I love July and Independence Day. It’s great to celebrate the tremendous blessing that it is to live in a free country like America and remember everyone who worked hard to make it that way. Fireworks and cookouts don’t hurt the affection I have for the holiday either.
However, the thing that’s special about the 4th of July is that it signifies a different kind of Independence Day for me personally. It represents independence from “the man” because 2 years ago on the fourth of July 2010 a former co-worker and I decided to tell our employer “Take this job and shove it.”
I said it a little more politely than that but I can’t vouch for what my business partner told our ex-boss when she quit. After watching people at a non-profit make a profit for so long we decided to go our own way and start our own multimedia production and promotional business.
We wanted something that was so different from anywhere else we had worked. So our company insists on placing value on people as well as products and profits. Both our clients and employees are our most important assets. To make sure they know it we are cultivating a creative working environment, producing premium products, and offering superior services for less than many of our competitors.
People thought we were insane walking away from full time jobs with full benefits and regular pay checks in the middle of a recession. They couldn’t imagine any way that we could succeed given the economic climate and worried that we would be struggling to pick up the pieces in no time.
Here it is now two years later and our business is building and our options are stronger than ever. Since BlackChip’s inception my partner and I have had to turn down at least 4 job offers each. We also managed to pull in a higher gross salary than ever before each year on our tax returns.
The big bummer is the loss of benefits. Since we’re still small we currently work on a “cover your own butt” basis and because our incomes have increased state assistance is no longer an option. Until we’re set up to provide health insurance for our employees we’re looking into options like flexible spending and medical savings accounts. Most importantly we’re taking extra care and precaution to stay safe and healthy.
Even so the lack of benefits pales in comparison to the feeling of empowerment that comes from being the boss. I set my schedules and still have time to enjoy all sorts of summer fun with my sons. The pressure may be on to produce but it makes me step up my game and I think I’m setting a better example for my children than slaving away for someone else.
I hope both you and my children can learn from my experience that “YOU CAN DO IT!” Don’t let the nay-sayers keep you down. If you have the idea and desire you can beat the system and be your own boss too.