Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Reason #2 Why I'm Fat - Self-Employment

Many think that working for one's self has to be THE life.  They think that the self-employed get to set their own hours, work as hard as they determine they'd like to, and take as many days off as they wish.  The self-employed are the misguided envy of far too many who generalize this group in this way.

In an effort to keep it real here, it really depends on the industry in which one is self-employed.  A service industry in which the client is dependent on the most current daily details and updates with a 24-hour turnaround time and many stat requests while working with subcontractors having schedules of their own to contend with and to pick up the slack for, and being a perfectionist too aware and unwilling to allow silly, yet critical, errors made by others float out of my office, allows for none of this.  It in fact didn't allow for any vacation time whatsoever for 12 whole years.  Yes, there are perks, like not having to fight rush-hour traffic every single day; no more nylons, heels, and expensive suits; and not having to feel guilty when one, then two, and then three (or more) children fall ill in succession over a two-week time span.  The work, however, still needs to be done in a daily fashion, and in order to accomplish it, every non-family-related spare minute gets consumed by the client's needs.

I found myself last in line after the demands of my clients first, the subcontractors with whom I worked next (coordinating who could do what and when and taking up the slack), then the needs of my children, followed by the ever-changing demands of my husband's work schedule -- everybody and everything had to come first in a very impressive juggling act that would take two hours to describe in a blog post. If you want to compare how talented you are are juggling it while keeping yourself on the priority list, we can, but know your industry demands may be entirely different than mine. 

As a result of these hectic days, I came last.  I didn't put myself in my list of priorities because there was just simply too much to do, and I could do it, if I didn't need anything myself that is.

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