Working For Yourself Is The Best

I am currently sitting at the kitchen table in a “Villa” in Fairmont Springs British Columbia, Canada.  Working.

My wife and son and two beautiful Grandkids (who you have met here before) are away skiing on a beautiful sunny day with a Temperature of ab0ut +6C.  Very nice.

But here I am working.  But why does it feel so good ?

The fact is, though, that I love all the facts listed above. 

Working FOR yourself, and BY yourself means you are NEVER off-line for longer than a few hours at a time (like when travelling here all the way from the East by plane and rental car (although I HAVE worked on-line in cars more than once)).  In fact yesterday I spent the bulk of the day logged in using the WIFI at the Ski Resort with both Wendy and I on-line working away while waving  encouragement out the window.

This is my reality and I love it !!

Being an Excel and Access developer means that you are pretty much going to be a one-man band.  It also means that if you want to take vacations you cannot tell your bosses that you are going away – because your bosses (clients) don’t care about your schedule or your life :-).  Oh sure some of them are considerate about development but if they have a problem in their business and you are the person they need to fix it – YOU ARE GETTING A CALL !!  And this fact means that we may just continue to make a living doing this.

Every time I work out in public because, like yesterday, it allows me to share time with my family in important moments, like their first ski lesson, I get dirty looks and sometimes comments from strangers about “getting a life” or some such thing.  But they don’t realize that I AM the business I work for and without me everything stops COLD.  Any small business owner understands that.  I am just SO lucky that thanks to the Internet and Citrix and VPNs I am free to mix my personal travels with my business ina way that’s a “win-win” for me, my family AND my clients.  And my smart clients understand and appreciate that.

Back to work with the Mountain view outside the window all directions.


About Biggus Dickus

Dick is a consultant in London, ON Canada who specializes in Microsoft Excel and Microsoft Office Development.
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10 Responses to Working For Yourself Is The Best

  1. Matt says:

    Sounds amazing – it’s definitely something I’m considering doing myself at some point in the near future.


  2. Claire says:

    That sounds amazing. Though working in a car…not so much 🙂 I definitely find that I’m more productive in an office environment than I am in my apartment, but I’ve never tried working slopeside!

  3. Monica Rooms says:

    Hi, Dick. I’m excited that you have found an outlit that fits your lifestyle and hope this is the future of the way we work. Integrating our lives and our jobs into a cohisive, enjoyable and pleasurable unit, where location matters little.

    The only thing that nags at me is that you never get a chance to be totally free, away from any work. What about very cool festivals like Burning Man, where you go live for a week or two in the desert? Do you have anyone you can tap as a backup?

    Anyway, I’ve been programming and using Access/Excel for a number of years… If you’re ever interested in truely taking a break, or need some backup, feel free to contact me. It sounds like you’re a nice guy with a good head on your shoulders. Take care. 🙂

    • Biggus Dickus says:

      I guess if your idea of a good time is going “off the grid” then yeah, this job ain’t for you :-).

      Thanx for the offer Monica. I’ll definitely keep you in mind.


  4. Simon says:

    Hey Dick
    I was standing in a (ski) lift queue 2 weeks ago when my pocket started ringing. Mistakenly I answered thinking it was one of my mates. It was a client asking hard technical questions, whilst I shuffled the kids into the right place to get us all on the same chair lift!. During holidays I would rather be ’employee on holiday’ I think, its the day to day when being an indie is best for me.

    • Biggus Dickus says:

      Hey Simon:

      Just yesterday I was standing at the base of the ski-hill here and talked a client up in Northern Canada through determining that for some reason she had Office 2000 on her machine (while the corporate standard was 2003 still) and that’s why my Excel app failed on her machine.

      It took about 3 minutes and everyone went away happy (on her way to IT to get upgraded) me back to watching Grand-kids on the hill.

      “Employee on holiday” implies that you find a “job” better than the uncertainties of being an “independent consultant”. I can see why one would make that decision but look for my future comments on Dick’s site that you referenced the other day about that…

      We should have a chat my friend. Next week I’ll be back home.


      • Simon says:

        I could never be an employee, but I like the way they can walk away on holiday and either someone else covers or stuff gets left and everyone accepts that.
        I’ve got plenty more self employed cards up my sleeve to cover for the Office dev die off.
        Enjoy your hols

      • Biggus Dickus says:

        “the Office dev die off.”

        I like that phrase …..

  5. Tracy Smith says:

    I very much empathize and relate to the scenarios you’re talking about here. I like you love my work environment!

    About three years ago I was almost killed in a cycling accident. Since I am the business, two consequences of that was 1-the revenue faucet turned off for about three months and 2-my clients had to consider their status with my “products” if I’m not there. My comeback to my clients is usually the likelihood of something happening to me is probably less likely than my competition going out of business. My other contention is that Access/SQL Server solutions are mainstream and open-source enough that if something did happen to me, someone could figure my stuff out.
    I’d be curious how you respond to this concern from your clients?

    • Biggus Dickus says:

      Hey Tracy…… Further to our chat in the hall a few minutes ago 🙂 … I have designated a younger person as my heir-apparent in case something should happen to me. As a one-man band there really isn’t any on-going value to my company after I am gone but in order to satisfy the occasional question about this I have taken that measure.

      Of course the best solution is a marketplace full of younger Access and Excel developers and I;’m doing as much as I can to promote that idea.


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