Running my own business has been one of the greatest challenges of my life. Hands down. But, it also comes with some perks, and those perks are what keep me from accepting the full-time positions I’m offered. Want to know what it’s like to run a business of your own? Stick around this week – I’m giving you the perks, challenges, highlights and low-lights of being a business owner.
Lets start this week with 5 Perks of Being a Business Owner!
Perk #1) No Sick Time!
I’ve had bronchitis and a sinus infection for going on three weeks now. THREE WEEKS. I haven’t had to take a single day off of work. I have no co-workers to spray me down with Lysol and no boss to send me home for fear of spreading Ebola throughout the office. Instead, I can prop my computer in my lap and work from the comfort of my couch, hot toddy in hand (that’s hot tea with whisky and lemon, for the record, and it’s amazing). I’m still working, making money, meeting customer demands and requests, and I’m doing so while getting plenty of rest. I can take a day to myself, if I need it, but I’m not forced to do so. I can work, or I can rest, and even when I work, I can do so in my comfortable clothes, without make-up, feeling and looking a hot mess.
I took a few afternoon naps last week, because my body said I needed it. Ever tried to nap at the office without hiding in a closet? Probably not.
Sidenote: I finally went to the doctor last Friday for a steroid shot and antibiotics. I may or may not be a stubborn, all-natural medicine type. #Guilty
Perk #2) You know that annoying co-worker or company with whom you hate to work? I don’t have those.
While I definitely get the occasional difficult customer, I don’t have to work with anyone with whom I don’t want to work. I even get to pick my co-workers. I currently write for four publications, and I picked all four of them. I used to write for five – I dropped one because working with them was more stress than I felt I needed. When I collaborate with other businesses or business owners, I collaborate with people with whom I enjoy working. I have the opportunity to reach out and work with people who inspire me, challenge me, bring positive/happy vibes into my life, or whatever fits my fancy. I don’t always get what I want, but I never have to get what I don’t want, either.
Perk #3) I’m mobile. And, almost always available.
When my daughter’s school calls and says my daughter is sick, or a friend calls needing an emergency intervention, I can shift around my schedule, without running it by anyone, and go do those things. That’s actually why I started my own business – my daughter is special needs and has her own army of doctors, who all come with appointments. Speech therapy twice a week? I’m game. Allergy shots at noon? I can be there. Impromptu family vacation to the beach? Give me 24 hours to move around my schedule, and I can do that, too – or, I can just bring it with me. I didn’t have to take off of work for DragonCon – I just got a ticket, put it on my calendar, and scheduled my work accordingly. My office, most of the time, is my porch – I work to the sound of crickets and rain quite often. No permission, no dirty looks from coworkers, no worrying about getting into trouble.
Perk #4) I play by my own rules.
I’ve had a few people tell me that my options would be limited and no one would take me seriously with teal hair or visible tattoos. Let me tell ya – my work has, in no way, shape, or form, been limited. While I’m sure companies have passed me up after running across my photo on LinkedIn, I’m still working. A lot. With teal hair and very visible tattoos. I am actually currently working with colored hair, visible tattoos, whilst wearing my Claudia Donovan/Warehouse 13 cosplay for DragonCon this weekend - last minute costume adjustments during the work day? Sure, why not. I am perfectly capable of maintaining a professional appearance at important meetings and speaking events but, because people see me (online) as the real me, they often request the real me in person, too. I often work barefoot, or in moccasins. Sometimes I wear make-up, sometimes I do not. Sometimes I rock a faux hawk. Sometimes I just throw my unbrushed hair into a bun. The point isn’t that I can be a rebel and do crazy things without fear of being written up or sent home, but that I can just ‘be’…and not have to worry. I’m not meeting anyone’s standards or HR’s dress code – I am the same Shai 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. It’s liberating.
Perk #5) My favorite: My paychecks aren’t limited.
There are absolutely times when I look at my schedule and think ‘That’s looking like a slow week…’ or when I need to pick up a couple more clients. Things can be slow. But, on the flip side, my finances are never capped out. I don’t have a maximum I can make on a paycheck. I’m not limited by a salary. The majority of Americans can look at the calendar right now and calculate how much money they will make between now and Christmas, and set a budget for holiday spending. I can do that, too. The difference is that I can go ‘You know what? I’m going to make more than that’ and start planning. I can add events, products, sales, collaborations, articles – whatever I want. I don’t have to hunt down a second job. I can set income goals and work to reach those goals rather than reach work requirements in order to ‘earn’ a set paycheck. Is it often more work? Yes. But, how many bosses would let you pick up extra hours/clients if you suddenly decided you wanted to fly across the country next month, or buy a new living room set? And, even if they did, how many would let you design something new and fun to create a need for those extra hours? I’m not loaded, by any means, but I can easily sit down and make a list of things I want/need, and plan out my business to make those things happen.
So there’s my Top 5 Favorite Perks of being a Business Owner. It’s not all fun and games, but being a business owner definitely lets me have more fun!