As society continues to push the “be your own boss” mindset, there are so many myths about what it is like being your own boss. Here’s five of the top assumptions I’ve continually been asked since leaving the corporate world:
1. Being your own boss is lonely
In my experience, it has been the complete opposite. Sure, I am no longer surrounded by an entire office or a whole department bustling around my desk. Instead, I’m sitting in a cafe across from a friend or fellow solopreneur, brainstorming our next projects and sharing ideas. However, it can get lonely being your own business, only if you let it.
My tip for avoiding spending days on end working by yourself? Be intentional about your schedule. Make appointments to sit down, get some real, face-to-face time with a good friend on your calendar. My working lunches and working coffee-dates usually turn out to become the most productive hours of my working day. Every now and then, I have to be sure to block out a day for myself, to appease the inner secret, not-so-secret introvert within me. Shoutout to my fellow girl boss Jenna for making me realize I’m not the only one. Any one else ever feel like this? As much as I love the days I can look forward to linking arms with a friend, my “me” days are just as important.
2. Your business is not “real”
This one baffles me. It honestly, truly does. When someone tells me that my business isn’t “real” because I work remotely, don’t have to worry about sick days (because I do) and don’t have a brick and mortar store, I can’t help but feel like they’re stuck in a past century.
To be fair, the drastic rise of entrepreneurs and solopreneurs have only taken place within the last 10-15 years and many people simply don’t understand the concept of “being your own boss.” I provide a quality service, have clients I do business with and make a living off of what I do… I think it’s safe to say my business is pretty dang real.
3. Doing what you love means it won’t feel like work
Hmm, yes and no. I’m not the biggest fan of the “if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life” concept. Understanding I wanted to start a business because I wanted a livelihood that would be able to support my reasons for leaving corporate, I needed to find a job that would allow me to check off the list of “must-haves” when job searching. Needless to say, I wasn’t going to find a job that would allow me to focus on the few reasons on my checklist so I knew I would have to create one that would. I’m sure this quote was plastered over a stock image poster tacked to a wall in a classroom back in high school, but this quote about opportunity:
“If opportunity does not knock, build a door”anonymous
should be how we look at life. Just because there wasn’t a job that utilized my skills, strengths, talents and passions didn’t mean it wasn’t possible, I just had to create that job.
Back to my main point of this being a “yes and no” type situation: I love what I do. My passion to help grow other entrepreneurs and businesses married with my love for art and creation, has helped me create the incredible job I never knew I wanted. No, seriously. I never knew I wanted to be my own boss. With that being said, my work is also extremely time consuming, at times frustrating and the hours can be long. But, I love what I do: I love motivating others, I love developing and curating, I love being a content creator, I love coaching, consulting and growing other people’s dreams. You have to realize this:
When you are your own boss, when you do what you love for a living, you’re no longer building someone else’s dream. You are building your own.
I would rather be grinding away, burning the midnight oil creating a future I want for myself and not for someone else. For me, if I do what I love, I know I’ll have to work hard but it’s completely worth it because it’s what I’m passionate about and that is okay.
4. Starting your own business is risky
I don’t have too much to say for this one except:
Right, it definitely can be risky but so can being employed by a company and then being suddenly laid-off, right?
While not true for everyone, working for a massive company could mean a company wide reduction is right around the corner. Again, not true for everyone but it’s common and it happens. It’s risky being your own business because yes, “what if I fail”, “what if the business doesn’t do well” and so on. There are SO many reasons out there why my business could fail but then again, I wasn’t going to let my dreams go and watch my life pass me by because I was too afraid to make the jump towards opportunity.
5. You don’t have a set, solidified schedule
aaaaand false. Ever since I’ve started working for myself, my routine couldn’t be any more different. The difference is a night and day difference between what my daily routine was like when I worked a 9-5 (honestly it was 24/7) versus being my own boss. Being my own business, I needed to create a strict routine for myself to make sure I got work done. I’m famously terrific at procrastinating and knew if I didn’t set a schedule for myself, my days would never be as productive as I knew they could be. Since leaving corporate, I’ve found time to routinely start working out, meal prepping, spending time with friends, attend family events all the way up in Maryland, help clients the best way I can and devote the time I want to my family.
When you’re drained from putting your efforts into someone else’s dream, I don’t blame you for collapsing into the arms of comfort at the end of a long day. At that point, there’s hardly any room for motivation to care for yourself. Trust me, I GET IT. I know what it’s like to feel like the days drag by but the weeks themselves fly by yet you feel like you can barely accomplish things on YOUR to-do list. So many of those missed moments and opportunities helped fuel my decision to become my own boss and if you’re sitting here, reading this thinking about wanting to begin building your dream, I’m here for ya.
So to my fellow dream builders, passion chasers, entrepreneurs and solopreneurs, keep pushing. You owe it to yourself to create the opportunities and life you so deserve.