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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 February 11, 2021

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

10 Secrets of Making Every Presentation Fun, Engaging, and Enjoyable

Not a lot of people are good at public speaking. You could even say that virtually everyone needs to get some practice, and preferably good guidance, before they can learn to stay calm when facing a room full of people. Having all eyes on you is an uncomfortable experience and it takes time to get used to. However, even if you can manage to control your stage fright and stay focused, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your presentation won’t put people to sleep. This is usually the case with long presentations on a very dull subject, with the presenter speaking in a monotone voice and dimming the lights to play a PowerPoint presentation.

You have to work hard to develop the right skills

If you want to be remembered and actually get people engaged, you need to make your presentation fun and enjoyable, without coming off as corny or desperate to please. I know, it doesn’t sound that easy at all! A good presentation during a promotional event or given to an important client can be a game changer for your business, so it is easy to get stressed out and fail to perform all that well. Luckily, giving an interesting lecture is something that can be practiced and perfected. There is plenty of advice out there on the topic, but let’s look at the most important aspects of giving a memorable and fun presentation.

1. Make your presentation short and sweet

With very long, meandering speeches you tend to lose the audience pretty early on, and from then on out it’s just a test of endurance for the few bravest listeners. Not only will people’s attention start to drop rapidly after sitting and listening to you talk for 30 minutes, but you also risk watering down your core ideas and leaving your audience with little in the way of key phrases and important bits of information to take away from the whole ordeal. Famous speakers throughout history have known the importance of condensing the information by using well thought out sentences and short phrases loaded with meaning.

JFK’s famous: ”It’s not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” expresses so much in very few words and gets the audience thinking. Ancient Spartans, for example were famous for their quick, dry wit, often demolishing their opponent’s argument with a single word or phrase. You’ll want to channel that ancient spirit and be as concise as possible when preparing your presentation.

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2. Open up with a good ice breaker

At the beginning, you are new to the audience. There is no rapport, no trust and the atmosphere is fairly neutral. Even if some of the people there know you personally, the concept of you as an authority on a particular matter giving a speech will be foreign to them. The best way to encourage a warm and friendly atmosphere is to get some kind of emotional response out of the audience right at the beginning. It doesn’t matter what emotion it is, you just need to connect with them on a more personal level. It can be shock, curiosity, laughter, knowing smirks, nervousness – whatever gets them out of that initial feeling of indifference. There are different kinds of effective ice-breakers, but generally speaking, the most successful ones utilize one of these tactics:

  • Joking
  • Tugging on their heart strings
  • Dropping a bombastic statement
  • Telling an interesting and relevant anecdote
  • Using a metaphor or drawing comparisons

You can make a small, self-deprecating comment, stir the presentation one way and then suddenly surprise the audience, use sarcasm, open up with a short childhood story that taught you a lesson, quote a famous person and elaborate on it from personal experience, use an inspirational anecdote or hit them with a bit of nostalgia. Just remember to keep it short and move on once you’ve gotten a reaction.

3. Keep things simple and to the point

Once you’re done warming up the crowd you can ease them into the core concepts and important ideas that you will be presenting. Keep the same presentation style thoughout. If you’ve started off a bit ironic, using dry wit, you can’t just jump into a boring monologue. If you’ve started off with a bang, telling a couple of great little jokes and getting the crowd riled up, you have to keep them happy by throwing in little jokes here and there and being generally positive and energetic during the presentation. You need a certain structure that you won’t deviate too far from at any point. A good game plan consists of several important points that need to be addressed efficiently. This means moving on from one point to another in a logical manner, coming to a sound conclusion and making sure to accentuate the key information.

4. Use a healthy dose of humor

Some of the best speeches and presentations in the world, which have been heard and viewed by millions, all feature plenty of humor. No matter the subject, a great speaker will use natural charisma, humor and beautiful language to convey their points and get the crowd excited about what they are saying. A great example of building rapport with the audience through the use of humor is Barrack Obama talking about the government building Iron Man.

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It is silly and fun, and absolutely not something that you would expect from a man in a position of power speaking in such a serious setting – and it’s exactly why it works. The more serious the situation and the bigger the accent on proper social behavior, the harder your jokes will hit.

5. Try to tell a story instead of ranting

Some people can do all of the above things right and still manage to turn their short and fun little presentation into a chaotic mess of information. You don’t want your speech to look like you just threw a bunch of information in a blender in no particular order. To avoid rambling, create a strong structure. Start with the ice breaker, introduce the core concepts and your goals briefly, elaborate on the various points in a bit more detail, draw logical conclusions and leave your audience with a clear takeaway message. You want to flow naturally from one part to the next like you are telling a big story chapter by chapter.

6. Practice your delivery

Standing in front of the mirror and practicing a speech or presentation is a technique as old as mirrors – well, come to think of it, as old as human speech, since you can see yourself reflected in any clear and calm body of water – and that means that it is tried and true. The theory is incredibly simple, yet the real problem is actually putting in the effort day in and day out. Work on your posture, your tone of voice, accent, pauses between sentences and facial expressions. The most important thing is to talk slowly and loudly enough to be heard and understood clearly. Many famous speakers, such as Demosthenes and King George VI, overcame speech impediments through hard work.

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7. Move around and use your hands

Although you won’t instill confidence in your project if you are very jittery, moving around erratically, not knowing what to do with your hands and making fast movements, standing dead still can be just as bad. You shouldn’t be afraid to use your arms and hands when talking as it makes you seem more passionate and confident. The same goes for moving around and taking up some space. However, try to make slower, calculated and deliberate movements. You want your movements to seem powerful, yet effortless. You can achieve this through practice.

8. Engage the audience by making them relate

Sometimes you will lose the audience somewhat in techno-babble, numbers, graphs and abstract ideas. At that point it is important to reel them back in using some good, old-fashioned storytelling. Make comparisons to events from everyday life that most people are more than familiar with. By making things look simple, not only will you help your audience get a better understanding of the subject by enabling them to visualize the information more clearly, you will also draw a connection between you. After all, you are all just regular people with similar experience, you just happen to be performing different roles at the moment.

9. Use funny images in your slides

Although slides are not really necessary at all times, if you do need them to make your point and present your information more effectively, it’s best to liven them up. They say that facts aren’t always black and white, and your presentation should reflect this. Add a bit of color, make the information stand out and use an interesting animation to switch from slide to slide. You can use the slides to add some more humor, both in terms of the text and the images. An image that is used to elicit a positive response needs to be funny within the context of what you are discussing. For example, if you are discussing the topic of authority, an image of Eric Cartman from South Park in a police uniform, demanding that you respect his “authoritah,” is a nice way to have a bit of fun and lighten things up.

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10. End on a more serious note

When all is said and done you will want the audience to remember the core concepts and keep thinking about what you have said after the presentation is over. This is why you should let things naturally calm down and end with an important idea, quote or even a question. Plant a seed in their mind and make them think. Let us turn to Patrick Henry for a great way to end a speech: “Is life so dear or peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death.”

As you can see, there is quite a bit to learn when it comes to giving a good presentation, one that is both memorable and fun. Be sure to work on your skills tirelessly and follow in the footsteps of great orators.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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