Being a small business owner can be a fickle experience. You are plagued with extremes in highs and lows and you do, in fact, work longer hours than you would if you were working a 9-to-5 job. So why do it? Because if you’re smart, you have chosen a business that doesn’t feel like a job. Over the past several days I have spent more time awake than I have spent sleeping. Again, this falls into the realm of finding a good work/life balance. Long-term, you definitely don’t want to forego days of sleep. However, the thing about doing what you love and doing it from the comfort of your own home is that when you get in the zone, you can stay in the zone for as long as you can sustain it.
This past week has been very fruitful. I went from being a little disillusioned a few days prior to gaining more experience and clients. I am almost nearing a point where I will either hold of on submitting proposals for Elance jobs or I’ll have to parlay the experience into obtaining higher paying opportunities. And even though I have now earned a little money, the part that I love the most is the work. I love organizing, documenting, researching, it’s what fuels me. And that is why at the end of the day, even on the days where there is not a lot of projects going on, the feeling of doing what it is that I love is well worth the very high highs and the difficult lows.
Becoming self-employed is a very big step and unless you have a large pot of money, it never seems like the right time to just do it. A quote that I recently read by “homeless valedictorian,” Griffin Furlong sums up the experience very nicely. “No one is going to hand you success. You have to go out and do it yourself.” There will be plenty of moments where you will wonder if you can make it. Then there are the moments where you feel like you’re doing exactly what you should be doing. Don’t get too deterred by the chaos and uncertainties of it. And when possible, be sure to let the people who support you emotionally and financially know that you couldn’t do it without them. We sometimes forget that achieving our dream comes at a price. So sure, put in those long hours, do the occasional “at cost” job and do what you can to hone your craft. But at the end of the day, be sure to spend it with the ones who love and support you on your best and worst days.
There is a lot to learn when becoming your own boss. You have it the worst because you literally always bring work home with you. But just because you get to do what you love from the place that you want, does it mean that you can’t take the time out of your day to appreciate being able to do so.