Several years back, Joel & I hired a consultant to help us hire some new employees. One of the things he did was give everyone a DiSC assessment. While reviewing the results of my test he commented that I would “make a great cow farmer.” In other words, I don’t play well with others – -I’m not a big people person.
I’d probably rather hang with cows than share an office with anyone
This is probably the biggest reason I have my own small business. I HATED office politics and all the BS that went with working for a larger corporation. The constant butt-kissing to stay in good graces, the conflict if you didn’t – the conflict if you did. I didn’t like any of it.
That’s what I like most about owning my small business. I get to choose who I work with everyday. I don’t need to play nice and suck up to anyone. If we don’t like a person we don’t work for them. It’s that simple. If I don’t like you as a person I don’t hire you. I get to choose. I’m in control!
But this is only one of the many freedoms I enjoy on a daily basis as a business owner. There are many others:
- Time/location freedom – As I write this I am sitting in a McDonald’s at ten o’clock in the morning on a work day. I can do that. No one is watching me punch a clock or sit at a desk. I can work outside on a nice day. I can eat my lunch in the park. Whatever. I just need to fulfill the commitments that we have set with our clients and our employees. Commitments that WE created and agreed to. There are times that we over commit, but that’s our fault. It’s not imposed by some third-party. We own it.
- Freedom to be creative – Since there is no directive from above, we are free to try new ideas, to create. If I wake up one day with a great new idea, I can try it out that afternoon! I don’t need to ask permission, I don’t need to run it past a committee. I can try it. On the flip side, if it doesn’t work I suffer the consequences, but at least I can try.
- Freedom from the mundane – As a small business owner, everyday is different. No two look alike and no two go as planned. Some people might find this unnerving. I live for it. Most small-business owners, myself included, suffer from a little entrepreneurial ADD. For us change is welcome. I don’t like to do the same things over and over and with my business I can delegate repetitive tasks or change the program.
Here is where the cow comes in…
Recently my best friends dad died. Because of my business I was able to fly to Florida to help the family and attend the memorial service. Probably something I would not be able to do if I still worked in my old job. Joel was able to stay behind and run the business while I slipped away to Florida for three days.
While there I stopped by an animal rescue sanctuary near my friend’s parents house. There I met Isis – pictured above. I was reminded of the consultant’s comment. I guess I really do like hanging with cows.
What Freedoms do you enjoy in your small business? Or if you haven’t started your business yet, what Freedoms do you look forward to?