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04 Jul 2013

The scariest thing about working for yourself is having no idea whether anybody wants what you're making.

When you work for a boss, you know that someone, at least, wants your work. It might be on its way to failure with the general public, but at least that boss -- the one who signs your paycheck -- wants the thing you're producing. Even in the worst case, if your product was a complete failure on the market, you still drew a salary or commission from it. Your boss wanted it, and so you got something out of it (albeit ephemeral).

When you work for yourself, it's all too easy to believe you are literally the only person alive who cares what you're working on. After all, nobody’s asked you to do this; you just took it upon yourself, because it’s something you wanted to see added to the world. Maybe you're wildly out-of-touch, or crazy, or stupefyingly arrogant. And so it's easy to convince yourself your work has no value, and to take as evidence the absence of hype, of throngs of fans flooding your social network, of excited previews and adoring reviews.

But just because you don't have any cheerleaders (yet), doesn't mean you aren't doing something valuable. In fact, the absence of cheerleaders may be exactly what you need to be your best, to make the work the most truthfully and honestly yours.

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