By Ed McLaughlin and Wyn Lydecker
Summer fun is over. The days are getting shorter. You’ve returned from vacation, but do you really want to return to work?
This time of year accentuates how we feel about our jobs. For some, vacation gave you the time you needed to catch up on personal matters or indulge in some hobbies. It refreshed you and sent you back to work with a spring in your step. You are able to look at the oncoming rush of activity with equanimity, even enthusiasm. For many of you, the story and feeling are different.
Did you leave for vacation exhausted to the bone, weary in body and soul of crushing drudgery, lack of recognition, and an endless slog spent trying to realize someone else’s dreams? For you, vacation offered no relief because looming at the other end of it was the dreaded return to work.
If you find yourself clinging to every second of self-direction vacation offers you, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate the work you’re returning to. Perhaps it’s time to make the break permanent and strike out on your own.
One of the things that make vacation so wonderful is that we control what we do with it. This freedom is expressed differently by different people: some like to climb mountains, others attend film festivals, still others take two weeks to catch up on Netflix and veg. However it is spent, the glory of the time is that it is yours. I think a lot of people get great joy from that, but don’t think of how to extend that freedom to their working hours. I propose that entrepreneurship is the answer.
As an entrepreneur, you’re going to work hard. I’m not saying it’s going to feel like you’re on vacation all the time. There are realities to owning your own business that are difficult. In fact, you may not be able to take a vacation for a year or two after you start. The difference is that the fruits of your entrepreneurial labor are yours. The quintessential freedom you enjoy over your time and energy on vacation comes with you into your company.
All too often when you work for someone else, your work seems to evaporate. The energy you generate is sucked away down the wire to run a fabulous machine you can’t even see, and don’t benefit from personally. If you’ve ever used the word “grind,” or the expression, “hamster wheel,” to describe your work, you know what I’m talking about.
To see if this fall is the season for you to strike out on your own, think about these two questions:
- What would you do if you had the same self-direction every working day that you have on vacation?
- Which is worse: the fear of the unknown or the dread of the all-too-well-known?
For me, I finally reached the point where I knew that I had to quit my corporate job and strike out on my own. I have never looked back. With knowledge and skill, you can greatly increase the chances of your startup’s success. Every minute you are working for yourself is a moment you choose. You are in charge. Isn’t that the best part of summer vacation?
Ed McLaughlin is currently co-writing the book “The Purpose Is Profit: Secrets of a Successful Entrepreneur from Startup to Exit” with Wyn Lydecker and Paul McLaughlin.
Copyright © 2014 by Ed McLaughlin All rights reserved.