Since I was young, I’ve had a personality trait that doesn’t work well with authority. Thankfully, I’ve discovered positive outlets like entrepreneurship, but it can be tricky to wrangle for those who work 9-to-5 jobs.
In fact, this was a big reason I stepped off the engineering track in college. I discovered engineering wasn’t my passion, but that isn’t to say it didn’t teach me a lot. Actually, I learned something quite valuable about myself: I hate having a boss.
That realization isn’t a bad thing—it’s actually opened a lot of doors for me. I started my first company with my father when I was 19, and for all the growing pains that business brings, I’ve never regretted being the captain of my own ship. Here’s why many other women are catching on to the lure of being their own bosses.
The Rise of the Freelancer
Perhaps my role is making stories like mine more visible, but the numbers indicate others are also desiring autonomy. Freelancers and temps make up a lot of today’s workforce, and freelancers are expected to represent more than 40% of the workforce by 2020.
My friend Lara O’Connor Hodgson, president and CEO of NOW Corp., loves the autonomy that freelancing offers. “My first business was called Thought Capital, and I was an independent freelance consultant,” Lara told me. “I started it not to be my own boss but to have the flexibility to be a great mom, a great wife, and a great businesswoman.”
I believe the rise of freelancing is due, in part, to the Great Recession, when more and more people like Lara looked to the Internet to find work. We’ve moved from the end of the Industrial Age—when individuals at companies worked together like a single machine—into the Information Age, where we can offer our knowledge and skills to others thousands of miles away.
Sumi Krishnan is the President and Founder of K4 Solutions, Inc.; a $20 million consulting firm with more than 200 employees across the country. Her firm works with clients such as U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Homeland Security. Sumi now has a passion for working with other business owners (particularly women) to help them thrive in life while creating killer businesses that do meaningful work. You can find out more about her and how she supports other women business owners here: www.sumikrishnan.com/work-with-me.
BusinessCollective, launched in partnership with Citi, is a virtual mentorship program powered by North America’s most ambitious young thought leaders, entrepreneurs, executives and small business owners.