Yesterday, I talked about how we need to be continuously recreating ourselves in order stay relevant in the business world. The ability to "think outside the box" is a skill in and of itself, one that I described as being essential to unemployed individuals having a hard time finding a job. I suspect that the answer for more and more people will be to create their own jobs. The idea of being independent or entrepreneurial is not a new concept. I choose independence because it fits my desire to still be at home when my children are home from school. It also gives me a certain amount of flexibility that I would otherwise not have. Whether you choose independent work freely or out of necessity it has its ups and downs and can often make you a wee bit looney.
It doesn't always occur to folks when they "go out on their own", all of the things that they have suddenly taken responsibility for. A business of one can become overwhelming at times. Over the past few months I've written about Back of the House (BOTH) and my experiences trying to run my business more professionally. BOTH strives to free up the independent worker so that they can focus on working and growing their business. When you work for a traditional company you are able to focus on the responsibilities you've been hired for. Someone else takes care of your accounting and billing, they also maintain all of your technical infrastructure. I've gotten to know a really nice guy, named J, at BOTH, he's my IT guy. He has helped me sort through issues with my workspace and set up my BOTH email so that I can access it from anywhere, including my iphone. When I told him I wanted to be able to save my invoices as PDF he loaded the necessary stuff onto my workspace and now I'm invoicing like a champ. I have professed my love for him on several occasions but I don't think J thinks I'm funny - my humor falls flat with him but he always come through for me and fixes my issues!
At the beginning of November my BOTH advisor contacted me to make sure that I had turned in all of my receipts for October. She wanted to gather all of my financial information together and send it on over to the accounting partners to prepare my monthly report. How cool is that? Having financial reports and analyzing my expenses has really given me a good picture of what is going on in my business. I suspect that next month I'll have an even better picture and will be able to make decisions on where I need to focus my energies in order to maximize my income (and decrease expenses... hello travel!!).
Working independently isn't for everyone but if you access resources that are intended to make things easier, you might find that you enjoy running your own show. There are days when I think it might be nice to work in an office but most days I'm just so thankful that I can shut down at 3pm, run over to the school to pick up my kiddos and know that work will wait....