Job Vs. Own Business

May 21, 2022
Est. Reading: 4 minutes
Jason Greenlees

By Jason Greenlees

Job Vs. Own Business

I'm probably a lot like you in many ways. For years I wanted to leave my daily job working as a government employee, seemingly safe and secure from financial pressures that life in private companies or working for yourself could bring.

You see I worked for an agency in Sydney in early 2000 after finishing a degree in IT in Wagga Wagga. I loved working on websites and being a developer but after a few years we decided to have kids and move back to the country. There's something about bringing up your kids in a regional area that seems safe.

To be honest I wasn't a big fan of living in Sydney although we had lots of great friends and lived in a pretty good area I would have loved to have that same job in country NSW.

Given I was about to become a dad I needed a thought I needed a steady secure job and with some skills in IT I applied for a job in Wagga. It wasn't long and I was back building websites for business as a side hussle.

I was lucky enough to be working with a guy who was a graphic designer and someone that also had a passion for marketing. We did one, then two, then it seemed like they were lining up to get work done. I worked nights and my weekends for years developing websites and managing these from my house. Things took a bit of a turn in 2012 when my business partner decided he was going to start teaching at TAFE. For a while, we weren't doing anywhere near as much as what we had and then in 2014 things started getting serious again before I knew it we had over 100 sites and I was still running on a part-time basis while still doing a full-time job.

Scaling back the FT grind

I'm not saying I did things 100% the right way but in 2016 I decided it was getting a bit too much and took a day a week out to dedicate to my "agency" while my business partner left his secure job at TAFE and went full time on our business.

Things got busy, very busy over the next few years and I even scaled back to three days a week on government job and two days my own business. Still working weekends and holidays meant I was my work-life balance was a little bit out of whack. I was constantly forced into doing things I didn't feel I was very good at but needed to be done because we called ourselves an "agency".

The truth was we were stretching ourselves far too thin and trying to wave the "full service" flag against some of our competitors that were doing the same. When your in regional australia your keen for work and often willing to take whatever you can get.

The start of RWD

In 2018 I contacted a designer in Orange to pay her to do logo and style work for a new business idea I had. Tiffany was her name and she went through a full process as a graphic designer to produce some quality results. Back then I was going to launch a Drupal-based regional marketing agency focused on regional results for customers' businesses. Tiffany sadly left her business as many regional graphic designers do after a while.

While most people love the idea of running their own business many of them burn out for many of the reasons I've described above. Trying to do too much desperate to make money to support the family. Not saying this happened to Tiff but it is a common story.

My ideas grew and morphed and the more I did my research it seemed like there was a need for quality, support, and consistency. So many "agencies" in regional areas trying to offer "full-stack services" hate doing the bits they weren't great at.

This is what has led to the Regional Developer launching in 2022. A genuine approach to helping others and building businesses and communities in regional areas while helping to fill service gaps through other quality professionals

COVID hit in 2020 and made me reflect on what I was doing with a regional-based agency working my butt off and still not able to cut away the main job.

A few considerations I had to go through to come to the decision to leave and pursue something I loved. I expect you've had the same challenges.

  • Personal finance made it a good time for my family
  • We paid off our cars and minimised our expenses
  • Imposter sydnrome - after many years of making a full time wage from a part time agency style business on the side did I have what it takes to run my own business.
  • Nobody cared that I showed up or didn't show up for my government job. On my last day after 18 yeras only one person acknowledged it was my last day and I wouldn't be there the next day.
  • What was I doing, wasting my life in a job day after day that nobody cared if I was there or not.
  • There was no loyalty in the government job, once stable and relibable, after a restructure managment demanded I go back full time five days to better service the organisation.
  • My wife was awesome and was more than happy for me to leave and pursue something else.
  • I'd gone stale in my full time job which was going no where fast. It was so legislated that it became equipvalant to someone on a production line doing the same thing day in and day out. I did however help to support my family for over 18 years for that I am very, very grateful.
  • I loved helping people to meet their goals and grow their business and have a passion for helping people

Jason Greenlees

About Jason Greenlees

© 2022 Regional Web Developer Web Design & Development  
Based in Wagga Wagga networking regional freelancers and agencies
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