Home Business Owners: Do You Work on Your Birthday?

In many cases, being a home business owner means working even when you don’t want to. Like when your birthday falls on a Monday.

Today is my birthday. And it didn’t start out auspiciously. I got up in just enough time to take my son to school, and so didn’t get the proper jump on my day. And I have a lot of work to do today. Home business owners don’t often get time off — at least not the way others get time off.

When you’re sick, you sometimes still have to work. And, even when your whole family is on vacation, sometimes you have to get a little work done by the pool. And, when it’s your birthday, sometimes you just have to suck it up and get something done.

Do You Work on Your Birthday?

Back when I worked in the “real world,” my co-workers were always taking their birthdays off. I even took my birthday off a couple of times. It’s true, though, that I was never that big into skipping work on my birthday. With family all over the country, I receive gifts over a period of a week, and some arrive after my birthday. I just open them as they arrive. And instead of going out on my birthday, my husband and I go out on a day that is more convenient. Rarely has that been on my actual birthday.

Really, working on my birthday isn’t a huge deal. But I know some home business owners that are quite frustrated when they have to work on the “big day.” Being a home business owner doesn’t always mean rainbows and unicorns. Sometimes, being a home business owner means that you need to have discipline and self-motivation, and being willing to work even when you don’t want to.

Moving Beyond the Need to Work When You Don’t Want To

I have to admit that there are days when I kind of let the work slide. I do what must be done and then just put off the other stuff until later. Additionally, I take off camping a couple times during the summer. And I refuse to do anything beyond sit on the couch with a book and a pile of chocolate on Christmas. I am fortunate in that I have a fairly flexible home business schedule. Most of the time, I can shift my work around if I want.

The real goal of many home business owners, though, is to get to the point where they are making good profits, but they don’t have to do a lot of the work themselves. The idea is to be able to get the home business to the point where it runs fairly smoothly, and then hire others to do a lot of the work, giving yourself more time to do what you want.

When you have an online store, this is a little easier. The computer takes the orders for you, and things run fairly smoothly. If you hire someone to fulfill the orders, you don’t even need to do much, beyond oversee a few things. Providing a service is a little different. You still have to keep providing that service, and often you have to do it yourself. It’s true that you could hire others.

I could hire other writers, and expand my freelance writing business. But, in the past, I was burned by that practice, and I am reluctant to give it a try again. I’m wary of putting my name on something that someone else has done. After all, I’m a brand of sorts. It’s hard for me to let that go. But as long as I have this attitude, I’ll be responsible for working, and actively bringing in the money. I’ll have to keep working on my birthday, and almost any other day.

Home business owners: When do you take days off? What are your strategies for maintaining income without doing as much work?

Image source: Alicia Rae via Wikimedia Commons

Written by Miranda Marquit

Miranda Marquit is a freelance writer and professional blogger, specializing in personal finance, small business, and investing topics. She writes for a number of financial web sites and blogs, and has been featured in numerous media. Read about life as a freelancer at MirandaMarquit.com and in her book Confessions of a Professional Blogger.

20 Responses to Home Business Owners: Do You Work on Your Birthday?

  1. When I had a business, I made sure to take off a couple of days a year to go camping. No electronics, not luxuries, nothing. It was my release where I could enjoy the outdoors without having to be connected to my phone. The best part was that my phone never worked where I went. I never took off for my birthday because customers still needed to get taken care of. They don’t go away.

  2. Happy Birthday!

    I find myself working at the computer all the time as well. This year we will even been probably working Christmas Eve as many of our clients are overseas too. But I agree with you, it is good to have a business that can function on its own too.

    • Miranda Marquit says:

      Good luck on Christmas Eve! It really does seem like we’re not actually self-employed sometimes. There are plenty of others who act as bosses!

  3. Miranda I have just written a post similar to this about being in a situation where you have to take time off work. I think it’s being published tomorrow. As freelance / self employed people it’s hard to take time out when it means lost income. Unless you are financially comfortable it isn’t easy to take time off. Thanks for sharing on Bizsugar.com and hope you like my post too when it’s out :)

    • Miranda Marquit says:

      I think that is a big consideration for many people who own businesses. Skipping a day means a lower income. You either have to work ahead, or you have to swallow the loss.

  4. I never thought birthdays were a big deal so I wouldn’t take off. I would rather take off a day I didn’t feel up to cranking out work.

    • Miranda Marquit says:

      That’s a good point! Sometimes it’s more about being free to ease up when you want, rather than aiming for a specific day off.

  5. Tom Drake says:

    Happy birthday Miranda! And thanks for getting those Personal Dividends posts done today ;)

  6. Happy birthday! Sorry you’ve got to work, but honestly I think I’ve always worked on my birthday. I always forget to use a vacation day, or forget it’s my birthday!

    • Miranda Marquit says:

      Thanks :) I don’t mind the work all that much. I wouldn’t be doing a lot differently. But sometimes it is nice to slack off a little bit.

  7. Carla says:

    I always work on my birthdays and holidays. Even when I worked for other people I worked on my birthday. I never thought it was a good reason to take the day off given I rarely have plans that would justify it.

    Happy Birthday by the way!

  8. I always get to have my birthday around Christmas time and so I have never had to work on my birthday which is nice.

    The only down side is that because everyone takes that period off and goes away on holidays, my birthday parties are always missing heaps of my friends that I would like to come :(

    • Miranda Marquit says:

      Haha. I’m not much into birthday parties, but I can sympathize with having a birthday near Christmas. All my presents go toward buying other presents! Or I get joint gifts. But usually it’s not a huge deal for me.

    • Carla says:

      My birthday is close (enough) to Christmas too. :(

  9. King says:

    I am addicted to working my business and even worked on my birthday if you consider it work. LOL.
    I outsource everything anyway to make it easier on myself. Just pay others a percentage of the profits. Works great for me.

    • Miranda Marquit says:

      That’s a great plan. Getting others to do some of the work can be very effective! An it’s nice that you don’t think of your work as actual “work.”

Leave a reply

Name: Email: