Self-Employed Reality: Unlimited Freedom is a Myth

The ultimate goal is freedom, right? We all want to untether ourselves from any obligations imposed on us by others whenever possible. (It isn’t 100% possible!)

What IS possible is flexibility, a step away from the socially constructed “workday” and “workweek”. Both are social constructs, not requirements.

"If the old ways are truly just sitting there, waiting to be disrupted, it’s surprising that the traditional workweek remains wholly intact." -The Atlantic

In 2007, I stepped away from my career path to have flexibility for my son. Boredom quickly took over in my new stay at home mom role, so I started dabbling around trying to fill my time, and this business was born.

Over the course of the past 16 years, I was able to do so many things with him while also growing this business. I homeschooled him for 5 years, choosing a year ‘round 4 day/week school year. We took trips when it was convenient for us as well. Then I was able to drive him to school when the time came to enroll in private high school, etc. It was the best!

Washington, DC 2014

None of this would have been possible if I had stayed at my career desk.

My flexibility is something I do not take for granted. I LOVE being able to avoid the crowds during the week to hike, do my shopping, etc.

Me at Jacks River Falls

I have noticed over the years that people think that  because I work for myself, that I do whatever I want whenever I want. Well, yes. BUUUUUUUTTTTTT….

This business doesn’t run itself.  It doesn’t grow by magic or rainbows or pixie dust.

It runs because of planning, discipline, and actual work.

But a lot of that is unseen because I am not tied to a 9-5 work day.

People don’t see the early mornings of admin, bookkeeping, marketing, writing blog posts about the early mornings LOL (it’s 5:30am right now).

They don’t see late nights at the embroidery machines.

They aren’t lying awake with me with anxiety in the middle of the night when things get super busy and almost unmanageable.

They aren’t sitting with me while I make (non-emotional!) decisions about products — this one is HARD.

They don’t see my brain running 24/7 even when I’m supposed to be ‘off’ that day.

Flexibility is my absolute favorite thing about having my own business. It does come at a cost but it’s a cost I would choose again and again.

Can you believe that I took that all away from myself once? ON PURPOSE?!  I’ll write about that next…