(This post was uploaded in support of Depression Awareness Month)
When the idea to start your own business first popped into your head, I'm guessing a certain level of pessimism invaded the bubble. The thought of the grind ahead I'm sure became all you thought about and perhaps, for some of you, those thoughts delayed the start-up somewhat.
But over time, that urge to be your own boss overwhelmed the pessimism and you made the jump.
And here you are.
You're the boss.
And, it's a bit scary right?
Sure it's got its perks. You can pick the kids up from school. You no longer have to get approval to be ill and you set your own hours.
Although the …
Even though you get to set your own hours, you never really switch off. The traditional 9 to 5 that forced you to become your own boss somehow gave way to a more gruelling 24/7.
Okay, you get to be ill without having to convince someone you are not fit to go to work but now, when you get ill, you probably will not get paid.
And yeah, you get the option of more time with the kids but at what cost?
With your business on your mind 24 hours a day, where's the escape? Even something as simple as watching TV loses its appeal. Sure, you are fixing your gaze on the screen but your brain is not engaging with the content like it used to. You've got work on your mind and everything else, whether we want to admit it or not, is a distraction.
Being your own boss is lonely. You may be surrounded with staff and have a loving partner at home and kids who adore you but it's still lonely.
There's a pressure in being your own boss that you never knew existed. It makes you think about all those bosses you did not much care for. It takes you back to those moments when you thought your boss could have handled a situation better and you start to empathise somewhat.
You start to put yourself in their shoes. What kind of pressure was your former boss under? You get a bit ashamed that you never thought to ask them. You were never there for them.
Just like no one is really there for you. Not really.
I guess today's post is about me. I have no advice to give.
The government wants us to start small businesses and employ people but as soon as we do, they turn against us. Everyone has rights but we do not.
It feels like the whole world is against us.
Sometimes we make stupid decisions. Like employing friends or family. We feel the need to surround ourselves with people we can trust yet fail to take into account that the moment we do, we kill relationships and find ourselves more alone than ever.
I'm sure there are times when employing family or friends has worked out well for someone but I'm guessing it does not happen often coz there's a famous saying floating around advising against doing such a thing.
So if you're smart you avoid those pitfalls and make that famous Whitesnake song your own personal anthem.
Being your own boss is amazing but it's also a lonely road that you walk alone.
It does not have to be that way though; the government could make it easier for us. Sure they offer business advice initiatives but they're all geared to growing your business which in turns adds more pressure and serves to isolate you further from the world.
Maybe the government could do more to help us job creators? Maybe they could, I do not know, allocate a few hours per month of free counselling? Give us a safe environment where we can just talk about our problems without worrying anyone?
You see, that's the real issue I have, as a business owner who can you really, deeply confide in?
If business is going well, who can you really share that info with? Your friends? That could illicit jealousy and could easily come across as bragging. Your staff? Well, that could just make them greedy. Your loving partner? Maybe, but is that enough?
And what about those times when things are not going so well? Who do you talk to then? You do not want to burden your loved ones with that and you definitely can not talk to your staff about it because more often than not what's causing you sleepless nights is merely a blip in the grand scheme of things and sharing every blip can and will create paranoia amongst your workforce.
Fact is, you chose to be your own boss. As the boss you are a general. It's your job to keep certain things to yourself until they absolutely need airing.
But it's still hard.
Wednesdays for some reason have always been hard for me (this was posted on a Wednesday) I call them wobble Wednesdays. It's the only day of the week where I allow dark thoughts. I do all my panicking on a Wednesday, the logic behind it being that I can analyse any blips and if there are any that have the potential to develop into something more substantial then I've given myself time to find a solution before payday hits.
I will be honest, today's blip is not work related, well, not exactly. Today's blip is down to me having to miss a family function this coming Friday due to work. A family member is reaching a certain milestone this Friday, it's a big occasion, a get-together if you will, and I will not be there because my business needs me to be somewhere else.
Let's just say the news of my impending absence has not gone over well.
Funny thing is, if I was not my own boss and informed them that I had to miss the function due to my employer scheduling me a late shift the response to my absence would have been accepted. Heck, I would have even gotten some sympathy out it, but, as my family know that I am my own boss and that one of the most famous "perks" of being your own boss is that you pick your own hours, well, let's just say that I'm not getting any understanding whatsoever let alone sympathy.
But I am my own boss. And I am alone. I guess deep down I would not have it any other way.
At least Whitesnake understands me …