Hey entrepreneurs, or aspiring entrepreneurs, I get you. I’m the same—having started Mad Media all on my own just less than two years ago. Entrepreneurs are a certain type of people… and it’s a super hard job. There are lots of challenges. Often you make little to no money to start with, your hours are seemingly endless (even when you power off your laptop for the day, you probably don’t power off your brain), your relationships can be strained, and clients can be demanding. But with all of its challenges, being an entrepreneur has a lot of upsides as well. Here are a few reasons I love my life as an entrepreneur.
You kind of feel like a kid again, playing Lemonade Stand.
Remember that? How much time you took, meticulously making your sign with pencil crayons. And the research you did, strategically pricing just a few cents lower than the one you saw down the street the weekend before. And how much pride you took counting your hard earned coins at the end of the day and walking them into the You have this blank slate and you and your imagination (and resourcefulness) get to define your life. It can be anything you want it to be.
You can be young and still make billions.
Or you know—a good living anyway. If you’re working your way up the ladder, you have to prove yourself to get the big-wig, high-paying, high-influence jobs. But if you’re the boss, and you’re starting the business, you don’t have to prove yourself to anyone! No more updating the resume and agonizing over what it says about you. No more applying for promotions and heading home, frustrated, when your arrogant co-worker got the job and is now YOUR BOSS. You have made it! And while you still likely have room for improvement (we all do), you get to prove yourself to yourself.
You can take vacations whenever you want.
Gone are the days of submitting vacation requests to your manager, in hopes that yours gets approved before those of your co-workers so you get to head to Disneyland for spring break with your kids this year. Now, you’re the boss! You can go whenever you want. Only downside is, you’re the boss, so unless you have a really solid team to stay behind and run the show, you’re likely going to end up at least semi-connected and working from whatever exotic locale you settle on. But hey—an office in paradise is not so bad.
You can work in your pyjamas.
Honestly, no one cares what you wear to work—unless you have to step out to meet a client or you a video meeting. But even if that comes up (as it often does), remember they can’t see what’s happening below your collarbone really (depending on how you position your camera). I once conducted interviews in Mexico, wearing a blazer (to look serious and professional) and wearing only cut off jean shorts over my bikini bottoms underneath. True story.
You can work from home.
Which means you don’t have to rush to pack a lunch—you can eat out of your own fridge, at your leisure, instead of resorting to the closest fast food joint down the street from your office. You can get laundry done during the day. You don’t have to step outside and face the world ever—if you don’t want to. Plus, think about this. We invest so much money and energy into building an incredible home and we diligently make our mortgage payments every month, but if you’re working in an office, you’re missing out on a lot of time in that dream house of yours. Added bonus? Working from home means your mortgage or rent is a write off!
Your schedule is your own.
This is incredible for so many reasons. If you have kids, you can now drop them up and pick them up after school and flex your work hours around when they’re awake and asleep to maximize time with them. You can workout in the middle of the day or strategically avoid rush hour when running errands. You can work when you’re feeling inspired or during the times of day when you find yourself to be most productive—which may or may not be from 9 to 5. Now, this doesn’t mean that you won’t ever have time commitments you’ll have to keep. Depending on the nature of your business, it’s likely your clients will have office hours, so you may have to cater to those at least somewhat. (Imagine 3AM conference calls with Europe. Ew.)
I’m not a tax professional, so I can’t give you any real advice on this stuff. But let me just tell you, it’s a very good thing. Now go find an accountant to get more deets.
You get to spend some quality time and energy focusing on your dreams.
So many people go to work everyday—clock in, clock out, then go meet their friends for happy hour and bitch and complain about their jobs and all the crap work they have to do to collect a paycheque. They may be working toward a greater goal, or they may just be doing something they’re relatively good at to bring home the bacon. But you—you’re working towards exactly what your dream is. You’ve thought it up, you’ve designed it and you’ve put the plan in motion to achieve it. It’s your very own dream coming true! So while you may have to do your own heap of “crap work” along the way, it’s worth it when you know you’re doing it solely for your benefit.
You get to hire and you get to fire.
Remember the days of working for someone else, with a team of colleagues, a few of whom drove you absolutely mental? Those people that just rubbed you the wrong way—whether they were always M.I.A while you picked up the slack, spoke over you in meetings or even took credit for YOUR ideas. Yeah, I’m sure you have experienced one of those people at some point. Well now, you’re in charge! So if someone is really pushing your buttons or not pulling their weight, you don’t have to put up with them—you can fire them! (Although firing is a pretty challenging part of the job—I must say.) Still, the fact remains that you get to pick the team of who you want to work with—so they should all suit your style, and share your vision. Your very own dream team!
You get to watch your business grow.
This has got to be one of the most rewarding things a human being can ever experience. I’d love to compare it to being a parent and watching your child succeed at something—but bear in mind, I am not a parent, so this may or may not be a reasonable comparison. Still, to me—my company is my baby and when I witness us meeting targets and milestones, working together collaboratively (even better when the team works without me!) or acquiring new business, it honestly brings tears to my eyes. (I admit, I’m a crier. Big time. It makes giving speeches particularly challenging and wildly embarrassing.) It makes all the struggle, defeat and hard moments totally worth it when you’re constantly inspired by your own growth. It’s kind of magical.
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