I've been in my own business for 17 years now and have never, ever regretted my decision to go on my own. Two weeks ago, I had another reminder why it's good to be the boss. My five-year old son had a medical emergency. The diagnosis, while not life-threatening, is nevertheless a chronic condition that will certainly impact little Jake. As a family, we're strong and we will deal with it effectively. I'm convinced it will make us better in the long run. Jake will learn to adapt - kids just do.
So what does this have to do with being in your own business?
When I was at the hospital, and in the emergency ward, two sets of parents were there with their children. The mother of one child was telling her husband how she had to get back to the office to finish a file. She said her boss was "pissed" at her for leaving altogether. I got the sense she was an attorney's assistant or something. I absolutely could not believe the pressure she felt as an employee given the situation.
Next, I encountered a gentleman "negotiating" with one of the nurses who was trying to schedule an EEG for his son. He was giving her some dates that were "good" for him over the next week. He also mentioned that he "just can't take off when he wants".
I must admit, I was a bit perplexed by these two parents. I also felt terrible for them. At first I questioned their priorities, and still do. Then I realized how much they were under the microscope of their boss, and how inflexible the life of an employee is - awful, simply awful. I would bet that their bosses are nowhere near as bad as they portrayed them (although 'boss' spelled backwards is Double S.O.B.) however; they still had this fear of doing something wrong and jeopardizing their job.
On the other hand, outside of my son's health, I did not have a care in the world. I proceeeded to cancel all my appointments for the next couple weeks, told my staff that I may, or may not be in, to only contact me in emergencies, and I have been able to dedicate 100% of my time to my son and family. I've been spending my days researching this condition, meeting with specialists and exploring the options available.
This situation has provoked some deep thinking on my part. In the past few days as I've reflected upon the recent events, it has become so clear to me how lucky I am, and how many benefits there are to self-employement, besides the financial rewards.
You could never do this as an employee unless you take off vacation time that you earned through your hard work. That's why it's good to buy a business and be your own boss. You can structure the business to work for you, and not vice versa. You control your time, your future, your destiny. Nobody else is pulling your strings. These are just some added benefits that business ownership can provide.
I hope you never have to go through what my family is faced with, but if you truly want flexibility, job security and options in your professional life, only you can provide it to yourself! It's time to fire your boss!