“Look closely at the present you are constructing, it should look like the future you are dreaming.”-Alice Walker
It is my true, heartfelt belief that in this era we are the first truly independent workforce. Many people have opted against having a boss, having a territory, having the archaic 9-5 work schedule. I remember when this concept crept into my mind like a virus. I say virus because it has no cure, no magic pill, no vaccine… Once this concept took over, I could not bring myself to work for someone else other than myself (the best boss in the world). I started to resent the 9am-5pm schedule; it was killing my energy, my creativity. It was making me ill. I started to think I knew more about business than my boss; I started to see flaws in my employer.
Once I took the plunge to leave the employee mindset and slowly get into the self-employed mindset, it’s all I could think about. I have always been one to jump first and trust that there is a parachute later or figure it out on the way down. This has allowed me to really learn to trust my inner voice more than anything else or anyone else. I remember my husband telling me that I could finally leave a job one morning after I woke up with my sheet drenched in sweat after work-related stress dreams. I remember walking into the boss’s office and giving my 2 week notice. I remember the liberation I felt and the dread that quickly followed. Those two weeks were both the slowest and fastest two weeks ever.
I had come to the realization that I was, and still am, just plain unemployable. Not because I’m a slacker, a bad employee, or a felon…but because I needed the freedom, the independence, and the flexibility to work on my own terms. I needed to be able to use all of my strengths and talents. I just wanted the ability to see and cast my own vision for my life and future and then work my butt off to make it happen. I didn’t like the idea that I was working to the point of illness for someone else’s vision. It all seemed like a bit of a slow painful death.
After 1 to 2 weeks of anti-job vacation…I started to uncover some major hurdles in being an independent, self-employed, liberated person. It was hard to get out of bed, and my husband started to feel resentful still seeing me in bed when he left for his full-time job. It was really destabilizing not having a 9-5 structure, or any structure. I didn’t know how useful or important it was to have a set routine and schedule. I also realized that “liberating” myself meant no boss to answer to but it also meant no support, no sounding board, and no deadlines just to name a few. In the beginning it was all really isolating.
It had taken me a few months to really see the large amount of discipline it takes to be a work from home (or anywhere) as a self-employed person. I slowly started to discover that I indeed was my own boss, who needed to set my own schedule and routine and I needed to give myself deadlines. Once I started to get disciplined and diligent about my schedule, routine, and deadlines, I then was able to see the benefits of being a solopreneur. I started to see that I needed to find accountability partners, my own sounding boards (my best friends, husband, and coaches), I needed to wake up really early, I needed to treat my office like an office (a place for work, not Facebook). I needed structure and lots of it, but surprisingly there was a real freedom that came from this structure.
I have the freedom to work where and when I want. I have the freedom to choose whom I work with. I have the freedom to decorate my office the way I want. I can blast music at 6am when I need that burst of energy. But with all this said, it’s still work, I still need to pull my butt out of bed, I still need to pay bills like everyone else and I still have a boss. But it’s work I love, work that I want to do until the day I die, work I will wake up early or stay up late for. The energy that you gain from finding your passion, your gift, and doing that for a living is incredible.
What I have found is that I wasn’t alone in my post liberation slump; I coach entrepreneurs all the time with similar stories. I help entrepreneurs listen to their own voice and jump, but I also help them check for their parachute. I also help them gain the clarity needed to become their own boss. I help them with accountability and support that is needed when you start to live your own vision. I help them to design their own structure and in the process truly help them to embrace becoming part of the fully independent liberated workforce.
And I love every minute of it.
As always I love your comments and questions.
If you want to experience my coaching, feel free to contact me for a complimentary exploratory session over Skype or phone call.