There are days I get home and have dinner with my husband and when he asks me “What did you do today”, I can’t even imagine where to start. It seems like I did a thousand and one things and … nothing.
A few weeks ago I was tracking my time (to the minute) in a bid to start outsourcing some of my work to a virtual assistant. Seeing it all laid out on the page like that reminded me of how insane it is starting up and running my business. It isn’t just the volume of tasks, but the variety.
Every job I had prior to starting my business, allowed me to develop pretty good routines. I knew my commute and the coffee shop I stopped at along the way. I knew what my day would look like week to week. I knew what would be thrown at me on any given day.
It was kind of nice. And safe. And familiar.
Something no one tells you before you start a business (especially when you do it alone) is that you’re expected to be the master of everything. It means on any given day I could be doing anything from budget forecasting to writing proposals or coding for a project.
I always have to laugh when people ask me what I do and I tell them about my business. Nine times out of 10 I see this look of wonder cross their face: “Wow it sounds so glamorous”.
Whenever I get that response and think about what I actually do on a given day – I have to laugh. I love my life but glamorous and soloism … they just don’t go together. It’s hard, it’s demanding and it NEVER STOPS.
All that said … I do love the solo life. And really, you have to else you’ll never make it through!
That exercise I did recently of tracking my time and tasks? It gave me the opportunity to remember what it is I love about working for myself. With that in mind I thought I’d share with you today the top five reasons that I’ll never leave the solo life:
1. No day is ever the same. Ever.
Routine is great for passing time quickly but who wants it to run through their entire lives? Any time you get frustrated about a lack of consistent routine remind yourself that every day you can wake up and choose what that day will bring.
2. You write the rule book.
This one I forget so often. I was so conditioned to doing things ‘by the process’ in my previous jobs I often have to remind myself that in my solo life I get to choose the process. I also get to choose when to stick to it, change it or throw it out the damn window!
3. Thursdays can be Sundays.
Flexibility. I love, love, love that I can make Thursday a relaxing Sunday if that’s what I need that week. If a friend is in town for only a few days I can take off the days I need without having to justify it to anyone.
4. You define your own office.
I recently started working from a shared space (which I completely recommend) and this has been amazing for meeting people and feeling a bit more connected. But I also love that I can pick up my laptop and transport my business wherever I need to. Incidentally, I’m writing this article from a bar at the Hong Kong airport waiting to board a flight to start my honeymoon. It’s so freeing to know you can run your entire business from anywhere in the world.
5. Spring out of bed with joy each morning.
This is a big one for anyone who ever had a job that filled them with dread each day when they woke up. When you’re living the solo life you get to wake up everyday with ideas, passion and excitement to start what you’re doing. Nothing else really matters after that.
So what if you’re in a spot where you’re not loving your solo life so much at the moment? Well I definitely recommend having a look at what you’re doing in a given week. The exercise really opened my eyes to some things I need to stop wasting away my time with and was also a wonderful reminder to spend more time focussing on what I love! Keep a notepad or a note app (Evernote is my favourite) open all week and write down every single thing you do – not just the work tasks but the breaks and your personal life events and tasks too.
Meanwhile – if you know exactly what it is you love most about your solo life right now, I’d love to hear about it in the comments below!