My Boss is a Slave Driver OR the Owning Your Own Business Myth

Your-Own-BossPeople who work for THE MAN make assumptions about what it is like to “own your own business” and “be your own boss“.

People who work for THE MAN assume that being your own boss means:

1. Sleeping in and working (or not working) whenever you want,

2. Working in your pajamas,

3. Just LESS time working overall,

4. And there is this vision of getting rich somehow while you are sitting on the beach and your business runs itself.

Now I can’t speak for everyone, maybe there are some small business owners that have it all, that are wearing their pajamas on the beach and their business thrives…. I don’t know.

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I can only speak for myself and I am an artisan, so maybe it is different for me.

It is true that I get to pick my own hours, which I love. Though that often translates into working in the middle of the night while everyone is asleep. Honestly it is the best time to work. It is so quiet and it is easy to be productive.

As for the pajamas thing, well I MIGHT work in my pajamas… sometimes.

But as far as working LESS, it just isn’t true. The truth is I work more now than I ever did at my 9-5 job. There is ALWAYS more to do and it is sooo hard to just leave things undone to give myself downtime.

So, I spend a lot of time in my jewelry studio. Some days it feels like the only time I surface is for the hour a day I take the dog to the park. My kids have come to know right where to find me. When they get home from school they come straight downstairs to my studio and sit on the washing machine (remember I share with the laundry room) while they tell me about their day. It gets really funny when the whole family gathers in there to visit with me. We have a great home with plenty of real places to gather, places with couches and chairs. But noooo, everyone congregates in my studio where there is neither couch nor chair. I am a one person shop and my studio is a one person studio. So, the kids sit on the washer and dryer or the dusty floor and my husband pulls up a bucket seat. My sweet dog has made a place for himself under my desk where he can keep my feet warm. It works, but it is kind of ridiculous at the same time.  Sometimes I fantasize about there being enough room to have a couch in there, but there just isn’t and it would probably ruin all the fun anyway.

Somehow, thanks to a wonderful husband, meals get cooked. Occasionally I open my eyes in the kitchen long enough to realize it is dirty, so I clean.

But mostly I make jewelry or work on other businessy things. Sometimes I think about people who come home from work at 5 and spend time in the evenings on their hobbies or watching TV. What would that be like?

I can’t remember.

But it is a new year, sort of. It is a time for me to make changes right? Maybe if I schedule time for ME and my family; if I force myself to shut the studio door after dinner, I can regain my life outside my business.

I can do this. See, I am doing it already. I am spending time with my husband right now while I blog about making jewelry. Well at least I am spending time near my husband….

Baby steps.

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