I Quit My Job for This
Finding Inspiration in the Uninspiring work of a Solo-preneur
I became somewhat of and expert on work/life balance by working a very full-time management career while growing my business for the first four years. I'd probably could have continued on in that vein for an even longer time, but that is a different story. When I quit my job, my first instinct wasn't actually to do a happy dance. On my last day, I wrote my farewell note to my staff, whom I had come to trust and love over the years, cried and hugged, and went home.
"I can't believe the end has come. I've been planning this for years and yet never expect it to happen so soon. Three and a half years, and now I'm not your boss anymore (so now I can be way cooler). I'm tearing as I write this so I have to stop. All I can think to say:
Think about a month when you didn't hit your revenue goals. Think about the last really miserable client interaction that you've had to deal with in your business. Then, read this statement out loud to the person next to you.
"I quit my job for this."
How many of you read the statement with a little bit of disgust and disappointment?
On the other hand, if you're anything like me you would run through this statement with an exclamation point!
"I quit my job for this!"
So I have to ask: What is your "this?" Your perception. Your reality.
If you've recently quit a job (or even not so recently), think back to what you did before. Did you ever have a miserable client interaction there? Have you ever missed a target or a metric? Have you ever had a negative experience with a manager or a staff member? Was there anything at your last job that you didn't love.
See. Some things won't change just because you are self-employed and riding the business adventure for yourself. In fact, if we're being honest, tax time sucks way more and, in my case, my new boss (me!) can be an even bigger jerk than my old one.
But for me, so many things have gotten better. Hopefully you can check off some of these things, too, so that next time you are feeling uninspired this can help.
Things I love about being a solo entrepreneur that I didn't have as an employee:
- I can watch Game of Thrones while I do 90% of my tasks (maybe I'm less productive, but I'm happier).
- I can take a long lunch to connect with a friend or professional without having to let anyone know or being penalized.
- I have the option to take unlimited vacation rather than a set number of days, I can choose not to take a contract/client if it interferes with family events, and I can set my own hours for 80% of my work (It's hard to change a wedding date, so those hours are set).
- I can change and adjust my pricing and offerings when I am ready or feel it is necessary.
- I can work in yoga pants. And I do. A lot.
- Unlimited coffee, snacks, potty breaks, etc.
- I can take my dogs to my studio (if I don't have clients in) and can work from the couch with them on my feet when it is cold.
- The commute from my bedroom to my office is never too bad (although the dogs like to trip me on the stairs)
- I'm in control of policy, standards, customer recovery, and decision making.
This is just a small list of things that are pretty cool about my own business. I am a creative solo entrepreneur, so I understand that many of you may still have to go into an office, answer to a board, or discuss strategy with a business partner (all of which may require pants, in most cases), but I'm sure we could all make a list of our own own empowerment pieces to post on the wall by our desk.
Next time you want to roll your eyes, blow steam out of your ears, and scream "I quit my job for this," walk to the nearest freezer or convenience store, treat yourself to an ice cream, and savor the moment. It doesn't matter if it is only 9am, you deserve a treat. Yes. "I quit my job for this."