I graduated college in May of 2011. They never tell you in school that a bachelor’s degree means squat in the real world. I was expecting to have a full-time job of my dreams, a posh apartment by water, and an all black jeep wrangler by August. I mean I have a degree right?! HA! The first few months were like getting pistol whipped in the face. Applications wanted you to have 5-7 years of experience for everything! If I’m 22, how the heck am I suppose to have 5-7 years of experience of anything!!? That’s not even logical. In the meantime, I decided to work a few jobs to keep myself busy while I made a master plan. Heres just a brief summary of my work history from 2011-2013…
Victorias Secret Retail: Snore. I couldn’t care less about their bras. I mean the discounts were very much so appreciated, but I just couldn’t give my all to bras and panties. I got fussed at for not describing a seamless panty the correct way to a customer and decided that was my last day on the job. I’m not going to feel bad about myself because I can’t use the right verbs for draws. No ma’am. Not for me. Proactiv Kiosk: I’m young. At a cart. With no other employees. No boss. Left alone unattended for hours… with a cell phone, in the mall.Need I say more? Receptionist at a car dealership: This job wasn’t that bad, but the people were awful there.The atmosphere was so mean and belittling. The hours sucked and bad everyday sexual humor was just too much. California Pizza Kitchen: After days of letting my boss down because I failed to memorize some sausage pizza ingredients, they put me on the floor anyways. My first table was this group of rude older men. They started asking several questions and got mad and started to insult me because I couldn’t answer their answers promptly. Now granted, I should have studied the menu more … However, I had much better things to do than make flashcards for a pizza menu. Wells Fargo: Shoot me. That’s all I’m going to say about that one.
So you guys get the picture… I was striking out left and right. Maybe it was my attention span, maybe it was me… who knows but after all these jobs I decided that all I really wanted, was to do my own thing. Over the past 3-4 years, I have been slowly building up a side business in addition to finishing grad school and working full-time. After a lot of hard work and many hours put in, my side business started to blossom and I decided that I would take the leap of faith . Sure, it seems like it would be an easy decision… choosing flexibility and freedom over a 9-5, but it’s actually one of the hardest decisions I’ve ever had to make. Switching over to running a small business is risky, and the income is variable. I would say there’s probably going to be even more pressure and even a bit of anxiety as I work hard to increase my productivity and my income. Yet, it’s something I’m determined to do. I wanted to share some on my reasons I decided to work for myself.
1. The flexibility to work anywhere. You can choose your location for working; one week you may be sitting on the beach in Greece with your laptop, while the next week may have you sailing the seas of Mexico. With today’s technological advancements, it’s possible to work from nearly anywhere. Of course you have to work up to getting to these lavish locations, but there’s nothing wrong with thinking ambitiously!
2. Do work that you enjoy. Richard Branson reminds us that “some 80% of your life is spent working. You want to have fun at home; why shouldn’t you have fun at work?” If you hate your job, your negativity will spill into your personal life, making you feel tired and unmotivated. Life is way too short to waste time doing things you hate. Do your own thing, and get paid to do something that you actually enjoy. Yes the days can get long and stressful but I am doing something that actually interests me, so I love it. Things can get crazy, but my passion outweighs all the headaches.
3. You have the opportunity to create jobs. There is no greater accomplishment than being able to support others. If you create a small business, at some point, you’ll likely need to hire people to do jobs that you no longer have time to do yourself. As a result, you’ll help others pay their bills, feed their families and make a decent living. I’m getting to a place where I need someone to help me carry out deliveries and answer emails. Yes, my first employee will probably be a close friend or family member … can we say nepotism? But hey, whats better than working and helping out someone you love and trust? Sounds like a win/win to me.
4. Choose how much money you earn. Working for someone else can limit your earning capacity, and sadly, most companies expect you to work harder than ever with no extra incentive. Why put up with this when you can work equally hard but reap financial rewards for your efforts? Your earning capacity is limitless when you work for yourself.
5. You don’t have to answer to anyone. For a stubborn, hard head like myself, this is a fabulous reason! Chances are, at some point in your professional life, you had a boss who undermined your every decision, or didn’t let you live out to your full potential. This situation sucks and can sometimes lead to; losing self-confidence, self-respect and, most importantly, motivation. When you work for yourself, you call the shots. You’ll be more creative, determined and motivated as a result.
6. You will become more resilient. Working for yourself requires a lot of determination to push through the barriers and setbacks. However, over time you will learn and grow from those setbacks; you realize what works and what doesn’t. You become wiser and more resilient in both your business and personal life. When you are facing failure, the path to success will become clearer.
7. You will develop self-discipline. Is embarking on an entrepreneur venture stressful? Hell yea. Very much so. The flexibility of the working environment can be hazardous without enough self-discipline. With no set start time, you’re free to work in pajamas, but the absence of a routine can be detrimental; too much comfort may reduce productivity. Instead of becoming lazy, develop self-discipline by sitting down and drafting up a routine. I LIVE by my planner, it’s the only way I can get the day done.
8. You can live a more meaningful life. Ultimately, work-life happiness comes from doing meaningful things. We all want to work for a worthy purpose or cause and know that our work is actually making a difference. Working for yourself can allow you to define what’s meaningful to you.
9. You will develop business sense. Becoming an entrepreneur requires you to wear many hats — product development, marketing, sales, customer service, accounting, etc. Over time you will slowly develop a keen business sense, which will result in you becoming a more confident and successful entrepreneur/businessman/businesswoman.
10. You will leave a legacy behind. Working for yourself is an adventure. It will provide you with great stories to tell, wisdom to impart and a reason for people to remember and to respect you.
11. Why not? Ultimately, do whatever makes you happy. If you have an idea, go for it. It’s much better to live a life and say that “you tried“, than to live a life and “wish you would have …“
Need some motivating books? Check these out!