The following is a guest post by Amy Knapp.
In the last few weeks I’ve seen a worrisome number of articles about the perils of working for yourself. Being an entrepreneur is indeed full of unique challenges that are very different from the challenges of a nine-to-five job in someone else’s company.
There will be days where you have no choice but to work until 5am, sleep for two hours and rise at 7am to pack lunches and drive the kids to school. There will be days when you need so much under-eye concealer you may feel you are single-handedly funding a whole line of Mac cosmetics.
It will be hard to get approved for a mortgage even when your business is showing good returns for several years. Banks like to average out your income, which includes the lean years when you worked out of your landlord’s garage, lived on ramen noodles and slept on your mom’s couch.
The list goes on.
Sacrifices are a given. What the naysayers fail to mention is the heaping dose of awesome you bring into your life when you follow your passion, the thrilling sense of accomplishment you feel when you bring a product or service to the public that answers to your core-feelings about love, life and enterprise.
This is especially important for women. Because we think with our hearts and our heads, we have an entirely different set of outcomes at which we would like our work to arrive. Our dream business is often one that benefits the family and the bank account. We recognise that passion explored is good for both the business and the spirit. And as we know, what’s good for the spirit is good for the world.
Spiritual investments aside, working for yourself is synonymous with investing in yourself. Everytime I score a new client, my future becomes more solid. Everytime I negotiate a deadline, deliver a product, invoice a client, or file a tax return, I have a distinct sense of being one step closer to the place a want to be. And that’s success you can bring to the bank.
“An entrepreneur is a person who will work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40.”
Heard that one before? Next time you hear a humdinger like that, I challenge you to respond, “Yes! And an entrepreneur is also someone who gets to attend her kids’ baseball games.”
We work for ourselves because we have a burning hot desire to accomplish feats of earth-shattering proportions, because we are builders, because we long for more awesome in our lives. So what if you don’t get paid for mindless busy-work like emailing and surfing the web, as you would in someone else’s grey office building somewhere? So what if you have to wait two more years to buy a house? So what?
Every time I have to chase an invoice or work until 2am, I take a minute to express gratitude for all the things being self-employed has brought to my life: travel, flexibility, amazing business relationships, soul satisfaction. And baseball games, obviously.
You can’t put a price on that. If we’re being honest, I’d be willing to sacrifice a lot more. It’s that good. And you know what? The world needs more awesome. It’s good to know I’ve brought a bit of that into the world.
Amy Knapp is a freelance writer for InsideTrak, an Australian job search engine.