I’ve been working fulltime for startups for almost 6 years, never taking more than a week off. After almost 4 years at IMVU I vowed to take a month off between jobs, and then I didn’t take a day off between IMVU and Canvas (oops). Encouraged by my girlfriend Amanda Wixted’s success in iOS contracting, I finally took the plunge after I left Canvas.

When I was in a startup it was straightforward to evaluate what to work on: will it help us become profitable? will it help the business survive? As a programmer with more than a couple years experience, it’s very straightforward to be profitable and survive as an independent contractor. For better and worse the equation becomes much more complicated: is this project going to be fun? Will it preclude the lifestyle I want? …do I know what lifestyle I want?

For years now I’ve been envious of the lifestyle that Colin and Sarah Northway have lived. They’re both independent game developers who move every 3 months. They maintain this lifestyle by doing short-term furnished rentals (think airbnb/vrbo). It’s not a vacation, they develop their games while they travel.

It’s taken me about 6 months to get to the point where this lifestyle is doable, but I’m finally there. I have a fairly steady stream of longer-term contracting projects that allow me to work remotely. They pay competitive to SF/NYC rates, which means I can afford the overhead of short-term furnished rentals. My girlfriend is in exactly the same position. We’re selling, donating or trashing all of our large possesions. We’re kicking it off by spending 4 months in Tahoe, CA enjoying the ski season. The best part and also the scariest part is that we have no idea where we’ll go after that.

2012 Dec 10
Timothy Fitz
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