Being Self Employed
Is Self Employment Right for You?

A lot of people dream of owning their own small or home-based business. They fantasize about how liberating it would be not to have a 9-5 job and not being at the beck and call of their manager or employer.

However, freedom or liberation doesn’t always come with running your own business and being self-employed.

Being Self Employed

In fact, self employment can be a lot more work, longer hours and much more stressful than full-time employment.

Obviously this depends on what type of business you run as to how busy you get – this is something I’m going to get into a little later on in this post.

But just realize this from the offset…

Self-employment is about taking 100% responsibility for your own income and your livelihood.

Think about this for a moment. Are you really sure, and I mean really sure, that you want this kind of responsibility?

There are lots of people who either can’t handle this type of responsibility – for whatever reason – and those who choose not to have this responsibility.

And you know what? There’s no shame in either of the above scenarios, both are perfectly fine, but you do need to decide whether you’re ‘all in’ or ‘all out’.

So let’s look into this.

The Responsibility of Becoming Self-Employed

From my personal experience of being self-employed, nobody talks about this…

Responsibility.

I wish I had been given this advice before I started my various own home business ventures.

Nobody gives you the pre-counselling that is so badly needed before you embark on this massive journey.

Being self-employed is about trudging through the hard times as well as the good times.

Take the recent pandemic as a reality-check example. How many small businesses took a hit and how many of those small businesses went under!

I couldn’t possibly even guess at this number world-wide, but I know there were approximately 250,000 small businesses who had to close their doors for good here in the UK [source].

Those businesses were mainly in the retail, hospitality and entertainment industry, but other smaller businesses such as hairdressers, beauty therapists and other solo-owned small shops also had to close their doors for months.

Would you be able to handle this both financially and mentally?

Not that I’m ever hoping that another pandemic lockdown will be forced upon us again, but it’s certainly made us all think.

Income v Lifestyle

Being self employed impacts both your income and your lifestyle. Most of us all want more money, but the question is ‘what will you do to reach your income goals’?

Would you sacrifice your lifestyle for money?

Or is lifestyle more important to you than money is?

Or, do you want the money and the lifestyle?

Set your income goal and then decide on what type of lifestyle you would be living if you became self employed.

Obviously this depends on what type of business to set up as to what lifestyle you lead, but just know that self-employment is generally more work than first envisaged.

I cannot stress this enough:

You need to be happy with your new life-style that self-employment will bring you, as well as your income goals.

Would you sacrifice your life-style in order to reach your income goals?

I’m speaking from experience here as I’ve ran and set-up various home-based businesses over the years and some of them I ended up despising. This in-turn made me miserable; so I closed those businesses down because I hated the lifestyle they were forcing me to live.

However having said all that, sometimes you just have to try it for yourself and find out that way. It can all look good on paper, but until you physically try it you won’t really know for sure – just like I did!

Case Study:

My youngest son has just started work as an apprentice electrician. The guy (called Phil) who he works for is a local electrician with two other qualified electricians and one another apprentice, so there’s four employees under his control.

Phil loves his work and they are extremely busy. However Matthew (my son) often says how stressful it must be for Phil because when he finishes the day’s work, he goes home and does all of his paperwork and catches up on phone calls and estimates and sometimes works until 11.00pm-12.00 midnight.

Phil also has a lady doing some of his admin work, but he still needs to do some of the admin work himself.
Matthew always used to say that he would learn the electrical trade and then start up on his own when he’s in his mid-twenties, as that’s where the real big money lies, and this is true.

However, now that Matthew has seen first-hand how many long-hours Phil puts into his business, how stressful it is and how much responsibility he has, Matthew has put his future self-employment on the back-burner!

The moral of me telling you about Phil and his self-employment status is to show you how self employment can be just another job working long hours and can be very stressful.

Take The Test

Therefore it’s imperative that you weigh up the pros and cons of self-employment v employment.

Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle and them write down all the pros and cons of being self-employed.

Self-Employment:

Pros Cons
Not having a boss I don’t like bookkeeping
Potentially earn double standard salary Income not guaranteed
Can choose how many hours/days to work Worried in case I can’t get clients
I’m turning my hobby into a business I don’t make any money if sick or on vacation

Then do the same for being in employment. What do you like and dislike about being in employment?

Employment:

Pros Cons
Guaranteed monthly income I want more money than the standard salary
Guaranteed vacation days off I dislike taking orders of other people
Predictable, set routine Boring
I love being around people No scope for advancement

Choose Your Home Business Wisely

If you still want to become self-employed and start your own home-based business, then make sure you choose a one which suits you personally and a one which will give you the income and the lifestyle which you wish for.

If you don’t know what type of business you want to run, then here are some further resources to help you find your dream home business.

Related Reading & Resources:

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