When you own your own business, you are the boss and the cleaning crew, the administrative assistant and the CEO. It can be lonely, and it is very, very different from working for someone else.
There is no regular paycheck, you have to pay Social Security taxes as both the employer and employee, your health insurance is a lot more expensive, and you combine running to the bank with stopping at the office supply store and post office.
On the plus side, the whole ugly office political scene is gone. This week, some of my coaching clients reminded me just how mean office mates can be. Seems that now being called a bitch is a matter of pride, and meanness is a way to mark your spot, settle a score, or just prove you can. “Mean girls” are now “mean women” and they have settled into the office. I’m glad I’m not there anymore.
I’ve had my own business more than four years now, and I’m so glad that if I make a mistake it’s mine; if I win a client, it was my doing. I like the variety of work, and while I’ve never loved administrative work, there is a way to put it in your work so it’s comfortable. No one is a bitch. I like being nice to people. If I want to give my time or talent to someone without charging, the only person I have to explain it to is myself. If I go out of my way to help a client, it makes me feel good.
My office has no room for divas, bitches, getting even or the competition in which someone must lose so someone else can win. It has a lot of room for mistakes, growth, and satisfaction. And while I don’t have a regular paycheck and my health insurance is expensive, I wouldn’t trade my 120 hour work week for a 50-hour gig with bitches.
–Quinn McDonald is a creativity coach and writer. See her work at QuinnCreative.com