I’ve been experiencing a bit of “working for others” envy lately. As much as I love being an entrepreneur and doing what I love, I’ve been a little jealous of my friends who are working for companies with benefits and hearing the words “I’m taking a few days off.”
For the last 20 months, I have been working to maximum capacity in my company. What I consider a day off is working only two to three hours that day, and I haven’t done that for a very long time. I live and breathe for my business and also know that’s how it is when you’re in the start-up stage. What I find challenging is that a lot of people do not understand what an entrepreneur’s life is like. Which is understandable if they haven’t had someone close to them starting a business. Good or bad, right or wrong, it’s how our lives are lived until financial stability is reached.
In my social circle, it’s obvious to me who gets it and who doesn’t. I’ll get the question of “What are you doing this weekend?” I’m thinking “The usual— working.” They’re probably thinking that I am taking the two days off to relax or to have some fun, like most people do. Instead, it’s usually four hours working on Saturday and eight hours on Sunday.
Some people think that when my boyfriend comes to town, it means that I am taking the weekend off. Little do they know that I purposely get out of bed hours earlier than he does, so I can get some work done before we start the day together. I’m much more present with him knowing that I got some work done in the morning.
I’m quite certain that if my boyfriend and I lived in the same city, we would not be together. He doesn’t say anything, but I can tell he gets annoyed when I check my phone. Or when he shows up and I am not immediately ready to focus on his visit because I have a few more emails to get off before we go to dinner. Even though it is hard for him to understand and relate to, I’m thankful he is supportive of my venture.
On the flip side, many people are used to me ‘working all the time’ that they’ll call at any hour of the day. So that one Saturday when I’m taking the afternoon off, I inevitably get a few phone calls with “one quick question.” This usually turns into a 15-minute phone call that leaves me back in “work zone” and focused on the business. I’ve tried avoiding any business-related phone calls after 8:30pm in order to have some “down time” before going to bed. It’s hard to give up the compulsion of looking at the phone, but, wow, I sleep a lot better when I free my mind for awhile before “hitting the hay.”
There is a point to this post, and here it is: There are a lot of great things about working for an established company—built-in days off, health insurance, life insurance, office space, unemployment insurance, etc. But, I have to be honest, the thought of going back into that culture would cause me dread. I don’t want to work for others. I want to do what I love and create an environment for my team so they enjoy coming to work. For all of the aches and pains entrepreneurs experience, we love what we do and will kill ourselves to make it work. I wouldn’t change it for the world. On that note…back to work.
Peggy Paul is the Founder and Visionary of SheTaxi.com, a website dedicated to helping women thrive in mind, body and spirit. She believes in the importance of women supporting other women, living an authentic life and doing what you love.
About the Author
Peggy Paul, founder of SheTaxi, originally published this blog in 2011 on SheTaxi.com.