Having choices in life is always great. What about too many choices? That’s what comes with self employment. The freedom to choose is both the best and worst thing about being self employed. While it’s great not to report to anyone, it’s also a lot of responsibility to take on.
That said, here are four things about self employment you should know before making the leap.
It’s not always easy being your own boss.
One of the biggest perks people associate with self employment is the fact that you get to be your own boss. Nobody telling you what to do sounds awesome right? For those who’ve never tried it, yes it sounds pretty great. For those that have, they know it’s less glamorous than it seems.
You get to make the big decisions now. You get to decide which hours you work and which hours you don’t. You’re also going face the full consequences of those decisions. You’re the CEO now. While you probably won’t have to give a statement to the press, you still have to face the music when things go south. Worst part is, there’s nobody else to back you up. No colleagues to blame and no boss or manager to hide behind. That added pressure can be stressful to anyone, even the most self sufficient professionals.
Sure you have more time freedom, but managing that time will get tougher.
When you’re self employed, you get to dictate your own schedule. Your calendar is an open canvas! You’ll be able to wake up whenever you want, set your own meetings, schedule breaks, and much more! So what’s the downside in that? Key word – scheduling.
The majority of individuals aren’t so great at managing their time. In fact, that’s why many of us like the structure of a nine to five job. In addition, if you work for a larger organization, the majority of your scheduling is done for you. That said, many people who work in larger companies underestimate what it takes to manage your entire calendar.
You need to be strategic about which jobs you take, and which clients you work for.
There’s a misconception that you need to take every job you can get as a freelancer. In the beginning, yes you should try to take on jobs as they come. However, you need to focus on building relationships with quality clients rather than always finding new ones.
When working with a new client, it takes a while to kick things off. All that time spent on-boarding new clients can be costly to your bottom line. After all, time is money, and you need to spend it wisely – especially when you’re on your own.
Once you’ve built strong relationships with clients, you need to be strategic about which jobs you take on. Always go back to your existing customers for work, and most importantly ask for referrals. The last thing you want is to get sucked into a long project with a deadbeat client.
It may start to get lonely.
When you work for yourself, things do start to get lonely. Sure you can get out and attend networking events or industry conferences, but most of the time you’re spending on your own. For social people, this can start to weigh down on them. When you have others around you, it motivates you to keep working.
At the end of the day, many people will end up trying life out as a self employed business professional. For those that are interested, make sure you’re well aware of what you’re getting yourself into.