We all come to a crossroads at some point in our life - a defining moment to choose one path over another and accept where it leads us. After college I bumped around from job to job trying to build up my experience, and my resume, looking for the right opportunity to grow and be a part of something big. I hated it. I mean I really couldn’t stand it. Everything about holding a job made me feel rotten inside. It’s not that I’m averse to working hard, or that I think that having a job is wrong for everybody, it was just that after a decade in the rat race I discovered a few important things about myself.
The first thing that I learned was that working for someone else made me really tired. The simple expectation of adjusting my schedule to suit someone else left me lethargic and with a distinct palpable malaise that made me angry at life, and it seeped into my free time. Since starting my own business I actually work more than I ever have, but because it’s on my own terms I seem to have a lighter step and am able to walk between the raindrops which has helped me to enjoy my free time even more. The positive impact this has had on my health and wellbeing has also been noticeable as, because I no longer suffer from the same lethargy, I find myself using my free time to be more active as well as making time to cook a proper meal instead of settling for something quick and devoid of nutrition.
I Have Really Good Ideas
Within every company I ever worked for there was a hierarchy. It seemed odd to me that all the people higher up the chain of command were celebrated for having all of the best ideas. All of my contributions were immediately scoffed at and dismissed – until they were implemented and passed off as the boss’ big new idea. Now sure, there’s an argument for stick-to-itiveness, and that if I bided my time I could work myself up the ranks and start making the decisions. Maybe so, but I felt more burdened by the idea of seeing myself forced to pawn off the brilliant insight of an office lackey as my own because by the time it was my turn to get all the credit I was out of ideas.
I Don’t Value Security
I’m a risk taker and I always have been. I have gumption and believe that every time I get knocked down that I reemerge stronger than before. I know that there’s something comforting about having a job and knowing exactly where your next paycheck is coming from but it’s overshadowed by my own sense of excitement at starting something new and helping it grow. Having a steady job allows you to plan everything in advance and keeps you looking forward to your two-week vacation that was organized more than a year in advance, but being your own boss forces you take each day one day at time and keep your mind on what’s important right now.
Helping Others Grow
Within the hierarchy of all the companies I worked for I felt alone. I know I was supposed to emulate the work habits of those above me, but I felt like they kept their secrets of how they got to where they were under lock and key. Since striking off on my own, one of the most enjoyable aspects of my job has been mentoring and learning from those that work for me. Sure, I sign the paychecks, but in my efforts to build a successful small business it feels like it’s something we all share. It’s also very rewarding to share my expertise with my colleagues who might not have as much experience as myself.
I Did It My Way
Everyone is different, and owning your own business is incredibly challenging. It’s certainly not for the feint of heart, and before entering into something so profoundly life altering one has to really have a clear picture of who they are. I was ready to sink or swim, and learn the hard way, because I knew that if I was going to feel fulfilled I had to put myself in a work environment where I felt that I could operate under my own terms. The decision to choose the path that I did has made all the difference in my life and I never thought twice about retracing my steps.