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The past two weeks have been pretty tumultuous for me.  It started with a phone call I got from my Uncle. He let me know that my 89-year-old father had just been admitted to the hospital with pneumonia.

You probably already know that pneumonia is serious at any age, but at 89 even a mild case is very serious. Add to this my father lives in a house with multiple levels there were going to have to be changes that are made in his living arrangements as well as getting the right care for him.

This started me thinking about the flexibility that I have as a business owner versus the flexibility that I would have had as an employee.  While thinking about this I’ve come up with 5 reasons that I’m thankful that I’m in my own business.  Here are just a few of them:

Flexibility, flexibility, flexibility

This is the number one reason to work for yourself.  I have the flexibility and you should also to drop everything and spend the amount of time you need on affairs other than business.

One of the reasons I like working with other business owners is that they can allocate the amount of time they want to almost any project.  Yes, there are times where you just won’t be available for what you want to do, but most of the time you’ll be able to do what you want, when you want, in the way you want.

Isn’t that something that makes you excited?

You don’t have to ask permission

I know that if I was working for someone else, I would have had to take vacation days or at the very least, ask permission from my boss to get time off to take care of my father.  I also know that many bosses would have given me a hard time about taking time off.

Because I work for myself, I could just re-arrange my schedule, do some appointments by phone instead of in person and generally move my work schedule around to care for my father and make arrangements that will make his life better.

I know I could have done this as an employee, but it would have been much more difficult.  And, I would have likely been worrying about whether I would have a job when I returned.  Because I work for myself, none of these things was a worry for me.

Choosing your customers

While I was in the middle of looking at other housing arrangements I got a call from a customer.  I told him that I would get him his information in two days.  The second day came and it was only 10 AM.  I told him I planned to get him the information he wanted that afternoon and proceeded to explain to him what I’ve been doing.

He told me, “That this was my problem and he had problems also.”  Right at that moment, I decided that I wasn’t going to work with this individual anymore.  So I got him his information and let him know that I was no longer interested in his business.

I do my best to live in a no a**hole world and he was violating this.  If I worked for someone else, I likely would not have been able to make this decision.  Being able to choose my customers is an important thing for me.  I hope you have the same option in your life.

Ability to work from your house

Obviously, over the last two weeks, there was some work that had to be done.  Again, because I work for myself I was able to set up my computer in his house and do the work that had to be done.  In fact, I’m writing this newsletter from his house.

At some point, we all face family emergencies.  These emergencies are always stressful and if you have to work for someone else, you add your employer’s attitude towards your emergency as something to worry about.  

If you work for yourself, you still are going to feel stress.  But, and this is a big but, you have the ability to set your schedule, ask people to fill in and take care of your family.  Don’t you think this is a big deal?

You set your own agenda

At the end of the day, this is what you get to do.  If you own your own business, your agenda is your agenda.  You can and should set it in a way that supports you the best in having a great business in life.  It’s what my goal is when I work with business owners and I hope it’s your goal as well.

Why don’t you leave a comment below and let me know what you think about setting your own agenda and being in your own business?

PS.  If you’re in the same situation as I and need some resources, here’s an article from USA Today that has some resources that you might find useful.  4 ways to help care for your aging parents via 4 ways to help care for your aging parents, spouse with tech

Topics: Creating Value, Sustainable Business, Business Strategies, your own business

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