My thoughts on being a maker
TL:DR: Being a maker isn't a job, it is a lifestyle.
Have you ever been in a job where you are rewarded and encouraged for just being yourself? Being yourself in that you have no “work face”. No second persona that is the “professional” day in and day out and acting accordingly to that certain accepted culture? I hadn’t. Not until I started to work for myself and pursue my passion projects and launch them to the public. I have noticed with time, being part of several maker communities, whether it’s a forum or a telegram channel, there lies a genuinity amongst makers that is hard to find in most work cultures. Where you are free to express your feedback in a direct manner, give advice about things you may not even be an expert in but want to try to help out as best you can or simply just say what is on your mind and have an open and frank discussion about it with almost total strangers! There is something remarkable about this that really gives me a sense of relief. I feel no hierarchy or judgment, no shame or discomfort. I’m just another maker, trying to make it and that feels AMAZING!
Being a maker has brought me much more than I had thought it would since I began the journey 10 months ago. There have been hellish lows, lots of stress and financial worry, many pitfalls and mistakes and 18+ hour work days in 7 day work weeks that left me feeling like a zombie. But, as I sit here typing this article and reflecting on 2018 I realise that my biggest achievement of the year is just having stuck with it. Taken the bumps on the chin and pushing forward, no matter what. It is something that I was never able to do in employment, as my CV so rightly points out, I always gave up. It’s not that I didn’t care about the products where I was previously employed, I truly did! It has more to do with a sense of ownership and building something yourself. There is a huge sense of pride in turning nothing in to something and then seeing that something be used and loved by others. That’s what making has become about for me. Finding small ways to improve other peoples lives and seeing if there is potential to make some money doing that.
I have fallen in love with the “Maker movement” and have seen it grow in front of my eyes. I know that this is where I belong and I hope to be able to continue down this path and help to cultivate the movers and shakers, makers and shippers, bootstrappers and indie hackers, entrepreneurs and DIYers.
A massive shout out to Ryan Hoover and the Product Hunt team. This website epitomizes the maker’s culture.
Courtland Allen for creating a thriving, helpful community at Indie Hackers.
And to the several telegram channels I’m part of and those constant names who are involved in them where I spend (too much of) my time.
Looking forward to seeing what 2019 brings!