Entrepreneurship, to me, means the security of multiple streams of income and the flexibility to do what I want, when I want. It also means creativity, fun and adventure. When I think of entrepreneurship, I don’t just think Steve Jobs. I think of small businesses. I think of innovation and repurposing materials. I think of a life well lived. What does entrepreneurship mean to you?

My Journey to Entrepreneurship

As many of my family and friends know, I have always worked numerous jobs. It started when I was 16 and was working my first real job lifeguarding … and then giving swim lessons .. and then babysitting and tutoring … and then working at a law firm and animal hospital. Fast forward to 22, I’ve graduated college a semester early and have held about 40 or so different positions- up to 8 at one given time. 

Right now, I’m working a big girl 9-5 job, but I haven’t let that stop me from my overworking dreams. I am 100% the type of person that gets bored doing the same thing repeatedly. I hate repeating meals more than once, so you can only imagine how I feel about every day of my life being the exact same. That’s why I love freelance and (remote) part-time work. I didn’t do very much remote work before COVID, but now it’s a huge part of my everyday life and I love every second of it.

macbook pro displaying group of people

Remote work allows me to expand my horizons and make more of myself, which I love. It also allows me to lessen my environmental impact, by working out of the comfort of my home and eliminating another commute. That’s not to say that you’re a bad person if you commute to an in-person job. BUT it is to say that maybe you can do some reflection and make better choices about how you commute. With starting my big girl 9-5 job, I’ve quickly seen just how big my environmental impact can get. Between ubers, to go meals and driving into work instead of public transport, things can quickly get out of hand. 

So, how does one become an environmentally conscious entrepreneur? (Try saying that 5 times fast). It’s all about perspective. For me, driving to work would be much more convenient, but I’m much happier taking the train and walking to and from Grand Central and my building. Not only am I making better decisions for the planet, but I get in about 40 minutes of walking – which is great for me too!

Public Transportation is Key

According to a recent study, transportation accounts for approximately one-third of all the greenhouse gasses produced in the United States. Not only does commuting by car cause pollution, Car commuters report higher levels of stress and lower job satisfaction compared to train commuters. Having commuted to work by car a few times, I can definitely vouch that this is true. When driving, you’re on edge the entire trip – there’s traffic and people cutting you off. It’s not a fun time. When taking public transportation, you can do things like read, catch up on work or prepare for a meeting, listen to music/podcasts, watch movies/tv shows and snack. This takes a certain level of stress and energy off of you, which is really nice. 

landscape photography of train with empty seats

Meal Prepping is Ideal

When it comes to working a 9-5, takeout can get out of hand very quickly. A coffee and pastry in the morning, a salad or fast food for lunch. Something quick to grab on the way home for dinner or ordering Uber Eats so it’s there when you get home. Not only does the cost of this add up very quickly, but so does your contribution to single use plastic waste. 

I am a huge fan of smaller meal preps throughout the week to help keep me well-nourished, within my budget and as eco-friendly as possible. I don’t like repeating the same things over and over, so I try to vary my meal preps. I’ll do different fruit combinations or a different salad. I only prep for a few days at a time to prevent food waste because I know myself and I know I won’t want to eat overnight oats that have been sitting for 4+ days. I try to bring food to work 99% of the time and only get takeout when I’m out of food at home or too tired to prep food myself. I really like this system because then the one time I do go out for sweetgreen at lunch or order Uber eats to meet me at home, it feels like a really nice treat. 

variety of cooked foods

Making a difference doesn’t mean staying away from things entirely. For most people, going cold turkey on things like takeout and driving just aren’t possible. The point is to make the better choice when you are able to. That adds up and that makes all the difference. 

Use Remote Work to Your Advantage

Remote work brings quite a few advantages to the table. For one, you can save time, energy and money on commuting. Secondly, you have more time throughout your day not only from not commuting, but from the flexibility of being at home. This allows you to prioritize things like laundry, dishes, etc. between meetings or use time you gain from not commuting to do these things. Working remotely also allows you to have your meals right out of the comfort of your home, which definitely helps you make more eco-friendly choices in that sense.

It can be hard to balance home and work life when working remotely, so experiment to find what boundaries work for you! I personally work best by using my downtime between meetings and tasks to get housework done, so that when I’m done with my workday, I’m done with all of my responsibilities and can relax and reset for the next day.

My motivation to be an entrepreneur is my determination and hard working personality. I am happiest when I have a lot on my plate, so working a few roles helps me accomplish that. With a few roles, I have the flexibility of numerous sources of income and a flexible schedule that keeps my life interesting. In addition to that, my ultimate goal is to one day work for or start my own business that ultimately creates good. 

The beautiful thing about so many entrepreneurs is they create their own small business where they reuse materials or solve huge problems and I find that incredibly inspiring. Here are 73 remarkable stats about small businesses that might just inspire you to take that leap of faith! 

No matter what you do with your career, I think it is important to make the most of it. Be kind to those around you. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or voice your opinions and ideas.