If you’re a programmer (or indeed, in any related technical field, like web design, sysadmin etc), you know how to build stuff. You know how to take an idea and make it something worthwhile. Chances are, you’ve made a lot of money for your employers.
So you wonder, why are you doing all this work for others? You could start your own thing.
You think about starting your own company, working the hours you want, cutting out the middle man.
You think about writing a book, and becoming The Expert in your field.
You think about writing that cool open source program that will be used by everyone from Google to that hot new startup.
And then you do nothing.
Why is that?
You want to start something. One day, you think to yourself. One day, I’ll do it. And then they’ll see. You’ll finally show them the stuff you’re made of.
And that’s where you make your first mistake.
One day never comes.
You will never get extra time.
Your boss will never let you clock off early so you can build your own stuff. You’ll still be stuck pulling the same long hours for the same miserable pay.
Your spouse will never get a job with an investment bank and agree to support you (don’t laugh. I thought like this like for a long time, till my wife asked me to stop eating wild mushrooms).
You will always be short of time. You’ll need to squeeze every minute you have. Whether you start today, or ten years from now. Besides, if you spent even one hour in the last week watching TV, you have time to start your own project.
So why aren’t you starting today?
Maybe you did start. But you realised how hard the road is. How long and lonely it is. You start, but find the long grind very depressing. And so you give up.
And that’s where you make your second mistake.
You never finish anything. It’s not enough to have great ideas. You need to finish them too.
So find people like yourself. Form a group. Motivate each other. Offer help to others, and get support from them. That’s the only way to succeed. It’s hard for all of us. The road is hard enough without tripping over your own shoelaces. You will face many problems– don’t let stupid things like disappointment or depression stop you.
Form a group, and start today. Don’t wait for one day.
One day will never come.