If you’re reading this, I’m no longer a Gartner analyst.

For the past 7 years or so I’ve had the best experience of my professional (and often personal) career. The product of a bad acquisition and short stint in consulting, Gartner gave a young unknown hothead the opportunity to become an industry analyst.

I tried my best to run with it. Seems to have worked out okay.

Gartner was an amazing experience; I learned more than I possibly imagined when I started, and any success I have in this industry is in large part the product of Big Daddy G. I learned everything from presentation and writing skills, to defending my analysis, to how to analyze in the first place. And that’s not including the massive amount of knowledge imparted by thousands of client conversations and (yes) vendor briefings. Gartner also showed me the world. Before G, I’d been to Mexico; now I’ve been to probably two dozen countries on every continent except Antarctica.

I suppose some of you reading this expect me to be disgruntled, but aside from the usual gripes of any long-term employee I have nothing but good things to say. Gartner is as successful as they are for a reason. And no, I’m not just blowing smoke in case my future plans implode- it was a great job and a great company.

So why am I leaving?

I’m just too darn young and foolish. As positive an experience as Gartner has been, I feel like I’ve gone as far as I can as an analyst. I’m still young, don’t have kids yet, and if I’m going to take a risk now is the time. I’ve been feeling unchallenged and know there’s a lot more in this big world to experience.

Back around February I decided to start poking around, but quickly realized there was no way to effectively job hunt while maintaining my integrity as an analyst. A little over 2 weeks ago, thanks to selling my old condo in Boulder, I found the financial freedom to take a little risk. I resigned without a parachute.

As of this evening, I’m now out on my own as an independent consultant. I’m the founder, owner, and sole employee of Securosis, L.L.C.

I don’t know exactly where all this will end up. Maybe I’ll get that perfect offer. Maybe I’ll stay independent. Long-term I just want to comfortably support my family, travel less, and Do Good Things. I have every intention on staying in the security industry- it’s worked since I was 18, why stop now? I don’t need the big score, just a good race.

Thanks to some industry friends I already have some good contracts to start, and despite my initial fears feel pretty good that things are headed in the right direction.

The best news (I hope) for you readers is that the blog is back! This time I’m only representing myself, and can write without restriction. I also plan on some other surprises, so stay tuned.

It’s been a great run so far; I can’t wait to see what the second lap has to offer.

(Post title inspired by Jimmy Buffet covering Harry Nilsson)