Ever since I started this year’s 50/50 mission, I’ve been keeping track of the hours I’ve spent working, and something hit me HARD last night (not what she said). It occurred to me that every hour I put down on that paper, is a SOLID hour of hard work. Not facebooking, not talking on the phone, not going out for coffee or long walking breaks, nothing – just pure work.
And then I think back to my old 9-5 jobs :) And how many hours spent there REALLY went towards my core duties. 6? 5? 3? Not counting my restaurant or retail jobs (THAT is a lot of no-B.S. work), you already take out an hour for lunch, and then another one when you first walk in since everyone knows that’s time for catching up and checking email (personal, and work) and getting everything squared away so you can “start the day.” Then factor in all the internet searching, or out of office breaks the average person usually takes, and we’re already down to 6 or 7. Maybe even 5 knowing some of my friends ;) (I think one day I actually worked ZERO hours to see if I could get away with it. And as bad as it sounds, no one noticed. I wouldn’t dare recommend it though!)
Pretty crazy if you think about it, right? I mean, it’s def. good for YOU the worker, and I’m not saying to work 100% straight w/ no breaks or fun time or anything like that – it would indeed kill productivity – but it’s DEFINITELY different when you’re self-employed. Every hour you bill or need to complete a project is exactly that: An hour. There’s no internet rando time here, or goofing off and getting away with it there – it’s all pure work. I mean, yeah – we DO waste time online and all that too (do you know how many awesome reruns are on during the day?? Judge Judy? Hoarders?) but that only *extends* our work day as we still have a job to finish up. We can’t go home and forget about it for the night, because to the self-employed, ANY hour can be a work hour. And there’s no salary to tell you it’s gonna pay off in the end. Literally ;)
So the next time you say you “wish you could work for yourself” or “It must be nice working in your boxers!” think about what you’re really asking for there. Would you be able to work 10-12-14 solid hours each day to make that happen? Not knowing 100% if you’re even GONNA get paid for all that work in the end? If you’ve never thought about how good you just may have it at your boring day-to-day gig, perhaps some of these things might perk you up just a little ;)
Owning a small business, or writing blog posts all day may sound sexy to the average person, but it’s not always $hits and giggles. You gotta seriously enjoy the hustle if you want to be successful. And if you’re not disciplined enough to sit still and pound out the work day in and day out, it may not be the best fit. Which is totally cool – it takes all kinds of people to run this world of ours!
Other small biz owners: Anything you’d like to add? Do you put in more *actual* hours than a typical office job? Or am I totally cuckoo over here?
(Photo by marshillonline – Edited by J$ ;))