No, I'm not retired!
For many years now, I have been looking for the right opportunity to strike out on my own. At first I had a few ideas that looked promising, but I was not in a position to leave my full-time employment. Being the sole bread winner in the family, or later, being a single parent, the prospect of trading in a guaranteed paycheck for a long shot at future wealth, just didn't seem like a good plan.
This time around, things worked out a better. This time, I had a great idea and enough of a cushion financially to give it a try. With my wife working and managing most of our income needs, I would be able to take some time off to try and get a product off the ground. Now, what to tell my family?
I come from a fairly large family. There are 6 kids (well, we were kids at one time) and my mother. All of us went down the conventional path of getting a job and bringing home a paycheck. Not a self-employed one in the bunch. When I first told my mother my plans, she seemed to understand what I was doing. It wasn't until hearing back from from my brothers and sisters, that I began to realize that maybe she didn't really get it. I kept hearing, "Now that you are retired, what are you going to do?". I guess the concept of not working at a company, but still having a full-time job is foreign to my mother.
Since starting this venture, it has been more than a full-time job. There have been weeks where I have put in seven, 12-hour days. I'd get up, have breakfast with my wife and head off to the office (a few steps from the table actually), work a solid nine hours, have dinner and work another three hours before bedtime. Not all of the work is necessarily in my field of expertise. Sometimes I take breaks from the design and development to handle things like business plans, mechanical designs, office maintenance and such. Occasionally I do fun stuff too, like shop for more tools on Ebay.
A few times my day has been interrupted to come to my Mom's rescue. Once it was a broken garbage disposal (it had a little too much fiber in its' diet, i.e. paper towels). Another time she accidentally locked herself out of the house. Both times, my Mom felt that I was the only one with nothing better to do. In talking to her, she asks "What do you do with the extra time on your hands?" What extra time? I'm not retired!
Hopefully, all of this will work out. Hopefully, the product I'm working on will be successful and lead into more products. Hopefully, I can manage the costs of these products and see a profit. And hopefully, some day I can retire (and so can my wife)!
It would be good to hear from any of you out there that have successfully navigated this process. In the meantime, I'll keep you posted on how my journey proceeds and move my posts into subjects a little more related to embedded systems.
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