Put Down Those Bags

by Deborah A. Bailey

How much baggage are you carrying? Have you created a business that looks just like the corporate world that you escaped from? When I was dreaming of going out on my own, I envisioned having time and freedom to do whatever I wanted. It may seem silly now, but I didn't consider how much money I wanted to make. All I really wanted was to have time for myself. You see, I was in IT for over 15 years and during that time I worked weekends, nights and holidays. I was one of those people who could be relied on to drop everything and give her all for the team.

As the years passed, I realized that though I was giving my all, my paycheck wasn't reflecting it. Not mention that I was frequently sick and had little or no social life - other than the occasional Happy Hour. Not that drinking cheap drinks at an Applebee's or TGIFridays is such a happy event.

What I never considered was that I would end up recreating my work life in my business - long hours, low pay and the occasional Happy Hour. Most of my friends in business do the same thing, so why would I think it anything was wrong?

Yes, when you get started it does require work and often much longer hours than the regular 9-to-5. But sitting at a desk all day and all night is not productive if it does not bring you any income. Back in my job, I was used to just spending hours at the desk, whether my work was productive or not. So, I simply recreated that world. It took me the longest time to feel okay about running errands or doing chores during "work hours." However, I couldn't blame my work environment for keeping me confined - I'd done it to myself.

Recently my coach asked me what I'd really rather be focusing on in my business. I answered, "If it was up to me..." She said, "It IS up to you!" That really hit me.

It was up to me to decide - but in my mind I was still the employee waiting to be told what to do next. I've often heard that starting a business will bring up all sorts of issues inside of a person. You will discover things about yourself that you never realized were there. I totally agree. It does bring up stuff. Though some of it can be hard to look at, it's necessary. If you're struggling to find that freedom you thought you'd have in your business, drop that baggage and free your mind first.

Deborah A. Bailey is author of two non-fiction books including, “Think Like an Entrepreneur: Transforming Your Career and Taking Charge of Your Life .” She's also the creator and host of Women Entrepreneurs Radio, a weekly internet talk show. Her fiction work includes a short story collection and a novel, available on Amazon.com. 
For more information, visit http://www.BrightStreetBooks.com.

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