I’m a big advocate of entrepreneurship and self-employment. No, it’s not for everyone, but it’s definitely for me! I love being my own boss for a laundry list of reasons, but here are my top seven:
1. Flexible scheduling
Being my own boss means I can select my own hours, and they can vary wildly depending on what else I have going on. I can play hooky whenever I want, working around whatever adventure or diversion that has caught my attention. Unless a big deadline is looming or there is a big pre-existing engagement, I have the flexibility to do just about whatever I want.
2. Salary control
Yes, I can’t just go in and demand whatever random amount I want from clients, but I can charge higher rates for Team Impressa and my side projects as is appropriate. As more experience is gained and things get busy, I get to raise rates. This is much better than begging your boss for another dollar or two an hour only to be denied.
3. Working wherever
So sometimes my team and I have to do some things on-site. Client meetings, strategy sessions, team meetings, mixers, and select other stuff means having to actually leave the house. Otherwise, I can work on my couch, at the kitchen table, in bed, on the patio, at a cafe, or in a bar. It’s nice not having to fight traffic to show up to the same office day after day.
4. Not wearing pants
Okay, I do wear clothes when I work. Just not good ones. Unless I’m on a full body Skype session (which has never, ever happened), I can hang out in basketball shorts or leggings all day long.
5. Business expenses
Being my own boss can get expensive. I’m shelling out for my own insurance, equipment, business cards, and other essentials, and I’m the one picking up the tab on every client meeting over coffee and networking night over cocktails. And don’t forget about business travel. That stinks, but that means I get a ton of tax deductions–those give me the warm and fuzzies.
I don’t actually get a lot of high-fives to be honest, but you do get a lot of accolades by being your own boss. Even when I was just casually freelancing, when people found out that I was basically in business for myself, they’d start dishing out lots of kudos and kind words. It’s not like I need these things, but I like them. Praise just feels good.
7. Calling the shots
Being my own boss, I’m the one that calls the shots. I get to make all of the decisions about my business, which means I don’t have to play along with stuff that I don’t like or agree with. Sometimes this means that instead of watching my boss make a big mistake, I’m the one messing up, but that’s okay. Being able to have control and greater agency over my career and its success is exhilarating, and I’d have to have a pretty enticing offer on the table to even think about changing things up.
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Also published on Medium.