I started my first business in 1997.
I started my second business in 2014.
Much has not changed in the intervening years - the excitement of a new launch; I am responsible for everything; cash-flow is a challenge; the reassuring infrastructure of corporate life is absent; the ups and downs of business development; the absence of a typical day or a team of colleagues around me.
All of this is very positive, if a little daunting on occasion.
But a great deal has changed.
There are more of my friends and acquaintances now self-employed and this is part of a national trend in the UK.
Luke Johnson sets out a positive case for self employment in a recent FT article The Resolution Foundation is not quite so positive in a recent analysis, particularly with regards to earning levels for the self-employed.
There is a world of a difference between well-qualified professionals charging significant fees and the semi-skilled earning less than minimum wage.
Self-employment is here to stay.
The role of technology has also had a profound impact.
I was quoted £700-1,000 to develop a website, before discovering Squarespace The process is elegant and idiot proof and is supported by a great customer service team who know what they are doing, speak and write good English and respond quickly.
My website was up within two days at a cost of less than £80. It's not perfect, but it's good enough and feedback has been positive. I now have a presence on the web and a means to advertise my services, in part through this blog.
I don't like PowerPoint and refuse to use it because most presentations I have seen or written are downright boring.
Prezi is something else and has allowed me to capture my confused thoughts on hiking and organisations in a manner which I never thought possible.
I sought advice on using Twitter, hoping my friends would tell me not to bother and leave it to the kids. The advice was rather different and I now find myself tweeting on a regular basis.
About.me is endlessly fascinating for reasons which I don't quite understand as yet.
And even the UK tax authorities are providing on-line advice and webinars.
The challenge is to focus on selling and delivering work, rather than getting lost in a technology time sink. Needless to say, there is an app to help manage the sink.
From here to there.