6 Lessons I've Learned Being My Own Boss
Twelve months ago I made the terrifying (and exciting) decision to retire myself from Corporate America to become a full-time network marketing professional with Team Beachbody.
And it's crazy to believe that one year has FLOWN by and I'm now living 1,500 miles away from where I started when I gave my notice. I wanted to share in my own words, what I've learned over the past year being my own boss.
Some background on my business: building a full-time income was not something that happened overnight. I've been a Team Beachbody Coach (a 1099 independent distributor) for 4+ years, and from 2014-2016 started to take my business "seriously."
I was working in digital marketing in Corporate America and started to realize how much money you could make from a "side business" if you treated it like a business. This meant dedicating time to my business every day; including sharing on social media, starting new conversations daily and setting personal sales goals for myself each month.
In 2015 I earned $49K with my Beachbody business while still working full-time. And that's when it "clicked" for me that this had potential to be a lot more than a fun side business that paid for my concert tickets. Note: Beachbody does not guarantee any set income with the Coaching opportunity. It is determined by the work and effort from each individual. AKA, this is not a get rich quick scheme, and you will need to WORK to earn an income with this opportunity.
In 2016 reached a point where I was earning a substantial income every week, and was becoming increasingly unhappy with the limited number of vacation days that I had where I was working. I was earning free trips with my Beachbody business and my PTO didn't cover the time off. It was in August 2016 that I decided to go all-in, and do network marketing full-time.
And here is what I've learned over the past 12 months...
1. The initial "leap" is way easier than establishing your new normalcy.
While it seemed like the scariest decision at the time (I think I almost threw up before I called my Manager to give my resignation), it is not easy to set your own schedule.
I'm not going to lie, I still don't have a set schedule of what I do Monday - Friday. In the beginning of going full-time with my business, it was very easy to give into the temptation of weekly hours, a concert night out and then sleeping in until 10am the next day. There is no "office" to commute in to or boss to answer to.
I've made strides in creating more of a weekly schedule that includes a set alarm that I wake up to, when to eat lunch, and what time to do certain tasks. But I do have times where I stray, or get sucked into a TV show and then suddenly 2 hours has gone by.
2. Unlimited vacation is AMAZING.
The #1 reason that I wanted to become my own boss was the freedom of my schedule. I only had 10 PTO days a year in my former role, and it wasn't cutting it for me.
I have taken approximately 55 vacation days in the past 12 months (aka work week days, Monday - Friday). I've had the opportunity to travel to:
- Florida Keys
- Coronado, California
- Road trip home to Philadelphia
- Road trip to move to Dallas
- Jackson Hole, WY
- Home to Philadelphia (x2)
- Las Vegas (x2)
- New York City
- Punta Cana
- New Orleans
Does this mean I totally took off for 55 days? Nope! My business is always somewhat "on" and I'm available to my clients and my Team. But it does mean that I wasn't working 8 hours a day during those days. It's nice to have a virtual job that can be fulfilled anywhere that I have an Internet connection.
And to me, the travel aspect has been 100% full-filled in being my own boss. Here are a few snapshots from the trips I've taken in the past 12 months.
3. More time doesn't automatically mean more money.
Yes, I now have (nearly) unlimited hours in the day to do what I used to squeeze into my free-time running my business while working full-time.
I thought that double the hours would automatically mean double the money, and that's not the case.
First off, I just subtracted a set salary that I was making in Corporate America. So that's a subtraction to my total income overall.
Secondly, I'm now paying for everything out of pocket (including health insurance, business expenses, etc).
The income progression hasn't been as steady as I would have hoped. I still struggle figuring out where to spend my time on my business each day. I know that the income progression will come with consistency. I can say 100% that the pay cut is WORTH IT because I'm happier having control of my own schedule and living my life on my terms.
4. Being your own Boss is stressful.
After working full time for an employer and running my Beachbody business
I thought that going full-time would make my life so much less stressful - because I'd just focus on one business at once. And that would mean less stress.
Being your own boss is stressful. This is mostly because every aspect of your business is all on you. All of it. It’s sink or swim. Pass or fail.
Stress is a part of every career, no matter what you do. It's just learning how to deal with it that I am still working on.
5. It can be lonely AF.
I moved to a new city 1500 miles away from my friends and family, I live alone and I'm single.
There are days that I could literally go without talking to a real person if I don't make an effort. I will say though, that this was the case in my last job in Corporate America as I worked remotely. The only difference is, I had more friends in that city.
It takes a conscious effort for me to leave my apartment, go to socializing events, and make plans on the weekends. There have been weekends alone on my couch that I've cried and wondered if I made the wrong decision to move. Then there have been amazing memories I've had with new friends.
It's all about a balance, and I'm making a conscious effort to "put myself out there" and connect with new people (not just for work).
6. Given the chance, I'd do it all over again.
Despite the LOWS that I have encountered (loneliness, bad sales months, etc) - I wouldn't have it any other way.
There is nothing like building YOUR DREAM instead of building someone else's. And I know that since I only get one shot at this thing called life, if I wouldn't have given this a try I would have regretted it in the years to come.
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about Beachbody Coaching, shoot me an email.