Stephen Hackett’s blog is almost a full-time job:
When I think about the possibility of taking this whole writing/podcasting/consulting thing full-time, it freaks me the hell out. Taking the financial reins in my own hands seems too scary to ever actually do. What if I see a downturn in readership and my advertisers want to renegotiate my flat monthly rates? What if Myke kicks me off the podcast network? What if I get sick and can’t write for 10 days? What if my next book is a flop?
What if you get laid off from your job? What if your hands fall off and you can’t do this sort of work anymore? (The boring answers: unemployment insurance and disability insurance, respectively.)
Realistically, nobody has job security. It’s a myth. Even CEOs don’t have job security (see HP), except Steve Ballmer, who seems curiously immune to losing his job.
The difference is who’s responsible for keeping you in your job, and specifically, how much of that control you yield to others. When you work for yourself, it’s all just you. You take all of the risk, you handle all of the bullshit and paperwork, you get to (but need to) make every decision, and you reap all of the rewards.
I was scared shitless to work for myself full-time, but I finally tried it, and it turns out that I’m a pretty good fit for it. I think I’d have a hard time ever working for someone else again. Not because everyone else sucks, but because I suspect I’ve lost the ability, if I ever had it, to be a very good employee for anyone else.
I’m in a similar position as Stephen with my blog and podcast: they do well enough that they could plausibly grow into my full-time job in the future. I often envision that, and I like what I see.