One of the reasons I knew many years ago that I had to become an entrepreneur, was that I wanted the ability to dictate the terms of my life.
I hated HAVING to be at work at 9am, and feeling guilty and stressed if I was running late. I hated having people silently judge me if I was writing a personal email or reading a blog during work hours, and the challenge of having to always book things like dentists and home deliveries in my pre- or post- work hours. Its not that I have an aversion to work, far from it, but I hated that the times I was not performing in a ‘normal’ business way would be judged negatively. And perhaps this is more an indication of my inherent guilt, as possibly I was imagining these silent frowns of disapproval, but nevertheless, I hated feeling that way, and knew that being my own boss would be the only solution.
And I feel very lucky to have achieved my goal: I am my own boss, and I am more or less master of my own destiny.
Of course the irony is that far from working less, I am now working MORE than I ever did, when I was a normal employee. The beauty of my arrangement though, is its on my terms, and every day that passes I savour that feeling. I love that because I work best in the evenings, if I choose to start work at 10:30am, and work til 9pm, that is fine. If I need to go to the doctors, I can book at whatever time I like, and work from home til that time comes. What freedom! And if the way I work best is to stop every hour for a game of Spider Solitaire, no one is going to ever judge me. Brilliant!
The one big challenge though, is that this freedom requires a great deal of self-discipline. I love working and I am inspired by my work, but sometimes, my inherent laziness gets the better of me. Never is this more apparent than when I ‘work from home’. Now, don’t get me wrong, my working from home is vastly productive, and I enjoy the solitude to focus on something complicated. But… the lure of tempting procrastination is strong, and I find it hard to resist even though I really really want to, without the power of the guilt I feel when I am working in an office.
So, although I work for myself, being in an office with lots of other super dynamic people not only motivates me, but dispels my desire to procrastinate. I actually find the rigours of my training as a 9-5 employee actually helps and gives me discipline to go to work early, work hard, etc. I know some people are brilliant at working hard at home, and are great with self-discipline, but I have come to terms with the fact that for me, I need to almost trick myself that I am going to a normal job, in order to get the most out of my time. Of course, I do give myself some of the flexibility I have aspired to, and in all, this proves a healthy workable balance.