Wake up to your blaring alarm. Take a shower and brush your teeth. Put on that stuffy button-up and slacks that hit you in all the wrong places. Get in your car and join the morning traffic. Clock in. Work. Lunch. Work. Clock out. Get in your car and join the evening traffic. Change out of your work clothes. Make and eat dinner. Get your things ready for tomorrow. Set your alarm. Sleep.
Okay, I know I am severely over-simplifying and exaggerating what the typical 9-to-5 career life is like. I also know that there are plenty of people that love their job, flourish in their career, and because of this, are excited to wake up every morning to head to the office. But I will not argue against the idea that a “job” is very limiting. And I don’t like being limited.
In every job I’ve ever had, I had to answer to someone else (duh?). My schedule and the type of work I did was limited by another entity. Possible innovation had to make its way up a very long, diluted chain of command. I often found myself wondering if any of the work my colleagues and I did every day even mattered. There was such a large part of me that didn’t feel like this was the right avenue for me to share my voice, passion, or skillset.
So, I started my own business. I thought, “this might be the scariest and dumbest jump I’ve ever decided to take.” However, through these nagging thoughts, there was such a large part of my soul that felt like this is how I was supposed to be moving in my life. Are you thinking that might be the move for you too? Here are my 7 reasons why:
I never have to answer to another person again. Isn’t that an incredible sentence? I get to make every decision without consulting even one other person. Of course, this has its drawbacks too like when I really don’t know if I’m making the right choices. If my choices are wrong, I’m the only one who fails. However, this ultimately helps me grow; not only as a business-owner but also as a person. I am gaining so much independence and confidence in my ability to grow. I’m discovering bigger, better parts of myself every day.
Have you ever wanted to have a voice in the world? Is that a dumb question? Well, I did. I wasn’t even sure of what I wanted to say, but I knew I wanted to be heard. So I started my business so I would have a platform to speak about my passions, share my skills, and help others. I am able to do all of this without the pressure of conforming to a boss or a brand that I work for. I am able to develop my own, individual voice which is a priceless thing. I know that every bit of work, product, and information that comes out of my business aligns with my principles and shares a bit of myself with the world.
The one thing I did not expect to gain when I chose to start my business was a family. Because my business exists solely online, I thought it would be a little lonely since most of my work is spent at home alone and my customers are faceless words on a screen. This couldn’t be further from the truth! When I was first learning how to navigate the world of e-commerce, I joined (way too many) support groups of entrepreneurs and gained a family of individuals who were just like me and had goals just like mine. Once I started gaining followers online, I saw a community of people developing around me that I looked forward to interacting with every day. When I got my first clients, I formed a bond with them and cared about their success. Looking back, I realize how silly it was to think that the ever-growing internet could ever be so lonely. Like I said, I am sharing bits of myself with the world every day. I am surrounded by more support now than I ever had before I started my business.
4. Adjustable Income
The financial aspect of owning my own business is the scariest and the most enticing part of the whole adventure. “Financial freedom” is a real thing, but it definitely takes patience and very hard work to achieve it. However, the reward is so worth the risk. Once a business is in a steady place financially, it’s easy to adjust the income by adding services or products, increasing or decreasing the advertising spend, or taking on more clients. If I know that I have a rough month coming up for bills or a vacation that I’m saving up for, I know that I can add to my income. This is a kind of financial freedom that I have always longed for and now I get the chance to create that freedom for myself.
I get to work anytime, anywhere, and on anything. This not only means setting my own daily and weekly hours but also allows me to take days off and even vacations whenever I want to. Of course, work still needs to be done, or that financial freedom I’ve built up goes out the window. However, since my business exists online, if I want to take a three-week trip somewhere, I can take my computer and continue to upkeep my business fully or at a slower rate if I choose to. I also have flexibility with what I want to work on every day and what directions I want to take my business. Remember that innovation I mentioned? I get to implement as many or as few raw innovative ideas as I want.
Owning your own business requires a tremendous amount of faith. This one is a no-brainer. Leaving behind a stable, traditional financial and professional life for something that has literally zero promises and a very acute learning curve is near-crazy. It takes faith to take the first step of course but every subsequent step requires more and more. When things are going well, I have faith that I am doing the right thing for my life. When things are going poorly, I have faith that I will find a solution. Through the successes and failures of my business, my faith in myself and my higher power has grown to heights I didn’t know existed.
7. “Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life”
Is it cheesy? Of course. It’s also not 100% true. Work will always feel like work. Are there days when I just don’t feel like working? Absolutely. Unfortunately, there are very few people in this world that survive on zero effort, and I am not one of them. The difference comes in when you enjoy your trade so much it doesn’t even feel like work anymore. I started my business based on things I love in my life and am passionate about. This means that when I “go to work,” I am engaging in things related to my passions. Who gets to say they turned their beloved hobby into an income?
Owning a business is not for everyone. You may have read this whole post and thought to yourself, “Well, that just sounds terrible. I would hate to live that lifestyle!” And, of course, that is okay. As I mentioned, some people absolutely love their jobs and furthermore, there are jobs out there that provide this type of lifestyle as well. In the end, it is completely about doing what works for you and makes you happy. For me, these seven reasons are more than an explanation of entrepreneurship. These seven reasons define a large part of me-the part of me that I put into my business.
What’s new with Ashleigh? “I have been hard at work revamping my blog and starting a digital marketing business. I just started an M.B.A in Marketing so that I have all the tools necessary to pursue all of my dreams.”