents, since they may not know the process for applying for a patent. I was addressing a need, and I didn’t need to be an employee to do so. I could be in charge of everything. How I did the work. How I got new clients. How much I charged. EVERYTHING! What’s not to like? I’ve never been happier.

Ultimately, you just have to ask yourself: “do I deserve to do the work that I want?” Or more broadly, “do I deserve to live the life I want?” For me, the answer to both questions was a resounding YES! And now here I am, writing this blog post. No one is ever going to call me into an office again. Unless it’s to talk about doing business, of course!

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