The Entrepreneur Insiders network is an online community where the most thoughtful and influential people in America’s startup scene contribute answers to timely questions about entrepreneurship and careers. Today’s answer to the question, “What are the benefits of being your own boss?” is written by Keri Glassman, founder of Nutritious Life and The Nutrition School.
I love being an entrepreneur. Some people fear the unknown, but it fuels me. I love not knowing exactly what will happen tomorrow, next quarter, or two years from now.
The biggest piece of advice I can give a budding entrepreneur is to learn to dance with fear and embrace the unknown. It’s the difference between sitting on the sidelines and dreaming about building a business and actually getting up and doing it every day.
Here’s why else it’s great to be your own boss:
You get to choose your peeps
I’m a people person. The people who make up my core team are like family to me, and I love being around them.
Being able to create a team you love and respect is key, and a huge part of what I love about my entrepreneur life. I feel incredibly lucky to be able to choose the people I hang with on a daily basis.
If you’re still building your team, take interviewing very seriously. I never hire anyone anymore without at least three of us interviewing them. And when it comes time to make a decision, always go with your gut. It’s never wrong.
The culture is what you make it
Building and maintaining your culture takes constant attention and nurturing, and you need to be checking in often to make sure that it’s working for you and everyone around you, all while staying true to your beliefs and convictions. When you have your own business, you get to create the environment and vibe that works for you, and will in turn set the tone for your audience.
In my office, workout clothes, snacks, green tea, and positive energy define the environment. You have to be able to practice what you preach, especially in the wellness space, which means squeezing in workouts in between conference calls and getting excited over who brought the best salad that day.
Your schedule is yours
As a working mom, this is critical to me. I don’t like to miss a thing, and sometimes forget that it’s okay to be at work and unable to make every game and performance and contest. I’ve gone straight from red eyes to school events to the office and back to gymnastics practice while clearing out my inbox on the way.
Also, taking time to actually live my most nutritious life, not just preach it, is much easier by creating my own schedule. Yoga at noon? Sounds perfect. I’ll do that call at 2. When you’re your own boss, no one is making you work 9 to 5, but giving yourself a schedule is also crucial. You have to know what works well for you so you’re not just spinning from one thing to the next.
As a health expert, I wish more companies would adopt a more flexible schedule for their employees. With more women in the workforce, we need to figure out ways to be great parents and great employees. It doesn’t have to be one or the other; it just may require a new way of operating. And with obesity and stress-related health issues at an all-time high, we have to learn to work differently if we want a healthier, more productive society.
You get to be creative
Allow space for it. You can spend all day every day playing defense by answering emails and doing work favors for other people pursuing their own projects, but spending time focusing solely on how to make your mission work, and brainstorming new ideas, is crucial.
Having a set time during your day in which you do something for yourself is a good way to calm your mind and find new inspiration. Whether this is furthering your education in your field, flipping through a magazine related to your work, listening to a podcast, or just sitting in silence simply envisioning something, this is the kind of activity that sparks new ideas and keeps your business moving forward. You might be surprised at what amazing things can come from taking a breath from your inbox.