We’ve all seen the ads…
“BE YOUR OWN BOSS!”
…and then there is an image of a girl slammin’ a bikini by a pool, drinking lemonade, then playing tennis, then driving a hot convertible, then living in a mansion.
I’m waiting for someone to make an ad that shows images of someone in paint splattered work clothes, then in a basement office, then pecking away at a keyboard, then cruisin’ in a mini-van, then taking a break to make dinner and change diapers.
I am my own boss and have been for the past (almost) three years. I’ve never worked so hard or enjoyed my work so much in my life. If you’re thinking of “taking the plunge”, here are some realistic ups and downs you can expect…
You are your own boss. That means you can decide how much you work, which jobs you take, what your focus will be, how you’ll work, what you’ll invest in…everything. It’s terrifying and liberating all at one time.
Your can pursue your passions. Simply put, you can do what you love to do. I love writing this blog. I love shopping for antiques and cool home decor. I love working on my home, painting furniture, creating and making things. I get to do what I really enjoy and I’m making a living doing it.
You set your schedule. You can take a vacation when you want. You can work when you have babysitters, into the wee hours or when it’s your “peek time.” This is so important to me, because it means I get to be home with my kids and there for my family.
You are in control. You can fly as high as your wings will carry you and you get to harvest the rewards of that.
You are your own boss. Wait, isn’t that good? Yes and no. You have to be self-motivated when you’re tired and uninspired. You have to make tough decisions about when to say yes, when to say no, when to grow, and when to let go. As I said…terrifying and liberating. All at the same time. Lots of tears can be involved.
You can become a slave to your work. You are always going to have time commitments, deadlines and obligations. So even though your schedule is your own, it can be hard to take breaks, go on vacations and slow down once things get going. I have to write for my blog, fill my retail space and I have freelance writing deadlines. I can’t walk away and let someone else do it all for me. I continually have to work on balance, so things don’t get out of hand.
You’re responsible. It can be overwhelming when you have to be the accountant, the receptionist, the admin, the photographer, the stylist, the labor, the picker, the buyer, the appraiser, the upholsterer, the CEO, CFO, COO all rolled into one. You can fly high, but you can fall hard, too. It’s a lot of pressure and you have to have good people around you to support, encourage and help you.
I’m on the heels of a vacation, so this is fresh on my mind. I hope it encourages and gives a “head’s up” to those who are wishing to “be their own boss.” Go for it, but know what you’re in for!
I decided not to take Janet through security tomorrow. I think a requirement of people working for the TSA is zero sense of humor. (Sorry to any TSA employees who are readers! This excludes you, of course.) Besides, I don’t think she would fit in the overhead compartment.