My last blog focused on some of the challenges of being an entrepreneur. And, it’s true, there are challenges. But aren’t there challenges in everything about life? Going to work and hoping things run smoothly with coworkers or the boss? Having to fix other people’s problems, live by other people’s timelines? Attend meeting after meeting that seem pointless? Yes, challenges are everywhere. The joy of being an entrepreneur is that, in many cases, you get to choose the challenges you deal with, on your schedule, at your pace, and with whom you choose.
I’ll be honest. The thing I love most about being self-employed is that my schedule is mine. I choose when my work hours are, where I work, who I work with, everything. I love that despite being at this for some time, if it’s a beautiful warm sunny day here in Seattle, I can take a break and go for a 2 hour walk by the water! I still feel like I’m playing hooky, and think that’s part of the fun of it. And in fact, it isn’t complete down time. It’s often during my walks that ideas flow and flourish, so when I return to my office, I’m renewed and the work improves.
Choosing who I work with is another perk. While I have to admit there have been very few people I’ve felt I couldn’t work with, there have been a one or two who I recognized were not a fit. I don’t believe you simply work with everyone who approaches you. Especially in the coaching relationship, it’s important to be compatible. If my style or my skills don’t align properly with a client, I provide the names of some respected colleagues who the potential client might speak to who might be better suited for them. It’s professional, and I feel, it’s the right thing to do. After all, I’m in the business of helping people, and taking on people who I can’t do right by is not appropriate. In fact, I feel it’s unethical. So, I get to choose who I work with, both clients and colleagues, and it’s a beautiful thing. All too often, in the corporate workplace, you’re forced to work with people you’d rather not be associated with. It’s a painful fact of life, but one you can avoid in most situations as an entrepreneur.
Choosing where you work is another benefit. Now, much of this depends on the nature of your business, but in general, you choose WHERE your ‘office’ is. That might be a store or restaurant, but again, you’ve chosen the location and designed the decor. If you’re a coach or consultant, you can work from a variety of spaces: a home office, a co-working space, an office in an office building, the client’s site, even coffee shops if that suits your clients’ needs. For most of us, our surroundings have a huge impact on our psyche, our productivity, and our results. I remember two times in my career, where my office space was in rooms with concrete blocks, some bare desks and chairs. Ambiance? I think not. Being able to choose where you do your work helps to ensure you do your best work.
And finally, perhaps the reason most of us choose to ‘launch’ is that we get to follow our passion. There is simply nothing better than waking up each day knowing that you are doing the work you were meant to do, that shares your unique strengths, gifts and personality with the world! Is it worth it? Absolutely!
Have you ever dreamed of starting your own business? What’s holding you back? Trust me, the fear of the never knowing if you could have made a go of it is far worse than the fear failure.