Working Weekends – the 9 to 5 is not for the self employed

Running a business takes horse power like that of a Ferrari – it takes 7 days a week, 365 days a year, 24 hours day – it cannot be run like a 9-5, open Monday to Friday with weekends off!

Having been an employee of law firms for many years, there is something to be said (and which I am about to say in this blog!) about having a job and enjoying that Friday feeling when you know you will have two days off (and still get paid!).

Sadly this is weekend feeling is not a luxury for the self-employed especially if it is a service business like mine, no invoice, no paying clients, no money is my very harsh reality but I love it really; working weekends keeps me on my business toes and ahead of the curve, there is something pleasurable about sending an email on the weekend, knowing it will not be picked up until Monday, this cleverly frees up my Monday morning to be my weekend feeling when everyone else is rushing to work after a non working weekend.

As many know running your own business means that you do not have this weekend feeling luxury (saying that a friend of mine ran her self-employed business like a 9-5 Monday to Friday business and wondered why she was not successful) – simply you cannot drive a self employed business like a business with employees – you have to choose.

Most 8am Saturday mornings I rise and head straight to Café Nero Croydon (Croydon has three Café Neros, I think they are ahead of the regeneration programme with three businesses!) – I can count amount of time that people come in looking for friends and family and a phone call later realise they are in the wrong Nero!  And most Sunday mornings I brainstorm the business in Crystal Palace, going home and sit in front of the laptop – life in the self employed lane.

Anyway I digress,  switching off for the weekend is not an option when you run your own business which in some ways is a blessing, who would want to lose 104 days  (52 weekends x2), times this by your number of working years means that is an awful lot of days to loose; days not used making money to be quite frank. Being gainfully employed this means nothing and it is blissful when you can spend two uninterrupted days with the wife/husband and children, least we not pretend Monday to Friday 9am to 9pm is fee earning days and family time generally is a 10 minute call from the office to say good night.

Another realisation moment this week was with office rental space being so expensive – why should I not be able to use it 24 hours a day, 365 days a year – that was my realisation the other day when I went looking for office space,  I could only use my £3000 office for Monday to Friday, why would I spend so much and use it so little, makes no financial sense – switching off, downing clients files are not an option and some of us actually don’t want it. We like having our down days either Monday/Tuesday, or Wednesday/Thursday or, another daring variable, Monday and Thursday!

Saturday and Sundays are nice quiet days, moving around is more leisurely than the pandemonium of the commute I experienced the other morning when I left out to go to the City early. The ants of people moving along the platform, the swarms of commuters marching over London Bridge reminded me to factor in my budget, the £3000 to rent my office and another £3000 to rent an apartment in Chancery Lane (going on Zoopla as soon as I finish this blog!).

Rushing into a meeting and/or starting a training development day, sweaty, out of breath from using delayed trains (trains delayed due to the lack of train crew/wrong snow as announced the other day by Southern Rail) highlighted the truth that I am finished with commuting for work, let me live near my £3000 office, wake up and walk my 5/10 minute to work from my £3000 rental apartment in Blackfriars – come the weekend I will commute back home to South London, replacement bus service permitting!

 


About the Author

Jannette Brimm specialises in corporate business skills (aka soft skills). After being approved by the SRA in 2013 to deliver training to solicitors, Jannette set up SkillsSanctuary Ltd, the Chancery Lane based business skills training company exclusively for solicitors and managing partners.

Working in the legal sector for 27 years, Jannette Brimm has provided IT, administrative and business support to solicitors at law firms such as Dentons, Maples and Calder (Cayman Islands), Watson Farley and Williams, Wedlake Bell, Eversheds and Mayer Brown.