Working nine-to-five, five days a week, with weekends frolicking in fields with loved ones. That’s how life is, isn’t it?

Well if you scroll through Instagram, yes it feels like people have that kind of life, but in reality, we all know that’s not how it is. Life is damn hard work. Relaxation, hobbies, raising children or reading a book are put aside for work more often than not, keeping the bosses happy, avoiding the next round of redundancies, proving you’re a model employee now you’ve had children, commuting through traffic jams, working extra after that unavoidable sick leave or because you were late back from the school play.

A quick Google search gives the definition of work as an ‘activity involving mental or physical effort done in order to achieve a result’. That sounds easy enough. But when I was an employee I’d have probably described it more like this:

‘A stressful existence 5 days a week, in a poorly ventilated environment. Hours spent counting down until your next day off, fighting cold after cold and spending weekends dreading Monday coming round again.’

I am sure that resonates with many in one form or another? And worst of all many of us accept it, but that’s not how life has to be.

Things can change

More than a third of British workers say their job is making no meaningful contribution to the world. Ouch! People are aware of the impact of stress on their lives, their bodies, their loved ones and their mental health, and are seeking a more meaningful working life just like I did when I started my Virtual Assistant business.

‘The costs of overwork can no longer be ignored. Long-term stress, anxiety and prolonged inactivity have been exposed as potential killers.’

Thankfully things are rapidly changing and more and more people are taking back control of their lives by becoming their own boss.

Peter Fleming, author of The Death of Homo Economicus: Work, Debt and the Myth of Endless Accumulation, said in a recent Guardian article ‘in order to make jobs more conducive to our mental and physiological welfare, much less work is definitely essential.’

I’m probably productive no more than six hours a day, sometimes I only work four hours a day, because I can, because that’s the life I have given myself. I choose what restraints there are on my time and choose when I am going to reward myself with time off. I no longer seek permission for a holiday, to spend a day with my daughter, or meet my boyfriend out of town for lunch, and the best bit… I never have to watch the clock when I am away from my desk. Imagine having a lunch break as long as you want without having to make the time up, unless you choose to. I know, cool isn’t it?

That life is exactly what running your own business can give you. Yes, of course, there’s stress, but it’s your stress, you created it, you don’t have to endure endless meetings to find a way out of it, get permission from a supervisor, or fill in endless forms to request a change, you just make it.

So, if you want to put life back into your life then my book, ‘How to be a Virtual Assistant’ will give you everything you need to know to start and run your own VA business.‎

Then, the biggest decision you’ll have is how pretty you’re going to make your home office! Exciting.