Myth: There Is No Freedom With A Paycheck

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Heather’s dream is to share with the world her success at becoming healthy after age 40. Heather lost over 88 pounds through changing her diet and incorporating exercise into her busy life. She would like to take what she has learned about becoming fit after 40, and using her Metabolic Training Certification to help others struggling with weight issues mid-life. Heather’s post day is Monday.
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No Freedom With A Paycheck

While I ponder what my next entrepreneurial leap is, I’ll ask you this. If you earn a paycheck that someone other than you signs, do you feel like you’ve given up your freedom?

My definition of financial freedom was seriously reevaluated this past week.

I had some unexpected down time this in the form of the flu. It hit suddenly Sunday evening and is still kicking my butt. Ever since it hit me, I have been berating myself for getting the flu. Do you find yourself beating yourself up over everything, even when you are sick?

My loving husband told me to go back to bed – NO! I answered, I have client work. That took me 4 times as long because my skin hurt and the fever made me cross-eyed.

At 10 pm the next day, my loving husband asked me when I would be stopping work – NO! I answered, I have a deadline. This, despite the chills that forced me to wear 3 sweatshirts and mittens because my hands were frozen — even though the office temperature was a cozy 71 degrees.

The following day at 2pm I received a call from my loving husband. He was at work and couldn’t stop coughing,  He was running a fever and deciding to come home. Where he proceeded to crawl into bed and stay for a day and a half.

What is wrong with this picture?

Despite my desire to throw the whole gender and sickness opinion in the mix here, my real beef was that he could take the time to rest.

Why? Because someone else signs his paychecks.

I was jealous. Granted, there are a lot of great things about running your own business. I can’t name any of them right now because I’m coughing so hard that the keyboard keeps jumping. While my fever breaks, I’ve decided to let my inner pessimist out, and offer a few things that suck about being your own boss.

Can you relate to any of these gems?  You get to  . . .

1. Make your own hours – this is a thinly veiled promise that you will have more free time and more importantly, more control of your time. As a small business owner, I will tell you my hours qualify for overtime.

2. Control who you work with – this worked about 4 years ago when the market was good. Every small business owner and freelancer out there can share some interesting negative client stories from the past couple years. But we have to pay our mortgages too.

3. Take all the risk and get all the rewards – Yes, there’s a ton of risk and if you are lucky, there will be rewards. Unfortunately, not many business owners can hang on long enough to see them. I know – super pessimistic . . . or painfully honest.

I can’t knock owning a business for the relationships it has helped me build over the years. There are amazing people that have helped me tremendously with my business.

Most of you know I am usually much more positive without a fever. Need a less pessimistic view on why running your own business can rock? Then check out an article “Top 10 Reasons to Run Your Own Business”

Sometimes in the fog of a high fever you can see a new reality, and mine just happens to be that I don’t take good care of myself.

When was the last time you were out of commission and didn’t feel like you could take care of yourself?  Do you feel freedom in what you do for a living?

I can’t wait to hear your stories.


  • Thanks for the well wishes… working on the getting better thing!

  • Lisa

    I’m with Remy :) Get well first! Then deal with the rest. We need a healthy happy Heather! :)

    Lotsa love,

  • Remy G

    Totaling my car and breaking my foot was the universe’s way of saying “hey slow down.” Did I listen? A little bit. But I totally identify with all of the gems you list up there. I try to help people every day create a life for themselves by helping them with their businesses. Its hard, as you know! But not undoable. the mountain just seems so high some times….but Hey, first order is to get well. Take care of yourself and then decisions will be made from a less foggy place! Whatever you do, I’m behind you 100%. oxox Rem

  • Ahhhh paid sick time . . . but then I always felt guilty when I was home sick from corp America too. Maybe there’s no happy medium? Because I picture you back in corp American doing the same thing . . . worrying about work when you should be resting and getting better. I agree that the difference is if you don’t finish your client work, you don’t get paid, whereas you get paid when you are sleeping through the flu if you work at a job with benefits.

    But maybe it’s a perception thing too . ..

    You could calculate this as a business expense for yourself . . . by setting aside money in a vacation plan once a month. 80 hours PTO entitlement per year ÷ 52 weeks per year = 1.538 hours of vacation earned per week. So let’s say you want to pay yourself 20.00 an hour PTO, then once a month, like a bill, set aside.

    In this example it would be $123.00 a month. But if you don’t want a full two weeks off, then set aside 62.00 a month and schedule yourself a week off once a year. Tell all your clients that you are gone at that time and completely disconnect.

    Just perceive it as a bill you have to pay . . .?

    Easier said than done?