June 19, 2006

It's a lot like cliff jumping.

You know when you go cliff jumping? You've made it to the top of the cliff. You get that rush when you peer over the edge, down into the black water below. You get a little wobbly as you stand there thinking, "Wow. It looks a lot higher up here..." You start having second thoughts and realise that you could just walk away, but then you have to live with yourself knowing that you never really tried.

As you stand teetering on the edge, you know the water's going to be cold and you know you need to keep away from the pile of rocks off to the side, but you've done your research. It can be done. You just need to let your feet leave the ground. You just need to let your feet leave the ground.

You've picked the best place to jump from and you've developed a certain amount of diving technique over the years, and after a few false starts, you step towards the water.

And then your guts get pushed up into your throat and you can feel the wind rushing up agains the soles of your feet and the palms of your hands. And then you feel weightless.

And then you hit the water with a spash, surprised that the water doesn't feel anywhere near as cold as you thought it would. Maybe because your heart is beating a million miles a minute.

And as you swim back to shore, you think, "I've got to do that again!" And with a little more courage and a little less effort, you fling yourself from the top of the cliff again, and again, and again, wondering why you can't live every moment of every day with the excitement you get from taking a leap into the unknown.

After having been "an employee" since I was 14, that's what being self-employed feels like to me. I stepped away from my job and now I'm doing business and economic development consulting on contract. It's awesome.

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