My freelancing decision

Earlier this week I was reminded of my decision to leave the seeming safety of permanent employment. Over supper in Buenos Aires a friend was describing her decision to go freelance and it made me reflect on my own decision.

My moment came six years ago. I remember vividly the surprising feeling of immediate comfort with the decision. There were no nagging doubts or caveats. It just felt right.

So why are some important decisions so easy and uncomplicated while others result in analysis paralysis?

I´m reading Malcolm Gladwell´s “Blink” at the moment. He talks about “thin-slicing” whereby expert decision-makers reduce the number of inputs into a decision to just one or two critical variables. The thrust of the book is that spontaneous decisions, based on limited information can be better than carefully considered ones, which may include numerous unconscious biases.

For example, Gladwell cites one study that shows that the respect (in the form of tone of voice) that a doctor uses when talking with patients is a better predictor of medical malpractise incidence than the doctor´s training, credentials or actual skill.

A rational, structured analysis of the decision to go freelance would likely consider job security, career progression, day rates, expenses, personal situation, current and future demand for skill sets, mobility, etc, etc…

But my thin slice at the time was simple: would I experience, learn and grow more where I was or as a freelancer? Decision made.

Of course we need to balance intuition and analysis in decision-making but perhaps we should all take a bit more notice of our unconscious thinking at times?

Iʼd like my crayons back, please.

Everyone is born creative; everyone is given a box of crayons in kindergarten.

Then when you hit puberty they take the crayons away and replace them with books on algebra etc. Being suddenly hit years later with the creative bug is just a wee voice telling you, “Iʼd like my crayons back, please.”       

~ Hugh MacLeod.  HowToBeCreative

Continue reading Iʼd like my crayons back, please.

In Perspective

It’s easy to over-complicate decisions in business and in life.

Too much information. Too many choices. Too many stakeholder voices. No clear winner.

How to strip away all the noise? How to create time and space for sense-making so that the end decision is sound?

A trip to the great outdoors always helps me get things in perspective. I’m not really sure why… Maybe because being surrounded by the forces of nature reminds me of how short life is. Being at sea or up a mountain is humbling because I am at the mercy of mother nature.

The great outdoors energises me and helps me see things more simply, more intuitively.

I probably knew the right decision from the start but now the choice is obvious.

I’m interested; how do you create time and space to get things in perspective? Does location play a part?

 

PS – If you haven’t already heard Steve Jobs’ speech at Stanford then I highly recommend it; “Remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life.” (VIDEO from 9:00 minutes)