A New Journey

Aug 18, 2009 by

Two weeks have passed since my birthday. It’sย  a new journey, not only as a 27th year old man, but also as a new entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur? Yeah, eventually I resigned from my ex-company to explore something new in my life. Five years ago, 2nd of August 2004, I started my first job, and exactly after five years of working, here I am, a new entrepreneur.

The Wild at Heart

Deep within I believe that I am not reaching my potential in my previous employment. I have thought about that since last December but didn’t put up enough courage to leave the job. There are series of events, series of books I read that lead me to the decision; but in short, I leave my job only knowing one thing, that it doesn’t make me alive.

Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and go do that, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
~Gil Bailie, quoted by John Eldredge (Wild at Heart)

Have you read the book Wild at Heart? It’s a book about man, not only the gender they were born with, but the adventure that they are meant to live.ย  This is the book that ignite my desire to find something new in my life.

The Highly Sensitive Person

Wild at Heart is not the only one book that influence me. The Highly Sensitive Person (HSP), a book by Elaine H. Aron, that describes my personality better than merely introverts. More than that, I also read Making Work Work for HSP by Barrie S. Jaeger. You can read more in my review of the book here. The book emphasized on the importance of boundary and self-care for HSP. But the book also depicts the unique strength of HSP, and where we can grow the most.

We are often original, complex, and talented, and can handle blending several different talents together in unconventional ways. But you may have to out on your own to do this, since finding a job where you can apply several skills may require considerable patience in the search, and strong social skills to cultivate a situation to your liking.
~Barrie S. Jaeger (Making Work Work for Highly Sensitive Person)

The Result-Oriented

I am convicted by an article by Scott H. Young, Don’t Pay Yourself By The Hour. I have gradually disliked the 9-5 culture because of its emphasize to stay 8 hours in the office even if you are sleeping, listening to music, playing game, surfing the net, and not being productive at all. Late comer needs to work later despite of their results. It’s the assumption that people is working only if they are in the office. With the advance of digital technology thus far, is that reasonable?

I have also listened to 4-Hour Workweek audio-book by Timothy Ferris, with again the same emphasize on result-oriented work, even to the extent of finishing the work within the first four hour of your day. It’s not about the number of hours you work, but putting quality at your work, that frees you for other things that matter in your life.

The other provocative statement Timothy inspired me is to “ask forgiveness, not permission”. He raised the idea of courage at work. I am a cautious person, maybe too cautious by nature, with tendency of fear in making mistakes and asking permission to run away from responsibility. That statement affected me to put more courage, to try things out, with desire to deliver more.

The Maverick

All what I have read and listened above, I am trying it out. It affected my values but unfortunately I don’t have the channel to express them. I have ever expressed the idea to one of my closest boss, only to get scolded. At the end, I am seen only as a maverick.

Webster Dictionary defined maverick as “a pioneer, an independent individual who does not go along with a group”. Does it sound bad?

Before you judge the mavericks, I want to share the following chapter on one of Top Ten Mistakes Leaders Make, No Room for Mavericks. You will see what mavericks can do for their leaders. Okay, it’s not a justification to all the mavericks out there; I have made mistakes as well as maverick. If you see at the end of the book, you will see the truly useful maverick. They are unselfish to meet the company goals and patience to earn the right to be heard, attributes I need to learn as well.

Over the past few months, I resent the company for not giving space to use my strength, they saw me as a maverick that needs to be changed. They saw me as a liability rather than an asset. I was stopped for being creative, and told to just do it. They don’t need a thinker, they only need a programmer. They don’t give me problem to solve, but rather software program to be written. I read the book, Go, Put Your Strength at Work by Marcus Buckingham, and it’s been my desire to find a work that can make use of my strength rather than coping with my current one.

The Incomplete

At the end, I’m just incomplete and confused, to live up what I believe, or to listen and obey what my bosses want. I tried to persevere for 6 months, and I found myself not performing my best. The company couldn’t trust me, and I couldn’t trust the company to share my knowledge and viewpoints on things.

One day I decided to take an action without permission, to continue my work from home to meet my deadline. Timothy Ferris suggested to call in sick and prove that you can work from home with more productivity. Nevertheless, I am convicted by a verse in the bible not to do it…

It is better to be a poor man than a liar
(Proverbs 19:22b)

Rather than calling in sick, I called in to ask to continue to work from home with a promise to deliver on time. It’s like I’m asking for a problem, but I don’t want to give them another impression that again I’m running away from my responsibility by calling in sick. At the very least, I have confidence that I am speaking the truth. I wanted to deliver, and I need more freedom rather than strict structure.

Unfortunately, my direct boss took it negatively. It grew his resentment, eventually the event leads to my decision to resign, they asked me to leave soon after, and here I am now in the new journey. I don’t consider myself as unemployed, I consider myself as an entrepreneur, a freelancer in web development and design. I want to see more of what I can do, to build more portfolio to build my confidence and other’s confidence.

Besides my freelance, I am also taking my part-time postgraduate study, Master of Science in Knowledge Management, a very interesting topic that I’ll share more with you later on.

That is my story and updates, thank you for reading. Thank you for supporting this new journey, a challenging journey, but a more fulfilling one.

Meanwhile, keep on smiling,
Robert

PS: Please let me know if you need my service in web/blog development, modification, and design, I’ll see what I can help you with. Contact me through the contact page.

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17 Comments

  1. Robert, congratulations for the new journey! It’s your chance to live your dreams. I wish you all the best.
    .-= Donald´s last blog ..How to Be a Better Person Day by Day =-.

  2. Hey Robert!

    All the best and good luck. Email me, I sometimes hire developers….
    .-= Michelle Vandepas´s last blog ..100 Ways To Birth Your Entrepreneurial Dream! Part 1 of 5 =-.

  3. Good luck in your new adventure! Please keep us posted.
    .-= Jean Browman-Cheerful Monk´s last blog ..Is It Possible to Be Overly Generous? =-.

  4. bikehikebabe

    Very good that you’re an adventuresome person. Not sitting in the same old “box” all your life, like so many do. Ahhh to be 27 again!

  5. Thanks guys! Really appreciate your support!
    Michelle, I’ll email you soon.
    BHB, hope you recover soon! getting into 27 again =)

    Thanks a lot,
    Robert

  6. I have a summer reading assignment over The Road by Cormac McCarthy. The topic is “In many works of literature, a physical journey – the literal movement from one place to another – plays a central role.
    How much do you have to write? This is a great book and the whole novel is a journey. They spend the whole novel on โ€œthe road.โ€ They use the road as a giant cheese grater for the soul. It IS the antagonist of the story.

  7. Congratulations Robert. I’m looking forward to following your journey.

  8. “Ask yourself what makes you come alive” Definitely motivating to me. Congratulations on your decision to become an entrepreneur, I wish you the best of luck.
    .-= Love Graphics´s last blog ..A beautiful women =-.

  9. Hi Robert! Inspiring Post as always. Waiting for many more to come.. ๐Ÿ™‚ Wish u the all the best in your journey!
    .-= Yuwana´s last blog ..I Am Afraid.. =-.

  10. Wow, congratulations Robert. Wishing you all the best with your new venture.
    .-= Avani Mehta´s last blog ..Enrich Your Life โ€“ Part 2 =-.

  11. Congratulation Robert. This is a start of something new. ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. Hi Robert, first of all Happy Belated Birthday! I too celebrate my Birthday during the month of August! I turned 23 here. Best of luck to you my friend on your new Entrepreneur journey =D I know you are a smart guy after reading many of your posts on this blog, so I know you will do just fine.

    Till then,

    Jean

  13. Sometimes something unpredictable happens that is changing life rapidly and some time you start to see that this event was best thing that could happen to you in a long period of time. I know that only time will show the truth, but as you said: this could be an opportunity to start something completely new. A new journey can take you to new world, metaphorically speaking ๐Ÿ™‚
    .-= Tipsy´s last blog ..Pazurki od Eweliny =-.

  14. Everyone, thanks a lot… i’ll keep u updated =)
    Avani, you continue blogging? great to know that!
    Yuwana, i didn’t know u were reading my posts, seems that we have some common friends (at facebook) thanks for the link also…
    Jean, happy birthday to you too… great to be 23 hahaha i’m still wishing i’m younger… ๐Ÿ™‚
    Cheers,
    Robert

  15. Michael

    Wish you all the best in the future, Robert! ๐Ÿ™‚
    Glad to know your last update.
    Btw, when will you finish your post graduate? Have any plan back to Indonesia?
    Keep contact my friend! God bless u…
    .-= Michael´s last blog ..Family Picture =-.

  16. Congratulations on a very good decision and best wishes for success as an entrepreneur.
    .-= Nicole Price´s last blog ..Indiaโ€™s Squabbling Siblings: A Tale of Two Billionaires =-.

  17. Thanks Robert =D

    Till then,

    Jean

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