Work for Yourself – And Love What You Do

Work for Yourself – And Love What You Do

“Choose a job you love, and you will never work a day in your life.” – Confusious

Do you remember what you wanted to be when you grew up?

I wanted to be a doctor. Or a photographer. I grew up to be neither. I went to college, graduated, and got an entry-level job in a call center. I worked hard and that starter job became a nice comfortable career. But I hated going to work. Every day I hated it.

So I quit. Took some time off. And now it’s time to figure out how to make some money…working for myself.

Are you in a similar situation? Have you ever thought about throwing in the towel? Maybe working for yourself?

A Different Way of Thinking

It takes a different mindset to leave the comfort of the corporate world and venture out on your own. For some, being employed by a company gives them security. They know where their next paycheck is coming from and they don’t ever have to worry about putting food on the table.

But it’s been my personal experience that the company you work for has no actual loyalty to you. When times get hard, pink slips get handed out. (Or are they pink emails now-a-days?)

It’s scary to think about what you would do if you woke up one day and found out you no longer have your day job. Did you save up enough in your emergency fund to make it until you find another job? Do you want to go back to exactly what you were doing? Or do you want to try out a new career?

Don’t worry. The last paragraph was a hypothetical situation. But did you get worried? If so, why not start up some side hustle? Why not make a little extra cash on the side? Build up a little income-cushion?

How nice would it be to know that you had a little income coming in that is in no way tied to your day job?

You don’t have to quit your day job to start creating something that could grow into an amazing opportunity. Something that is as loyal to you as you are to it. Something that is rewarding.

One day, those rewards may just sway you to leave that 9 to 5.

You Gain a Sense of Purpose – So Let Yourself Play

I know this sounds very millenial of me, but it is absolutely awesome when your job means something personal to you. When you get fulfillment out of how you spend your day.

Like Confusious’s (yes, I’m quoting Confusious), if you find something you love and can make money doing it, work wont feel like work. It will feel like play. So what do you love to play at that could make you some extra cash?

Let’s say you start up a side business on the weekends. You struggle a bit at first, but you actually enjoy what you are doing so it isn’t too hard to persevere. Then little by little, you start pulling in some actual money.

Bam! You are a success! Goal of getting some extra cash from a hobby – check. You can leave it at that and spend that cash on a beer with your buddies or you can continue to grow your little side hobby.

You Gain Control – Control Over Time and Effort

When you are working for yourself perfecting a hobby or starting a full blown business, you have control over your time:

  • You don’t have to be in an office at 7am and stay until 3pm
  • You can take breaks, or long lunches, or no lunches as you see fit (Sorry OSHA.)
  • You don’t have to make sure your little light on the company IM system stays green, signaling that you are “available” (in other words, signalling that you are currently staring at your computer and are therefore “working”)

Creating your own business or side hustle allows you to work when you want to work. And you get to work on what you want to work on.

And as a bonus, you get complete creative

Sure you may have to make concessions here or there. But if you don’t want to take on a project or disagree with how someone says something should be done, you don’t have to do it.

You Get Out of the “Company Grind”

Ah, the company grind. That’s what I’m calling the little things that a corporation does that creates an unhealthy working environment.

I’m not saying that there wont be stress or long hours when you’re working for yourself. There most definitely will be. But they will be imposed by you, on you. Not imposed by someone else on you.

When working for yourself, there are no more:

  • Meetings about meetings (literally, I’ve been to too many of these to count)
  • Fifteen minute presentations with messages that could have been effectively communicated by a single email
  • Busy work so your boss can claim things are “business as usual”
  • Expectations of doing more than you’re paid for
  • Coworker teardown (think “you got that promotion and they didn’t” kind of mentality)
  • And my personal favorite: no more bell curves during annual reviews

(For those of you lucky enough to not know what I’m talking about here, this is when a company decides to “grade” each employee on something similar to a 1 to 5 scale. But they rate you on a curve, like tests in high school, so most people are rated as a 3. As in mediocre. And only a few get a 5, as in “you get a great bonus.” I don’t know about you, but I have never been mediocre and a 3 is an insult.)

Full transparency, I may be working through some personal frustration here. That coworker teardown example? That one actually happened. It sucked.

Either way, there is no more of this toxic “company grind” when you work for yourself. There is only the grind that you create to build something that you care about. You measure your own success. It will not be measured for you.

Some Fun Fringe Benefits – Helping Out Elsewhere

Work-for-Yourself-Start-A-Side-HustleIf you are making extra money for yourself, chances are you’re going to spend it at a local restaurant, store, or city event. That’s money you made that you then put right back into the local economy.

But what if that extra income allows  you grow your little side business into something bigger and need some extra help? So you hire someone. Maybe it’s a virtual assistant, a part-time helper, or even someone to come clean your house so you can spend your time growing your business.

You just put a paycheck into someone else’s hand. They can now pay their rent or pay for their kid’s baseball league.

Something that started out as a way for you to make extra cash just turned into something bigger that benefits so many more people.

Of course, you can just keep it small too. Stick to whatever goals you have set for yourself and your extra cash. No pressure.

Small or Large, Get to Work

Whether you want to actually start a full blown, brick and mortar business, or just to sell your still life art on Etsy, or award winning tomatoes at the local Farmer’s Market, go ahead and take the leap with me.

I know it’s scary to put yourself out there and open yourself up to possible criticism regarding something that you poured your soul into. So let’s start small, let’s fail a lot, and let’s learn along the way.

I’ll be trying to bring in some extra cash myself. Just a small blog, but one that is mine. I’ll post about my failures (and there will be many), and successes (hopefully there will be some of those too). And I’m sure I’ll vent quite a bit – I know nothing about websites. But I’ll be right there risking my pride with you.

So, if you could do anything for a living, what would it be? What business do you want to start? Let me know in the comments below and I will do my best to support your awesome new endeavor!

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