Category Archives: Personal Stuff

I’m an Independent Knowledge Professional

These three words work as a descriptor for me and many others in business today. First, I’m independent. I’m not an employee. I work with others on contract or by project. I have long-time clients, but my work with them is project-based.

Second, I’m a knowledge worker. I’m paid for what I know, how I communicate, project management skills, my advice and vision. Many of my investments in time and money are to improve my knowledge and mastery so that I can then share that knowledge / mastery with clients.

I use the term professional loosely to mean anyone who is a  highly skilled purveyor of knowledge-intensive services. If you are practicing the knowledge art at higher levels and as a business, you are a knowledge professional.

As an independent knowledge professional, you are on your own and you need to pay attention to current trends. If you are a technology professional, you have to be sensitive to the threat of obsolescence. You study technology and other related developments to stay competitive in your field.

We have more of these independent knowledge professionals around than ever right now. One reason is that knowledge is the coin of the realm in our post-industrial, information exploded society.

Lots of people are doing knowledge work in one capacity or another. The economic downturn and downsizing practiced by major corporations the last 20 years or so has made it harder work to stay in a full-time job — there are fewer to go around. People that do have jobs are holding on to them for dear life, creating a logjam that hinders advancement for those below them in the hierarchy.

A core part of the American Dream is to work for yourself – many of those who haven’t done it, pine for it. The most talented and optimistic, frustrated by lack of opportunity as employees, take the risk of going it alone. Some don’t have a choice.

I got off the corporate/employee merry-go-round early in 1986 and became a computer consultant. I focused on small businesses in the creative industries like graphic design, architecture, photography, printing and prepress. I was attracted to the aesthetics and creativity. That’s still my niche today. I acquired a few others along the way including consultants, psychotherapists and executive recruiters.

With this glut of independent knowledge professionals on all sides, it seems like a good idea to start blogging about what I see and am finding valuable as tools in this time of change. We need to create our own futures and I want to be a part of that creation process. I plan to write more on this topic here in the near future.

[Image: from Wired story by Daniel H. Pink: Revenge of the Right Brain, Feb 2005]

I Live in Tiburon

I said this was my personal blog so I better start getting personal. You see that great big view across the top of the page? That’s my view every day as I do my daily exercise walk to downtown Tiburon through the St. Hilary Preserve Open Space. It’s an awesome sight to wake up to in the morning.

Tiburon is a small peninsula just North of San Francisco. Encircled on three sides by the San Francisco Bay, we get a cooling sea breeze. That’s good because otherwise we would get hot here since there are few trees to block the sun. Sunshine reigns on this rocky peninsula.

Whenever I can, I take the Ferry to San Francisco right from downtown. Downtown is not the hippest spot around, so SF is a good place to go to escape a rather conventional village of a town. The highlight here is that we get lots of cyclists and enough enthusiastic tourists to raise the blood pressure of some of our more retiring locals. There are lots of smart and interesting people here, but nothing like SF’s amazing energy and diversity.

On the average day, I walk down to the Caffe Acri for coffee, do some work and catch up on my reading with my iPhone and iPad. If you come to Tiburon, I recommend the Acri for hanging out. The free wi-fi is always on during the week but often off on Saturday and Sunday mornings. But, I have 3G, so manage just fine without wi-fi. I’m the iPhone and iPad expert for the local patrons.