Please allow me to start this piece with a bit of real talk.
I went through a hard time financially and almost put my family in the poor house. It almost ended my marriage.
I developed a few health problems that my doctors attribute to this time in my life. I lost more that just sleep; I lost some good friends because I no longer had time for them.
Amazingly, two-and-a-half years later, I can say it was the best decision I've ever made.
Here's why it was totally worth it:
1. Freedom from the "good ole boys club."
It seems no matter how hard I worked or how much success I had at my position, I mostly got passed over for the promotions I wanted. There always seemed to be someone that was tighter with upper management than I was.
My experience was that hiring managers would bring on the person they "liked" the best on a personal level, even if that person was not the most qualified. Many times the people they hired were someone they worked with at a past company.
2. Get paid true market value.
When I worked in the corporate world, like many out there, I thought I should have been getting paid more. Now, I get paid based off my own market demand instead of some arbitrary pay scale or capped commission structure.
3. Set my own schedule.
Being my own boss gives me the ability to determine when I work. For the past two years, my daughter's elementary school teachers told me I volunteered more than any other dad!
4. Work from wherever.
Give me a laptop and WiFi connection and I can work from anywhere in the world. The bad news is that I have to work a little bit every day while on vacation. The good news is that I have unlimited vacation days.
5. Feeling of fulfillment at work.
There were always limitations to how much I could contribute in my corporate days. My ideas were often dismissed, my talents underutilized.
In the startup environment, I'm using every single bit of knowledge, talent, and hustle I've got each and ever day. I'm doing the things I love and have always wanted to do in my career but was never given the opportunity to do in the corporate world.
6. I'm building my future instead of someone else's.
All of the time and effort I put into building my own brand is an investment in my future and earnings potential. While I got paid good wages in the corporate, at the end of the day, the higher-ups were taking credit for my contributions. I was working to build someone else's brand, wealth, credibility and assets.
People always tell me, "Yeah, but in the corporate world, you always have job security." Having been laid off twice and seen so many others lose their job as well, I'm here to say that job security is not what it once was.
7. I have the ability to turn work down.
Ever have a project or an account assigned to you that makes you wonder, "Why in the heck are we doing this? This is bad business." Well, I turn those people away and say no to those projects now.
8. I matter.
I mostly worked for large corporations where I was one of thousands of employees. My voice was almost never heard.
Now, my business decisions either good or bad have a direct impact on my company's bottom line.
Being your own boss is not for everyone. I certainly put myself and my family through a lot of grief to get here. Many of you probably have had a better experience in the corporate than I did.
However, entering into entrepreneurship has been the most amazing journey I've ever been on. I've caught the entrepreneurial bug, and for me, there's no going back.