In the last few weeks I have found myself saying “what the f*** is going on” more often than I’d like to. For some reason it seems as though every time I feel like I can kind of breathe again something else pops up and the world is like nope think again. I like to think that I am handling all of my stress with grace and dignity but to be honest with you some days I feel like my head is quite literally going to explode.
Between running my own business, trying to grow that business, sourcing out new clients, being a full time student, having a relationship with my loved ones and making enough money to pay my bills I don’t really have time to even breathe most days. I actually find myself in such a whirlwind sometimes that when I finally have a second to sit down I often can’t even remember exactly what I did all day.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my life and what I do and I wouldn’t change it for anything but people are not wrong when they say that being an entrepreneur is one of the most stressful career paths that you can take. I wake up before everyone else, I run around all day back and forth from client to client to my house to another client and I still find myself working into the later hours of the evening most days. It feels as though I could have a million hours in a day and it still wouldn’t be enough time to actually get everything that I need to get done.
Okay it seems like I’m doing a lot of complaining and maybe I am but in all fairness I have no one to complain to other than you because as an entrepreneur you’re on your own a lot (like all the time). But make no mistake, I’m not actually upset about these things I just think that if I’m going to tell you about my life I should give you all the scoop on what my life is actually like most of the time because being your own boss is awesome but it’s not always sunshine and f**king rainbows like a lot of people make it out to be.
A normal day for me looks something like this; wake up at 6am and get to work on some school stuff and then hop on my laptop to answer any pending emails and respond to client check ins, 8:30 head to the gym for a workout (aka sanity), 10am-1pm clients, 1pm-4pm more client check ins, do some writing for my blog and probably work on my other projects in there too, 4pm last client of the day, 5pm home and hop back on my laptop until god knows when to finish everything. Oh and somewhere in that craziness I manage to eat my meals and run errands most days as well. I do usually try to turn off all of my electronics and get off of social media for around 8-9pm most nights to try to decompress and spend time with my boyfriend and then I go to bed so that I can wake up and do it all over again.
Most people wake up at a decent time, roll into work for 9am, get off at 5pm and head home to make dinner and sit on the couch and some days that actually sounds kind of appealing to me but then I remember that I tried that route and it did not serve me in any way. Every time that I get tired and start to think about how easy everyone else has it I just remember that I did the 9-5 thing and yes it was very easy to manage and super low stress but it was also very boring and didn’t inspire me at all.
Would I love to know that I have a guaranteed pay check coming in every two weeks? Yes. Would I enjoy not having to stress about paying my bills some months because a client went on vacation and I’m out however many dollars for the month? Duh. They say that the first year of being an entrepreneur is the hardest both financially and mentally and lucky for me I’m only 6 months in. Money is one of the most stressful things on the planet, so for that reason alone sometimes I do question my choice to pursue being my own boss but I decided a long time ago that money is never going to be the deciding factor in my happiness, that just doesn’t make sense to me.
I don’t come from a wealthy family, we never really went without but I remember there being multiple occasions where my parents would say “I only have X amount of money to last until the end of the month” and it was never a large number. I remember wondering why all of my friends were getting cars as we got older and I wasn’t. When I was 18 I was living on my own due to someone in my family having a problem with substance abuse that sadly became more important than paying the rent, I was working full time just to pay my bills while everyone I knew was going to university and for some reason none of them had to work to make that happen for themselves. I’ve been basically on my own since then, I’ve always had a full time job, I’ve saved every extra penny I’ve made and I’ve always been able to pay my rent and my bills. For a long time I actually didn’t realize that not everyones lives were like mine. I thought it was normal to have to be the adult in conversations with actual adults when someone was too intoxicated or emotional to realize how their actions were affecting their children and the ones around them and I didn’t really know what it was like to actually feel supported and taken care of.
I’m in no way trying to tell you a sob story or asking you for sympathy, I know that there are people all over the world that have things a hell of a lot harder than I did (do), I’m just trying to shine some light on how I got to where I am today because I’ve never really told this part of my story before. For a long time I was embarrassed of my life and I didn’t let anyone know about what I had been through or how it made me feel, I never showed emotions and I never let anyone see my weaknesses. I thought that if no one knew then maybe I could pretend that this wasn’t actually how my life was.
I’m not going to tell you that it hasn’t been hard the last few years, because it has – I was on my own, I had no help with my education, no one ever taught me that you should be making a retirement savings plan at the age of 22, at one point a couple of years ago I was so broke that I ate frozen edamame beans and noodles (EW) every day for like three weeks because it was all I could afford and up until very recently I honestly didn’t know what it was like to not feel like the rug was going to be ripped out from underneath of me at any moment.
I think the reason that being my own boss is so important to me is because I finally have control over something in my life for once. The thing about being your own boss is you can actually decide how successful you want to be based on how hard you’re willing to work. If I don’t want to work this hard I don’t have to, I just won’t be as successful at what I’m doing. When you deal with uncertainty for most of your life the second that you have the chance to actually control the outcome of something you go for it.
So yes my life is infinitely harder and more stressful than most peoples because of the path that I’ve chosen when it comes to my career but it is also infinitely more exciting.
If you are ever struggling to see the light at the end of the tunnel whether it be in family dynamics, work, relationships, etc – please believe me when I say that if you want to see a change and you work hard enough for it, the change will come. I’ve been through enough to know that all stress is temporary and that working your ass off for something is far more rewarding than being handed it.