I started my own business two years ago, attracted by the benefits of self-employment: control of my schedule and the ability to continue as a writer, instead of being "promoted" to editing. But somewhere along the way, my business started to own me instead of the other way around. New assignments and clients came flowing in, and I found myself interrupting vacations with work and stuck at my desk from the moment I dropped the kids at school to the second they walked in the door from after-care.
So I made a New Year's resolution to take advantage of the benefits of working for yourself. The disadvantages are all too evident and largely inescapable: difficulty turning off work when your office is at home, uncertainty around future revenue and uneven workloads during the year. I forced myself to get out of the home office for errands, school events and networking lunches during the day -- after all, this is the flexibility I was seeking!
And this past week, I traveled to my stepdaughter's home in central New York to spend an entire week with her while her mother was out of town. That's the ultimate perk of working for yourself: being able to unilaterally decide to move your base of operations to another state for a week without asking anyone's permission.