Working for Yourself: Is It Worth It?

by Sandra on June 6

why-1352167_1280I’ll have the freedom to work whenever I want. I can be with my daughter and give her the quality time that she needs. I can fire clients and I can hire out all those tasks that I really don’t want to do. I can do what I love, and get up every morning motivated and looking forward to the day to come!

Well… Yeah. No.

Right now, I’m having equal moments of frustration and joy in deciding whether to start a business. I am having doubts and feeling confident, often at the exact same time, even. Right now, I am in the trenches, and I don’t know if it will be worth it in the end. 

But this is my experience so far. It might help you decide, too.

Your basic personality won’t change just because you love what you do

Starting my own business puts a lot of demands on me, and meeting those demands doesn’t come naturally. The motivation to work, the excitement to start my day on a project I love? Ha! I’ll be lucky if I remember my own name at 7 am, never mind a project, however exciting it was last night.

I still need my 2 cups of coffee before becoming something resembling coherent. The only reason I get out of bed is still because my daughter is screaming in my ear telling me, “The sun is up mommy! It is day time! Time to get up!!” Shut up kid. It might be light out at 7 am, but that does NOT mean it is time to get up!

Of course, that last one is just a thought as I tell her a fake happy good morning, and a sincerely meant “I love you,” and take her downstairs to get her breakfast and cartoons and for mommy, coffee and Facebook.

I’ve never been a morning person. I would love some time in the morning to have my coffee in peace, and start my real day around 10 am. I am pretty sure that won’t happen until my daughter is 18 or so. So, I just have to suck it up, and get up early and still be productive because the day doesn’t magically grow extra hours just because I really want them.

For better or worse, part of being me means that I am extremely creative and can think of a zillion different solutions to any non-existent problem. However, when it comes to the things I know I need to do and find too boring, scary, or otherwise unattractive, I’ll need to rely on good old willpower to get them done. There are a lot of strategies online to make things happen that you don’t really want to do, and most of them work to a certain extent. And I use them all—otherwise, the administration would never get done, I’d be stuck researching, and thinking of ways to complete a task more efficiently until it comes biting me in the ass.

Point being, just because the general picture is something I really love, it doesn’t mean that I magically got a new super power added to my personality that makes everything easier, more fun, and more entertaining. Boring stuff is just as boring.

Taking time for yourself is easier, and therefore so much harder

True, now that I work for myself, nobody is on my ass about having to work certain hours, or getting projects done by the due date. If I don’t feel like working, I can just take a morning off and nobody will complain.

Except, everything I do or don’t do has a very direct and strong influence on my bottom line and business growth, especially since I am just starting.

Sure, I can choose to not create my promotional material tonight and instead bringe-watch The New Normal, because I’m feeling a bit low and can use some humor and good feels. It helps. I’ll feel better, and I definitely get up the next morning feeling more rested. However, if I would have created the promotion last night, it would have been online this morning, meaning I might have gotten clients this weekend. As it stands, I have to wait until I have time tonight to create the promotion, wait until Monday to publish them, and therefore miss out on clients this weekend.

The other side is true as well. I could work tonight, and push through the feeling of needing a break. I’ll have my promotion ready, and have clients this weekend. However, I won’t be able to attend to them as well as I would like, because I really am low on energy and now instead of one evening, I’ll need an entire weekend to rest up and and replenish my energy levels.

It’s all about choices, and since I am not only responsible for my own energy levels and health, but also the bottom line of my company, it is much harder to make the right choice.

I messed up before. I am sure I’ll mess up again. It is a learning experience, and a very harsh one at that.

Hire people. Sure! Fun! With what money?

Everybody knows that in order to make money, you have to spend money, and I absolutely agree. Unfortunately, last time I tried to copy some currency to pay with at the market, they looked at me as if I was insane. You can only spend money once. When it is gone, that’s it. There is no more.

Hiring out the boring stuff is great. It also means that I have to think about what I want to hire out. Is it really worth it to spend money on that thing? If I could do it myself, I would save money. If I hire out, I save energy, time and frustration. But I might be able to afford that holiday, although I might not have the time to go.

So until the mountains of money come rolling in, or the money tree starts to grow in my backyard, I am still stuck doing most of the work myself, and having to make smart choices about outsourcing. Promotion on Facebook and increase my reach? Worth it. Hiring an accountant to do my bookkeeping? Not yet worth it, not if it means giving up eating on Monday and Tuesday to do that.

Choices. And I am the only one responsible for making them. It is a lot of responsibility that I am not sure I was prepared for before actually being faced with the decisions I now have to make.

Family. Need I say more?

It goes without saying that I love my daughter and I would do anything for her. In large part that is why I am creating my own company—because I want her to have a role model in me, who shows her that she can do anything and everything she wants to do in life.

And, I want her to have a mom. Someone who is there for her, who really is present when playing, who is making eye contact with her, and not just a phone.

And, this important email from a client just came in, and I need to discuss with my business partner how to respond to that, or else we might lose out on this account.

And, I need to cook, because we already ate freezer meals twice this week and if I don’t cook today, the meat will go bad.

And, I want to be successful so that I have the money it takes to send her to the right schools, get her nice clothes, take her on holidays abroad so she can experience the world, so I cannot afford to lose this account.

Again, it all comes down to choices, and I don’t think I’ll ever know if I am making the right one every single moment that I am home.

Is it worth it to start your own business?

I have this sneaky suspicion that I’ll only be able to conclude that doing all this was worth all the energy, all the frustration, all the wrong and right choices, when we are successful. If not? Then, I’m pretty sure it wasn’t worth it.

I am still doing it, though. And since I’ll keep going until I am successful, I have to conclude that yes, yes it is worth it. Will starting your own business be worth it to you? I don’t know. Would you quit when you are failing? Or will you keep going until you are successful?

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Sandra is a 33 year old mother, wife, life coach. As a Dutch national living in Mexico she is trying to find ways to make most out of life. She’s passionate about simplifying life, yet loves her luxuries and non-minimalistic lifestyle.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Lya Chávez June 7, 2016 at 11:57 am

I am absolutely certain you will succeed. And for the bumpy roads, we are here for you. Enjoy!


Chloe Slone August 27, 2016 at 6:45 am

Great content, and so very important! I enjoyed the article.


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