Jurian has had a programming business for 6 years and started a variety of open source projects. Now he switched sides as a business consultant for the Dutch health care. Occasionally he is still involved in open source projects and maintains his own blog at juriansluiman.nl.
Recently I stopped being an entrepreneur and moved to work for another company. It felt great and I would like to share this experience with you. I made the move not because I couldn't stand the entrepreneurial environment any more, or because the business was in decline (on the contrary actually). It was because I stuck to my most important lesson:
Do what you love and evaluate what you do
This is how I executed my business over the last 6 years: define the direction you'd like to go (in my case, developing high quality medical web applications) and work towards that goal. Discover, experiment, experience and invest. Also strive to look back at every project, evaluating the results. Act, improve, rinse and repeat. Later on, I personally evaluated much more: meetings, phone calls and even e-mails. That seems like a lot of work, but in the end it was a simple mental note, "was the outcome like I expected it to be?". Please try this at home. You will constantly improve your experience in dealing with a variety of situations.
That is where I finally landed with the question: is this business working as I would like to? The simple answer was no, and I made my choice. After a lot of thought, I came to the conclusion that the brainchild was not easily transformed into the renewed goals I had. I had changed, the business did not (or at least, not to that extent). And with other business owners involved, I could not change it the way I would have wanted to see it flourish.
Looking back this was the best decision I could ever make. Five months ago I took the challenge to execute the work I really loved to do, even if it meant to quitting my own business. It is painful to notice I could have made the change earlier on, but that is another experience I now can take with me.
For any other person in doubt about the things you work on, the people you work with, the results you deliver: take a step back and evaluate. Is this what you were looking for? If so, keep doing your work and enjoy it as much as possible. If not, are you able to change the environment? The only way you are able to bring the best out of yourself is to love what you do. If that is not the case, you are in control. You can choose to change.