I’ve often said that one of the best things about entrepreneurship is the freedom. I’ve been a ladyboss since 2008, but it was really 2011–the year I was able to stop working other jobs to get by–that I really felt the freedom. For me, the ability to make my own schedule is invaluable. You could offer me a job making three times what I make now, but if I had to work off a schedule and answer to someone else, forget it. Keep your own (restricting) money, I’d say.
I want to get into the nitty gritty of what types of freedom I have, thanks to my boss (me). If you are considering opening a business or going freelance and the idea of schedule freedom is part of why you want to do that, read on.
Sleeping In. I know, I know–I’ve talked about this before. A lot. But as someone who is a shitty, unproductive person when she is sleep deprived, I really value the opportunities I get to sleep in. And I don’t mean until 11:00am. To me, sleeping in is waking up when my body wants to. Sometimes that’s 7:00am. Sometimes it’s 8:30am. I usually don’t make it past the 9:00am mark but hey, if my body wanted to do that one day and I didn’t have morning clients or a meeting, I’d do it. After having to wake up earlier than my body wanted to for all of elementary school, middle school, high school, some of college, esthetics school and every job I worked before I opened my business, I’m over it. Sleeping in feels like luxury, but it’s really just a job perk.
Booking Flights. For the most part, I am able to book flights on the cheapest days. For example, say I wanted to go to Nashville next fall (which I do, because I always want to go to Nashville). As long as it’s far enough out and my calendar hasn’t been filled in too much, I can choose my dates based off the cheapest flights. 11:00am on a Thursday $100 cheaper than 5:20pm on a Friday? Late morning on Thirsty Thursday it is. I’ve probably saved a couple thousand dollars in flights thanks to my business owning ways.
Sick Days. I don’t get paid sick time and there are times when I have do jobs even when I am sick because I am under contract or have no one to cover me. But when I am sick for a longgggg time–like I have been this fall–being my own boss has allowed me to take time to rest for weeks at a time without using up all of my sick time or going on medical leave and taking a pay cut. I mean, yes, I’ve still had to work running my business, but I can answer emails and phone calls from bed, and I can keep those to a minimum outside of wedding season. With my recent illness, I didn’t have to ask anyone for permission to leave work for the many doctors appointments I’ve had. When I’m sick, I just take care of what I need to take care of, do only the urgent or time sensitive business things I need to do, and rest as much as I can, without worrying about using up all of my paid time off.
Workout Schedule. There are some workouts I do at home, and I do those whenever. I can get off a phone call then do crunches on the middle of my office floor without anyone reporting me to my supervisor, which is nice. But what I really love is that as a half-ass runner (usually only a couple miles per run), I can go out on my runs depending on the weather. Rainstorms rolling in at 4:00pm? No problem. I’ll head out at 2:00pm. When I worked at 9-5 jobs, I could only run at night (6:00am workouts made me want to vomit, so evenings were the only option). On the evenings that were rainy, snowy or brutally cold after the sun went down, I’d have to skip my run. Now I just check weather app radars and hourly forecasts so I have no excuse.
Running Errands. Ah, the other kind of running I do. I like to be very efficient with my errands, because, I mean, I’ve got work to do. Creating my own schedule means I can run those errands when places aren’t busy. Grocery shopping at 12:00pm on a Tuesday takes half the time as it would the same time on a Saturday. In fact, I do most of my errands mid-day during the week. I don’t have to scramble to get out of work and through rush hour traffic to make it to the dry cleaner’s by 5:30pm. I just stroll on over at 1:00pm, enjoy no line and take that white sweater right on home. It’s glorious.
The freedom that entrepreneurship is huge to me. It means I can build my days–and therefore my lifestyle–the way I want. I can’t think of a better job perk.
Have a beautiful day 🙂