Real Talk: The Biggest Misconceptions of Being Your Own Boss
This topic has been on my heart just begging to be written, so here it is. Owning, running, and in many cases, being your own business is no joke. It’s a very exciting and rewarding path that I wouldn’t trade for anything, but that’s not to say it isn’t without tremendous hard work. There are definitely misconceptions about being a biz owner/entrepreneur, especially from those on the outside looking in. So, here’s some realness that you might not know from solely an Instagram feed.
“Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.”
Meh, I think this quote undermines the awesome responsibility, sacrifices, and dedication required when owning your own business. The more accurate statement is that “you’ll kinda work all the time,” as stated in @ByMariAndrew’s photo below! I do totally pinch myself and feel super lucky to get paid to do what I love, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t hard work. It just means I’m in alignment with my truth, and that’s something to celebrate!
No one will ever care about your business as much as you do. It’s your brain child, and at the end of the day, it’s up to you to keep it moving forward. Whether you’re newly self-employed or a seasoned boss lady, the responsibilities will shift as you grow, but it won’t necessarily become lighter.
After two years of self-employment, I’ve become pretty good at setting boundaries, managing my time, saying ‘yes’ to the right things and ‘no’ to the rest, and outsourcing my zones of incompetence. It requires consistently setting aside time to reevaluate priorities, fix what’s not working, and think bigger picture. I’m just learning to accept that there will always be ‘more work’, but I need to be strong enough to cut it off, turn off the light, and go to bed feeling satisfied with what I accomplished that day big or small. I CHOOSE to prioritize my wellbeing above all else, because I want a career that is sustainable, healthy and long-lasting.
You can make your own schedule.
Yes and no, but mostly no. Not everyone can work around your schedule, so unless your business doesn’t require you to work with others, you have to be somewhat flexible. Most businesses are contacting you during regular business hours, therefore, that’s when I work too. I traded in my 9-5 job at a tech startup for a 9-9 at home. I truly wouldn’t have it any other way, because it’s my life’s passion, but that doesn’t mean I can go on vacation or frolic around town whenever I want. I may have more flexibility to pop out and take a midday yoga class, since I don’t have to ask for permission (perks!). But, in reality, I choose to wake up at 6 a.m. to go workout, so I don’t have to interrupt my workday.
You get to do what you love everyday.
Okay, so at its core, I LOVE what I do. But, it’s a misconception that when you’re an entrepreneur it’s all rainbows and matcha lattes. I’ll tell you what I do love: writing, connecting, and creating. Do I get to do that everyday? Nope, I wish. Some days it’s all operations and logistics. Do I enjoy 2 hour calls with my accountant figuring out all the legal shiz of S Corps? Haha! While I do love my accountant (what’s up, Roderick), girrrrl I do not enjoy accounting, taxes, tracking all of my expenses, mileage, and so on. It’s a big ole headache, and that’s exactly why I hired Roderick in the first place. But, it’s still important to me that I understand what’s going on in the backend, so I’m not completely off the hook.
My point is, there’s going to be a lot of things required of you that you don’t necessarily love nor have the expertise in, and sometimes it takes priority over the creative visionary projects that set your heart on fire. As your business grows, you’ll be able to outsource more of the tasks you don’t enjoy, but you’ll still be involved in every area of your business. It’s all worth it to me at the end of the day.
Life is easier when you’re your own boss.
Someone once said to me, “Man, I should have started a blog. Life would be so much easier!” This person was well-intentioned, but it’s not a good feeling when someone just immediately assumes that your life is easier because you work for yourself. I’m not here to compare who is under more pressure or more stress. But, I will say, not everyone is cut out to be an entrepreneur. It takes a strong back-bone, mad discipline, bravery, risk-taking, creativity, grit, and obviously skill at your craft. I think most entrepreneurs will also agree, we’re all a little crazy. Hehe.
At the end of the day….
Being an entrepreneur is worth the climb… the ups, downs, failures, learnings, investment, growth, and personal development. I’ve been creating all of my life, and it’s my biggest passion. For me, there’s no better feeling than breathing life into something that was once a tiny spark in my head and see it grow into something beautiful. I’m not afraid to put my ideas out there, take risks, and pave my own path. And because I believe in my business and myself, every day of that ‘healthy hustle’ is worth it.
P.S. Have you checked out my new Simplify & Thrive Guidebook? It’s a 40+ page interactive guide that will help you simplify your life by uncovering systems that confront both mental and physical clutter. It takes you step by step through actions that promote real, sustainable happiness by finding joy with less. If you're feelin’ stuck in the busy, the messy, and the disorderly, check it out!