Previously I wrote about some of the negative aspects of solopreneurship. I want to now follow that up with what I think are some of the good aspects of it.
The best part has to be the freedom. Even though I work more now than I ever did in the past, I can take a day off anytime I want if I so choose. For example, my good friend won some tickets to a festival this Wednesday in Colombia, South Carolina and he invited me to go. I can’t pass it up since I love a hometown festival. I’m going to head over to Augusta, GA on Wednesday about 1 pm and then we’ll leave together to go to the show. I’ll spend the night in Augusta Wednesday and head back home Thursday. What I’m going to be doing would never have been possible in the past.
The other nice part is not having to get up early. At my last job I had to be at work at 7 am M-F without exception. This was tough because I’m not a morning person. I much prefer to work late and sleep late rather than work early and sleep early. For some reason my brain functions better at night and I find that to be the time when I’m more productive. A great book to read that helped to launch me off to solopreneurship is The $100 Startup: Reinvent the Way You Make a Living, Do What You Love, and Create a New Future by author
In the book Guillebeau, a basic inspiring book that gives you a start in right direction when you are looking to go solo. Its a simple book, and makes a nice addition to a book collection for inspiration when you need it during the daily grind.
One negative aspect of my last few jobs was that there was little time to learn. In my department at Home Depot there was hardly any investment in the education of the employees. If you wanted to study something you had to try to do it between incoming support calls, but calls came in so often it was impossible to stay focused on a subject for very long. This had a negative effect on my self esteem. I felt like I was not progressing if I was not learning anything new in the 9 hours I spent at work. It was not enough to simply be building experience for my resume.
I remember once complaining to my manager about the lack of educational investment in us. I guess my griping did not fall on deaf ears because shortly there after we were offered a sign up sheet to take a short class on the Unix operating system. I signed up but the class was so poorly taught and organized that the time would have been better spent taking support calls.
Now it’s not uncommon for me to make in a couple of hours what I used to get paid in an entire 9 hour day at the Home Depot (though this does not happen every day). I can use all the extra hours to study and work on things that interest me such as business blogging, passive income, business and web development.
There was little variety in the previous jobs I had. At HD (Home Depot) I was expected to take the calls from the HD employees, help them solve their computer problems, ship them parts if needed and escalate the case to other departments if necessary. This was the routine day in and day out.
On several occasions I tried to take on new projects to break the monotony such as writing new documentation to reduce the number of calls but the phone rang so much it was impossible to get more than 4 or 5 minutes of uninterrupted time. This environment was not conducive to being productive on any side project. The lack of variety led to boredom and the general feeling that I was spinning my wheels.
Day to day variety is important for keeping my level of motivation high. If I work on a project too long I tend to lose interest and my motivation level goes down. Working on several projects at once is conducive to coping with my ADD. By switching focus often I keep my attention levels high. Focus on one project too long and the attention level quickly wanes.
I’m sure many people have regular jobs that allow them to make differences in peoples’ lives as well as offer plenty of variety and education. For me this was not the case and I was forced to strike out on my own in order to fulfill such desires. While I work harder than before the work I’m doing now is much different from the work I used to do. I now enjoy what I’m doing, therefore its ok to be putting in more hours.