This morning, I came aross a job listing on my Twitter feed that was an amazing fit for my skills, education and experience. Plus, it was with a very reputable nonprofit organization with smart, influential people that I’d get to work with on innovative projects. For a moment, I thought about applying. I already know the person I’d be reporting to, and about half of the staff in general. I was excited to see this particular position because it’s rare to see a role that could tempt me out of self-employment. I’ve had more than a few headhunters contact me for executive-level jobs, but it’s hard to put a price on freedom, baby.
As one of my colleagues said to me when I first decided to start working for myself, “you’s a free negro now.” And I love being a free negro. There’s nothing like it. I’m typing up this blog post in my pajamas because I don’t feel like getting dressed yet and I don’t have to.
But like I said yesterday, overall – for me – entrepreneurship is not sexy. I love getting paid to do what I love and be who I am. I love being able to travel when I feel like it and live wherever I want. I love having the opportunity to make an impact on the world in my own way. Those are the best parts of being self-employed.
But I’d be lying if I played like everything is all sunshine and roses. Without a “stable” stream of income from a legitimate source, it’s not as easy to obtain things like apartments/homes, health insurance, loans, etc. And if you’re a solopreneur like me, you’ve not only got to figure out how to get clients and customers, but you’re also the default finance department. Even if you hate dealing with finances. Plus, even for an introvert, it can get lonely as hell working from home by yourself without any real, in-person co-workers to talk to. Having a full-time job would help out with all of that, for sure.
That’s why sometimes, when a great job opportunity comes my way, I start to wonder – is this a sign for me to go back to working for someone else? Part of me feels that as long as I get to use my unique gifts and talents, it would be all good.
But the other part of me – the free negro part – asks, do I really want to give up my autonomy? The photo in this post is the view from my hotel room at the Loews Miami when I was there several weeks ago. An organization called me at the last minute to fly out to be on a conference panel and I was so happy I could just up and go without checking in with anyone first.
So that’s when I realize that for now, my dream job is not out there. After two years of working for myself, I’m still not ready to trade in my pajama-wearing, blog post-writing, cross country-traveling, keynote-speaking, hotel-staying, workshop-teaching, book-selling, social media-training, career-coaching self for a 9 to 5.
Nope, not even for a six-figure gig.
My dream job is what I’m doing right now.