I started my business 30+ years ago, at a time when being a female entrepreneur was much less common than it is today. If you had told me then that I would be running the very same business for such a long time – and profitably, I might add! –, I wouldn’t have believed you. After all, I didn’t have the end goal of being an entrepreneur and small business owner. Truth be told, I thought that after a few years I would go back and “get a job.”
But that’s not what happened. After just a few months, I began to see how being in business for myself was the best decision I could have made. It wasn’t just the right decision; it was the best one. Fast forward to today and I feel exactly the same, perhaps even more so.
Here are my top reasons why I think entrepreneurship is truly fantastic. These are not in any priority order, and of course every entrepreneur is entitled to their own story and rationale for owning and operating their own business. Here are mine:
I have the last word
I never have to “check in” with my boss or schedule internal meetings to “touch base” with my team. If I don’t want to do something, I don’t it. When the situation involves one of my clients, then I always get their approval and always keep them apprised of my work. Other than the very necessary client updates, which has been the heart of my clients’ satisfaction since day 1, I make the decisions about pretty much everything.
I make my own hours
This is a blessing and a curse, especially when you border on being a workaholic as I do. Still, if I want to start at 4am and sit at my desk in my PJs, I’m free to do so. Conversely, a 20-minute power nap at 3PM or a mid-day yoga class can be in the cards as well. The luxury of making my own schedule is not that I can do as much or as little in a day as I choose to, it’s that I don’t look at the clock when there is work to be done and luckily, there is always work to be done.
I have job security
Let’s face it, I’m never going to “fire” myself. I have much stronger job security than others because my livelihood is spread out over many clients and is not just derived from one, my employer. If I lose a client, which can happen unfortunately, I still have others to keep the paychecks coming. It’s pretty awesome and, in this life, essential.
Recognition and acknowledgment are mine alone
While I might not be a total media hound, I do like my share of recognition. Winning an award, receiving honors for an accomplishment, and being asked to present to an organization help me to know that I’ve done a good job.
I can get a raise whenever I want
(I can feel the CPAs twitching when they read that!) What I mean is that I don’t have to deal with established policies and procedures related to salaries, bonuses, and merit increases. If cash flow allows, I can decide that I should increase my pay. Conversely, if cash flow takes a dip I may need to cut my salary; hence being able to take the good with the bad is a critical component in being an entrepreneur.
I can help people more directly
This goes along with making all of the decisions – actually, isn’t that true for all of these? – but in this case I can decide how, where and who I can help and then go for it with gusto. Pro bono work, greatly reduced rates for people and companies that need the discount, and mentoring when needed are a few of the things I can do more easily and enjoyably as an entrepreneur.
Dress code? What dress code?
I know most companies no longer have strict dress codes, however I’ll tell you that there are days when the order of dress is comfy loungewear for the entire day – and there’s no one to tell me otherwise!
I’m more attentive to my health
Since I can pretty much set my own schedule I’m free to hit the gym whenever it suits me and not have to fight the crowds at the end of the workday or at lunch. This flexibility also stops me from using “my schedule” as a ready excuse and so I find myself working out much more than if I had to work around my “hours.”
The bottom line is that I wake up each morning excited and eager to start my day. My enthusiasm for the entrepreneur life hasn’t waned, though each day offers something new and different that I have to wrap my head around. It can be challenging but I’m as up for the task as I was over 30 years ago. Mostly, I count myself as lucky for having arrived on this path so many years ago.