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I have been chasing this elusive career dream for more than a decade. The dream where I get to do what I love, set my own schedule and reap massive financial rewards in return. Sounds too good to be true, right? Maybe. What I have learned though, is that I am not actually seeking a specific type of job, or schedule. What I am really seeking is freedom. Freedom to make my own schedule so that I can decide what priorities receive my attention and when. Freedom to work in the environments I choose with the people that I am drawn to. Freedom to answer to the demands of motherhood and my career in this crazy and wonderful season I find myself in. But this freedom I am talking about involves a measure of risk, even uncertainty. Starting your own business, or taking a leap of faith where career is concerned can be very scary. Tons of self doubt rises to the surface, and the very thought of being in charge of your own financial outlook goes from liberating to daunting, if not purely terrifying. There is a trade off for freedom to pursue autonomy in your career. In many ways, you are exchanging your security for this freedom to do and be and work on your own terms.
A traditional 9-5 can be very confining and suffocating. But there is a measure of freedom that comes with this scenario. You have a predictable schedule, you know where and when you have to report to work everyday. That frees up time for you. Time that you do not have to spend planning out contacts, follow ups, business plans and schedules for your day, your week or your year. More than likely if you are working m-f/9-5 you are receiving a set amount of income every two weeks, or monthly. This ensures the freedom to make a predictable and repeatable budget which gives you the freedom to do the things you want and need to do. One of the largest trade-offs you have to make when taking the leap from employee to self-employed is the question of health benefits. The security of health benefits is one of the single greatest obstacles for many entrepreneurs or even people who want to work part time or flexible contract work. Likely, there is no single combination of freedom and security that works for every person. Even the same person may have different needs in the different seasons of their life.
I find myself in a season where the health, safety and care of my family is my utmost highest concern. Caring for my beautiful baby girl, 6 year-old boy, rock star husband and the most loving (needy) dog on planet Earth has become a tremendous portion of my life's purpose. Providing for these dependents has also grown in importance. But motherhood is such that, while the demand for income rises, so does the demand on your time. All the moms out there can I get an 'AMEN'? With the considerable financial and emotional cost of putting the baby in daycare and running the rat race to be out of the house 11 hours everyday to rush home cook and do the nighttime routine with the kids...that is just madness. For me, doesn't add up financially, doesn't add up to time-well-spent. So I am working differently. I am taking a leap of faith. I am creating the working conditions that I want to have in my life, because I have yet to find one organization that will provide them for me. When answering the question, what is my ideal freedom-security balance? Each of us will have a different answer. For me, the future is wide open and free, and I am almost 100% sure the risk will be worth the reward.
If you are interested in any of the small business ventures I am engaged in, or if you would like guidance in your career path, reach out in the comments or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is always an answer to whatever problem you are facing. Sometimes you just need a little perspective.