I’m just getting back from a huge conference I attended to help me grow my home-based business. Well, the conference actually helps me grow on many levels, actually.

I’ve attend this annual conference each year since embarking on the journey to be in business for myself. One of the grooviest things about this yearly event is that it never feels like work…it’s a bit of a vacation…and more like a concert! In fact, there was a lineup of bands this year to rival any high-dollar music festival.

The tunes, the vibe, the energy of my fellow entrepreneurs culminates into an action-packed 4-day jam session…jamming out to music, jamming my head full of ideas, jamming my brain with information. Bob Marley would be proud.

In another life, I attended “meetings and conferences” as a requirement of my position in Corporate America, and those sessions were every bit as bland as it sounds. So, the hip energy of this “continued education”, along with the mini-events I attend on a monthly basis, set more than just a tone for the momentum of my business in the short term, but they are consistently setting me up for success in the longterm by infusing what I’m learning (to grow my business) with an incredible amount of good, old fashioned FUN!

Not only am I being introduced to new, patented, unique products that will help me in my quest to empower others, solve a problem someone may be dealing with, boost my earning potential and that of my team, but I’m getting an education in the science behind the products and what separates them from others in the marketplace.

For some, the “science-speak” could make eyes glaze over if it weren’t for the enthusiastic culture that exists in this realm of entrepreneurship and the interesting, entertaining way the information is being shared. It’s just one more reason why I thank my lucky stars…and the loving friend who shared the opportunity with me…each day that I don’t have to hit someone else’s time clock and trade my time for dollars in Corporate America.

I don’t mean to imply that, as an entrepreneur, I don’t use an alarm clock or a planner or attend meetings, I DO! I just set the alarm to a time of MY CHOOSING. I use my planner for MY PLANS and not to pencil in meetings and duties that get a bigger payoff for the “boss man.” I meet with new customers, new colleagues, and new prospects whenever and wherever I CHOOSE…at the coffee shop, in the park, after my yoga workout and before my massage. You get the idea…I’m very much my own boss!

As a home-based business owner in the relationship marketing industry, I’m part of a culture of people who understand how to make a living while making a life. I’m no longer at the mercy of going to work in the dark, coming home in the dark, trading my weekends to meet deadlines or missing milestones and events with family and friends to attend a “required” weekend of meetings that leaves me exhausted and too lethargic to engage in the things I love or spend time with those most important to me.

There is a famous quote – “You become like the five people you spend the most time with…choose wisely.” Well, in Corporate America, I’ve worked for eight to ten hours, (and sometimes longer), with people I didn’t enjoy being around, people I didn’t trust and people I would never – in a million years – choose to spend time with if we hadn’t been thrown together in an office setting and forced to work with each other. As an entrepreneur I CHOOSE the people I want to work with, and I CHOOSE my leadership and mentors. I’m not at the mercy of a Corporate Structure. This factor, in and of itself, is one of the most glorious benefits to earning an income as an entrepreneur.

What I, and the throngs of freedom-seekers in this industry, have discovered is that the undeniable benefits of being a professional network marketer runs nearly opposite to that of the corporate structure that prevents people from having balance in their lives.

In Corporate America, your time, your effort, your energy and the aim of the work you’re paid to do is all set, controlled…and the rewards (predominantly) reaped…by your boss and the company by which you’re employed.

But the culture of entrepreneurship, which is central to being a home-based business owner, is the epitome of how you CAN live, work and play without giving up your life in exchange for money or building the dreams of someone at the expense of sacrificing your own. In this industry, when you’re with the right organization, you have the support you need in the form of mentors and systems in place to help track your progress and build on your success, again and again. There are state-of-the-art tools, including personal development, that you’ll find worth their weight in gold.

The charitable nature of giving back to the community and making a positive, lasting impact of happiness are just a couple of the core beliefs at the heart of the entrepreneurial culture. So, if you’re someone like a single parent, working a 9 to 5 job that doesn’t pay you a handsome salary, or a school teacher that cannot make ends meet, and you’ve never been able to consider giving charitable contributions because you need very dollar you make…well, this industry rolls the collective efforts of many together to make the biggest difference for those with the greatest need.

I could rattle off many more reasons you need to “get a bit of culture,” but I’m guessing…if you are reading this…that you’re at the point in your life where questions of “something more” and “a better way” are occupying your thoughts.

If I’m right, and you’re even the slightest bit curious, reach out and get more information. Stay open and you will open yourself up to an entire culture of richness. – Joanne