When I talk to people about owning my own business, they often ask if I love it. Truth? I do. Very much. However, there are moments I’d like to just chuck the whole operation and go back to a 9 to 5. These moments are fleeting; afterwards, I have flashbacks to my corporate gigs and remember the dozens of reasons I’m on my own.
Owning your own business is not glamorous. At least, not in the beginning. Unless you have some serious capital (and sometimes, even if you do), you’re going to be doing all of the work yourself and getting very little in return. In March 2014 (three months after starting my business), I wrote the following:
Last night I decided to throw in the proverbial towel. Give up this business that I’ve started and just go back to working for someone else. Someone who will keep me in the lifestyle to which I’ve become accustomed. Stop thinking about branding and what I’ll call my business. Leave my new friends in the networking groups. Cease worrying about when my next paycheck will come in and when I’ll be able to start rebuilding the savings I’m depleting. No more lying awake in the middle of the night worrying.
I woke up this morning and, literally, smacked myself upside the head (not hard). I went to college, earned two Bachelor’s degrees, all while raising two kids mostly on my own. Surely there were times during those six years in school that I wanted to give up. I’m certain there were moments when self-doubt crept in and made me believe I could never do it. But I did. The degree is hanging on the wall and my children are still by my side. They’re the reason I do everything; they brought me where I am today. And now I have an adoring, supportive husband to add to the mix. These people encourage me, every day, to be a better person just because they’re here with me.
Looking back on that desperation I felt 2.5 years ago makes me weep happy tears. I still have difficult days. I still don’t have that lifestyle to which I had become accustomed. But I’ve built a different life, one of which I’m more proud. I haven’t missed a volleyball game in three years. I’m here every day to take my (now one remaining at home) kid to and from school. I busted through five-year goals in year 3 and even hired an assistant! Sometimes, I still can’t believe this life I live is really mine and that I built it. But I did and I love it.