July is the month that we celebrate America’s independence from Great Britain. Although that hard-fought victory is 243 years old, we still celebrate it with parades, cookouts and fireworks. That got me to thinking about entrepreneurial freedom and what that means to each of us who owns a business. Entrepreneurial freedom is something that many of us hold near and dear to our hearts. I worked in education, private industry and government in my 39 years as someone else’s employee. Some jobs I enjoyed and others not so much. Some of my bosses were like mentors to me and others were overpaid dictators who had no business being a manager/supervisor.
Seven years ago, I decided it was time to stop working for someone else and start working for myself. Talk about freedom! It was like a bright light suddenly showed me the path to be a successful business owner. As with any new thing, there were learning curves along the way. Time management was a difficult one for me to master. It seemed like I had all this ‘free time’ because I didn’t have to be at work at any specific time and so I became a procrastinator at first. After some close calls about meeting deadlines for clients, I soon learned to budget my time a lot better. Finding new clients was another thing that I struggled with. I am an introvert and find networking to be exhaustive. I’m not very good at it either! I found my tribe in women’s networking groups. Somehow it was easier to meet other women and learn from them. I also continued to seek out mentors who were ahead of me in their entrepreneurial journeys and I learned from them too. So, make no mistake, becoming an entrepreneur is not as easy as it may look!
But here’s the payoff. FREEDOM! I have the freedom to work when I want to and with people I enjoy. I am my own boss and I love not answering to anyone but me. My self-worth is my own to make. My net worth is also my own to make. Some days are better than others, but just like those colonists who sought independence in 1776, I will continue to strive for my own independence on this entrepreneurial journey and enjoy every minute of it!