I was reading an article about the purchase of Mojang, entitled “Entrepreneur Who Just Became A Billionaire Writes Extraordinary Letter About Leaving His Company To Save His Sanity” and this line caught my eye -> “I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a nerdy computer programmer who likes to have opinions on Twitter.” – http://www.businessinsider.com/minecraft-creator-markus-notch-persson-is-leaving-mojang-2014-9 and then it hit me, I’m not an entrepreneur. I’m not a CEO. I’m a data nerd who loves to help companies glean insight from their data. I’m no good at sales, hell, I give away more that I sell and I give breaks to companies that can’t afford me but give them 150%. BUT as some of you read, I just let my biggest client go, why?
I quit the “corporate” world in 2011 to open my own business, I was tired of sitting in meetings thinking to myself “jezzzz, just pull it out already and see whose is bigger” – Time waste and a mental drain, I felt, anything I said would have to be repeated by a man for it to be taken seriously. So, I took the plunge with a positive attitude and 15 years of data experience behind me, how could I loss? The clients came and went, data paraded in front of me endlessly as I took on more and more with less and less companies having the hourly fee I deserved, I guest blogged for free, I wrote white papers and shared at no cost. Then last week, I realized people were taking as much as I would give but was I being a fool or did they appreciate everything I did? I have a tendency to act abruptly and on emotions instead of facts (go figure huh) so I gave it a few days, looked through unanswered emails, read correspondences between me and my clients….. Yes, I was being a fool, instead of doing what I loved, I was doing what my clients wanted.
Fast forward to today, did I cut off my nose to spite my face, maybe but… now, I can go back to doing what I love and charging what I want…. the clients will be far and few between but I will have my sanity and self-respect back and that is worth more than money! For all those that want to start your own data science businesses, never back away from your principles and the fact that you are worth every penny you charge but have a little saved up for those rainy days! Data science may be the most talked about trend in data and it may be sexy but companies are slow to open the purse strings until ROI and value added are proven and not just talked about.
Have fun and enjoy what you do 🙂