How many times have I heard people say, “You are so lucky to own your own business and work from home”? And you know what … for the most part, they are right! I wouldn’t trade my lifestyle or routine and head back to a job where I have to drive in rush hour traffic for anything in the world. But it’s not all glamour! Owning my own business has been the toughest job I’ve ever done. I work 24/7 days, with no health benefits, no paid holiday time, no unemployment insurance and no pension. So why do I do it? It’s because I’m passionate about what I do and that love of my work makes up for all of the other issues. The best part of running my own business is I’m my own boss. I take credit for what goes right and I accept responsibility for my mistakes. There’s no one clocking my hours, I don’t have to call in sick, or make excuses if I’m not in the mood to work. I’ve always known I’ll work harder without someone breathing over my shoulder because I’m extremely self-motivated. The flip side of being my own boss is it can be lonely at times and I don’t have any one to ask within my business if I’ve got a question. The solution to this problem is finding a supportive group of other business owners who are undoubtedly facing some of the same issues as you. I meet with a group of mompreneurs once a month for lunch and we always share a laugh as well as valuable resources. Another issue associated with working out of my own home is I never really escape work. I just received a phone call from a customer at 6:30 pm on New Year’s Eve. I could have ignored the call but I chose not to because I care about my customers. An additional problem is my house constantly looks like a giant warehouse. Just ask my teenage sons what they think about the TV room full of boxes of Tail Wags inventory? I’ve rented 200 square feet of storage space but it’s stuffed with my trade show booth and supplies and, besides, I need my stock at home so that when online orders are received, I can fill them quickly. Another issue often faced by stay-at-home entrepreneurs is it’s hard to get family members to respect your work time and space. My teenage sons will often push my stuff aside on my desk in order to use my work computer. Even though they have computers of their own, they like the fact that my work desk is located in the family room off the kitchen. I’m trying to correct this behaviour but I’m having limited success. And what’s with the constant interruptions? My sons forget they could never interrupt endlessly their co-workers in an office but because I’m their mom, I seem to be an easy target. The irregular cash flow is also difficult. The business doesn’t care about regular monthly mortgage payments. Although my business is year round, the highest earning months are November and December. It means I have to be very disciplined about saving money so it will last all year round. But this article isn’t intended to be negative. The positives far outweigh the problems! The message I’m trying to convey is owning your own business isn’t a “walk in the park”. Every job has its benefits and disadvantages. I wouldn’t trade what I do for anyone else’s job. What about you? Are you happy with your work situation? What would you change if given the opportunity? Have you considered starting your own business? If yes, did you successfully launch the business? If not, what is holding you back?
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