It has been about four years since I first decided to step into the consulting lifestyle.Â In that time one of my â€œchildrenâ€ has completed High School, and then his first year of college.Â Next year my daughter will finish High School as well.
It has been an amazing four years for me â€“ I have been able to spend time with my kids as required â€“ but mostly I have been able to spend an inordinate amount of time learning.Â Ten years ago I learned by reading books â€“ today I learn more by surfing the Internet â€“ it is still reading, but it is so much faster, and so much more available (and â€œfind-able!â€.
One of the things my time in consulting has taught me is that I miss people.Â I miss the challenge of building teams â€“ not just hiring people, but building functional groups that work well together to build more than any single persons could have done.
So, taking stock of my life, as I am often wanton to do, I asked myself, â€œWhat is nextâ€?Â In a year I will have two kids in college, and perhaps neither of them left at home.
It was time for me to answer the question, â€œWhat does Rob want?â€.
So I looked back in my life experiences and tried to zero in on what made me the most happy â€“ what did I love to do so much that I could do it for the rest of my life?Â Raising children certainly tops my list â€“ but I canâ€™t raise them forever â€“ in fact, I am already being outsourced in that position â€“ by my children themselves.
Raising children is like building good teams – the end goal is that eventually they wonâ€™t need depend on you anymore.
I decided I needed to go back to work with people â€“ preferably young, energetic people, and certainly people smarter than I am.Â I have always been lucky in surrounding myself with people smarter than I am (and please â€“ PAUL! â€“ no comments that this should be easy â€“ it isnâ€™t).
This realization came over a several month period â€“ I didnâ€™t wake up one day having come to this â€œepiphanyâ€.
I missed building teams.Â I need to work with smart people.Â I MUST work for a company that understands that I am a unique person â€“ I am opinionated, passionate, determined, outspoken, opinionated, and outspoken.Â And I am sorry if I repeated myself.Â And I am sorry if I repeated myself.
I need a company that doesnâ€™t exist outside of startups â€“ I needed security, because I will have two kids in college.Â It must be nimble.Â It must be willing to listen, and learn â€“ even as it teaches.Â But I also needed the excitement that keeps me engaged.Â I need to constantly invent.Â I need to work with smart people that will make me smarter.Â I needed to be someplace that allows me to make a difference every day.Â I needed to build something that affects a lot of people, because after helping build WiFi â€“ it takes a big project to be a â€œbig dealâ€.
And most of all â€“ I need to be able to help.Â My work must have value â€“ to me, and to the people I work with.Â And to the customers â€“ who I never shy away from or refuse a conversation with.
In the next day or two I hope to share with you the company that is all of that, and more.Â How much more is something I expect to find out soon â€“ and something I hope to grow over time.
But donâ€™t worry â€“ I wonâ€™t change my blogging style/habits.Â I wouldnâ€™t work for a company that thought they could control my freedom of expression outside the office.
The list of companies I wouldnâ€™t work for is rather large.Â So Iâ€™ll save you that and instead share with you in the next couple days who I would work for â€“ and I will tell you exactly why I made that choice.