10 Reasons Why You Should Work for Yourself And Run a Passion Based Business
One of the biggest sources of pride and satisfaction in my life is my work. I’m not going to lie- I LOVE working for myself. It’s something I always dreamed of when I was a kid, and became a reality in my early twenties.
I love the feeling of getting to work, of planning my day, and of helping YOU through this blog. I love being able to work from coffee shops anywhere in the world, or stay at home and write in bed if I’m not feeling great. Overall, there are a lot of things I love about working for myself.
A small dock off of one of the islands in Venice. That water!! Love.
Of course, I don’t want to completely sugar coat it for you. There are definitely some parts of being self employed that are really tough. For one, taxes. Doing your own taxes when you are self employed, especially if you have employees, is one of my worst nightmares. Another major annoyance? When I get to a coffee shop or library to work and the internet just WON’T work at all! Argh. That one really sets my day back.
There’s also the feeling of being completely, 100% responsible for your business and your reputation. It’s all up to you, and sometimes you just don’t have the answers but you have to keep going and figure it out the hard way. Tough, right?
But guys, I have to be honest with you. Working for myself has been one of the best decisions I have ever made. Even through the tough times, I’ve never regretted it. I can’t get enough of that feeling of freedom and responsibility for my own life- it drives me and motivates me more than any job ever could. So today I want to give you ten great reasons why you should consider working for yourself on a business that you are totally passionate about!
You have control over your output.
By output, I mean you are in control of the work you produce. In a typical job, you are expected to show up from 9-5, no exceptions. It doesn’t matter if you get all of your work done by 11am, you still have to stay till 5pm. Doesn’t that seem silly?
Here’s the thing about working on your own passion based business. Nobody cares how many hours you put in a day. Seriously, no one cares. Your clients/customers/readers/whoever only care about what you produce.
Think about it. Do you care if it took me one hour or eight hours to write this article? Probably not. The only important metric is whether I helped you with something through my writing (quality) and whether posts show up regularly when you expect them to (timeliness).
There is a good side and a bad side to the output coin, however. On the downside, my business is no better off if I spend more time “researching” than writing, if I spend an hour in traffic only to find that my work location’s internet has gone out, or if I need to spend time learning a new skill for my business.
On the upside, however, if I work diligently for three hours and really produce some great stuff for my readers, I can call it a day. If I use some great time management techniques to get more done in less time, I can happily go to the beach in the early afternoon and my business will continue to grow and serve my readers.
You have control over your time.
Another thing that is great about running your own passion based business is that you have more control over your time. I remember way back in my early twenties, I worked 8:30am-5:30pm five days a week. One thing that was super hard was scheduling basic things like doctor’s and dentist’s appointments. Why? Because they are only open 9-5 as well! I still don’t know how people do it.
So, one of the great things about controlling your work hours is that you can decide to start work earlier or later to accommodate other meetings. You can take a sick day without your boss howling about it. If you are cranking out solid work one day, your business will happily sit while you take the following day off completely.
Now, this approach typically doesn’t work well with service businesses and is one reason why I really don’t recommend starting a service based business. I’ve been there, and there’s a reason I moved on.
I started a pet care business in my early twenties and, while I learned a lot about business and about myself, I would never do it again. It was super hard to take days off, I very much had to be on time down to the minute, and the hiring and firing process was brutal.
Backpacking in Greece during our month long Euro trip!
Passion versus Obligation
Okay, I know that not everyone is going to feel this way. Some people find jobs they truly love and
stay because they feel that they are contributing to the greater good. That’s wonderful! So far, I have
never found a job where I felt that way.
When you show up to your job, I’m betting you do so out of obligation. You need to make money, you don’t want to disappoint your boss, and your family is relying on you. It’s not fun, but it’s something that you just really need to do.
Contrast that with a business that you are crazy passionate about- whether that is writing, blogging, photographing, creating, inventing, teaching, or researching. Suddenly, you find yourself wanting to jump out of bed and get to work in the morning. You come up with new ideas for your business while you’re out hiking or exploring the city. You dream about all of the possibilities for your life, because you love what you do and you love how your work helps others. That is definitely what I’d call a good work life right there!
You Have Equity in Your Work
Personally, I feel like running your own business is like buying a house. You truly own it. You are responsible for it. You can do what you’d like with it and you have equity in it. In the long run, owning a house will likely make you money.
Getting a job is like renting. You don’t have any equity in your company, and you can be let go at any time. Sure, you’ve got a place to live, and you might even really like it there. But you are at the mercy of those who run the place, and whenever you decide to leave you don’t have anything invested that can make the transition smoother (unless you are lucky enough to snag a severance package). You simply pack your bags and you are out.
You Have More Influence Over Your Income
I don’t know about you, but the last time I worked at a J.O.B. the wages were already pre-set, and there was only so much room for growth. Sure, you might get a little raise here and there, but it wasn’t much to celebrate over. Oftentimes, management would demand that you stay later or meet tougher and tougher goals, but you certainly weren’t going to be paid any more for working harder. Frankly, I think that’s bull crap.
When you run your own business, working harder and smarter pays. Your income is a function of how many people you are able to help and to what degree you are able to help them. If you produce more and better work that improves the lives of others, you are going to see an awesome pay increase.
Plus, you can (and should!) plan your work according to the income you’d like to be making. There will be some times when you’d rather work a bit less and simply maintain your income- because you are going through a cross country move, or you are having a baby, or you have something else on your plate that you know will eat up a lot of your time and energy. And then, there are going to be months where you know you are ready to get serious with your work, buckle down, and launch some new products that really boost your income. The thing is, you are in control of that. You can plan your work life according to what’s happening in your personal life.
Visiting the sunny and hilly Cinque Terre, Italy, in November.
You Have Pride in Your Work and in Yourself
How many times have you asked someone what they do for a living and their eyes glaze over as they give you a quick one liner about their work?
“Oh, um, I’m an insurance agent.” (Followed by a big sigh.)
Running your own business gives you pride in your work because you know your reputation is at stake. It gives you a reason to do better and be the best that you can be. And it gives you pride in yourself because you can confidently tell someone about your interesting career that you created, out of thin air, that makes the world a better place.
Avoid Office Politics, Negative Coworkers, and the Drama Llamas
We’ve all had that one coworker who’s just kind of a pain, right? He or she loves to stick their nose in other people’s business, gossips about others, and whines constantly about their home life.
Negative people and bureaucratic management are often listed as the top sources of dissatisfaction among job workers. The cool thing is, you really don’t have to deal with that when you work for yourself. You choose who you work with (if anyone!), what clients you take on, and what your business policies are.
No Schmoozing Required
Want to increase your income or take on another important role in your work? Here’s an idea: Give yourself a promotion! Plan for a pay increase by scheduling out new and exciting projects. If you want to improve your career and help more people, don’t waste your time sucking up to your boss in hopes of getting a five dollar raise or a weekend off. Plan accordingly, and then just do it!
You Can Start Work a Few Minutes Late
You know what I’ve always thought is nuts? The fact that you can stay after work an extra hour busting your buns to meet a deadline for your boss, but if you come into work 10 minutes late the next day there’s gonna be trouble.
It really grinds my gears that many companies don’t treat people like people anymore. I remember working at the 9-5 knowing that I couldn’t leave 15 minutes early for any reason short of a terrible emergency. I also had to really plan out my bathroom breaks, and if we got slammed on a particular day, I might just have to tough it out. When did these things become okay?
Some jobs are certainly better than others, and I know that not all of them have these types of situations. But for me, I would definitely rather be able to wake up a half hour late if I need to, or call it a day early if I’m feeling sick, than chain myself to a boss and a system that treats me more like a disposable robot than a human being.
You Have an Element of Freedom
One of the things I love most about my work is that I am free to move around. Feel like traveling for a week or two? I don’t worry about “getting approval” and if it will disqualify me from a future promotion. I just go. Oftentimes I bring my laptop and work while I’m traveling, which is wonderful.
Other times, I take a complete break. Working for yourself allows you the freedom and flexibility to travel, go on vacations, and even move to other states or countries. And I always find that the time away in a new place brings me fresh insight and fun new ideas that I wouldn’t have had if I’d stayed home in my comfort zone.
So, What Are You Waiting For?
Well guys, this concludes my top ten reasons why I love working for myself and I think you will too. If you’ve ever felt like you are ready to take control of your own future and you have the self discipline to see it through, don’t wait. There are some truly great opportunities if you are willing to work hard and be a little scared. Welcome to the dark side!