I have been asked quite a few times why I am shutting down my business.
The general assumption is that I have gone bust, or that business has dried up. They are natural enough assumptions given the times that are in it. Neither in fact are is the case.
In the last few months I have turned down a lot of work. One contract I was offered would have been worth a considerable amount to me, running into the tens of thousands, but I turned it down?
If I had taken on the job, it would have entailed endless meetings, countless emails all demanding my attention, deadlines and months of work, probably running to ten to twelve hours a day. I would have been lucky to have had a break at weekends and I would have been mentally and physically drained.
How do I know all this?
I did a major contract for the same company a few years ago [they are a subsidiary of O2], and it was very successful. However, during the build period I experienced all of the above. The contract was for an extremely complex site, involving a virtual private network, allowing distributors connect to a database at head office, and for real time data transfer which previously had entailed phone calls, faxes and a lot of missed business.
They approached me again, but this time it was to re design the existing system and to expand it to include a vast new array of products.
The money would have been very nice. There is no denying that. However, I am getting on a bit and my time is more important to me than money.
Aside from all that, another aspect of the business that has been getting me down for some time is the irritating phone calls and e-mails. These invariable involve mail, whether it is a complaint about spam or the inability to connect to the mail server.
Spam is a fact of life. However, my clients don’t seem to realise this, and they spend their time complaining to me that they are getting so much. I would say that 70% of mails and phone calls are about spam, and they just can’t seem to grasp that I have no control whatsoever. I have installed spam filters, and all forms on all sites have stringent coding to prevent abuse.
My ultimate ambition is to be able to get up in the morning, secure in the knowledge that any phonecall I get will be from a friend, and any email will be a pleasant read.
I am going to miss the income. A lot of luxuries will have to be curtailed.
But there is a lot more to life than money.