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Are you living your best life? It’s an interesting question, isn’t it? I’m not talking luxury holidays, fast cars and big houses. I’m talking about whether you’re living a life that leaves you fulfilled. And happy. That might not be the easiest life. It might not be the ‘richest’ life (in financial terms). But your ‘best’ life. In whatever form that might take.

Maybe the journey isn’t so much about becoming anything. Maybe it’s about un-becoming everything that isn’t really you, so you can be who you were meant to be in the first place

Paolo Coehlo

So what does this actually mean?

Well, for me, it’s not about holidays, cars and houses. First and foremost I’m mama to the most gorgeous little girl, and that’s the one thing I have always wanted. There’s a story of survival attached to that for both of us, so I’m grateful every day that I’m still here to type this, and that my daughter is thriving and doing her thing! So from this perspective, and while motherhood is hard, I’m living my best life.

More than that.

But to be truly living your best life, it has to be about more than just a single aspect. Given that the average person in the UK spends 84,171 hours at work over the course of their lifetime, where you work, and what you do while you’re there, has to be a major factor.

When I was in the corporate world, I had quite a few jobs, and I enjoyed most aspects of most of them. And I learned a lot along the way, both in a practical sense, and about myself.

But with hindsight, none of them were living my best life.

Going it alone (and now with a business partner!).

Along the way, I’ve learned that I like to be challenged. I like to be able to try things myself before I ask for help. And I find being behind the same desk, day after day, restrictive and stifling. I like variety, meeting different people, and knowing that what I’m doing makes a real difference.

And while traditional employment gave me some of those things from time to time, it didn’t give me all of them. All of the time. Luckily, that’s where self-employment comes in!

When I first transitioned out of the corporate world, I was lucky. I resigned, knowing that I was moving to some long term consultancy in a field where I was completely comfortable. So that gave our family the financial stability that we needed.

But again, the key wasn’t the money. In self-employment, I found all of the things that I had been looking for. I can work where I like, when I like, and build my week around my daughter. Self-employment brings constant challenge, and opportunities to learn and develop. And I have met so many different people along the way, including The Rt Hon. Theresa May MP. But most importantly, I feel like I’m making a difference to people, whether it be through helping a small business owner to find their way through the intricacies of Facebook’s Insights, or giving someone the confidence to start off on the road to entrepreneurship.

So yes, being self-employed is hard. Probably the hardest job I’ve had. But it’s also the most fulfilling. I can’t see myself ever going back to corporate life, now. I love what I do, and from a work perspective, I really am living my best life.

What’s your best life?

What about you? Are you living your best life? And are you making the most of those 84,171 hours?

If not, and you would love to leave corporate life behind, perhaps it’s time to consider working for yourself? It’s a huge decision, and one that should definitely not be taken lightly, but it’s a hugely rewarding one. And one that, if you’re prepared to give it everything (and of course, if your business idea is a good one!), could mean that you are able to lead your best life.

If you’re already a small business owner, living your best life, we would love to hear your story. But if you’re still considering whether or not to pursue self-employment, get in touch with us too! The Tabono programme and community could provide you with the support you’ve been looking for.