1. I (sometimes) don’t have control over my own success
I offer a service; it’s a service I live and believe in. I wholeheartedly believe that a certain lifestyle will keep you out of the doctor’s office more often than not. We are made to move—and move well—and this is what I like to help people with.
Unsurprisingly, what I offer can also be viewed from other points; that it’s something that should be done, or it’s a short-term solution to a complex issue. So while I believe in my product, not everyone will share my same zeal. This is okay, fundamentally, because people are people and are motivated by many things. However, moving the business forward is indicative of many people making similar decisions and sticking with them for a long time. So in this sense, I don’t, in fact, have control over my own success.
To combat this, it’s up to me to be more creative with how I offer my services; what my skillsets are; how to make what I offer more attractive to those looking for something but not quite knowing what it is they’re looking for. At the base of it all, I get to help people every day, and that in itself is my own control over a small success.
2. I (sometimes) don’t create my own hours
In this service capacity, there are high times and low times—if you work out in the mornings before work, or in the evenings after work, you understand these high times. These high times are in short-supply and high demand—this means I lose the opportunity to eat breakfast or dinner with my family, and I miss a lot of opportunities to do things people take for granted; grocery shopping, dinner with associates, and networking (you know, the adult way of saying, “just chillin’.”).
Since my schedule is indicative of demand, I work for other people, so in this sense I’m not in control of my hours. Or let’s say I run a retail printing shop—I have to stay open during formal business hours.
This isn’t a complaint, but rather, a highlight of something not always seen as obvious. But since I am appointment-based, it does give me the--
3. Freedom to use my time as I see fit
Luckily, much like working from home, I do have some opportunities to make up for these lost opportunities by accomplishing them during my “off” hours. While this flexibility is helpful, it also means I’m not in the office in case someone pops in unannounced. Who knows what kind of business I’m missing during these times. I could have a Cirque Du Soleil performer want a one-on-one, or a double-A baseball mascot on his lunch break pop in. I could even miss John Cena wanting to get away from the rabble (and he has bench-pressed 4 feet from me, before.).
So if it hasn’t seemed obvious yet, there are many opportunities for the business to not produce, and by not producing--
4. Self-employment isn’t a “get rich, quick” scheme
If you make $36,000+ per year after taxes, the business owner who wants to make that much has to not only produce more than that, but it has to be after her business expenses, business taxes, licensures, etc. If this business is Incorporated, and not an LLC, this person’s business pays taxes on the wages it pays them, and then they themselves pay taxes on receiving that income from the business.
Perhaps the most pervading concept rifling through our society is this idea that because one works for themselves, they make a living. There are many success stories of people who did the bootstrap thing and “made it”—unfortunately, they’re celebrities for a reason. The every-day person isn’t this success story. And on top of this, the bigger a business gets, and the more money it brings in, and the more people it hires, determines its level of risk, and folks, there’s a ton of--
At the end of the day, having a job means going to work, doing a job, and getting paid for it. Taxes are taken out, and the risk associated with being an employee is relatively low unless you climb trees for a living, in which case I hope your life-insurance policy is up to snuff.
People working for themselves have the IRS to look up to, have any number of insurances or qualifications necessary to continue operating, any licensures associated with the business, etc. There’s a constant—and necessary—amount of hoops to jump through to even operate a business, and the question that always pervades is… is it worth it?
To me, it is. I actively decided to take on this stress because I would rather run my feet through my mud than climb someone else’s hill. And if you ever saw that scene from Adam Sandler’s “Longest Yard,” playing in the mud can be fun.
I could easily find ways to blame outside factors for any lack of success I may have—but every day I get to make decisions that reduce the chances of that outcome. At the end of the day, being self-employed may in fact be something desired for people with potentially negative qualities, like being in control of something, or they can’t work for other people. While touted as a good thing in theory, this can be very self-limiting, and any potential success is also hinged on these qualities. Every single outcome of this person’s business is dependent on this person, and if they have qualities that aren’t suited for building a business, it probably fails.
I know I lack in a great many qualities that may in fact sink my ship—so will my good qualities outweigh my bad? Only time will tell. In the interim, I’m going to try making people better, and not complaining as much.