Back then (we're talking 2005) I was working in North Sydney and making money for someone else. Now if I make a quid, I know it's going into my bank account (well, my company's bank account) and not into the bank account of some faceless corporation that doesn't care one iota about foot-soldiers such as me.
Running a small business is no picnic, and as any small business owner or entrepreneur will tell you, it has as many downs as it has ups. But if you can make a go of it, and if you're lucky enough to bring in enough coin to keep the wolf from the door, then the upsides are spectacular.
And I'm not just talking about the money, because as a small business owner there are bills a-plenty to eat into that! I'm talking about the intangibles. The work your own hours. Take a day off when you feel the need to. Have a nap in the middle of the day if the mood strikes (fat chance, Logan!). Take an early mark to beat the rush at the gym on a Friday night. All that kind of thing. It's the freedom more than anything, that appeals to willow-the-wisps like me. That and the fact that you don't have a douche-bag of a micro-managing boss standing over your shoulder telling you what to do. Even though you know more than they do and could do their job with one arm tied behind your back! How do you put a price on things like that? I'm not sure you can. But the work-life balancing act is so much easier when you're the guy steering the boat. Full steam ahead or temporary solace in a safe-harbour, it's completely up to you. And gosh that's a nice feeling.
Of course there are bills to be paid, client deliverables to be delivered, deadlines to be met. It's still a job at the end of the day, even when you're the boss! And with it comes a type of pressure people who work for someone else, will never understand. So don't think for a second being an entrepreneur is all beer o'clock and afternoon siestas. Because that couldn't be further from the truth. It's more, 'Oh crap another bill!', 'Weekends, what the hell are they?', and 'You want it WHEN?'. That and a hundred other demands on our time is the reality for most of us who run their own business. But would we trade it for being an 'employee' again? Not a chance. Because once you get off the hamster wheel it's very, very, VERY hard to get back on.