No more defending myself

Last week was amazing, and at the end of it I made a very important decision… and here’s how it all happened:

The sun shone (almost) all week, I had two lovely lunches with girlfriends I adore and it was our WiRE networking night too – always a bundle of giggles, great conversation and lovely food. I couldn’t have wished for more.  AND there was something that all three of these events had in common – they were all with ladies who have left the ‘rat race’ and now work for themselves just like I do.  We run businesses across countless industries, many with university degrees and all of us with year or even decades of experience behind us, and yet we are still often asked by those not in our situation what we actually do.

After my week of lunches, sun and laughs (as well as new clients, networking and plenty of back-office stuff), I received an email from my sister-in-law who works for a posh supermarket.  She wrote to tell us that they are building one in our town and that if I fancied a job “it would definitely be worth applying as the benefits are fantastic including an annual % bonus… just a thought.”

rat raceWTF???

I screamed and swore at the computer screen!! Then I sent an email back saying that my 3 current jobs, two children, household and garden are currently enough thank you very much. After over 10 years of working for myself she (and other family members) are STILL trying to re-assimilate me into the ‘working’ world.  I single out family here because my friends pretty much get what I am doing and don’t try to offer me job advice, but not all family (just so that’s clear too – phew!).

That’s when I realised that yet again I had felt the need to defend my decision to work in an ‘alternative’ way!  It’s 2014 for f**k sake and we are still defining people by their job title… and as one of those workers who is actually following my dream, I am still defending my actions to people who clearly don’t get that you are more than your job!!  Life is too short to be unhappy & working for someone else again really is my idea of hell!

Rant over… Peace restored…

Then in a more calm and productive moment, I wrote this list of the reasons why I love working for myself:

  • to have my working life fit around my children
  • to work on projects and with people that I like
  • to be my own boss
  • to say ‘no’ to people or projects I don’t like or don’t sit right with me
  • to schedule lunches with friends and other working women I admire
  • to have my own clock
  • to take holidays when I want them
  • to have a day off to watch sports day at school
  • to sit in the garden and write
  • to change direction whenever I want
  • to sell my own skills to clients
  • to have a coffee break or loo break when I want
  • to create a business that lets me be myself
  • to earn money doing something that I truly love
  • to help other people improve their lives – and see the change for myself, and
  • to have creative license over everything that I produce

I could go on and on, but you get the general idea!

So – my personal challenge and challenge to anyone who finds themselves having to explain their job choices again and again is “NO MORE DEFENDING!!”  We are much more than our job titles and our worth is deeper than our salaries!  My life is honestly amazing and I truly love what I do.  My businesses are all important to me and I don’t need to defend them to ANYONE, and last but not least – I do not need an employer because my schedule is full.

I am good at what I do, and although people won’t always get it, it really doesn’t matter.

H x


P.S. One of my lovely girlfriends beat me to it this week and has written a post all about her defence of what she does with her time over on The World of Suzy Homemaker (her stunning lifestyle blog that I would recommend adding to your weekly fix!) and we had actually discussed this over lunch when we met.  But I too wanted to wade in and add my two cents worth too because this has been bothering me too!!

P.P.S. My earlier post about F**k It Therapy and this amazing book has also helped me this week!



4 thoughts on “No more defending myself

  1. Sue J

    Love, love LOVE this… (And not just because you so kindly linked to my own little rant over on the blog, thank you!) It’s really tiring constantly defending yourself. Just today, a friend asked “are you busy?”. If he was dropping by at an employer’s place of work, would he ask the same question, or would he (as I suspect) simply assume I was busy because I was, ahem, working?! *sigh*

  2. Liz

    Its great that you can do what you want but and you can bring enough money in for the children, jobs and household but for many people earning that money anyway possible is their only option.
    Completely understand not being a slave for money but its what clothes and feeds us all and someone has to do it somehow.
    Speaking as people who are following their dream on a pot of money that definitely has a bottom to it its scary stuff, if it doesn’t work out and we don’t earn enough do we keep following it because it is our dream? Not sure I could reconcile that with myself (or the bank manager or my children)

    1. hollyhinton Post author

      Hi Liz, I completely agree with your comments and my rant was not designed to make self-employment sound like the only option, nor was it to denigrate working in any way possible to bring in money. It was simply a plea to those who seek to judge me for my decisions (or anyone else’s for that matter) and see my way of working as wrong. Some people thrive in employment and it suits them perfectly – it’s just not for me! Best of luck with your dream & I do sincerely hope that it works out for you. H x


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