This past weekend I was in Dallas for Circles Conference. It was a fantastic event filled with equally fantastic speakers. Of course, the highlight for me was the time spent in-between the sessions spending time with the other attendees. (Isn’t that the highlight of all events like this?)
The biggest personal takeaway for me was something Noah Stokes said. Talking about his design shop, Bold, he said that 20 years from now he wants to be working on his company, not in it.
That rings true for me too. In 20 years I don’t expect that writing shawnblanc.net will still be my full-time gig. But I love the tech and design community, and I love contributing to this space.
In the average 9-5, climbing up the corporate ladder is already laid out. Showing up and doing good work will often lead you to the next step in your job because the company has already laid out what progress and promotions look like.
However, for those of us who run our own businesses (or have aspirations to) there isn’t necessarily a “career path” to follow. Not only is the destination something we have to define for ourselves, so too is the path to get there. Maybe success looks like sustaining the work we are doing today, but maybe it looks like something different.
And so, on my flight back from Dallas I found myself pondering what decisions I need to make and what steps I need take now that will begin leading me to the place I want to be in 20 years.