Everyday I am grateful for being my own boss. Something that I long dreamed about and has now been a reality for more than three years. Running your own business is a fabulous privilege all year round but there’s something about the festive period that makes me appreciate it all the more. Here’s why.
- I’m free to work when I want to – This means I can choose my own schedule and work when I am most productive. For me this is writing and planning in the morning, meetings, phone calls and emails in the afternoon. I can also take time out in my day when I choose to. In December, this is extra valuable – no crisis because I can’t get a hair appointment on the Saturday before Christmas. And I can nip to the shops whenever I like and avoid the crowds, so I actually enjoy Christmas shopping.
- I can work wherever I want to – I’m not tied to going into an office. When the snow strikes and the country grinds to a halt, I don’t have to risk life and limb and precious time slip-sliding around on the roads. I can just fire up my laptop and stay toasty warm at home. With email and Skype I can keep in touch with clients just as well as meeting them face to face.
- No end-of-year reviews – I never much looked forward to my appraisal at work, not because I hadn’t done a good job but because they often glossed over what you had done well and focused on what you should do to improve your ‘development areas’ i.e. your weaknesses. Now I constantly assess how my business is performing and get feedback from my clients. And, better still, I can concentrate on using my strengths – the things I do best – and find other people to help me with the things that are ‘not my bag’.
- I can set my own agenda for the year ahead – I love having a clean slate at the beginning of a new year, when I can sit down and map out what I want to achieve – both personally and professionally. The best thing about being your own boss is that you are in control of this – there’s no objective-setting session that you have to go through and get approved by someone else. The thing I love most is that my business and personal lives are now so much more closely aligned so, if I’m doing something in my business, it’s likely it’s helping me to achieve a personal goal too.
- I can take two weeks off at Christmas without worrying about a holiday allowance – This started as an enforced thing when the first clients I worked for didn’t need me to do anything between Christmas and New Year. Now it’s something I insist on. It means I have plenty of time and energy to celebrate with friends and family. This downtime also gives me time to rest and reflect, to plan for the year ahead and to hit January refreshed and raring to go.
- Of course, when you work on your own there’s no company Christmas party to go to but actually I reckon that’s a bonus too. I’m free to celebrate with whoever I choose – friends, clients and other people who are running a business on their own.
- There’s no Christmas bonus either but the best thing is, the harder and smarter I work all year round, it’s me (and my clients) who benefit – I’m not at the mercy of a manager deciding whether or not I am worthy of a performance bonus.
So, what about you? I’d love to hear about your experience. Do you run your own business? What do you love most about it? Or maybe you’ve been thinking about becoming your own boss. What’s stopping you? This time next year, this could be you!
Love and festive fun.