Owning your own business may sound rather glamorous. People tend to associate being the boss with leaving work early to play golf, or indulging in extra-long lunches. After all, the boss doesn’t have to clock in or clock out.
The fact is, as small business owners we do manage our own schedules, and that may mean kicking off early to play golf (if we had the money to play golf). And yes, sometimes it means a long lunch, but it also means working on the weekends or on holidays to make up for “play” time.
While most people do “clock out” at 5 p.m. daily, small business owners never clock out.
The truth is, owning your own business isn’t a job, it’s a lifestyle.
Small business owners who may be reading this know all too well that leaving the office doesn’t mean leaving the business. We take our business with us everywhere we go – we eat with it, sleep with it and even vacation with it.
This doesn’t mean that business ownership doesn’t come with some major perks, if you are willing to accept the inevitable stresses.
When Ryan started to talk about owning his own business, back in the early 2000s, I was nervous. Actually, nervous isn’t a strong enough word. Terrified might be a more accurate description. When we finally decided to take the leap, it felt like we were jumping off a cliff without parachutes.
We did, however, have parachutes in the form of supportive families and a tenacious desire to succeed.
So what are the perks of small business ownership? Well, it turns out that Ryan and I are both control freaks, and many, many control freaks own their own businesses. We are also highly competitive people, and having our own business provides the ultimate competition with one’s self.
Small business owners don’t have more or less stress than employees; we have a different type of stress. And while business ownership may seem too unpredictable, just take a look at how many workers have been laid off since 2008, and you’ll discover we all live in an uncertain world.
And guess what? We love being able to kick off early on a Friday if we want to catch a movie matinee (we still can’t afford golf). We know that this choice will result in extra work on the weekend or on an evening, but we’re willing to make those tradeoffs because we love being able to decide which 80 hours a week we will work.
NOTE: Thank you to Ellen Bryant Design for the artwork featured above.
Heidi Kerr-Schlaefer is co-owner of Ryan Schlaefer Fine Furniture, Inc. She is also a full-time freelance writer and founder of HeidiTown.com.