Becoming my own boss

Starting tomorrow, I’ll own an Airstream rental business with my wife. If you’re wondering how this happened, my last post explains.

Now, it’s been exactly 1 month since I left my job. And rather than write a post entirely about what I’ve been doing, I think it’d be more interesting to write about how I’ve been thinking about what I do.

At first,

In the weeks after leaving my job, I felt both nervous and eager: “I can do anything? I can do anything!”

I overbooked myself with things to do; having coffee or lunch with friends and then jumping into meetings with lawyers, accountants, and bankers to prepare for my business. I’d come home exhausted every night. By the second week, I started feeling that itch in my throat that told me I would get sick if I didn’t rest.

In those initial weeks, I somehow guilted myself into thinking that I needed to be busy all day, every day. I didn’t want to be a slacker. My recurring thought was typically

“I have to do this, or else…”

And then,

In the last couple weeks, I began thinking differently about my time. I started to view my time as a choice.

It became less about trying to keep myself busy or proving that I was productive. Instead, it became more about choosing what I believe is important.

Maybe that’s a simple and obvious point of view for most other people. But for me, it was a refreshing perspective. I’ve started to experience first hand what it means to be my own boss. My thinking has shifted to

“I choose to do this because…”

A new outlook.

By having the opportunity to choose how I spend every moment of every day, the word ‘decide’ takes on new meaning. I’ve begun to make decisions based on how I value the outcome. I completely own my decisions.

For example, I’ll meet up with a friend because I’m genuinely interested in catching up with that person. I’ll have a discussion with a lawyer because I want to better understand my legal situation. I’ll research technology solutions because I want my business management systems to be reliable, scalable, and easy to use. (That last example was really nerdy — but hey, I used to be a business consultant!)

And now,

If there’s something I’ve learned and changed about myself over the last month, it’s this: Having the ability to perpetually choose what I do creates an incredible sense of ownership in everything that I do.

So, as my wife and I plan to start our business together, we’re excited by the idea that we can completely own something. We’ll be making our own decisions, and hopefully we’ll make a cool business together.

Now, maybe what I’ve written above is starting to become rah-rah in excitement to start my next venture. But, I want to finish this post by sharing a short video I that found relevant and inspiring. I think it’s really cool to become a maker and run a small business. I look forward to starting an Airstream business tomorrow!