I'm a Small Business Owner — These 4 Situations Cemented My Need to Work For Myself

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Lee Beaser50
May 25, 2024 at 8:47AM UTC

1. I wasn’t making enough money.

I’m sure most employees can relate to this situation. For the majority of my career, I knew I was getting underpaid. Specifically, my male counterparts were making more money than I was.

I had a master’s degree and years of experience in my field, yet I was still making barely enough to survive.

Frustration grew within me, and I knew that I was destined to do something else. The problem was, I had no idea at the time what that “something else” was.

Eventually, I decided to leave the 9-5 work world and venture out on my own as a contractor. I got a certification in resume writing and worked for a company as a contract resume writer. 

Although I enjoyed the flexibility, the promise of “you can take on as many or as few projects as you want” turned out to be total BS. 

Not only that, but I once again found myself in a situation where I was being underpaid for the work I was doing.

Not getting paid enough was one of the biggest motivations for me to start my own business. 

About a couple years after starting my online business I realized I was not charging enough for my services. Instead of having to prepare a long-winded diatribe about how valuable I am and why I deserve a raise, I simply increased the prices on my services and that was that.

2. I wasn’t being paid for the work I was doing.

At another point in my career, I worked for an organization (once again as a contractor). I quickly realized that about 50% of the administrative work I was doing was not work for which I would be compensated. 

Unfortunately, I quit the position shortly after I started once I realized the majority of the work I was doing was for free.

When you work for yourself, you do a lot of work without ever seeing a dime in return. However, in the long-term, if your business turns a profit, it eventually pays off and you more than make up for the unpaid labor!

3. At least 30% of my time was spent in pointless meetings.

When I was a salaried employee one of the things, I disliked the most was attending countless meetings. And then there were the meetings to check in about how we felt about the meetings. 

Fast-forward, and a large chunk of my week was spent sitting in meeting upon meeting.

Fortunately, when you work for yourself. you don’t have to attend any meetings. Unless of course you decide to hold a meeting with yourself.

4. I didn’t have the flexibility I needed.

As a busy mom of two young kids during the pandemic, I felt like it was impossible to find a job that would allow me the flexibility to be a mom while also having a career. It was like trying to piece together a giant jigsaw puzzle that just didn’t fit.

It was actually at the beginning of Covid that I quit my job and decided to put 100% effort into building my online business. I loved that I could work for ten minutes here and there in between teaching my daughter second grade math and helping my son learn how to read.

In my opinion, owning your own business is the most flexible job you will ever have. You can put as much or as little time into it as you want (especially at first when you’re in the early stages of building your business).

Later, once you get customers and clients and start selling products, there’s of course more accountability involved. But you set your own hours. If you want to work one day for ten hours and take the next two days off to go to Disneyland, you can! And the best part is you don’t have to ask for permission. That’s the beauty in being your own boss.

Are you thinking of starting your own business? Check out these key tips for what not to do when starting a blog or online business.


This article reflects the views of the author and not necessarily those of Fairygodboss.

Lee Cristina Beaser is a career coach and certified professional resume writer (CPRW). She is the founder of The Career Counter, where she empowers women to find happiness and fulfillment in their careers.

Are you a small business owner? What situations cemented your need to work for yourself? Share your answer in the comments to help other Fairygodboss members!

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