It’s hard to be thankful for anything when you haven’t had a day off since March.
Even though the life of a small business owner often seems thankless, grueling, miserable and all-consuming, sometimes you have to step back and get some perspective. It could be worse. You could be working for Wal-Mart. Or working for anyone really. And in the spirit of Thanksgiving, we encourage you to step back, take a look, and realize all the things that make you thankful you own your own business.
1. Not having a boss
Unless you consider that child-who-never-learned-to-walk-or-use-the-bathroom-on-his-own you call a business your boss. Then you’ve got the worst one in history.
2. A flexible schedule
“Flexible” in the same way your back is flexible first thing in the morning. Theoretically, you can move it however you want, but usually it’s going to be painful.
3. Turning down work you don’t want
If you find yourself with work you don’t want to do – or more importantly with people you don’t want to do it with – off it goes to the pile next to “special offers” from XFINITY and the Little Caesars coupons.
4. Small Business Saturday
It’s like your Black Friday. Without the knife fights and trampling.
5. The rewards
Working 20-hour days so someone else can make more money and all you get is a $500 Christmas bonus? Ain’t nobody got time for that. Now all that work is just to make more money for yourself.
6. Doing what you love
Theoretically. Maybe running a septic tank service business WASN’T what you dreamed about when you were eight. But you ARE working for yourself, and it’s hard not to love that.
7. Getting things done faster
Want a new printer? Well, you’ll need to fill out a purchase request and then give it to procuring who’ll give it to accounting who’ll have to send it to your senior manager for approval and….OH RIGHT, it’s your business. So that new printer can be “procured” at Costco on your lunch break.
8. Never having to “ask off” work
Though it’s far harder to ask yourself to take a day off from your business than it ever was to ask your boss.
9. Your customers
Obviously you’re thankful for the people who pay your bills. But as a small business owner you probably know a lot of them personally, and may have even made some friends. And it’s a wonderful thing to know more about your customers than their credit card number and billing address.
10. Not dealing with company gossip or politics
Although, if you put a camera by the water cooler, you might learn that your car got repossessed and you’ve got two ex-wives in Connecticut.
11. The pride of building your own thing
See that glowing review you got in the local Business Journal? Now your employees can be the ones looking at your grinning face in the picture thinking “Yeah, but I did all the work.”
12. Good employees
Without dedicated employees who share your vision and corporate culture, your business is nothing. And since you’re small, you can be more selective and pick the right ones. Because, no matter how much you do, they’ll still think they did all the work.
Sure, Mike Tyson probably has better finances than you do right now. But really, what did you need a credit score for anyway?
14. Your opinion matters
Be thankful you will never again sit in a meeting with an idea you KNOW is far better than anything anyone’s said and have nobody listen. Now, somebody else can sit in the back and think that about you.
15. The fact that it will get better
You may not have had a vacation since that time you took a week off to catch Crue Fest 2009, but eventually, EVENTUALLY, you will get to a point where your staff can run the show, and you can catch Motley Crue’s reunion tour before they’re all over 70.
16. Having more job skills than anyone
Like the Jamaicans on those old “In Living Color” skits, your list of jobs is comically long. You’ve been a plumber, accountant, marketer, HR manager, CEO, CFO, COO, electrician, waiter, cook, driver, receptionist, copywriter, babysitter, dog walker and, well, you get the idea. If this doesn’t work out, your resume will be impressive.
17. The world is trying to help you
Until you make it big. Then you’re immediately evil.
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