Transitioning from self-employment

Tomorrow will mark 2 months since I started full time with Energy+ Inc., my new employer and former client. It’s been fantastic so far, I must say… there are no regrets whatsoever! (I wanted to get that out of the way before anyone thinks I’m having some “oh no” moments!)

Here are some of the things I’ve been working on, stages if you will, of the change from self-employment!

Stage 1 – What did I just do?

If I’m being honest, there was a tiny bit of that right after signing my offer of employment. In my case, it was probably more excitement than it was pangs of regret though. We had been discussing the change and what the job looked like for several months so when we got to the point of the offer stage, I was mentally ready for the change and really just wanted to finalize everything and get started!

Stage 2 – Notifications

During the discussions prior to getting an offer, I was already doing some legwork on the notifications side and “socializing” the potential change with the few active clients & partners I was still working with. Once everything was final, they had already heard about my plans and it was no surprise when it was “for real”.

Over the last couple of months, as I run into others I didn’t work directly with or hadn’t worked with in a while, I’ve been letting people know the situation. So far so good.

Stage 3 – Website, social media & profile updates

Prior to making the move, I had already secured this domain, jenkuntz.ca, set up a new look for the new website and moved my blog in anticipation of the change. Even if this career change didn’t happen, that was a change I was comfortable with being permanent anyway as I had been gradually “re-branding” my social media to get rid of the “business” handle and replace it with my name. I had been doing that because I’d been nominated for the Microsoft MVP Award and realized the importance of showcasing “me” as an individual vs. my company in the case that I got the award. (and I did, yay!)

Once the job was secured, the biggest thing I had to do was finally alter my kuntzconsulting.ca website to change it to a one-page site redirecting visitors to this website. It’s currently still a WordPress site and one of my minor future projects will be to uninstall all of that unnecessary application framework and create a simple one-page HTML landing page. I’ll keep the site alive for a while since the hosting is shared with this site and no additional cost to me. I had to make some changes to the About page on this site too but that was pretty quick and painless.

Other changes were minor but proved time-consuming. It’s amazing how many places a person can have a “profile” or “about” page! Oh, my. Twitter x 2 accounts, GPUG & other Dynamics Communities forums (all not talking to each other so I found out), Microsoft Dynamics community, my MVP profile, and others I’ve already forgotten about. I still stumble on things that have either a kuntzconsulting.ca email or reference or still say I’m self-employed, but I run into fewer of those now.

Stage 4 – Insurance and benefit changes

This took me longer than it needed to but it was my own reluctance to cancel old insurance before I knew my new ones were active. I have finally cancelled most of my business and personal-paid benefits and other than a couple of refunds I’m waiting to flow back to me, those changes are done. A couple of months of paying for things I didn’t need but better safe than sorry right?

Stage 5 – Telephone changes

I wrote a blog a little while ago about ditching my home phone and it’s worked out great! My old business number is now on a cheap flip phone that doubles as my home phone. My new “smartphone” is my work phone for more advanced texting capabilities. 🙂

The biggest hassle with this is the number of sites that used my 416 cell number for either contact info or two-factor authentication. I’ll write another blog post about that, updating the gazillion sites I had set 2FA up on to use a different device or number was time-consuming and I’m still working through them. I’m up to 10 or 12 sites I think. If I had written down that I *thought* I signed up 2FA for, I would have noted 4 or 5. That likely means there are probably 10 more I haven’t found yet! *sigh*

Stage 6 – Email & Office 365 changes

I was worried about this one and thought it would be a total hassle. I had Microsoft Partner benefits which included an Office 365 subscription, which I used for my kuntzconsulting.ca emails. I have MVP benefits which also include an Office 365 subscription which I use for this domain’s emails. Two tenants, unrelated to one another.

When I set up this domain in O365, I didn’t realize that you could have multiple domains on a single tenant, it just didn’t occur to me that would be a thing. However, in hindsight, I’m glad I didn’t and here’s why. Everything in my kuntzconsulting tenant had “kuntzconsultinginc” references everywhere: SharePoint URLs etc. and that would be there forever, they are not changeable.

I talked to another couple of MVPs last week at MVP Summit and they walked me through the steps to move a domain from one tenant to another. In my case, single user, minimal resources used, it was pretty easy. The biggest hurdle was moving my email, contacts and calendar into the jenkuntz.ca side. I simply cheated and did that via the Outlook client and let it chug through the sync process. It took a while but it worked.

I had to remove a couple of other things but otherwise was able to remove the domain from the one tenant and add it to this domain’s tenant as a second domain. Because my DNS already had the right records, the change was nearly instantaneous and emails just kept flowing through as always. Easy peasy! I was shocked, I expected some potential downtime but it was the easiest thing I’ve done yet.

The only downside: I receive emails to my old business email but I am responding from my new email based on this domain. In the long run, not a big deal. I could set it up differently but ultimately I want to remove any kuntzconsulting.ca email references others have anyway so it just forces me to address that earlier than expected.

I took advantage of some downtime in my vacation to update everything so I have a single calendar (for personal, work is another matter!) and a single set of contacts to manage now. Much nicer to deal with.

What’s left?

So, I guess that puts me at “stage 7” in my own little list… I’ve finished my last “active” month and quarter end and filed my last significant HST return. I’m about to meet with my lawyer to discuss what the steps are to dissolving the corporation and what’s involved. I’ll have the same chat with my tax accountant. I may be a designated accountant myself but honestly, sometimes when it comes to tax and things, it just kind of feels like I’m “playing one on TV”. So, I’ll go to the experts who deal with these things all the time to get the process right and see how to formally dissolve the corporation and transfer the remaining assets out etc.

I hope that last bit will not take too long but my business year end isn’t til August and I can’t imagine it will take longer than that to figure out or wrap up.

Otherwise, I really just have to keep scouring old websites I have visited that may have out-of-date contact info in and update it. I’ve been going through my passwords (I’ve also transitioned to a new password manager) so part of that is updating old passwords to randomly generated ones and it’s a chance to see where I have old contact info. Kill 2 birds with 1 stone, so to speak!

It’s a tiny bit sad wrapping up all of these business things but I must say it’s also liberating to move on and be done with it. I loved being self-employed and I doubt it’s the last time I will be, but for now, simplifying my life is a step in the right direction!

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