Do you own your life?

Definition of Luck
Definition of Luck

*Thanks http://www.urbandicitionary.com

“You’re so lucky that you get to travel!”
“What? You’re going where? For how long? You’re so lucky!”
“Wow! I’d love to have your job. You get to travel so often. You’re so lucky.”
“Geeze, it must be nice to be your own boss and take off whenever you want! Lucky you!”
“Your’e so lucky that you don’t have anything to tie you down! No kids, no husband ….”

The only reason that I am ‘lucky’ is because I have a big open mind that I use to make and take hold of opportunities in my life. In fact, this isn’t luck at all. It is risk, along with skill and determination. By the very definition of luck – I’m actually the exact opposite of lucky.

There is nothing lucky about me going to the Dominican Republic for 6.5 weeks.

If you enter a draw and win a trip, then you are lucky!
If you find a $10 bill on the ground when you are out for a walk, you are lucky!

If you make choices in your life to follow your passion, make your life better, get a greater, worldly education that has nothing to do with luck!

So why is it that people think I’m so lucky? Well, it’s because most people think being an entrepreneur is all about being your own boss. No one else to control you and tell you what to do.

Ok … now let me point out a few of the other, less thought about things …

No one to keep you on track.
No one to keep you accountable.
No one to cover for you when you are sick.

And let’s not forget …

No one to work overtime except for you.
No steady pay cheque.
No one to blame but yourself when something goes wrong.
No one to deal with customer complaints except you.
No pay for 30-90 days from big corporate clients, but don’t forget to pay the taxes on those large jobs on time or the government will come after you!

Geeze, do I ever feel LUCKY!

Ok ok ok … I’ll soften the sarcasm a little now, but I hope my point is plenty clear.

I’m starting into my 10th year as a solo-preneur. I’ve hired staff, had interns and support staff in the past to help me with various tasks, but really, in the end, an entrepreneur has to take 100% responsibility for all the good AND the bad in their company.

Yes, it is true that I have the option to set my own hours, but stop being so clueless! If I choose to not work, I’m turning away business and money! If I choose to take Friday afternoon’s off, that means I’m not making money and quite honestly, they will likely go to my competitors.

If I take 6.5 weeks away from my business, I’m not lucky, I’m taking a risk! When I come back after 6.5 weeks, I don’t have an immediate full plate of work lined up. It isn’t magic folks! When I come back after 6.5 weeks away, I have to start job hunting, just like you would if you walked away from your job tomorrow! The only difference is that I do most of my job searching by networking and internet where you probably have to do a resume and interviews. I have to market my business, provide quotes and proposals.

Yes, that’s right folks. What I’m saying is that I’m no different than you in your 9-5 job. We all have choices to make. If you don’t want to work Friday’s, you have options too! You can quit your job. You can ask for flex hours. You can work overtime four days a week. You can talk to your boss and see if something can be worked out. You can ask a friendly co-worker to cover your Friday shift. Or, you can become an entrepreneur and give up your stable, steady, comfortable 9-5 job for one of constant risk and instability. At any moment of any day you have all of the same options with your job that I do, you are just scared to make the choice I did, so you call me lucky! Until you can see that it is choice, skill and determination, you will continue to be ‘unlucky’ and still doing what you’ve always done.

I think I can see your blood boiling from here! Now, take a deep breath and realize what I just said is true. Re-read it if you have to. If your blood is boiling and you feel like I just attacked you, well, that just means that I hit a nerve when I called you a big ol’ scaredy cat.

If you think for a second that I’m not scared to death that I’m leaving the country for 6.5 weeks when I have bills to pay, taxes due, I own a car, a condo, a cat … and I have no guarantees of work when I return … well, you would be wrong! Of course I’m scared! No one is paying me while I’m gone and even the work I get when I return won’t be paid for 30-90 days!

I’m not rich, I don’t have money saved up. I haven’t been planning this for years. I’ve just decided to fund my education through a loan and just like every other student, I will be in debt until I pay it off. For me, this is an investment in myself and I feel that’s worth the scary risk that I am taking.

I am not ‘lucky’ that I get to travel. I am happy that I can overcome my fears, take risks and chances and follow my heart to a place in life that will make me a better person. I am elated that fear doesn’t own me. My heart and stomach flutter with ecstasy when I realize that I will look back at this life and realize that I owned it!

Do you own your life? Maybe it’s time you start.

6 thoughts on “Do you own your life?

  1. Shari, like you I own my life and I wouldn’t have it any other way!! When I follow my gut everything falls into place. When I question it- I run into trouble. I’ve made a choice to be on my own…..and I love it! Enjoy the DR …..and your continued journeys! I for one am very proud of you!

  2. Perfect, Shari! Some low-income people I once knew used to always tell me how ‘lucky’ I was to be making such good money in the Air Force. Eventually I set it straight – it had nothing to do with luck. I made the choice to enlist and the choice to work hard to get to where I was.

    Life is all about choices! While luck does occasionally play a part in it, our decisions and the way we handle ‘unlucky’ situations will always play the biggest role in where we end up!

  3. I echo Michelle’s comments! I grew up in a very troubled household and instead of blaming life and following same patterns, I decided from an early age I was going to own my life and live it to the full. Everything good I have is because I’ve worked hard and believed in myself/goals and took risks. Some risks have been better than others but no matter what I am doing, I am happy. Because what I am doing is by choice, not by someone else’s rulebook. “The one who goes with the crowd never gets further than the crowd”

  4. I love this post. I’ve encountered the same type of comments regarding one and two week trips away. I use to feel it necessary to explain that I don’t drive a brand new car, spend lots of money on clothing or have a large entertainment budget. I would then explain that my husband and I don’t exchange Christmas presents. On the flip side of the coin, I have never exclaimed how lucky a person was when they informed me of high ticket purchases that they had just made like a trailer, boat or new piece of jewelry.
    You Go Girl. I played it safe and responsible for the greater portion of my life and it didn’t serve me well in finding my true passion.at all. This is an awesome experience and I’ll be following your posts throughout.
    Much love and light,
    Sue

  5. Pingback:What would you do today? – Practicing Simplicity | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

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