I’ve been thinking about writing this blog post for a few years now. It’s possible what I’ve got to say may offend you. I’m okay with that, what I’m about to share needs to be said.
This life is not for everyone
I’m not suggesting everyone is not capable or running their own business but instead that some folks just may not want to do all the things that are required of being your own boss. I have not cashed a paycheck in more than 17 years, so I’ve got some credibility on this topic. In addition, over the last few years the writing I’ve done here has led to me mentoring several people who have started their own businesses. As proof of my theory I offer up the following text exchange from earlier today:
My friend: “Self employment is f-bombing hard. Was just talking to ____ about it. I’m the organizer/scheduler, project manager, [...]customer service representative, and production studio.”
Me: “You missed a few. And I really wouldn’t change it for the world. But that is just me.”
This is the point where I was going to rant on and on about how you need to make sure you have what it takes to work evenings, nights, overnights, weekends, and holidays – you know for the rest of your life. And you do, but my friend really summed it up. You’re going to be doing it all to some extent or another – forever. Yes, even if you hire people you need to have some understanding of the entire operation. That’s your job after all, it’s your business.
On the bright side you can work half-days
One of the things I embrace about self-employment is the ability to work half days. And even better yet I can decide which 12 hours I work each day! No really, there will be plenty of 12 hour days and plenty more than go on for 18 and more hours. And all kidding aside there are days I only work a few hours. Typically, those days are called Saturday or Sunday but sometimes they are a random Wednesday when it’s nice out and I feel too damn good to work inside all day.
When you are willing to take responsibility for the whole shootin’ match there is also a significant amount of freedom that comes along with that responsibility. That’s why it’s Saturday and not counting this blog post, because blogging here is not really work to me, I’ve put in a solid four hours. I’ll get those four hours back somewhere down the road when I want to take off and do something fun mid-week.
Work Hard, Play Harder
Make no mistake, when it’s time to have fun I don’t hold back. I own a car that is probably a little out of my budget all other things being equal. I do that because driving that car is my hobby. Hanging out with other people who share a similar love of cars is fun, time consuming and expensive. And it’s that much sweeter knowing how hard I work to make it possible.
You’ll reach a point in your life where the work is not quite enough. I still love the work, and we just launched a pretty nice project for a client over at SheHe Media yesterday, that process still gets me jazzed. When that project almost got the best of me, I reminded myself that in a couple weeks time I’m going on a drive with my car buddies. A whole day not thinking about work, driving fun roads and talking about getting my car out on a track next Summer. That my friends motivates me more than any amount of money.
Yes, you need money for your business, your life and your hobbies but money on it’s own is evil and dirty – for real. Read that carefully because all other things being equal I’d rather have a million dollars than be broke. Keep your priorities straight. Balance comes from realizing what matters to you – for me it’s God, Family, Work, Friends, and Fun. And yes if you know me, then you know I have not always lived my life consistent with that order of priorities. I might have even had that list backwards for a decade or so.
Is there a point to this post?
So, you’ve read close to 700 words to get to this point and are probably hoping for a moral to the story. There is none. Well, okay maybe there is – if you love what you do, it doesn’t feel like work most of the time. Instead, it feels like living.
Now go find your bliss and I don’t care if that’s working for yourself or working for the man, just find something that doesn’t feel like working but feels like living instead.
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