employee of the month...every month!
If you are like most women climbing the corporate ladder you have dreams that one day, you'll have your own office, your own employees, and yes, your very own company. But what will that be like?
Recently I started my own business. It was a huge transition from the standard office environment, and for me a very welcome one. I always knew that I wanted to work for myself - partially because I'm an incredibly independent person, partially because I didn't want to be held back by corporate culture, and partially because the very thing that makes you a great entrepreneur makes you a not so great employee for the vast majority of the companies out there. If you are a super motivated, forward thinking individual that loves to try new things, test things out, and always looking to advance there is often not a spot for you on the corporate ladder. Corporations exist because a lot of people are just doing what they always do, and that keeps things rolling along nicely. If you aren't happy to just toe the line you either become a threat, an easy target, or you just don't fit in and find yourself standing alone on an island at work. Or worse yet, you work at an intensely political environment where it's more like a snake pit than an agreeable workplace - and in those places the entrepreneurial mindset does not work at all. And that very thing that doesn't work in corporate cultures does WONDERFUL things for you as an entrepreneur. Quite frankly, you just get shit done. And you do it well. And it's cool stuff that you get to work on.
There are some amazing things about owning your own business:
- You set the hours
- You figure out how hard you want to work
- You figure out who you want to work with, and who you'd rather not
- You don't have to pussyfoot around irritating office politics; as an outsider you don't have to care
- You don't have to deal with a boss
- If you know a project will work you just go with it...often your gut will not lead you astray
- You get to feel proud of what you have achieved on a daily basis
- And best of all only you place limitations on your success. If you can break beyond your comfort zone and try new things, pick up the phone to make a few calls and keep it all together you'll soon find out it's pretty easy.
And then there are some not so amazing things:
- You may miss the company of having colleagues around
- It's harder to bounce ideas of other people and build something great as a team...it's just you, and the few friends that answer your calls for creative input
- You can so easily start working all the time! Last month I worked everyday (but it was worth it)
- If you are not outgoing making those cold calls, introducing your company or asking for business can be absolute torture!
- You may have dry periods where no work comes in and that means no money!
But overall working for yourself is truly amazing. The very simple things in life are so easy again; going to the doctor is now possible without seven cancelled appointments first because your office life took a priority. You can take a walk in the afternoon for an hour to brainstorm ideas, and it actually is work! If you are exhausted on Tuesday and the work is just not happening you can stop, and pick it up when the ideas start to flow again.
And it's that exact freedom coupled with discipline that makes the entrepreneurs life a dream!
If you are interested in starting your own business be sure to read the following:
Introducing Fabulous and Fearless Female Entrepreneurs
Interview with Lisa Ng: Owner of Hello DJ
Interview with Ali DeBold: Owner of Chick Advisor