Your Business or Your Job – Be Thankful For Your Opportunities
Out of the millions of people in the country that make the trek every day to work at an office, factory, store or some other business where they punch a clock and trade their time for money, you get up every day and work for yourself. There is nothing better than that in my opinion. There is a lot of satisfaction in knowing that every decision you make, every second of the day you work and every drop of sweat is infused into growing your “personal empire” no matter how large or small your business is. In the U.S. every person has the right to be their own boss and run their own business which is something we often take for granted, since this is not the case in many countries around the world. We have a lot of freedoms and liberties that we need to be thankful for.
I spent most of my adult life self-employed, starting my first business at the age of 18. At the age of 22 I sold that business to my partner and went to work for an international manufacturer as the director of sales and marketing. This was the single best work experience that I had as it set the groundwork for any other business that I would have in my future. During that job, I developed the fundamentals in customer service, time management, marketing strategies, sales and closing skills and much more. That job was the equivalent of a college education. After that I spent 10 years as a business development director for a dot com where my primary responsibilities were sales and marketing. What was unique about this position was that I was a sub-contractor so I ran it as my own business and essentially was self-employed. I was able to set my own hours and was in complete control of my income and had the ability to be there to enjoy all the firsts with my children, never missing any doctor appointments, school activities, or anything else for that matter when it came to them. Since then I started several other business, most of which I ran part-time with the help of an employee or two until about three years ago where I reentered the “work force” taking a job for a publishing company.
Some may look at moving from being self-employed to going back to work as a step backwards, but thankfully I love what I do and most of all I love the people that I work with. This was something that I sorely missed when working from home for 10 years. My only interaction during the day was with the mail carrier when he/she delivered my mail. While I love my job there are many things I miss about being self-employed, like making my own hours and the ability to generate more income when and if I wanted to. The only real complaint I have about my current job is the commute, which averages about an hour and 15 minutes each way. This is a killer, but I have learned to make the most of it by listening to audio books and podcasts. So I try to look at my commute as my time to learn which makes it less painful.
I am thankful for the opportunities that I have in my present position and I treat what I do as if it was my own business. Those lessons that I’ve learned over the years I feel makes me a better employee and a better asset to the company.
Many people I know who work for someone else talk about their job as being imprisoned with no room for growth or future opportunities. I feel bad for those people because life is short and it is tough to hear someone basically give up or reside themselves to being okay with the status quo. To those people I usually tell them to keep looking or consider doing something for you. Again everyone has the opportunity for more. I am fortunate in my job that I have a lot of room to be creative and there is always something new going on and while it may be limiting as far as income potential is concerned, it is satisfying in the work I do and the people I work with.
Do I miss being self-employed? YES! Very much so! But at this point in my life, I am thankful for my job and the opportunities that it affords me. While working for myself is certainly in my future plans, how far in the future, I have no idea. Maybe something part-time will fill the self-employed desire in the future. I have a lot of ideas and a lot of things on my “bucket list” and I know when the timing is right that I will one day be able to check them off.
This year, as write this two days before Thanksgiving, I reflect back and am very thankful for my children, my family, my work, my health challenges that I’ve overcome, the good friends I have, and a special person that came into my life at the perfect time.
Wishing you all a very happy Thanksgiving.