One of my most vivid memories from my one full year in corporate America was on a beautiful sunny summer day. My cubicle was right near a window so I could always see just how nice it was outside. It was the perfect day to go for a bike ride, play some basketball, or relax on the beach. Instead, I was in a cubicle wearing business-casual clothes. By the time I got out at 5, fought traffic on the way home, and ate dinner it would be too late to fully enjoy the weather. It dawned on me – this was going to be how every summer went for the rest of my life.
That day always sticks out in my mind when I think about why I truly want to own my own business. I love the challenges, I love being able to create jobs, but most of all I love the freedom that it affords me. I don’t want to live within the rigidity of a typical corporate schedule.
Last night two friends just happened to be in town at the same time for only an evening. For different reasons I knew I probably wouldn’t see either of them for quite a while. I wasn’t sure of their availability so I wasn’t sure if I’d get to see them. After dinner I found out that they were each available later in the evening. I quickly called and texted a handful of friends and put together a quick get-together on my back porch. We hung out and drank beers well into the morning. I can’t remember the last time that group of us all were together (it probably was in college) and I’m not sure when it will happen again. But for last night I was able to enjoy the evening and hang out as late as everyone wanted without worrying about waking up early in the morning for work. I slept in a bit this morning and was on my computer by 9 AM.
In general the past few weeks have had a whole lot of these types of opportunities, in part because it’s in the middle of the summer and in part due to random luck like last night. I haven’t had to say no in the name of work. I’ve enjoyed myself. And you know what? I’ve gotten all of my work done. There are still plenty of hours left in the day to hone in and focus. Those hours just might not be as predictable as they are throughout the rest of the year. But that’s OK. I find time in the early morning, or later in the evening, or a few extra hours on the weekend.
We’ve worked very hard over the last decade to achieve the freedom to be able to do things like that. That flexibility is what I cherish maybe more than anything about being a business owner. I’ve been able to watch all of the US World Cup games. If it’s a gorgeous day I’ll sometimes break from work and go on a bike ride for an hour. When an opportunity that I’m interested in presents itself, I rarely have to say no. For me, that’s priceless.