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15 Reasons Why You Should Quit Your Job and Be Your Own Boss

15 Reasons Why You Should Quit Your Job and Be Your Own Boss

The world can be a monotonous place, especially if you are stuck at a 9-to-5 desk job. I have lived the daily grind and hated it, and decided it was time to go back to the thing I love most: being my own boss. In this interconnected world, it is easier than ever to make a living doing what you love. Be forewarned: being self-employed is hard work, but it is worth every sleep-deprived moment. From my personal experience as an entrepreneur, these are the reasons why you should quit your job and be your own boss.

1. You will never have a boss again

If you are stuck in the cycle of bills, bills, and more bills, quitting a steady income job is absolutely terrifying. What if you can’t pay your car bill, or your cellphone? What if you can’t have cable TV anymore? Are you prepared to give up Starbucks and drink instant coffee every morning? Could you eat a PBJ for breakfast and lunch and dinner?

Being your own boss is worth every single risk. “Great deeds are usually wrought at great risks”; even a guy named Herodotus from over 2,000 years ago knew that nothing great can be achieved without significant risk. If you leave your desk job, trust me, you won’t actually die. You might have to shack up with your parents, or forgo Netflix for a few months, but believe me, there are way worse things in life, like working for a boss who has a lower IQ than Johnny Knoxville.

2.  Say Bye-bye to monotony

Once you are free of the 9-5 grind, the world becomes alot less boring. Now you can march to the beat of your own drum and do whatever it is that you want to do.

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3. Your earning potential is limitless

Do you make badass dresses for little girls? Post that picture on Etsy, do a little social-media marketing, and your passion can turn into an empire like KPea Original. This independent clothing company started as a home-based business and has boomed into one of the largest completely American handmade clothing companies, employing over 100 people in the small town of Elmore, Ohio. I’m sure in the beginning no one thought a woman with a sewing machine and a dream would turn into a 100,000+ fan Facebook page and a cult following.

If you put in the work, you will see the reward. If you have a skill, or make something that people want, post it, share it, publicize it. Somewhere, someone on the inter-webs needs it, all you need to do is let the world know that you exist.

4. You get to travel more

This is probably the best perk of being self-employed—you have a legitimate excuse to travel. In my business, I go to trade shows throughout the Midwest. I frequently travel to meet clients. I visit vendors. If you enjoy seeing new places and meeting new people, being your own boss creates a plethora of opportunities for road trips. If it weren’t for my business I would have never discovered the hipster mecca of Ferndale, Michigan, nor would I have experienced the wonder of Cahokia in St Louis.

5. Realize your self-worth

Once you have worked for yourself, you begin to understand your own self-worth. Seeing the rewards from all those hours of hard work begins to sink in—you have built something, you have achieved something, you are worth something. Often times at a 9-to-5 job, you go under-appreciated and your efforts unnoticed. When you can directly experience the reward of your efforts you have a feeling of self-fulfillment and realization that can never be fully felt when you are working for someone else.

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6. You call the shots

No more of those awkward moments where you are trying to skirt around your boss to avoid a tongue lashing. Now, you call the shots. Now, you can do the tongue lashing if you so chose.

7. You have more free time

At first, working for yourself involves putting in a schload of time. I’m talking 15 hours days. But then, once you learn what efficiency and effectiveness and delegation are, you suddenly have this chunk of free time that didn’t exist before. You can go to the gym at 2 p.m., or get breakfast with Grandma on a Monday at 9 a.m. Remember, you call the shots, and now you call your free time.

8.  Make your own schedule

As your own boss you not only get to live a less monotonous life, but you get to make your own schedule, too! Why not make those Monday mornings with Grandma a weekly affair? Now that you control your destiny, you can make your schedule as you well please.

9. Do what you love

If you’ve played your cards right, you are now doing something that you absolutely love. Even on those days where you do have to work 15 hours, it doesn’t feel like it. You get to wake up every morning and pursue your passion.

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10. You will meet interesting people

Often we get stuck in the yokel funk—we see the same people everyday for years.This is especially so if you live in a rural area. But now, you get to travel, you make your own schedule, and you meet people that you probably didn’t even know existed.

11. You will step out of your comfort zone

With being an solopreneur comes uncomfortable situations. You may have to do things you really don’t want to do, or things that you have never done. Like giving speeches, teaching a seminar, going to meetings. But, these awkward situations will help you to grow and develop into a better person and business owner.

12. You can write off expenses

And now you also get paid to drive your own car. And you can write off your home office space. The beauty of being self-employed is now all those spaces and things that you use for your business are considered business expenses and you can write them off of your taxes.

13. You will earn street cred

You are at your 10-year reunion. Guess what? All those jocks that wouldn’t look your way suddenly have heard of your entrepreneurial exploits and are quite interested. Thankfully you have been also participating in CrossFit while those jocks now have voluptuous beer bellies. But hey, that guy from AP Chem class now looks like Ryan Gosling’s younger brother? And guess what, he has heard of your business and wants to get drinks.

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14. You will become a (local) celebrity!

Not everyone likes fame. BUT we all do like a little pat on the back for a job well done. Now that you are your own boss you are well-known around your hometown and have made your family proud.

15. You can give back

Best of all you can now afford to give back. You can help your parents pay their mortgage. You can donate funds to the local tee-ball team. You can support the local food pantry. It’s a great feeling to be able to give back to the community and to pay it forward. Because you never know who may be looking up to you.

Featured photo credit: Andrey Belenko via flickr.com

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Last Updated on September 18, 2019

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

11 Hard Skills That Will Land You More Career Opportunities

Are you looking to move up the career ladder? Or maybe you’re tired of having a “job” and want to start looking for a more permanent career?

Whatever your motivation, you are going to have to learn some new and different hard skills to broaden your opportunities. After all, there’s a very famous quote that says:

“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein

While the insanity part doesn’t really fit here, the overall message is a good one. If you are looking for a different result (career advancement, more money or even a career instead of a job), it’s up to you to make it happen. This is both the good news and bad news!

The good news is that because it’s up to you, you have complete control over it happening. The bad news is that change is hard. Humans are creatures of habit, that’s why we develop routines, and anything that disrupts that routine causes us anxiety. And we will do almost anything to get rid of that anxiety. The overweight person will calm their anxiety by eating that doughnut, the smoker will light up a cigarette to avoid anxiety.

What we want to do with this article is to give you the hard skills you’ll need to reduce that anxiety so you can move up that corporate ladder, make more money or have career instead of just a “job.”

The following hard skills are essential to learn if you want to advance your career. They may not be easy to take up, but definitely worth your effort of learning:

1. Cloud Computing

“Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of computing services—servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, intelligence and more—over the Internet “the cloud” to offer faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. You typically pay only for cloud services you use, helping lower your operating costs, run your infrastructure more efficiently, and scale as your business needs change.” Microsoft[1]

There are many different jobs available in the cloud computing world today. They range from architects and developers to data scientists, security pros. Each job is its own specialty and requires a high level of specification for advancement.

This is definitely a hard skill that requires education. But if the tech world and computers are your thing you can make cloud computing a lucrative career.

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2. Data Mining and Statistical Analysis

Again, these are highly specialized fields. Data mining is defined as using large sets of data to look for anomalies and other patterns that can be used to predict future behavior.

Amazon is probably the best known company to use data mining. Have you ever noticed that when you buy something at Amazon, you’ll see a little ad at the bottom that says “customers who bought this also bought…”and it lists 2-3 other items? All of that information comes from data mining, by examining the millions of sales amazon makes they can predict that if you buy item #1 there is a high likelihood that you will buy one of the other items too. T

his not only increases sales for Amazon, but it also serves as a reminder for you that you may need these additional items for your project. This is very valuable information and has a wide range of uses. Although it has a bad reputation and evil sounding name, it is a very useful tool for maximizing productivity and sales.

3. Data Management

All companies today deal with a ton of data! Being able to manage that data in an efficient manor is not only highly prized, but a necessity.

We all have these things on our desks called computers. Unless there is a need for a paper copy, almost all of our data is computerized. Meaning that, in theory it is all at our fingertips. Being able to organize that data so that it’s easily and quickly retrievable is why computers are replacing filing cabinets!

However, just like the old fashion filing cabinet, data management on a computer is only good if it’s well organized. You want to make sure that you are keeping your data well organized so that it’s easy to find when needed. This is a skill that comes easily to some people (are you a person that makes lists? Good!) but with others it will be a skill that needs to be practices. Make sure that this is a discipline you master.

4. Scheduling

Being able to make and keep to a schedule is a very useful tool in both business and life. Effective scheduling means that you can prioritize projects, understand the tools needed to get the job done on time and that you are organized enough to lead people.

An important point here is to write things down! Whether it’s in an old fashion daily or weekly organizer or in a PDA. Have a copy of your schedule available at your fingertips at all times.

5. Financial Skills

These are especially important when looking for that promotion. The higher up the ladder you go, the more you’ll have to deal with things like accounting, budgeting, financial planning and cash flow management.

While you may not need to be an expert at all of these, you should have a good grasp of all of them. This is where taking a few night classes at your local community college is a good idea. You don’t need to become an expert, but brushing up on these skills will help you tremendously.

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6. Research Skills

These are important in all aspects of life, but especially in your work-life.

Are you looking for that first job out of school? Nothing impresses a boss or hiring manager more than someone who has researched the company. Trust me, they deal with people walking in off the street everyday looking for a job, but managers and owners need to see the value in hiring (or promoting) you.

So do your research and have some company specific questions ready to ask. Show that you are interested in working for that company or that position and not just “a” job or the “promotion” because you have seniority or need the money.

If it’s a promotion that you are after, never bad mouth the previous occupant. Instead pick out an example that he/she was good at and explain how you would like to use or expand that policy and how it would enhance the policy changes you’d like to make.

If it’s a new job you’re going for, then make sure to have some company specific questions ready to show that you have done your homework for the new position.

7. Marketing Skills

While marketing a companies products or services has always been a highly sought after skill. In today’s world, it can take on several different forms.

Some of the marketing skills that are highly sought after today include, SEO, Search Engine Optimization, SEM, Search Engine Marketing and marketing campaign management. Familiarity with Google Analytics as well as Word Press are also valuable.

While traditional marketing and branding were focused on advertising and selling. Almost all marketing efforts now a days are focused on the internet.

8. Network Security Specialist

Again, this is a highly skilled position that requires specialized training. But the amount of data that all companies store is significant, and if that data is leaked or stolen, it can costs them millions of dollars in both lost revenue and lawsuits.

So, if you have an interest in network security you will find the field both lucrative and stable.

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9. Communication Skills

At first glance, communication skills may not look like it fits into the category of “Hard Skills” that can help you succeed. But in this ever shrinking world where companies can do business from almost anywhere, communication is more and more important.

Are you bilingual? It really doesn’t matter what language you speak, there’s a company out there looking for someone who speaks that language.

10. Computer Programming

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty sure that computers are going to be around for a while! As both the hardware and software get more advanced, the need for computer programming is only going to increase.

11. Graphic Design

As of 2018, there were 4.37 million new websites launched.[2] A good number of them will fail because they just aren’t interesting enough visually. The use of templates and replicated websites is only making the problem worse.

Part of the way Google ranks sites is through originality, this almost ensures that replicated sites will never get ranked through Google. So the more original your site is, the more likely people will visit and actually spend time there.

That is what a good graphic designer does. Takes your basic idea and turns it into a website that people actually want to visit.

Embrace the Anxiety That Comes with Change

You know it’s going to be there, you know that you’ll want to give up as you’re learning these new skills but, you’ll also know that the end result is worth the journey.

Here’s a little trick when you’re feeling overwhelmed:

Have you ever met an ex-smoker who was sorry they quit? An ex-drinker or drug user that said life was much better before they quit? These people have gone through some of the most difficult challenges humans can go through including weeks, if not, months of intense physical withdrawal symptoms. They did it because they knew that the pain and anxiety they would experience would ultimately get them to a much better life.

Now what was that complaint you had about attending night-school?

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This is the part everyone hates, everyone thinks night-school, adult education and just generally giving up family and/or spare time. While those are certainly possible ways to develop the necessary skills, they aren’t the only way.

You’ll want to check with your human resources department because depending on the company, a certain degree maybe required in order to even be considered for a position. In those cases, night-school, on-line or some other form of adult education maybe your best route.

But as long as a degree isn’t required, then your options are wide open.

Let’s just say that you’re a sales person interested in becoming the sales manager but, the territory you’ve been given will never produce the sales figures that would make you stand out as a good candidate for sales manager. So how about you start your own side business (don’t compete with your company), but let’s say you enjoy golf.

In this day and age, there are plenty of places that will teach you how to sell products on-line and even set you up with your own website. So you start a site selling golf equipment and accessories (don’t worry, you won’t even have to carry inventory or worry about shipping).

Now, when that sales manager spot opens up, you can explain that even though other salespeople had better numbers than you, it had nothing to do with your sales ability, it was more of a consequence of the territory your were given.

And to prove it, you brought in some information about a side business, you started showing that you’re on target for a sales growth rate of 30% this year. And because you had to do all of the marketing for the business, you came up with some marketing strategies that you can bring to the new job (built-in experience).

The Bottom Line

We’ve put together these 11 hard skills as a way to give yourself a “leg up” on the competition. We’ve tried to make this a mixture of both skills that require a great deal of training, and also ones that you can work on and develop by yourself.

We know that not everyone is cut out to be a cloud computing expert, but we also know that working on and having good scheduling skills will make you a much more desirable candidate for the position!

We also don’t want you to discount the idea of a “side hustle“. Especially for people new to the workforce, having a business that you have started and run successfully shows potential employers that you have initiative, scheduling skills and ambition which can put you well ahead of your competition!

As usual, we hope you found this article both enjoyable and informative. If you did, may we ask that you share it with your family and friends through social media. It really does help us and is greatly appreciated!

More Skill to Help Advance Your Career

Featured photo credit: Kyle Sterk via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Microsoft Azure: Cloud Computing
[2] Netcraft: December 2018 Web Server Survey

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