When you see an article about a home based business, they are usually on some “Mommy-Blog” detailing how great it is to have a home-based business while your toddler craps himself on your lap. I’m sure that’s wonderful (I guess), but they usually miss the really sweet things about working for yourself.
Here are ten things I like about owning a home-based business:
1) You are paid what you are really worth
Do you think your work and efforts are worth $95 per hour, but your employer begs to differ? Well, once you are the employer, you set the rate. No more feeling underpaid – if you feel underpaid in your own business, trust me, you’re doing something wrong. Or, you had an over-inflated sense of your worth in the first place. Not kidding – some of us have this. Think of your own co-workers. Now think of the worst of them… worthless, right? But here’s the rub – they think they work hard and are underpaid.
2) You call the shots. All of them.
You set the work rules, the hours of operation, the amount that gets spent on advertising, whether Facebook and Fantasy Football websites can be surfed during working hours (indeed they can)… you do it all. You also get to largely pick and choose the work you want to do. Nobody is going to give you projects you don’t like – you have complete control over accepting them or not.
3) The commute is usually really nice.
My commute is about 50 feet. As long as I successfully navigate the sleeping cat on the stairs (more difficult than it sounds – she’s fat!), there’s very little traffic.
4) More time at home.
I suppose this could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your home life, but I’m fairly confident that most people who start a home based business partly do it so they can spend more time with their families.
5) Get to see more of your children’s activities
Ok, despite my toddler comment above, here’s one for people with kids… One of the biggest complaints many working parents have is that they miss a lot of school plays, concerts, little league games, etc. Owning a home based business means you can attend more of these activities. Ok, I realize this could mean attending a three-hour play where your child has a thirty second non-speaking part playing a tree; or you being witness to yet another 23-0 error-filled thrashing that is called in the second inning due to the mercy rule, but at least you were there.
6) Get out of doing things you don’t want to do
This is the flip side to number 5. A home based business is the perfect excuse to get out of doing things you don’t want to do.
I’m serious – this is a benefit of owning your own business. C’mon – how many times have you fumbled for an excuse NOT to do something? Your own business is a slam-dunk excuse that nobody can argue with.
This excuse works almost universally. Say you have a neighbor that invites you to his annual BBQ, which is something you’d be happy to attend if it weren’t for the lousy food, your neighbor’s questionable hygiene, the three free-roaming dogs, and the pool that doubles as a… well, let’s not get gross, but last year, there were eleven children swimming for five hours with no bathroom breaks, ok?
Instead of damaging relations with this key figure in your life (after all, he’d give you the shirt off his back…. not that you’d ever want it, but the offer stands), you can instead just tell your neighbor you have an important client (Mr. Recliner) that needs attention.
I know it sounds like I’m kidding, but I’m not. The simple fact is that working for yourself gives you a “get out of stuff free” card. It’s a nice perk.
7) No co-workers
While I liked many of the co-workers I’ve had, overall, I found they were usually in the way – in the way of my career, in the way of getting things accomplished, in the way when I had a great idea… they were also always in the bathroom when I needed it as well.
8) You can do usual “weekend chores” during the week.
Do you know what stores look like at 2:30pm on a Tuesday afternoon? They’re empty. So are the post office, the bank, and the oil-change place. It’s pretty nice.
In addition to this, when I get stressed with work and need a quick break, do you know what I do? I mow my lawn. This accomplishes two things – it gives my mind the clearing out that it needs, and by mowing my lawn during the week, it also frees up my Saturday afternoon.
9) No stupid, arbitrary rules
When you own a home based business, you can dress like you wish, decorate your office like you wish, come in when you wish, and leave when you wish. You can set vacation and not worry about it having to be “approved”, and (depending on your type of business) you can take off any day you want. For example, my business employs the “three day weekend” rule quite frequently (complete with Friday happy hour).
10) No Boss
I could write pages about this part, so I’ll just simply say the fact that the boss is the person looking back at me from the mirror is a huge plus. Better looking, too.