5 Things I LOVE About Being an Entrepreneur That You Can Do Too

Elizabeth Brooks | Project Heard | Woman of Power

After 18 years of big corporate jobs, I took the plunge and became an entrepreneur.  I knew life and work would be very different.  Now, after 6 months, I’ve found there are a few things that I absolutely love about my new work-life mix that I didn’t anticipate.  In retrospect, most of these things were attainable in my old jobs – I just didn’t know how much better they make my day.  

Here’s the good news - you don’t need to change your job and start your own business to enjoy most of these things.  You just need to change your perspective a little.  

Working from Everywhere

You’ve probably heard that “variety is the spice of life.”   This is so true for me when it comes to where I physically work.  

  • BEFORE: Most of my jobs had me going into the same office every day.  Yes, I travelled some.  Yes, I’d be in and out of meetings in different conference rooms all day.  But mostly I was in the same physical space day after day.  
  • NOW: Technically, I work from home.  I love my office - it has huge windows, my puppy has a little bed, I’m close to the kitchen for coffee and tea breaks, and it’s quiet after the kids leave for school.  But honestly, what I enjoy the most, is the variety of other places I get to work throughout my week.  I’ve visited almost every coffee shop and Panera in greater Cleveland.  I’m on-site with clients. I’ve rediscovered libraries.  I’ve taken more than one call from my car in a random parking lot.    

Fresh surroundings can inspire fresh thinking.  So, shake it up once in a while—have a team meeting at off site, try a walking meeting at a nearby park or actually get out of the office for lunch.  

Meeting Nice People

I have met more amazing people in the past six months than I did in the prior six YEARS.  As an entrepreneur I need to cultivate a very different network. What I didn’t know is how fun it would be to do.   

  • BEFORE:  I worked in large organizations and was always busy.  It was easy to spend all my time interacting just with the people I needed to get things done.  Sometimes this included outside consultants, but most of my time was spent with a relatively small group of internal co-workers.  
  • NOW: I’m meeting new people every week – and truly enjoying it.  It might be a mid-west/Cleveland thing, but I have been touched by how friendly and willing to help most people are.  They take the time to listen, they connect you to others who can help and they share good ideas.  

The world is full of interesting and helpful people.  Make room in your day to branch out and meet them – it is so worth the time. 

Having Comfortable Feet

I’m 12% happier because I now have comfortable feet most of the time.  Ok, that statistic is totally made up.    But I now know that because of my high-heels, I was in pain all day - every day, and being in pain was stressful.  

  • BEFORE:  My last corporate job had a business formal dress code with the occasional business casual day thrown in for morale.   The unwritten rule for women was that flats were for business casual days only.  My heel heights were conservative (mostly) but my feet hurt constantly.  There were evenings that it felt like the bones of my feet were breaking and nights that I had foot cramps that would not go away.  
  • NOW:  Most of my clients and meetings are casual to business casual.  When I’m out and about, I’m mostly in flats or boots.  When I’m home, it’s all slippers and fluffy socks – HEAVEN.

Body, mind and mood are all intertwined.  Consider whether there are small changes you can make to take better care of yourself and be more comfortable.  

Getting More Sunshine and Fresh Air 

Getting outside has always been how I recharge.  But with long work days and busy evenings, it always had to wait for the weekend.     

  • BEFORE:  I shuffled from home to car to office and back again.  
  • NOW: Now that I have dog co-workers, I end up taking them out pretty often.  These little doses of sunshine and fresh air throughout the day make me so happy.   It’s easy to pop out back to play with the dogs, have a quick cup of coffee on the back deck, take a walk around the neighborhood, or even stroll to the mailbox extra slowly.  

If getting outside boosts your mood and clears your head, find ways to sneak it into your day.  It is definitely something I could have done in my past jobs if I had made the effort.

 Seeing My Puppy’s Face All Day

I’ve always thought the whole “bring your dog to work” thing was a gimmicky to make offices seem cooler.  

  • BEFORE: Every office I worked in was completely pet free.
  • NOW: I share the days I work at home with two dogs and two cats.  Their cute faces and ridiculous antics make me laugh.  Their need for attention gets me out of my seat.  And just looking at their cute faces all day really does make me happier.  They do bark and wrestle at inopportune times but chasing them out of my office is a nice, quick aerobic workout.  

If your office doesn’t allow dogs, I suggest bringing in pictures, getting a dog nanny-cam or boring your co-workers with pet stories.  All would be fun ways to bring the stress-relief of your pet companions into your workplace.  

Perhaps the biggest learning for me is that small changes have a big impact on my overall happiness and well-being.  So why not pause and give something new a try because, in the words of Ferris Bueller,  

 "Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it."

 

Elizabeth is the Co-Founder of Nimble Consulting Services where she drives overall business strategy and leads the HR and professional development practice area.  In her spare time, Elizabeth is a happy wife and a mom to three amazing people who keep her humble every day. 


 

/ Print
Posted by Elizabeth Brooks in Entrepreneurs

Most Recent

How do you tackle a complex problem? With all the help you can get.

By Sue Krey
February 12, 2018 Category: Leadership, Spotlight

Ending homelessness. That sounds like a lofty goal, doesnt it? Its an idea so complex that it doesnt seem like it can be done. However, at the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland, weve already seen a drastic drop in the number of people experiencing long-term homelessness in our county. In fact, community partners recently announced that long-term homelessness in Cuyahoga County is on pace to end by 2020. How is that possible? For us, the key was recognizing that it couldnt be done alone. The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland addresses health, education and housing for vulnerable populations, and we rely heavily on our ability to convene, collaborate and be a voice at the table. We find community connection is just as important to our success as our grantmaking. So when we, along with others in the community, set our sights on ending homelessness in Cuyahoga County, we knew we needed to get strong community partners on the same team we needed collective impact. I know

Building Stronger Connections and Communities - A Call to Action

By Barb Smith
February 12, 2018 Category: Leadership, Spotlight

Networking. How can one word turn my knees to jelly and make my stomach flip flop? The mere sight of the word makes me ill. I hate networking. In my book its right up there with anchovies, cold calling and root canals. Not a fan. However, I do love people. I am always interested in learning more about them, their stories and what makes them tick. My kids will warn their friends before they introduce me with a roll of their eyes, Get ready to be grilled. Or let out a breathless sigh followed by, Oh, Mother Please. when I am in the midst of a particularly good line of questioning. Have you read the book Now Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham or taken its associated test to uncover your strengths? I have had the opportunity to take the test a couple of times in the past couple of decades and one thing has remained consistent- my towering strength is woo which stands for winning others over. Yep, I am the one who makes friends effortlessly, easily strikes up a conversation, and tries

Loving and Leading: Why You Should Bring More Love into the Workplace

By Raquel Eatmon
February 07, 2018 Category: Raquel

To handle yourself, use your head: To handle others use your heart. ~Eleanor Roosevelt We arecelebrating Valentines Day and love is in the air, or at least it should be. I know, it might seem awkward to talk about love and leadership but hear me out. Love, as most of us know it, is an expression we reserve for family (this includes our beloved pets) and friends. We excitedly embrace the warm and fuzzy feelings these people bring. Why cant we stir up warm emotions for our team and clients? Why wouldnt we want them to feel that same kinship for us? There are degrees of love. You can love one person more than others, you can experience romantic love or feel love for humanity- we all have so much love to give. A humanitarian love in the workplace can influence your leadership. It fosters compassion, integrity, empathy and a host of other healthy emotions. When your colleague feel a sense of love from you or a supervisor, she/he is more likely to transport caring feelings to others on the

Project Heard: In Association with

Connect With Us

© , ProjectHEARD Powered by Virteom