Wednesday, June 11, 2008

"Quit Your Day Job"

I'm not sure it was one specific thing that led me to quit my day job in corporate America five months ago.  I do know that my favorite part of the week was catching the tail end of happy hour with my co-workers on Friday evenings after the office closed, and that wasn't a good sign (at least for my career).  The truth is that while I was working the 9-5, I was dreaming about a different rhythm.  I was trying to cram creative activities into my free time, on the weekends and in the mornings before I headed to the office.  And after months of trying to make my "work" fit in with my work, I realized it wasn't working.

I am reminded of my turmoil this morning as I prepare to write about micro-business (see yesterday's post) for the remainder of this week.  I am confident that this wrestle between traditional work and creative labor is one of the main reasons men and women are compelled to pursue micro-business.  Trying to balance the work you are doing with the work you want to do can often prove to be a very draining endeavor.  Micro-business affords creative types (and entrepreneurial types) an opportunity to earn a profit doing what they love, or just an opportunity to work outside of the 9-5.

Of course, micro-business can be attractive for other reasons as well. I know enough new moms in my life right now to know that after that first, all-consuming season of motherhood (the hourly feedings and changings and extreme sleep deprivation) subsides, a search for fulfilling, wage-earning work starts to blossom.  Work that can accompany the ebb and flow of life with infants and small children.  Work that is rewarding but not too demanding.

So, besides me, who are these people starting their own mini-businesses?  Well, to search out their stories, I started in a familiar place: Etsy.  Etsy, the beloved hand-crafted-international-online-store, is currently running a series titled "Quit Your Day Job," where they highlight the testimonies of men and women who are making a living off of their micro-business.   I think that you will find the stories of these entrepreneurs encouraging, and familiar.  Many of them are just like you and I: people wanting to earn money, but who would prefer to do it outside of the traditional workforce.

Take a few minutes today to read their testimonies.  They are the living example of micro-business in action.  And join me tomorrow as I wax poetically (well, maybe not that poetically) about the larger benefits of a micro-economy, and how it might be the shoe that fits for housewives, stay-at-home moms, and those of you would like to join them.

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