I've been mulling over what being indie means these days, especially as I didn't go full time indie hacking. I've been pondering what it really means to be indie. Where are the lines drawn, or if there needs to be any lines at all.
One mindset that I keep coming back to is the idea concept of having the 'freedom to quit'.
Of course, in theory most of us can quit our jobs, however in reality the consequences of that are often way to risky. Society traps us. And often, quite frankly, we need the money a day job provides. The more family obligations you have, the more apparent this is.
To me, having the 'freedom to quit' is about getting to a financial situation where you will be ok for 1, 2, 3 years if you were to leave your job. It doesn't mean you will leave, that it would be ideal to leave, or want to leave, but the power of knowing that you can is an indie mindset.
There is something truly empowering about being able to choose opportunities based on whether you feel you would enjoy them, rather than them being about the money. For me, at least, it has meant I pursued the things that really interested in. And by pursuing things that are important to me, I feel it has only helped me excel at a whole new rosie level.
I spent time working at Indie Hackers because I loved the idea of serving indie hackers, and I was also genuinely curious on how the community was ran. Strictly speaking I did not need the money, I could have survived just fine without it. But the money has been super helpful. We didn't increase our living costs, but we did make a few investments and to be honest, most of it went into savings. This has put us in a much stronger financial freedom position.
The other aspect is that when I felt it was time for me to leave, I left for my own personal reasons. I didn't hang on to the job for the need of the money. I felt free to leave.
The freedom is what makes us indiependent.
I can apply the same philosophy to my new day job. There are many reasons I joined Orbit, money was not specifically one of them. I most definitely have no current plans to leave (!), but knowing that I can and that our family will be ok financially gives me a huge sense of calm.
Knowing that I have the personal resources to back me up gives me big feeling of being indiependent whilst having the life I choose to live. That feeling of indiependence really comes down to me knowing that I pull the strings in my life. Not other people. Not other companies.
Being indiependent to me is no longer about running your own business, it's about having the freedom of choice on how to live.
And damn, I feel pretty privileged to be where I am right now.