In my mind my exit is dramatic. In a final fit of frustration I shutter my blog, write a goodbye on sites I freelance for and exit with a “take this job and shove it” finger in the air. It’s a thing of beauty.
Except that the job I’m shoving is of my own creation. And how do you tell your boss to go pound salt, when you’re the boss? Self-employment can really suck some days.
There are days I miss the monotony of working for someone else; the security of a steady paycheque. I miss the benefits and RRSP contributions. I even, occasionally, miss getting dressed in pretty clothes to go to the office.
I hate that I have to chase down money owed to me. My old employer always paid me on time and was even kind enough to deposit it directly in my bank account for me. Now I write emails that are sickeningly sweet like “Hi there, Just a friendly reminder, that I am still awaiting payment for the job I did for you four months ago. Could you kindly let me know when I can expect it. It would seem that my last ten emails to you have landed in your spam account, so that must be why you’re not answering me”
Quite obviously what I’d really like to write is “Where’s my effin’ money? Did you pay all your bills on time this month? I’d like to as well you thoughtless piece of….” Well you get the idea. But one must bite their tongue if one would like to work again and so you do what you have to do to get by.
Then there’s the constant struggle with my damn ethics. Recently I was pitched to write about a gambling website. First, I don’t gamble. Secondly, I think gambling is basically pissing your money away. Third, I don’t know a royal flush from a toilet flush, BUT, damn if that little pitch didn’t pay well, and so inspired the internal debate.
We’re paying for braces, cheerleading, University tuition, right? Other people like to gamble, right? This could really, REALLY help at Christmas time, right? It took me about 2 minutes to process all this before I deleted it and moved on but it’s one of hundreds and hundreds of “tempting” offers thrown my way and so yes, it’s a constant struggle to ensure that I only work with best fits.
Then there’s the quiet judgement. When I used to drive my car to the bank and sit at a desk I was “working”. Now when I sit at my desk and write a post that pays me, I’m “selling out”. A post that had to pass through my whole “ethics debate” before becoming a reality makes me a sell-out.
Finally, the hustle was never my favourite dance but I do it every day baby. Hustle to get paid, hustle to get and keep traffic, hustle to keep the content a healthy mix between what pays me and what fulfills me, hustle to get work done on other sites and hustle to stay in this crazy, crazy world that as much as I want to walk away from it some days I suspect I never will.
Because tomorrow I’m going to love it again. Some amazing opportunity will come my way and I’ll be moonwalking around my office singing to the dog “Who’s Bad? I’m bad. You know it”
I’ll love it because I’ll be able to leave my desk at noon and come back to it at 8 so I can spend time with my girls when it works for them. I’ll love it because it keeps bringing the most amazing like-minded self-employed lunatics into my life. I’ll love it because it’s mine and while I quite appreciated the stability of my old job, I really did loathe the predictability of it.
No, this lifestyle is by choice and most days it’s right where I want to be. I just need to figure out a way to complain about the boss without her finding out.