“What a long, strange trip it’s been.”

This famous lyric embodies the journey of my professional life nearly perfectly. The passion and freedom I experience daily from being a business owner and working to change the legacy of my family, is a path divergent from my two degrees in education. I value and feel fortunate for my time in education as teaching is a big part of the foundation of my business. The glaring difference between how I make my living now versus as a teacher is time. Specifically two areas, how I spend my time and how I am compensated for my time. In the state that I taught in, I knew from my first year until the last year I chose to work, how much I would be monetarily compensated for my work. If I added time to my day whether at home or at school for a specific task or project, my salary was equivalent to the salary step I was on for that year of teaching. Conversely, my current reality is one that yields an opportunity to increase the amount of money I receive in direct proportion to the effort I put into my business. Additionally, I am in control of my schedule and how I spend my time. I vividly remember my first pregnancy which occurred while I was teaching- fond memories as I experienced this life-changing event, but also mental stress that surrounded my maternity leave. Because I was only given four weeks of paid leave, I experienced a cut in my pay so that I could extend my time with my newborn child for another three weeks. Now, I take time off when I need it. When I want to go on vacation, I do it. When my mind and body tells me to slow down, I take a personal day. If the kids need something at school, or need to stay home from school, I respond to my children rather than ask for time off.  The “long strange trip” from the classroom to entrepreneur started with a difficult and scary choice to walk a different occupational path. In your current position, how is your time being valued?

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