Could I have gone solo earlier?

silhouette of man standing beside ocean during sunset

I’ve had a really good week. I’ve got some really excellent work lined up for the next few months, which plays to my strengths while moving into my area of particular interest for the future, organisational behaviour. I’ve finished my degree, handing in two assignments for my Educating for Knowledge and Understanding course and finishing the final draft of my special project. And I went to an interesting event last night organised by General Assembly and Women’s Agenda with a number of female founders talking about their “journey”. [Check out #femalefounders on Twutter for more on that.]

Listening to Cyan Ta’eed of Envato talking about setting up her graphic design business in her 20s, a thought occurred to me, one that is a bit difficult to articulate but seems important to me. For most of my career I was pretty happy, and if I look at what I’m doing now, and enjoying, it isn’t a million miles from what I was doing then. The difference, the real heart of the issue, is that I am now my own boss: my ideas are taken into account, I can be focused on the outcome, not the process and I manage my time the way that works best for me. So my question is, could I have done this before? Five, ten, even fifteen years ago? As I thought about this yesterday, the answer I came up with was, no, probably not. I needed to travel every step of the road that brought me here to appreciate it and for it to work. Without the experience on my CV of working in the Commission all those years, would people here be willing to give me a chance? Without the insight gained from twenty years of doing something, would people be turning to me to help? My skills aren’t legal or design or even technical that are easily grasped and marketed. What I have to offer (I think, I hope) is based on a certain level of experience, emotional awareness, insight and an ability to see things from many different angles. In a way, this is actually quite an encouraging thought. It helps me make sense of everything that has happened and avoid any sense of having wasted time.

Published by Antonia

I'm a British citizen and European Union offical, who lives in Brussels again after 6 years in London and 8 in Melbourne. I went to the London School of Economics and University of Melbourne. In 2008 I took part in the Eisenhower Fellowship Multination Programme, the subject of 3 of my blogs. You can find me on Twitter as @antoniamochan or @antoniam

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