Doing what you love for a living will definitely make you more fulfilled as a person and a better mom, too.
While the corporate world offers stability and routine, it is not for everyone. In fact, some people find that working in a more relaxed environment, free of a peak-hours commute and a structured business wardrobe, boosts their productivity.
Spending time with your family
Thandi Modise* experienced burnout early in her legal career and decided to open a half-day legal practice near her home after the birth of her second daughter and when her live-in partner’s own business began to make a profit. This lifestyle change allowed her to spend more time with her daughters, something that her previous working situation had prevented (she wasn’t gone from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. every day), and her older daughter’s grades improved.
“Although we have a little less money for luxuries like holidays and clothing now as a family, my reduced working hours and the fact that I’m based closer to home in a beautiful garden setting means I’m happier and have a lot more energy to devote to my partner and daughters,” Thandi says.
Control of your own timetable
You might prefer to maximise the hours you spend at your desk by listening to your body clock and working when you’re most alert or inspired, just like an athlete who performs best at certain times of the day. If you’ve left a steady job to pursue something you love, the long hours you spend building your business are unlikely to feel like work because you’ll be having so much fun. Cindy Klause* made the conscious decision to open a craft shop at a local garden center. When she became a single mother unexpectedly, she had no choice but to accept an administrative job to support herself and her young son.
She was able to purchase the premises and set up the studio section after being left money in a late relative’s will, allowing her to teach craft-making to a group of unemployed women from a nearby township. Visitors to the garden centre and tea room soon began asking where they could buy the crafts, so opening the shop was a natural next step.
“Seeing these women develop artistic skills, from painting and beading to sewing and card-making, has been incredibly rewarding. Entrepreneurial employment opportunities also contribute to the economy in a positive way. My son and his best friend frequently sit quietly among the ladies doing homework or go outside to play soccer on the field next door. “Doing what I love for a living makes me a more fulfilled person and a better mother,” Cindy says.
It’s priceless to be in charge of your own destiny
Stephanie Marsh*, a science writer, says she quit her full-time job 12 years ago… and hasn’t looked back since.
“Earlier this year, I seriously considered a very well-paid job, but the thought of having to clock in every day and the dangers of corporate culture made my throat tighten. The ability to breathe, think, work, and play as I please is invaluable.”
Stephanie wonders what kind of example she sets for her children when she forgets to brush her hair and spends many days on deadline in her pajamas, but she concludes that they will likely grow up to be better adjusted because their mother works in an environment that she enjoys; plus, there are valuable lessons to be learned from making a living through one’s own ideas and efforts. (*Names have been changed)