The Wild Blue Yonder

So today is my second day off after quitting my job!  I’m very excited about it… my most recent client was very interesting, and I think we accomplished some really cool things while I was there, but getting it to the next step was out of my hands and it was time for me to move on.

Now, of course, I have to figure out what to do next!  Here’s the short list… I’m publishing this mostly to set a benchmark expectation and see how I do in the coming months, so it’s more a hopeful set of guidelines than specific goals.  Also, I may throw much of this aside if the perfect job shows up, but since I’m not actively looking that may take a while.  In the mean time:

  • Start the new company.  No I’m not completely sure what I’m doing so this will involve business plans, ideas, and lots of caffeine I expect.
  • Write the book.  Or two.  Or more.  “The” book refers to the Data books.  The longshot goal is to get a decent publisher like O’Reilly to take them on, but I’ll settle for some self e-published books as long as I’m happy with the content.  Not looking to make money, just finish the task.
  • Do more active stuff.  I’m not really trying to “get in shape”, I actually feel pretty healthy mostly, and I’m not trying to look better or anything like that (although I’ll take any added side effects).  I did join <a href=”dietbet.com”>Diet Bet</a> with my dad and brother, and I’m embarking on an Asthma drug trial as a guinea pig, but I’m talking about doing more fun active things.  I’m hoping to get a sprint triathlon under my belt, maybe a century bike ride, and I want to do some 5K runs and such.  More camping, swimming, hiking.  Cheap stuff one can easily do to have fun.
  • Help out more with a few good causes.  I maintain a few websites for non-profits, but I could do better on that.  And I help some friends out a bit with some of their adopted charities, but I have more free time I can devote now.  Maybe I’ll try to sit on a board or two, definitely do better on the websites, and just volunteer some more.
  • Fix up the wood shop and make it useful if not profitable.  I never started doing that hobby to make money, but it might not be bad to produce enough stuff that I can at least cover the bills.  Maybe selling online or through local venues — I’d love to have a spot at the Flea Off some day, or — another stretch goal here — at Cherokee Triangle or St. James art fairs… one step at a time of course.
  • Learn stuff.  One big reason I left my job is that I wasn’t learning anything new.  I learned a lot about the medical business (from the managed care side at least), and got to use a lot of what I know about data… but I wasn’t learning new things quickly enough.  I may go back to school, or get an online certificate somewhere.  I include things like competing in Kaggle competitions and maybe taking some small development jobs for the learning experience.  I also have a piano I can play more, guitars I’m not great at and somewhere an accordion that needs to stop gathering dust.  There’s always more to learn!

Conspicuously absent from the list is anything to do with hanging out with friends or family.  Don’t worry, those are on the list and important, we’re just not QUITE taking the blog to that level of personal yet, plus I wanted to keep the list fairly quantifiable.  Maybe there’s an app for determining if you’re maintaining your friendships well enough, but I don’t have it… hmm… business idea?

Also, unlisted is budgeting… I’ve saved up enough to cover expenses for a while, but nothing lavish.  At what point is pursuing something new worth dipping into retirement savings or selling the rental property?  I’ve been very fortunate to have been paid well for a while, but this is going to be a huge swing in spending habits.  I’m concerned, but optimistic, and maybe that will just help to motivate me more!

I’m open to suggestions!  And I have a lot more free time during the day.  Also there have been a LOT of people that have been hugely supportive of my choosing to jump without a parachute; thanks to everyone, and let’s see what the Wild Blue Yonder has in store!

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