Want to be happier? Maybe it’s time to quit your job.

In case you missed it, 2016 is the year of the female entrepreneur.

More and more women are taking their professional lives into their own hands and starting a business.

So what’s so appealing about being a business owner anyway?

Do moms who own a business work fewer hours?

Not necessarily.

Do they have fewer responsibilities?

Not at all.

Do they have less stress at work?

Definitely not.

In fact, most business owners would probably say they work more hours, have more responsibilities and carry more stress about their companies than employees do.

But the one thing I’ve learned from 9 months of interviewing working moms is that those who work for themselves say the biggest perk is the freedom and flexibility it brings to their lives. Heck, that’s exactly what I was looking for when I left my 9-5, too.

Moms who run their own businesses are able to put their family first when they need to and clock the extra hours when it’s convenient for them. Also, most entrepreneurs have a passion for their work that makes it not feel so much like, well, working. This brings them more satisfaction at home and at the office.

It turns out my small community of real working moms fits into a bigger theory:

Entrepreneurs are among the happiest people.

This has been my motivation behind starting this blog all along: to take the guilt out of being a working mom and reveal the happy, fulfilling lives we can enjoy as kick-butt career women and super involved parents.

You may be thinking I’m nuts. You love your job. You’re doing fulfilling work and you have an employer who values you and understands that you’re a mom first. {Go you! Seriously, share where you work with other mamas!}

But maybe when you read that you immediately stopped and said to yourself, “Wait! I want to be happier! Should I quit my job and start a business?”

The truth is, being a business owner isn’t for everyone. And that’s okay.

Perhaps you just need a new job at a company with more flex-time. Or a better boss. Maybe staying home with your kids as a full time mama would bring you more happiness.

But it’s possible that you’ve always had the entrepreneurial itch and simply don’t know how to get started.

I’ve been working through this over the last few years myself. When I took a leap of faith and quit my job last fall to go out on my own it was terrifying! There were so many things to consider…what if no one buys what I’m selling? What if I fail? What if?

Here are 3 things to ask yourself before pursuing the entrepreneurial life:

1. Do I have a good idea I’m passionate about?

There’s no point in quitting your job to start a business if you don’t know what your business is! Two things are going to be important to your success. First, make sure it’s a good idea – meaning someone will actually pay you for it. You’re going to need to make money, ya know? Second, make sure it’s something you believe in. You’re going to spend a lot of time working on it, so it will help if you don’t get sick of it two months in.

If you have your good idea and your passion ready to go, it’s time to nail down the specifics. What products or services will you offer? What will you charge for them? Where will you sell them? Who is your ideal client? Step 1: write a business plan.

2. Am I prepared to work my butt off?

Entrepreneurs may be happier, but no one said they have it easier. Especially in the beginning. Starting a business will not be a walk in the park in your yoga pants sipping lattes. {Okay, maybe if that’s what you want to do you can carve out the time…it’s about flexibility, remember?} You will need to work hard to make things happen and drive your company forward. You may need to hire people to help you, which means that you’ll need the money to pay them. Without that steady paycheck from your day job, the pressure is all on you to perform. So make sure you’re ready to put in the blood, sweat and tears to get your business off the ground.

3. What is holding me back?

You’ve been sitting on your good idea for years. You know you’re a super hard worker. So, why haven’t you gotten off the bench yet? When I quit my job, I was the primary bread-winner {my entrepreneur husband’s business was doing well, but much of the money was reinvested back into the company}, the family was on my employer’s health insurance and our savings wasn’t quite where it needed to be. I felt an immense amount of pressure to stay put and be the stable one.

While all of those excuses are valid, the decision to become an entrepreneur or not came down to one simple word: fear. Ultimately I decided I wasn’t going to let a word stop me from going after what I wanted.

I want to hear from you! Do you think your work-life plays a role in your overall happiness? Has fear ever held you back from going after what you wanted?

SIDE NOTE: Let me end by saying that I am a firm believer that happiness is choice, first and foremost. The authority to chose happiness in life is yours alone. So whether you’re an entrepreneur, super hard worker, full time mama, or all three, I hope you find happiness in whatever you pursue!

 

Leave a Reply