One of my favorite things about working for myself is that I can set my own schedule. Typically, I have a tremendous amount of flexibility – though some of that does depend on the type of consulting engagement. Over the last year, I’ve ended up taking on more roles than projects, so that creates a deeper level of involvement than usual. Either way, for the most part, I can set my own hours – despite that I often choose to work 9-6 +/-.
But, I’m not salary anymore. Technically I’m retainer-based, not hourly, but if I commit a certain number of hours to a client, I do my best to fulfill them. What this means is – if I don’t work, I don’t get paid.
It’s not like corporate where you get anywhere from a measly one week vacation to the more generous “unlimited” vacation. I can take time off, but my income then becomes $0.
Now we’re lucky, because financially, I don’t need to work full-time 52 weeks a year. But mentally? It’s really hard for me to take time off. I calculate in my head how much it’s going to cost me.
So instead, when I travel, I usually am developing some schedule that allows me to enjoy my time but also work as well. Often when there’s a time difference, I’m awake first thing in the morning anyways so I can bang out a few hours of work.
It’s what I consider a benefit and a curse. I like to work, but I don’t live to work – but sometimes I just can’t stop myself.
So for the next 2 weeks, I’ll be working to travel…and also, traveling to work.
We all make choices, and I want both the freedom to choose, but also the money to pay for that freedom.
And perhaps, later this year I’ll make the choice to completely disconnect for a week. A rarity to be savored, but a deserved treat every once in awhile!
As an entrepreneur, what choices do you grapple with in work, life or somewhere in between?