I bounced out of bed this morning. No alarm clock, no “just five more minutes”. It was my first day of freedom after spending eight months working for someone else and I am once again able to appreciate the great things about being my own boss.
While I in no way regret or begrudge my time on the payroll (as discussed in my article on mixing business with employment), I am so happy to be back in my home office, with an enormous to-do list, housework awaiting and one thin door separating my work and the rest of my life. Ah bliss.
Seeing as I’m so dellighted about being back, I thought it timely to visit my top ten things about being my own boss.
1. I am able to do what I want…
While the solo life can sometimes involve long hours or less-than-perfect-fit clients, for the most part I find that every day I am doing what I want. This is my definition of freedom.
2. …When I want
I’ve had my share of early morning clients but as a rule I organise my work around when I work best, which means I get up when I’m ready and I book clients in around that. I work as much or as little as I want.
3. The stress-free commute
Wandering down the hall to my office – via the kettle – is a pretty relaxing way to travel to work. And my new hallway commute gives me an extra two hours per day to do with as I please – work, sleep or watch the cows eat grass. And think of all those carbon credits I no longer have to buy!
4. I make the rules
Besides having to abide by the usual legal and ethical standards, I can pretty much run my business how I like. So instead of following someone else’s procedures or constantly conferring with partners, I can create my own rules based on my values and the principles of my business and what my clients need.
There’s a tremendous sense of agency and momentum that comes from being able to respond to whatever life and business throws at you, even if it’s just ducking!
Want more articles like this? Check out the working alone section.
5. I get to choose my “workmates”
One of the best things about being your own boss is being able to meet and learn from other enthusiastic business owners – my passionate peers – who are doing what they enjoy. Being able to connect with these people regularly refuels my own passion in my business, my work and my life.
6. Focused effort equals reward
While it’s easy to be ‘busy’ as a business owner and experience little financial reward, for the most part if I put more effort into activities then the rewards will follow. This is in contrast to a job where no matter how hard I worked or how busy I was, I got paid the same amount.
7. Expenses equal joy
I know the rules – a profitable business maximises income whilst minimising outgoings, so expenses begin to look like ‘the enemy’. But I have the opposite response. I love technology and I love learning. Having the opportunity to direct even small amounts of money into these things (such as computer upgrades, reference books, seminars or even stationery) and claim it as an expense fills me with joy.
8. Hello well-being
Quite simply, when I’m on my happy little solo path, I feel good. I am much healthier physically, emotionally and mentally.
9. I’m using my strengths
While it can be said that the odd challenge or period of adversity can help you grow, I have found that I work much better when doing the things I’m good at. While in the early solo days we often have to wear a number of hats, with time it becomes essential to delegate these non-strength tasks to other enthusiastic and grateful soloists.
10. The boss rocks
Finally, while I sometimes complain that the boss is a little tough, she is supportive, lets me do my own thing, and keeps me accountable without micro-managing me.
How about you? What does flying solo allow you to do or be that you could never have imagined possible? What do you appreciate the most about being your own boss?