There are many reasons why I opted out of the traditional workforce to launch Indie Business Network, but the two little smiles you see here outshine them all. These are my children. I am thankful for them for so many reasons, not the least of which is inspiring and propelling me to create and define my future based on the unique and compelling vision that entrepreneurship is for everyone.Instead of resigning myself to a life I knew I would not enjoy, I boldly defined and created a new one. #lifestyleceo #lifestyle #freedom #entrepreneurship Click To Tweet
Meet my whys …
The picture you see below was taken on the first day of school over a decade ago. As I looked over my shoulder to snap this image, I experienced a profound sense of satisfaction.
This next picture was taken a few weeks ago. As I took it, I experienced the same profound sense of satisfaction that I experienced over a decade ago. It was a confirmation that by exiting the traditional workforce, I had made the right decision, and I had made the decision right.
I took that big leap of faith very intentionally. I based my decision to leave my job on the things I observed personally. For example, I watched closely as my professional colleagues married and started families, and I didn’t like what I saw.
- leaving babies in the care of third parties to join me in an office every day
- spending hours each day in rush hour traffic
- being a sleep deprived parent, and having to be in heels or suit and tie by 8am
- having a great career while other people raised their kids during the best parts of the day
- asking for time off to take sick babies to the doctor
- missing ball games and special school events, or being so stressed out to get to them that they were no longer fun
At the time, I knew no women (or men!) who’d quit their jobs to start a business. They all just seemed to be toughing it out. They complained a lot about the craziness in their lives, yet they seemed to accept it as the price for a good life — which was defined by a “secure” job with a nice paycheck.
They were happy with the money, but unhappy with their lives. Of course, the two are intertwined in many ways, but I could not see myself exchanging misery for money — especially while I was raising children.
I had no good examples to follow, and this made things precarious and scary.
No one I knew worked from home. While I had no idea how a work-at-home situation could work, I created a proposal to my then-boss to allow me to work part-time from home. She denied it.
My next move was to look for “job sharing” positions where I could share a desk with another female attorney. The idea was that we would each work about 20 hours a week from the same desk at different times of the week on the same or related projects. I explored that long enough to conclude with great certainty that it was a disaster waiting to happen.
The only other option I could think of was entrepreneurship, and here we are.
Don’t fret over the future. Create it.
I believed back then, as l do today, that the best way to predict the future is to create it.
Instead of resigning myself to a life I knew I would not enjoy, I boldly defined and created a new one.
Here we are twenty-one years later, and I can look back with an immense sense of satisfaction. And I’m not done yet. It gets better every day.
Are you a Lifestyle CEO?
With the help of my brother, I coined the term “Lifestyle CEO” to define myself as the CEO of my life and my business, doing both on my own terms. There are no rules, except the ones I make — and they change as my life changes.
From start to finish, there is great freedom in being a Lifestyle CEO. Here are some examples of how it manifested in my life.
- When my kids were younger, I worked in my home office while they played with a caregiver in the next room
- my commute was (and still is) from the second to the first floor of my home
- I was a sleep deprived parent back in the day, but I showed up for work wearing whatever I wanted to wear
- I have a great career — that I created myself — and I am with my family during the best parts of the day
- I never ask for time off to tend to a sick child; I just do it when I need to — no questions asked
- I plan my business around my life, so I don’t miss any of the important milestones in my children’s lives
I would not trade the ability to build a career around a life in this way for all the money in the world.
I am not special. I am not unusually gifted. Anyone who wants to do this can do it, and I highly recommend it.
Are you the CEO of your life and business, on your own terms? I’d love to hear some of your story in the comments!
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Are you a Lifestyle CEO? Have you build your career around your life, instead of the other way around? Do you set your own schedule? Do you live a freedom-based lifestyle? Do you have questions or comments? Share them below, and I will personally answer!