6 months ago I left my first ‘real world’ ‘real paid’ day job. Since then I’ve been coasting along working out what I really wanted to do with my life. I wasn’t happy at Kineo. I knew it, they knew it, it was pretty much obvious to everyone who spoke to me. Even my former boss, Steve Rayson, said that he picked up on a vibe where I was bored. Please don’t get the wrong impression, Kineo was a great company to work for. It just turns out that I’m not a worker, I’m a player. As pretentious as that sounds it means that I don’t like to think about what I do as work. I don’t work for anyone, or on anything, I play.
The trouble with playing is that it doesn’t often tend to pay the bills. There’s a fine line between playing for profit and procrastinating. It’s an incredibly tricky job to get it right. In many cases of the practice, playing for a living can be much harder than working. However the rewards, feelings and self satisfaction are much greater.
A year ago I was pretty much in a similar to position to where I am now. I’d just dropped out of / finished University and I was just coasting; starting the first bits and pieces of work for TinyGrab 2.0. In my spare time I was searching actively for a ‘real’ job in the ‘real’ world for ‘real’ money. I hadn’t yet been switched on to the concept of playing for a living. I find it fascinating, as do many of my friends and family, that I have some canny ability to pivot my life and situation around every 6 months or so. I’m not trying to sound like a cocky twat in the slightest, or even condone my actions; but whenever I’m in a rut I manage to pick myself up and pivot my life around, ready to work on the next chapter. I change and I adapt. Perhaps it’s luck, or perhaps I’m a restless guy who wont stop until his needs are met and fulfilled.
I’m now at a stage in my life where it seems that my constant pivoting is finally starting to pay off. Things seem to be going well. TinyGrab is running at full power, things at Real Dataware/Pitchie are starting to take form & happen and there haven’t been any major catastrophic dramas that could form the basis of a new Hollywood blockbuster.
Two weeks ago I was presenting at the Microsoft UK Imagine Cup Final 2011. I was giving a talk on TinyGrab and my role in its founding. The purpose of my talk was to prompt and inspire the already talented developers attending to go out and build great things. My method of communication may have changed, as well as the original direction of this post, my message stays the same now.
If you’re not happy in work, like, or anything else; change it. Make a pivot. Shake things up. Start playing about and doing things you love. Work out how your projects are going to make money later. Even if you only take an afternoon out a week to work on something you love, there’s a strong chance you’ll start to feel happier. As that idea evolves and grows you can start to expand that afternoon to a day, then a week and eventually a full week.
If you want to get rich quick, rob a bank. If you want to start feeling happy, creative and enjoying what you’re doing, make the change. Start playing.