Let me be clear about something: I made more money in HIGH SCHOOL than my first year as an entrepreneur. Results like that make you seriously evaluate your decision to “go it on your own.” People tell you that you want to be self employed…until you start making less than minimum wage.
However, last week reminded me why I started my own company. Companies hire me to train their sales executives and marketing teams to use social media and mobile technology to improve engagement with their customers. Last week I made more in 2 days than I did in the first month of my last job. Although I like getting paid, money is not the reason I started my company. Entrepreneurship can be a long and lonely road, so profit and revenue should not be the sole impetus for beginning this journey. So why do I subject myself to these daily trials and tribulations?
- Respect – I have the unwavering respect of the people who hire me. They recognize me as an expert in the fields of social media and mobile technology. They ask questions and wait patiently for me to respond. We’ve all worked jobs where we were neither respected by our peers, supervisors or customers. I am now in a position where I am consistently recognized for my skills, abilities and leadership…and paid handsomely for my expertise.
- Hard Work – I work about 12 hours per day (slightly less on weekends). However, the work I do I am passionate about. I research new and emerging technologies as they are developed. I attend social media and communications conferences. I am in charge of marketing, sales, research and development, human resources, business development and graphic design. I don’t have to do it all, but I need to make sure it gets done. I have never worked so hard and felt so rewarded for my efforts. However, is it really work if you enjoy it this much?
- Fun – I enjoy waking up in the morning. The hardest part of my day is going to sleep at night. And my entire day is full of challenge and possibility. My job is to study the latest in innovation and technology, connect with other thought leaders and teach a few classes. Some of the largest companies in the world pay me handsomely for my knowledge. I even get to purchase new technology and write it off as a business expense. Party on!
- Family – My daughters LOVE the fact that I run my own business. I even hire them for data entry and minor administrative tasks. I once asked my middle daughter if she preferred my old job in sales (6-figure salary) or my job now. Without hesitation, she responded, “I prefer Scientifically Speaking! I think it’s cool you run the company. You really are the boss.” I never knew how much of a positive impact my work has on my family.
There have been many days when I have wanted to quit Scientifically Speaking and “get a real job.” Then I remember one of my first workshops. An older woman had purchased her iPhone 2-years prior and still did not know how to work her text messages and Notes app. When I taught her something that easily solved her problems, she enthusiastically gave me hug. Moments like that help keep a smile on my face. And don’t worry; the money has gotten a lot better since then.
Scientifically Speaking, of course.