I lost my job yesterday.

Well, I didn’t “lose” it. It was taken away from me.

Due to a number of factors[1], I lost focus while doing a high-profile bit of work for a client - said work wasn’t originally part of the job description. I wasn’t delivering what our client wanted.

But more than that, I had lost focus. But, then, the level of focus they wanted is something I could never really deliver.

While on the job (and when necessary outside of it), I was committed 100%. When I wasn’t at work? That was my time, and I had things I wanted to do.

The thing is, for long before this job - heck, four jobs ago - I’ve wanted something of my own.

Something that belonged to me.

I originally took this job - despite some misgivings - because I felt it gave me the best chance to get closer to that.

And ultimately, that same reason for taking the job at least partially cost me the job.

So, for the first time in my professional life I am adrift. I have no job lined up - a few applications out and interviews already set up - but nothing set in stone.

And at the same time, I’m making a concerted sprint to see if i can make a go at it solo.

To have something I own - if only my name and work.

I’m starting off with four areas of focus:

  1. Brass Tacks: A service so good, I partially lost my job because of it, Brass Tacks is the aspirin for when your analytics give you a headache. I hear so many entrepreneurs and others lament getting anything useful out of Google Analytics and I’ve spoken to (and done work for) so many clients that I want to help. I know these analytics platforms - GA, Omniture, WebTrends, you name it - backways and frontways.

    And more importantly, I know how to make those platforms give you the answers and data you need to make actionable business decisions.

  2. Transmogrify: This is the next step after Brass Tacks. Once you know your numbers, how do you make them better?

    Through AB and multivariate testing, Transmogrify systematically drives those numbers upward - creating more revenue, more contacts and making your website as efficient as it can possibly be.

  3. Recruiting: I’m not a recruiter, but I’ve written and thought so much about recruiting developers that I’d love to help out there as well.

    Like I mentioned above, I’m not going to directly recruit developers for you, but what I can do (for a reasonable fee, considerably less than a recruiter) is consult with you about how you approach developer hiring - what you need to look for, where you need to look and how you should pitch your opening and ultimately close the deal.

    I’ve been a highly effective developer recruiter as a manager. And I want to help you become the same.

    And, if you’re a technical recruiter yourself, I want to make you better at your job so you can close more hires - now and into the future - by knowing how developers think and how to push the right buttons to get them onboard.

    I’ll have a landing page with more details about this up in the next day or so. Follow me on twitter if you’re interested. I’ll announce it there first.

  4. Developer Management Coaching: When I first transitioned from developer to manager of developers, it was rough. I was trying to do both things at once and I was still in developer mode most of the time.

    And that doesn’t work.

    More than anything, I wanted somebody I could talk to about managing a development team.

    This last go-around was very successful as a development manager - I’ve learned a lot and grew by leaps and bounds. And I want to help others - both those new to managing developers and old hands - get better at it.

    So, if you’re struggling as a manager - or if you just promoted somebody new to management - I’m available to provide coaching.

    More details about that service will be up in the next day or two.

On top of all those[2], I’m also going to keep building WhatTheDeploy. The issue there is that I don’t know that I can get it ramped up into full-time income as quickly as I need it to.

I have - at most - six weeks of hustle to see if I can make any of those work. And if the right job comes through, I’ll jump at that instead.

Because, after all, I have a family to support.

And that matters far more than my needing to feel like I have something I own.

At least for right now.

  1. My daughter having a stint in the hospital for respiratory distress for one. I did some of this work late at night in her hospital room.  ↩

  2. Yes, it seems like a lot. But they’re all fields I’ve dabbled with in the recent past - either on the job or on the side. And now, rather than just having nights and weekends available, I have entire days available to work on them. If one area accelerates more quickly than the others, I’ll “pivot.”  ↩