The Up’s and Down’s of Being An Entrepreneur!
I have had a crazy, busy, happy few weeks in my business lately - and I'm still on a roll. What I find most interesting is listening to conversations of other entrepreneurs who are saying they are ‘slowing down/shutting down/ for the summer, or parts of it. Really?
I know that can be seen as one of the benefits of being an entrepreneur - setting your own schedule! There are lots of perceptions and beliefs about ‘the life of an entrepreneur' - let's examine some of those and see how it sits with you.
I spent many years in the corporate world - and felt quite confined when it came to things like facilitating change, vacation time, ‘mental health' days (especially when I had been in a certain position for many years and, at times, just needed a break!), and opportunities.....and so much more. It seemed to me that life was always out of balance - when I had time on my hands, I wasn't making enough money to go anywhere special; once I began making the good money, I didn't have the time (or take the time) to go anywhere. I always worked!
No one in my family had been self-employed so this was quite the leap for me. The grass does always seem greener on the other side - so the decision was made and I entered the world of self-employment.
THE ‘UP' SIDE!
1. I set my own schedule - which I love, especially since I live closer to my 88-year old mother now and can plan time with her as I choose.
2. I choose my clients - I can determine the number of people I want to work with, the quality of the people I work with, and when I want to work with them.
3. I can plan my own vision, values, mission statement - goals and objectives - and align my work accordingly.
4. I determine my revenue targets for the year (month, week, day) and course correct when things may not be going according to (my) plan.
5. I live my passion and purpose, each and every day. It is so rewarding to know I am making a difference in people's lives in a very tangible, ‘real-time' way.
6. I don't need to buy as many expensive suits - because I'm not in the same office, with the same people, day in and day out.
7. I set my own budget for travel for professional development - and get to go to many fabulous places that I would not otherwise experience.
8. I give myself a raise when I know I have more value to offer my clients.
9. I declare my birthday a statutory holiday and celebrate accordingly.
10. "I'm the boss - I make my own rules" to quote my friend, Marg (who is sitting here with me at the cottage).
THE ‘DOWN' SIDE!
1. I set my own schedule - and, at times, work very, very, very long hours and days.
2. I need to find clients - each and every day. The marketing never ends.
3. I can plan my own vision - goals - objectives - and it's a constant stretch to ensure I am always becoming my best and delivering my best.
4. I determine my revenue targets - and need to be out there, each and every day, ‘making the bacon'. I'm ‘it' - no one else to depend on.
5. Staying passionate about the work I do - when, in reality, it's often challenging explaining to people exactly what it is I really do (especially to family : ) ).
6. Avoiding the tendency to work as the ‘lone ranger' - doing everything myself. We know that doesn't work.
7. Setting my own travel budget and ensuring my on-going commitment to professional development each and every year.
8. The ‘fear' that can creep into my mind when it comes times to raise my fees - that old negative self-talk can often re-appear and sometimes get in the way when I want to grow my business.
9. No ‘down side' to declaring my birthday a holiday!
10. I am the boss - the buck stops here. That's a huge responsibility.
As you can see, there are 2 sides to every story and situation. Success lies in the way that we look at things - and handle situations - and keep moving forward.
It does take ‘action'! Being an entrepreneur, and self-employed, is no easy task - but it sure does have its rewards. It gives a tremendous sense of freedom - and if you want to take the summer off - just be certain you have all the systems and processes in place to support your decision and that will help to create on-going revenue during that period.
There is one thing that I know for sure - I'll be around - business as usual - because I schedule my breaks throughout the year, rather than in one lump time frame......because I can.
So, are there ‘up's and down's" to being an entrepreneur? Absolutely. Just as in life, it's the way we look at things and deal with them that makes the difference. Success is in the eyes of the beholder, I guess you can say.