I am self-employed. A simple statement, and one you can easily translate to “I have a terrible, demanding boss”.
When you’re your own boss and company, there’s no 9 to 5, no guaranteed pay cheque at the end of the month. Your income is largely measured by how much effort you put in, combined with a chunk of luck.
Which means, basically, I’m bloody awful at taking holidays.
Time for time off
I can’t entirely blame self-employment for this. I was terrible at taking time off when I was employed, too. That was more an combination of lacking exciting things to do, and really enjoying my job. It’s deeply ironic to me that the one year I took my full holiday allocation at RBI was the year they made me redundant.
Occasionally I wonder if that final holiday booking raised a flag in the system…
But now, time off is time I’m not earning money to buy food and clothes for my family. I have no back-up, no support, no HR or sales departments. It’s all about me and what I can achieve. And that makes time off sometimes feel guilt-inducing.
But, you know what? My family don’t just need my money. They need me — my presence, my engagement with them.
So, I took this Bank Holiday weekend off. Properly off. I hung out with the family and had fun.
And, in a weird way, that turned into work. Because freed from being at the laptop coal face, I had space to think. And that turned into the ability to make some decisions.
And I’ll talk about what they were — tomorrow.
Originally published at www.coffeeandcomplexity.com on May 2, 2016.