Because we’ve had so many visitors and personal obligations lately (mainly, a wedding), it’s been more obvious than usual that I have a flexible work schedule. In a country full of 9-to-5 workers, people tend to notice when you shift your workday to start at 1pm because you’re sight-seeing in the morning, or when you only work a few hours a day because you’ve systemized your business.
Folks tend to think this is awesome, and they often tell me so. It’s amazing! Convenient! I am so lucky I can make my own schedule!
Yet ironically, most professionals who decide to pivot away from the traditional workforce to create a career in freelancing or entrepreneurship meet a certain type of a resistance. More than a few crazy looks, some mentions of the “risks” involved, and likely a lot of not-so-encouraging questions.
It’s like people don’t see the path that goes from making a choice to build your own business to having freedom and flexibility in your work. On one end you get the crazy looks, and on the other end, the jealous ones.
What about the string of hard work that ties these two ends together? What about the years of getting from the starting line to a place where you can sustain your business and lifestyle? What about the fact that those job-quitters and risk-takers are moving toward a career that goes around their life, rather than the other way around?
Developing an income that gives you freedom and autonomy does not happen magically. It’s not lucky, nor is it coincidence.
It’s hard work and conscious decisions. It’s living mindfully. It’s the result of letting all of those initial crazy looks roll off your back while moving in the right direction — your direction.