Becoming indie full time : two weeks in
A lot of people dream of starting their own business, but most do not ever do it. Starting a business and becoming indie is not an easy thing to do. We, at Bishop Games, decided to do it and take this gamble, if I can call it that way. If you have read David’s post a few days ago, you surely understand now what it means to become indie full time and why he chose to do it. After speaking about it, we decided that it could be a great idea to share my own mindset now that I’ve also joined them full time on our project, for two weeks now. So here are my thoughts about the whole thing, just a few weeks after leaving my day job for the unknown of the indie world.
Saying it and doing it are two different things
As I said in my opening sentence, most people dream of having their own business, being their own boss and making decisions for themselves. While all of this becomes true when you start your business, there are also some difficulties or should I say, incertainties, that stop people from doing it.
First and foremost, you lose the security of a regular day job. In my opinion, this is what stops most people from ever trying to start their own business/company. Having a 9-5 day job can be boring, but it brings an incredible stability to one’s life. Be on time, do your job properly, leave when it’s time, get paid. That’s about it. When you start a company, you have to work harder in the beginning than if you had a normal job and most of the time you don’t even make any money. In fact, you have to shell out your own money to get things started, and from then work hard on your product/game and hope for the best.
So, then, why would I do it?
Again, I won’t speak for my colleagues, but for myself. We sure share some motivations together, but we also joined this project for our own personal reasons. For me, the desire to be my own boss and work on things I liked were the main attractions. I’ve always been a video game fanatic and working in this field is a dream come true. Also, it is really fun to know that your voice and opinion actually matter. We are a team of three and as such we all freely voice our opinions, concerns, ideas, etc. It makes the job much more interesting!
There’s also the timing of it. I got my first job at 15 years old and since then kept on working different jobs, and I’m not what you can call a huge spender. I don’t really buy clothes, or things in general. Most of my spendings are done on my car, rent and beer (surprising, huh?). Having some money on the side sure helped me make this decision. If our project fails, sure it’s gonna hurt a bit, but I won’t be in a terrible terrible situation. Obviously, you always want to be optimistic when you start a business but you have to think about what happens next, in case your business plan fails. Also, as a 25 years old with only a rent and car insurance to pay every month, it was now or never. I don’t own a house, I don’t have kids, so make as well make a push for it now.
Telling your boss you’re quitting
This is what was the hardest for me. I already knew one of the most experienced worker was leaving this summer, and I knew my boss was under stress to find someone else to fill this huge pair of shoes. When it became apparent that I couldn’t continue on having a full time job as our project grew bigger and bigger, I had to make my choice and act quickly. Obviously, it wasn’t easy to tell a man that gave you a job that you’re quitting for the unknown… No one knows what the future holds so leaving this security for either something good or something bad can be hard to accept from an employer’s point of view.
Still, my (ex) boss understood my desire to start my own thing, as he did the same when he was younger (and still works at his own business). In the end, we both wished each other good luck and he even told me I could come back anytime if it didn’t work out, something I greatly appreciate.
So, now that a few weeks have passed, I think that…
… I made the right choice! I remember the next Monday I woke up with no alarm clock. That was weird, but cool. I’ve been having a blast so far, working either at the studio with the guys, at a coffee shop, at the public library, or from home! It still feels strange to not have a precise work schedule, I’ve been used to a 9-5 job for years now. I guess I will get used to it!
To conclude, I just want to say that there’s no good path to be successful in life. Some people work regular 9-5 jobs their entire lives and are happy so that means they are also successful. Some people prefer to work the night shift, and that’s what makes them happy, so be it! Others want to try their shot at starting a business, and just having (excuse my french) the balls to do it also represents a success in itself. Basically, I know it’s cliché as hell but as long as you are happy with your job and what you are doing in life, you are successful. If you are on the fence about leaving your job to start a business, make sure you think things through, see if the timing is right, if you have any obligations (kids, house payments, etc.), if you have enough money saved, and ultimately, just listen to your heart, buckle up and make your choice. Life is too short for ‘’what ifs’’.