As someone who owns a business or has a side hustle, how do you know when it’s a “real” business, or when it’s just a hobby?
I have the answer for you.
As my parents got older, and my dad was no longer driving a car, they would ask me to run errands for them during the week and take them to doctor’s appointments almost every day. Sometimes they were important appointments, and sometimes it was as simple as picking up some strawberries. (My dad LOVED strawberries).
They never asked my sister. Only me. But every weekend they would invite her over for dinner and to watch a movie. So while she was their “daughter”, I became their “caretaker”. I was so jealous.
One day I asked my dad why they never ask her to run errands for them during the week. His answer…“Because she has a job.”
I was speechless. I HAVE A JOB! I own a business and manage my own marketing company. I have clients that depend on me, and when I don’t show up, no one is taking care of them.
I said, “Dad! I have a job! I have my own company!”
To which he replied, “Yes…but she has a REAL job.”
UGH. Punch in the gut.
The irony of this is, my dad, owned his own construction company for years. He ran the business out of our basement, and his employees showed up at our house every morning for their assignments. But in my parents’ mind, if you don’t literally punch a time clock, do you have a real job?
It doesn’t matter that I spend more time behind the computer, on the phone, or driving to meetings with clients. It also didn’t matter that I made more money than my sister. A LOT more. Because my office was in my house and I didn’t have someone to report to, they decided that I am more dispensable and the perfect person to Uber them to appointments.
But you know what, I DO have a real job. And so do YOU!
Because in my definition, if you make an impact on even one person’s life, by making their life easier or better, then you’ve done your job.
It isn’t about the size of your bank account or the address of your office. It’s not even about whether you show up in your pajamas or a suit. What matters is that you make an impact on someone else’s life.
On those days when you’re wondering if it’s all worth it, or If you’re making a difference or wasting your time, think of one person that you’ve helped. Just one. Because to them, you made all the difference in the world.
Owning a business doesn’t mean that you have more time. If I’m being honest, I’ve never worked harder in my life. Don’t let that deter you though! The fact that I can design my own schedule and no longer have to “punch a clock” is liberating. I work as many hours as I do because I truly love what I do. The fact that I could arrange my schedule to be there for my family is priceless.
Being a business owner also doesn’t mean that you have no boss. Every client and customer is now your boss. BUT, you can choose who you want to work with, and I choose to only work with people and projects that bring me joy.
I now realize that taking care of my dad was my job. He’s no longer with us, and I’m happy I got to spend that time driving him around because I made his life a little easier and better. That’s been the biggest asset about owning my own business. I’m so glad now that I don’t have a “real” job.
Find out if you’re ready to be your own boss and take our free quiz HERE!