Whether or not you plan to go into a turkey coma this month or not, it’s always worthwhile to use the Thanksgiving holiday as a reminder to reflect on what’s going great in your life, and to count the things you’re thankful for.
I’ve been an entrepreneur for 12 years, and I would never trade it in for being an employee again, even if my salary was quadrupled. If you’re an entrepreneur like me, here are five things we both can be grateful for:
1. You’ll never have another crazy boss again
I think we all have stories about bad bosses, don’t we? For me, my stories involve a former boss who took glee in loudly and publicly degrading his staff, and another who never valued the lives or thoughts of his employees.
Being an employee is a crap shoot. You might land your dream job, but if you have to report to someone who’s incapable of leading a team, or who takes out their bad day on their staff, what can you do? Probably not quit, at least for a while.
Being an entrepreneur, on the other hand, you’re only subject to your own peccadilloes. You might be that crazy boss to others—no judgment—but at least your boss can’t be one of the things that make you unhappy.
2. You make the rules
No open-toed shoes. Employees must work eight hours a day, with a one-hour lunch break. Employees must work 8 to 5.
Remember all those damn rules we had to follow when we worked for another company? You may still feel the pull of them in running your own business, but let me ask you: What’s stopping you from working, say, from 7 to 10 in the morning and then 6 to 9 at night? Who says you have to work eight hours a day? Who says you can’t wear pajamas to work?
When you’re in charge, you decide how things will be run. Of course, it’s easier if you’re a micropreneur like me and don’t have other people looking to you to set those rules for them. If you’re only making rules for yourself, feel free to make ones that suit you. For me, this means doing all my grocery shopping during the week during work hours when the stores are empty (because Saturday shopping sucks). It means maybe putting in only five hours a day if I don’t have a more demanding workload. It means when I go on vacation, I’m on vacation, not on call.
3. The sky’s the limit
I’ve been running my content marketing firm for over a decade, and quite honestly, I thought I’d be doing that until I retired. But now, I’m embarking on a second entrepreneurial endeavor (more on that in a few months), and it feels incredible to have this fresh energy getting me excited about something completely new.
You can run your business until you die, or you can run one business for a few years, and then switch gears entirely. You can even run multiple businesses at the same time. Again, there are no rules other than the ones you set for yourself, so be open to where this journey will take you.
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4. You’re doing what others only dream of
Do you ever tell people you’re an entrepreneur, and they get that far-off dreamy look on their face? (“Wow, I wish I could do that,” they sigh.)
You know that it’s a ton of hard work to launch and grow your own business, but you’ve got to pat yourself on the back for just a moment and realize that you were that person once, too. You didn’t believe it was possible, and now you’re doing the impossible. Kudos to us.
5. You’re leveraging your passion to create something great
The phrase “Doing what you love,” while overused, does aptly describe what entrepreneurship is for most of us. Not everyone is so lucky. Sometimes people have skills—things they’re not necessarily passionate about—that translate into being more hireable.
I know a creativity coach who used to be the director of an art therapy program. Sure, there was some creativity there, but she felt stifled by the corporate work environment. Now she’s a free spirit. I know others who have left high-power jobs in finance to start vineyards. Sometimes there’s a difference between what you’re good at and what you love. Anyone willing to put in the blood, sweat, and tears it takes to grow a business has to love what she does, right?
Let’s be grateful
I hope your list of the things you’re grateful for is much longer than this. And I hope that every single day, you find something to be thankful for on this wonderful and wild journey through life.
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