Because the alternative is unacceptable. I’ve worked my entire adult life. Even part of teenage years starting at age 14. I’ve worked for small businesses and large corporations. I even did a stint working for a non-profit for 5 years. At each opportunity the outcome was the same, either I walked away or I was asked to leave.
Most people shun the times they were fired but I wear them as a badge of honor. Every time I’ve been fired it reaffirmed that I can’t be tied down to a desk in someone else’s office affixed to their arbitrary schedule of when I should be creative. I am not a 9 to 5 guy. I’m not a morning person. I generate my creativity when I am inspired. Which is something the corporate world doesn’t understand.
Artists aren’t based on numbers (unless its fractal design) or accustomed to manufactured creativity. The best artistic moments of my life came during moments when I wasn’t thinking about what I should do. An artist needs the flexibility to seek out inspiration in moments of frustration or when one can’t really perceive an innovative way to produce the desired message in their current work.
A 9 to 5 doesn’t allow this. You can’t do this when IT is tracking every website you surf. HR is counting every second you are away from your desk. How can you seek out new direction when your connection to social media is blocked. Your email is monitored. You put creative shackles on every time you log onto your computer at work.
I don’t thrive in that environment. If I can help it, I’ll never have to spend another moment in the corporate landscape. I enjoy my freedom. It makes me a better artist and person. I need to come and go as I please its the American way. The self-employed life is harder by all means. You never know when you’ll get your next client. Will they pay on time? How will I pay for health insurance? Should I work or clear one more undiscovered fort in Skyrim? What’s new on Netflix?
A job is stability. Self-employment is freedom. As that old saying goes “freedom doesn’t come easy.” If I have to choose between a cushy, restrictive job that I hate or a hard, fulfilling life of creative freedom; that’s an easy choice to make.
So if you ask me, why am I self-employed? Its because to me the alternative is a creative death sentence.
written in a coffee shop at 12pm on a Friday afternoon.