I was blessed to have two supervisors in the course of my career both of them really helped shape who I am today. It’s unfortunate I didn’t have more than that, but it doesn’t matter. I worked hard to learn all I could but I had no idea I would become my own boss. It’s amazing to see where I came from. Prior to 1999, I had always worked for a company though I longed for the day that I could be a business owner. It was one of those dreams that my realism thought would never come true. One day, everything changed. One day, I was faced with an important choice and I’m glad this time I made the right decision.
Choosing to work for myself wasn’t easy. I was scared to death! I had worked my last job and received a nice severance but I knew it wouldn’t last forever. Now, I’m on my own…totally on my own and it’s up to me to bring home the bacon. In fact, that first year I worked like a mad dog with very little sleep.
Self-employment gives me the freedom I didn’t get in the corporate world.
I realized at the end of my career that I didn’t blend well in the corporate culture which in part was due to my quirky personality but also to my being a devout Christian. But, certainly not because I was standing on top of a desk preaching the gospel! I didn’t do that. But I didn’t shy away from my beliefs either. I believe there’s a time and place for everything. My mindset was always on doing the job I was hired to do. However, there was a lot of gossip and office politics all of which I hated. So, I tried to stay away from that when they would try to include me.
Also, I would be in situations where I had to take a stand for my convictions. If co-workers were going out to the bar for drinks or a nightclub after work and invited me, I would politely decline. There were also times when I was given assignments where in order to do it I would have to lie which I didn’t do either and my stand didn’t mix well within the department. Nevertheless, I was not going to denounce my beliefs in God just to keep a job. The Lord has done too much in my life for me to be ashamed of Him and He always blessed me on every job I’ve had and so no one ever had grounds to fire me. I’m not trying to place myself on a pedestal cause I have made my share of bloopers, I only tried to stay true to what I believe and by doing so got me in a heap of trouble in the corporate world.
Self-employment gives me the freedom I didn’t get in the corporate world. No more performance reviews, no more raised eyebrows, no more gossiping, and no more office politics. Now, owning a business isn’t for everyone, it truly takes discipline, hard work, long hours, and you’re out there selling yourself. You’re in charge of branding yourself and that takes time and it’s your name and reputation to uphold. In my case, I was just so determined NOT to return back to an office setting that I pushed myself to make the business work and I did a LOT of praying! It is my new job.
My role as a business owner has changed from freelance work to exclusivity with one company. I’m not as free with my time as I have an agreement to work x number of hours per month, however, it gives me creative freedom with the work I do and how I gauge my time. And what a blessing technology is because I get to work for them 3,000 miles away! Beside this, I take an active role in co-owning my husband’s photography business and then there’s my crafting business at night so I stay pretty busy. Self-employment is the last job I’ll hold until I retire. It’s not always been easy, but if you ask me if I would change anything about being a business owner, I would definitely say, “no”.