A hello: insomnia, stress and quality

August 28, 2010 § Leave a comment

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Yeah, it’s late, but my mind is too active to sleep. It’s a blessing and a curse I guess. Now I run my own business, my mind is kept active all day long, every day. Which is great because it means I can stay sharp and react to things as I need to. But now, I’d rather be sleeping.

I’ve had a lot of chats with people recently about what it’s like to work for yourself and I must admit, I’ve sung from the same hymn sheet each time. Is it hard work? Of course. Do you worry about finding work? Yes. Does it stress you out? Nope, not at all. You see; it’s a whole different game when it comes to working for yourself. There is no-one else to please or keep happy except yourself (and the other directors), no red tape or bureaucracy in the way of doing my job efficiently and effectively and the ability to question and change anything that is happening in the company. What this means is, as busy as I might be (and I’m busier now than I’ve ever been), it’s not stressful at all.

The other great thing about being able to challenge anything that’s happening within the company means that it’s easy to stay hot on the tail of the pursuit of quality. Often quality is only measured from one place within an organisation:

You develop software. Is the software buggy? Well, that’s not a quality product then and you will spend customer support time fire-fighting, management time triaging, development time bug fixing (not feature writing) and sales and marketing time worrying about your current and prospective customers. This is obviously the knock-on effect of buggy software. But lets for a moment assume that our software is good. Not perfect, it never will be, but good. So where should we look at quality now? In actual fact, the answer is everywhere and all of the time. I’ve seen it at nearly every small business I’ve worked; where there is perceived to be no time to produce quality, error-free documents for internal and external consumption. Not only does this damage the confidence of your customers, but worse, may put off a potential customer. A stitch in time here should be heeded.

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