My professional and working life started when I was 19 years old and since then I have worked steadily. My last position was as office manager, with the view of bringing it into the 20th century, i.e. updating equipment, evaluating the current staff and its efficiency, letting some of them go and finding replacements with the required qualifications.
In reality, I was hired to 'fix things' and increase productivity. Truth be told, after 30 years of being in the workplace I was ready to change course. It was time to shed the daily grind of office routine.
Living in a small town, I was looking at doing something that did not involve the daily rush hour drive, but rather kept me in the area.
Being parent to a couple of cats as well as the resident dog, and people mentioning during conversations that they were looking for somebody to take care of their own animals as well as looking after their properties during their absences, seemed to me something I could do.
Letting go of an established routine, despite being tired of it, letting go of the sense of security associated with employment, weighing the pros and cons, I ultimately decided to go for it.
Once I had registered the company name and dealt with other legal issues, advertising in the local paper and telephone directory, got the word out be talking to people that I was open for business, it did not take long for the telephone to start ringing.
Settling into the new routine took several months. There were no longer regular working hours and some days were longer than others. I had to bend my social life around my schedule.
My customer base grew and eventually I needed to hire help. I was back to managing people with its ups and downs. Some worked out fine, others were not suited for this type of work.
The excellent workers eventually struck out on their own and are doing an excellent job.
Today, I am semi-retired. I am only taking on new clients if they are being referred by an old loyal customer.
From being almost the only person doing this type of work in my area, there are now a substantial number of individuals who have followed in my steps and doing a fine job. Some of them have even worked for at one time.
Did I regret at any point going on my own and starting a small business? Absolutely not! I wouldn't change a thing and do it again.
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