Why Women Start Businesses...By Ginny Robertson
Many women dream of self-employment and I believe there are some common reasons why:
-to have the freedom to spend more time with their family
-to be in charge of their income
-to put their creative energies into form
-to do work that is meaningful, reflects who they are and makes a difference
-to enjoy their life
You may start to dream about self-employment when you realize that the way you're working for others is not working for you. You want more control over your workday and your results. You want your creativity to be rewarded. You want to make a difference in the world and you want to fully enjoy your life. It all sounds so wonderful…and it is!
But the reality doesn't always reflect the dream. You may have become so single-minded and caught up in working your business that you're doing the same things you did when you were an employee. Suddenly your boss is overworking and underpaying you. And you're the boss! You're not having any fun, you're compromising your ideals and you feel more stress than joy.
You've lost sight of why you went into business in the first place. Old habits take over and you resort to what you know, to what is familiar and comfortable. If you were a workaholic before starting your business, that same behavior will creep back in the more stressed you get.
If any of this sounds familiar, take some time to ask and honestly answer these questions:
(1) Are you enjoying your work as much as you thought you would?
(2) Are you spending time with family and friends?
(3) Are you taking time for yourself and making sure your needs are met?
(4) Do you get up each day excited about your work?
If you're not enjoying your work as much as you dreamed, go back to the beginning and revisit why you went into business in the first place. Are those reasons still valid? Is your mission still working for you? What can you do to get yourself back in sync with your initial plans? How can you change what you’re doing so you enjoy it more?
If you are not taking time to be with family and friends, you sure aren’t taking time for yourself. So ask yourself if this is important to you. If it is, then make time to do it. Are you really too busy to take an hour out of your day to have lunch with a friend, take a walk or climb into a bubble filled bathtub?
If you’re not bouncing out of bed in the morning truly excited about starting your day, what has changed? Isn’t this one of the reasons you wanted to work for yourself? If you’re not excited, you are probably stressed or worried. Excitement and joy cannot reside alongside stress and worry. So take some time to discover if there is something you dread about your workday and, if so, what you can do to change it.
It is easy for women entrepreneurs, especially those with a home-based business, to feel guilty about taking time off. If you do have a few extra minutes you think you should be throwing in a load of laundry or picking up the living room. It’s such a no-win situation. You feel guilty for taking time off to spend with family and friends or to take care of yourself, AND you feel guilty if you don’t. You lose either way.
So when you find yourself bogged down with work, feeling joyless and out of touch with your life, take a few minutes to remember why you went into business. Wasn’t freedom and quality of life a big part of it? Keep reminding yourself that you are the boss! So give yourself a breaki.
This article appeared in On Purpose Woman Magazine.