September 22, 2023

Future Emergent: year one

a mallard duck floats in the water
photo caption: a mallard duck floats peacefully as its orange legs move the water beneath it. critics may say starting your own business may not be all that it’s quacked up to be. i think it i just have to wing it.

I’ve been running Future Emergent for a year now! When I announced my new business last March, I wrote:

“I am here to encourage you to dream bigger. I am here to tell you that we can do this. I am here to tell you that this can’t wait. The journey to a world of true equality and belonging may last longer than our lifetimes. That doesn’t mean we can’t start now. It doesn’t mean we shouldn’t push for more.”

I was working a full-time covid job during covid when I wrote that post. I spent almost all my free time that winter setting up the tiny details of my new business. It took me hours to find the right name to reflect the kind of company I wanted to be. And then even longer to make sure the domain name was available.

I remember the doubts I had during those nights. What if this doesn’t work? I was working a job that paid me well. I had health insurance. What if I couldn’t handle it? What if I built something and nobody came? But change is inevitable! No job is stable in late-stage capitalism.

I’ve gotten to work with some dream clients since I started Future Emergent last year. I’ve made the tough choice to say no to some clients if we’re not quite on the same page on the project. That’s freedom I’ve never had before.

taking that plunge

I’ve gotten a few requests for advice from people thinking about taking the plunge that I did. To them I say, lots of people have done what you’re thinking about doing. But you—with all your unique skills, insights, desires, and needs—have never done it. Get as much advice as you can but make the decision that you think is best for you. And if someone asks you for advice and then does something else, you have still informed their choice. They’re just not you!

I’ve also had more than a couple folks call me brave for taking a risk and launching my own company. It hasn’t felt like bravery to me yet. I’ve been unhappy with the status quo, wherever I’ve found it, for a long time. No matter how this turns out, I never have to wonder, “what would it have been like?”

I know what it’s like. I’m doing it! In my professional life so far, there hasn’t been a greater feeling than that.

my name is josh martinez. i have always loved trying to understand systems, and the systems that built those systems. i spend a lot of time thinking about how to get there from here.

i own and operate a consulting practice, Future Emergent.

say hello: josh[at]