I remember in the beginning of my career, even now, people would wonder why I would choose a bit more of a difficult career path for myself instead of a steady job that pays well and provides benefits among other great offerings. To be honest, some days I’m not sure why I keep pursuing this the way I do, but I try to stick to what feels most natural to me.
I thought that running my own little business meant that I would have endless freedom and an easier life. In many ways, I very much enjoy the flexibility that my work allows me to have and that it’s like my baby that I am watching as it grows slowly over time.
However, it’s not all easy. I found myself discussing with a good friend recently how it’s a constant hustle to have your own business. When working for a company, you have a luxury of leaving work behind you for the day and relaxing in the evenings (most jobs, anyway).
When running your own business, you are constantly seeking out new opportunities, working day and night by always being responsive on your phone checking emails, sending invoices through Paypal on the way to a networking event, fitting in some edits for a client while on a train from Paris to Brussels on your vacation (yes I did that too), and publishing a blog post before passing out for the evening.
But it doesn’t stop there, if you’re not careful, your life can easily become consumed by your work. Suddenly all the books you read are business related, all the media you watch is about how to market your work and so on. This isn’t to say that these are negatives, but essentially the hustle never ends and I think that’s what makes all of this so thrilling to me.
I love the fact that I’m sending out invoices while walking to a meeting or on a Sunday afternoon spent with my boyfriend. I love the fact that I make sure my priorities are in place and I make sure to stay responsive to my clients who are paying me to do something I absolutely adore. I even love the fact that I sometimes stay up all night drawing because I can’t sleep until I get an idea on paper.
I think essentially it comes down to doing something that brings you life. It doesn’t always feel like work (sometimes it does) when what you’re doing is helping you grow, develop and expand into something you could only dream about a year ago. It doesn’t feel like you’re hustling more than just taking big steps forward and celebrating something that fills you with joy. And you can only hope to overflow with that joy and help others achieve it as well throughout the span of your life.
So yes, instead of a steady job that I’m sure would be wonderfully challenging and so great in so many ways, I’m so glad I do what I do. It’s not for the money, it’s not for desired fame, it’s for that feeling of aliveness in every aspect of my life. A feeling that can only come to existence in a workplace when you feel passionate and that you’re closer and closer to achieving a lifetime of success.