For years, I’ve kept a bucket list — a collection of experiences that I hope to check off before it’s “too late.” Some of the items are fairly inconsequential . . . mastering a Rubik's Cube like the 6th grader I met at a recent NHL hockey game. His fingers were a blur as he spun that block like a boss in less than a minute. One handed.
Other entries on my bucket list are more significant (and potentially life-altering) undertakings. I checked one of these items off years ago when I finally worked up the courage to skydive for the first time. This was no chaperoned tandem event. It was just me, standing alone on the narrow jump platform of the Cessna 206, white knuckled as I hung on and listened for the jump master’s commands over the roar of the engine. There I was, ready to jump out of a perfectly good airplane. With the thumbs-up signal from the jump master, I took a deep breath to steady my adrenaline-soaked nerves, and then let go.
It was the scariest, riskiest, most exhilarating thing I had ever done. I was hooked, so I booked another jump, then another. With each subsequent jump, my confidence increased as my fears subsided (although not entirely, what fun would that be?). I achieved a dream by letting go.
Now I’m ready for another big leap, but this time, my feet are planted on the ground. I’m crossing another item off from my bucket list as I step off the corporate platform, pull the ripcord on a predictable paycheck and join the roughly 16 million professionals who have leapt before me into the independent worker economy. The feelings are similar to those of my skydiving experience — scary as hell, exhilarating, and filled with excitement for what lies ahead.
So how about you? Have you ever dreamed of jumping out on your own, leaving the comfort of your corporate gig to strategically pursue the work you love on your own terms? You certainly wouldn't be alone. By some estimates, up to 40% of the American workforce, or 60 million people, will be independent workers by 2020. And with new technology platforms, mobile apps and co-working locations, self-employment no longer means isolation or disconnection.
Whether you’re thinking of launching from a cockpit or a company, here are three considerations that are critical to a successful landing:
With the launch of THRIO Consulting, LLC, I’m pleased that I can finally place a check mark on my bucket list next to “start my own independent consulting practice.” What's on your bucket list? If you need inspiration or encouragement to pursue your passions, let's connect. My goal is to help people and organizations realize their potential. Drop me a note and let's tackle some challenges together.