I was retrenched late last year. Contrary to what some people thought, I did not think it was a bad thing – losing my job. I had wanted to leave my job a few months before I lost it, but I did not because my family did not approve. My lack of interest became apparent to my former boss, so he decided to sack me under the guise of economic constraint, and the need to cut down on the number of staff.
He told my former colleagues the following Monday, “We actually don’t have any financial constraint that is threatening as such. I sacked Chinwe because she was no longer passionate about her job. She doesn’t belong here anymore”. No one knows till date, if he said that because he believed it or because he did not want his staff applying for jobs out of fear. Either way, he was not wrong.
I did not experience any downtime, I did not break down, I was not shattered, and there were no broken pieces of my life to pick up. As I had planned when I initially wanted to quit, I simply faced my side hustle squarely and went in full swing, working hard to transform it to a full business. Tax registrations, proper identification, a current account and necessary brand collaterals were put in place to give the business a legal front and serious presentation. I did not leave 9-5 to ‘come and count Lagos streetlights’.
Now, I am doing what I love and getting paid for it. I do not have to worry anymore about the false security that employment provides because here is the thing; it is scary knowing you could just lose your job, especially if the salary is barely enough to take care of your needs. Generally, it takes a while for new businesses to blossom, so once my business becomes stable, I can earn my keep and keep my earn. As an employee, tax was deducted from my salary before it was paid into my account. As an entrepreneur, the amazing thing about tax is, I get to deduct tax percentage only after I have settled all my company’s expenses and my personal salary.
Even as tough as the market can get at certain seasons, I decide what clients I want to work for – I stylishly refer the ones I cannot work with to my competition – and what vendors I want to work with. I had no such choices as an employee. I had to learn to manage my senior colleagues, my colleagues and my subordinates; I had to learn to co-exist with all of them in a non-threatening way. The vendors list could not be tampered with based on the approval or disapproval of one staff member; I simply did not have such influence.
I choose the hours that suit me best to get my tasks done. I prefer to work at night for a number of reasons: there is guaranteed power supply at night, the weather is naturally cool, it’s quieter because everyone would have gone to bed, social media is next to dead (so no distractions), and I generally concentrate better at night. Try asking your employer to let you work through the night remotely instead of the usual 9-5…Never mind, let’s just leave it.
The autonomy that entrepreneurship affords is indescribable. I do not put a restraint on my creativity because there is no supervisor whose self-esteem might be threatened. Office politics?! Thank God I am finally rid of some manipulative blood suckers and their negative energy. I no longer have to try (without success, I should add) to dumb myself down, so it does not appear as though I am “priding”. Oh, to be one’s true self is pure bliss!
Have you ever watched a movie at the cinemas on a Tuesday morning? Oh, I love it!
The hall is mostly empty and running commentaries are non-existent; this is the definition of awesome, my friend. Remember all those mid-week and work night events you always wished you could attend? Well, I have fun attending them constantly. When I have worked hard and I believe I deserve a vacation, I do not fill out leave forms and wait for the approval of my spiteful former supervisor again; I simply make provisions for continued operations, pick up my bags and go. Happy holidays!
The perks of being one’s boss cannot really be quantified. It does have its tough side as you will read in the second part of this post, but in both the short and long term, it is totally worth it. Question is, do you believe it is worth it?