Becoming My Own Boss

In my last post, I discussed the ever present side hustle.  I also presented my plans to incorporate a new beside hustle into my already established business.  But I’d like to take a minute and rewind a bit.  I want to tell you how I got to where I am in the first place.  Here’s how I became my own boss and why it was an awesome decision!

For the past 3 years, I have been my own boss.  And let me tell you, choosing to do that was the best decision I could have made.

Definitely not the easiest, but hands down the best!

It has given me flexibility to create my own schedule, as well as to pave the professional path I want.  It has allowed me to pursue endeavors that I never thought I would, i.e. volunteering abroad.  It has pushed me out of my comfort zone and challenged me in ways that have shaped me into the person I am today.   And it has provided me a newfound sense of purpose and passion in my life.

That being said, it has also been probably the hardest thing I have done in my life thus far.  Everyday there is a new hurdle to overcome.  I’ve worked harder and longer than I have ever had to before.

“Entrepreneurs are willing to work 80 hours a week to avoid working 40 hours a week”- Lori Graneir.

Story. Of. My. Life.

However, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

 

But first I had to question the way things were being done

Fresh out of grad school, I jumped right on the familiar full-time employee path.  I spent half a decade there, punching the clock and receiving my check.

Life was simple. Life was straightforward.  But it was somewhat boring.

An opportunity arose for me to start contracting with another company.  It was here that I got my first taste of setting out on my own-ish.

Before long, I was leaving my full-time position to contract full-time, picking up work with a few other companies.

I learned a lot during my contracting time, but quickly realized I was tired of working for other people. I began to question if there was a different way. Maybe even a better way.

 

Me, an entrepreneur?

Growing up, I never thought I’d ever use the word entrepreneur to describe me. If I had to guess, I probably would have laughed if someone told me one day I would own my own business.

And to be honest, I owe a lot of this to Mr.Wow.  He was a huge driving force in both helping me believe in myself, as well as assisting with all the legal/ tax/ financial mumbo jumbo.  I definitely wouldn’t be where I am today without his gentle nudges forceful shoves to get this all set up and off the ground.

What was the final straw that pushed me over the edge?

I realized that if I failed, I could always go back to what I was previously doing.  Imagine that, I fail and I go back to exactly the way my life was, not too bad.

 

So I dove right in

I am not going to lie, this whole company thing has been a lot of work, a lot of HARD work!

Many countless hours have been spent working on my business: early mornings, late nights and even weekends.  So much so that the lines between my personal life and my professional life are extremely blurry.

A few months ago, one of my interns asked me how many hours I work a week.

Too many! I don’t even want to think about it.

Just getting my company set up took many months with hundreds of hurdles to jump through.  My days were full with researching, configuring, coordinating, scheduling, marketing, expanding, accounting, documenting, managing, calling, emailing, driving, waiting, etc.  You name it, I was doing it.

Once I figured out one thing, something else would pop up.  One thing after the other, after the other and after the other.

I was no longer solely doing what I learned about in grad school. I was doing so much more. I was a full-on one man team driving forward my new dream.

It was a lot of work.  Hell, it still is.

But it’s been more than worth every second I have invested.

 

Believe in yourself!

Like I said before, I had never considered myself capable of doing something like this.

Many times I found myself questioning:

Can I do this? Is it worth it? What if I fail?

Ultimately, I learned to believe in myself, although it took some time.  I learned to embrace these questions and rather than let them bring me down, I instead rephrased them to push me forward.

I can do this! It is worth it! Failure is not an option!

This is not to say that I didn’t make mistakes; I made plenty.   But I didn’t let them define me.  I learned from them and used them drive me forward.

 

Inspiring others

I write this post not just to tell my story, but also to inspire others to start their own entrepreneur journey.

Over the years, I have had the opportunity to consult with many other therapists who were interested in striking out on their own.  It’s been a lot of fun to get them started and then connect with them later and see where they are.

But this message isn’t just for therapists.  It is for anyone that wants freedom and flexibility to pursue their own passions (which is many most people in this community).

Coming from someone who never imagined she’d be here, if I can do it, you can do it.  If you’ve been thinking about starting your own business, stop thinking and start doing.

Just remember that it won’t be easy, if anything it will be the hardest thing you have ever done.  But it will be worth it!

And if it doesn’t work out, you can always go back to what you are doing right now.

44 Comments

  • Team CF January 17, 2018 at 4:38 am

    Well, if this is not a motivational post to start on your own business, I don’t know what is! Well done Mrs. WoW, you got more guts that I do.
    Team CF recently posted…December 2017 Savings Rate

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 6:46 am

      Why thank you CF! And BTW, we’re so glad that we finally posted a beer picture before you today, it’s about time.

      Reply
  • Miss Mazuma January 17, 2018 at 5:22 am

    Good for you, lady! It takes moxi to go out go your own and actually make it work. One of the things I love about this article is the reality of building a business from the ground up. Being a business woman has nothing to do with what you went to school for but you managed. Looking back, isn’t it rewarding that you were able to learn all those things and solve all those problems?! Oh course, all those things were probably super frusturating in the moment but you got through it!! Most people would have quite but you didn’t. And now you can proudly call yourself an entrepreneur!! That’s great motivation for others. 🙂
    Miss Mazuma recently posted…2017 – That’s a Wrap!

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 6:53 am

      Totally! It is still to this day a learning process, as there is always more to learn and problems to solve. But its fun to learn new skills and improve upon what you already know. Thanks for the kind words MM!

      Reply
  • DocG January 17, 2018 at 5:30 am

    Striking out into my own business was both the most scarey and best decision I’ve ever made. There is nothing like controlling your own destiny for better or worse. Congrats!
    DocG recently posted…Optimize

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 6:53 am

      100% agree! Congrats to you as well!!

      Reply
  • Vicki@M January 17, 2018 at 5:33 am

    This should clearly be your pinned tweet (I caught it listening to him last year!) “I did decide early in life that my favorite employer was myself” – Warren Buffett
    Vicki@M recently posted…Putting Health Before Wealth in 2018

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 6:57 am

      I will have to look into this whole pinned tweet business, never done that before… and I definitely agree with Mr.Buffett. But I have to admit that I am probably harder on myself than any boss I have ever had.

      Reply
  • Tonya@Budget and the Beach January 17, 2018 at 5:57 am

    I definitely know it’s not easy! But look at all the cool places you get to travel now knowing you have that freedom! Hope you enjoy your trip!

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 7:00 am

      Good point Tonya! Cheers from Cambodia.

      Reply
  • Fritz @ TheRetirementManifesto January 17, 2018 at 6:29 am

    Motivating post, Mrs. WoW! Particularly cool that you’re helping others follow your path. Great post.

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 7:01 am

      Thanks Fritz! I never thought that I would be helping other people set up their own businesses, but I have to say that I really enjoy it.

      Reply
  • wendy January 17, 2018 at 7:19 am

    Woot! Nice write up 🙂
    Entrepreneurship is impressive because you’re launching into something complex and relatively unknown that you (probably) are dependent on for your food, shelter, etc. (no pressure, right?).
    Great lesson to internalize (and reduce the pressure) that you can go back to a more traditional career path…
    To me the most impressive thing is finding a passion consuming enough that 80+hours/blurred life work lines is tiring but inspiring vs terrifying… I don’t think I’ve found one yet…

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 7:03 am

      Yes, completely. I still do not know how I happened to stumble into this job that I truly enjoy, but I’m glad I did.

      Reply
  • Erik @ The Mastermind Within January 17, 2018 at 7:20 am

    I’m “stair stepping”, i.e. exploring entrepreneurship on the side of my day job.

    Unfortunately, I love the steady paycheck and want to build up a solid base of assets before I dive in fully (even though my blog is becoming a business and I have an LLC as well…)

    Completely agree – quit the 9 to 5 and start working 95 is another quote I’ve read!
    Erik @ The Mastermind Within recently posted…We Make a Living By What We Get and We Make Lives By What We Give

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 7:06 am

      I continued to contract for a few months after I started my company to ensure that I still had some money coming in and also to give me time to build up my caseload. I honestly think that is the way to go. Once you get comfortable with what you have, then you can cut ties with your regular 9-5 job.

      Reply
  • Dave @ Married with Money January 17, 2018 at 7:30 am

    I like that – if it doesn’t pan out, you can go back to what you were doing before. Makes the scary stuff a bit less scary, but I also think that fear can be used as motivation to light a fire under your butt and get you working hard to make it succeed 🙂
    Dave @ Married with Money recently posted…Why I Walked Away From $25k In Company Stock

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 7:15 am

      You nailed it with this one. Its enough to push you to do it in the first place and then enough to make you keep pushing when times get tough.

      Reply
  • Mrs. Adventure Rich January 17, 2018 at 8:35 am

    I got chills reading this, I am very similar! I never saw myself as a potential entrepreneur and all the logistics (taxes, finances, etc) make my head spin. I don’t have a business now, but I have considered it and this is really helpful to read 🙂 I don’t have to be a “born entrepreneur” to make it work! (someday… if I find a good idea… 😉 )

    Cheers to going outside your comfort zone and creating your own business!
    Mrs. Adventure Rich recently posted…And Then There Was One… Income (Part 3: The “Non-Plan”)

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 7:18 am

      That is definitely one reason that I felt I needed to write this post. Some people grow up knowing that they will run a business, while others just kinda fall into it. Let me know if you ever have any questions. I got you covered on the business side and Mr.Wow has you covered on the tax/financial side. We’re happy to help!

      Reply
  • Caroline January 17, 2018 at 11:07 am

    Great way to look at it, “if it doesn’t work out you can always go back” but at least no regret!
    Caroline recently posted…My December Grocery Challenge Was A FAIL, Here Is Why

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 7:19 am

      Live life with no regret! Love it!!

      Reply
  • Accidental FIRE January 17, 2018 at 1:30 pm

    This post confirms that my strategy of getting to FI first and then starting a company was the right one for me. I have immense respect for those willing to take the risk earlier, but being FI gives me the comfort level I need to risk starting a business. If it fails, no biggie. I’m FI.
    Accidental FIRE recently posted…Failure And The Art Of Abseiling

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 7:21 am

      That’s a great point AF and one that I think many FIRE people will pursue once they hit their number. But also owning your own business is a great facilitator in helping one attain FIRE. Stay tuned for Mr.Wow’s next few posts to highlight this.

      Reply
  • FIRECracker January 17, 2018 at 1:35 pm

    Way to go, Mrs. WOW! Working for yourself has it challenges but the rewards make it all worth while! Especially if you are on the path to FI and the “what if I fail” thoughts become “who cares? That’s what the FI armour is for!”

    Great post!

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 7:23 am

      FI armor, I love it!! Nothing can get you when you have FU money bullets and FI armor protection.

      Reply
  • Mrs. Picky Pincher January 17, 2018 at 2:21 pm

    Love this! I’m also considering striking out on my own in the freelance writing world. I won’t make an official jump until I use my crazy-well-paying full-time job to pay off our student loans. But once those suckahs are gone before the end of 2018, I very well might start working for numero uno. 🙂
    Mrs. Picky Pincher recently posted…How I’m living my retirement already

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 7:24 am

      Do it! I can promise that it won’t be easy, but it will be totally worth it in the end. But for sure use your full-time gig to slay your student loan debt beforehand. One less thing that you will have to worry about.

      Reply
  • Mr. Need2save January 17, 2018 at 6:05 pm

    I’ve been a ‘company man’ for so long, although I do wonder how things would have turned out if went out on my own. Being a software engineer, there are certainly plenty of opportunities out there. Once we reach FI, I may try out a few low-stress freelance gigs or develop my own small consulting business.
    Mr. Need2save recently posted…Q42017 Quarterly Progress Report

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 18, 2018 at 7:29 am

      Firecracker put it best, that by having FI armor people can now take the risk of starting their own thing. I completely agree that within your tech world there is a lot of opportunity. I also feel that many people actually begin to enjoy this line of work even more when they are no longer working for someone else.

      Reply
  • Mrs. Groovy January 18, 2018 at 8:54 am

    Starting your own business after only 5 years of the 9 to 5, and a lot of schooling, takes a pair of you-know-what. It also helps to have a spouse with forceful shoves. Kudos to both of you!
    Mrs. Groovy recently posted…I’m So Boring, Drying Paint would Yawn at Me

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 19, 2018 at 2:33 am

      Thanks Mrs.G! I guess the traditional job route was never in the cards for me, but those forceful shoves definitely pushed me to continue when things got hard.

      Reply
  • Jason@WinningPersonalFinance January 18, 2018 at 10:31 am

    Great read. It feels so much safer to be an employee with at “guaranteed” paycheck. Yet, the upside is much higher for a business owner, especially in today’s tax environment. Congrats on taking the risk and having so much success with it.
    Jason@WinningPersonalFinance recently posted…Should You Pay Off Debt or Invest? (It’s Obvious!)

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 19, 2018 at 2:37 am

      It also helps when a dual income household can live off one salary. It gave me the flexibility to take a pay cut while I was just starting out and has now allowed Mr.Wow opportunities to change jobs and take some time off in between. Thanks for the comment Jason!

      Reply
  • Mr. Groovy January 19, 2018 at 5:38 am

    I’ve always respected entrepreneurs. My brother started his own business, and so did two close friends. Man, do they work their tails off. I love how you promote the glories of starting and running a business but don’t poo-poo the risks, hurdles, and long hours. You’re a true inspiration, Mrs. WoW. Thanks for sharing your insights.
    Mr. Groovy recently posted…The Great American Financial Blog Post That Wasn’t
    Mr. Groovy recently posted…The Great American Financial Blog Post That Wasn’t

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 19, 2018 at 6:55 am

      It is all part of the territory! I know some brilliant therapists who should start their own practices, but do not want to deal with the logistics and work all the time. They like to punch their time card and then leave at the end of the day. I respect that it is not for everyone, but I also understand that if anyone is interested in going out on their own, they can and should make it happen.

      Reply
  • Cubert January 20, 2018 at 5:29 am

    Consider me inspired! So much of my own motivation with work of any sort comes from calling my own shots. I cannot wait to be done with the corporate world. I’ll then be able to work harder, doing fun and interesting things as MY OWN BOSS.

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 21, 2018 at 6:36 am

      Yes! I’m ready for you to be done too. There’s something to be said about working your butt off for yourself rather than someone else.

      Reply
  • SightseeMD January 21, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    We needed this post as we are neck deep in starting our own practice and leaving the safety of W2 hospital employment! Thanks for the encouragement!

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 21, 2018 at 3:23 pm

      That’s great! Good luck and stay tuned. There will be something coming out soon that will hopefully be helpful.

      Reply
  • Mr. SSC January 22, 2018 at 6:14 am

    I’ve been curious about starting my own gig, but not quite there yet. No way I could replace my current income, so until then, it will be on hold, lol. It does take a lot of guts to strike out on your own.

    Nice write up about it and thanks for the inspiration – the follow thru just may come a bit later. 🙂
    Mr. SSC recently posted…Our 2017 Spending: What a Dumpster Fire!

    Reply
    • Mrs WoW January 22, 2018 at 6:17 am

      It is here if you may need some inspiration in the future, ya know, when you start your FFLC!

      Reply

Leave a Comment

CommentLuv badge