“Challenge yourself, jump off the deep end and learn to swim.” – Carson Kressley
… I can only assume he was talking about self employment?
Empire Rose top | Asos skirt | Status Anxiety bag | ASOS heels
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Taking the leap into self employment is darn scary. All of a sudden the security of a consistent pay check deposited each week, fortnight or month is gone, and the hustle is on hard. The term ‘office hours’ loses it’s definition; work comes home with you, on holiday with you and even to the darn toilet with you; and all of a sudden you are supposed to be a book keeping expert, marketing expert and incredible salesman/woman all in one. Of course, the good things outweigh the bad – otherwise none of us would be in it for ourselves, would we?
Self employment is a hard slog, but incredibly rewarding. The freedom to control what outcomes you want for yourself and your business (and heck, to be able to go and have lunch with friends mid-week and not get hounded by the boss!) is hugely satisfying. Sure, the road to self employment is full of speed bumps, pot holes and cracks, but it is these hurdles that challenge you to learn, push yourself and grow your business.
Working for myself had been a dream of mine for a long time, and now that I am here I wouldn’t change it for the world. But, there are a few things that I would have loved to have known before I made the lifestyle change…
Your willingness to spend money and treat yourself may drop dramatically
Without the comfort of a regular pay check, treating yourself becomes increasingly more difficult. Not necessarily because you don’t have the money, but more so because there is a really real fear of spending that money on something frivolous and then realising the invoices you had based your budget on are late. Even if late invoices aren’t the case, when you first make the decision to go into business for yourself, the majority of what you earn goes back into your business anyway. Until you are on your feet with a really healthy savings account, Chloe bags and Charlotte Olympia heels seem like a distant dream!
You might envy your friends on salaries
See my point above.
Although you could never imagine yourself going back to reporting to someone else in a 9-5 role, the 9-5 life does have some desirables. Clocking off at 5.00pm and not having to worry about work again until 9.00am, holiday pay, tax returns that don’t leave you with a bill… they are all things of the past now!
You will get stressed more often than you ever knew possible
Stress is part and parcel in business, there are no two ways about it. If you aren’t stressing about trying to get more clients, you are stressing about taking an hour away from the computer, to go to yoga, to try to destress. Moral of the story: your business is your life and you will put every spare minute you have towards working for, or thinking about, your business. If you aren’t giving yourself a break from your work, it is only natural your brain and body will go into overdrive and get a little stressy. Owning your own business/working for yourself is a great lesson in time management and life balance!
Not everyone will understand your lifestyle
Being responsible for your own business means you will often have to make sacrifices. The days of regular Friday night afterwork drinks and weekend wine tours may get left behind, only to be replaced with getting more work done, and forgoing the hangover so you can be focussed in the coming days. Depending on what sort of understanding your friends have of working for yourself, they may or may not entirely understand why you have cut back on the benders and weekends out. And that is fair enough; not everyone has to be firing at 150% every day, especially when the pay cheque will still come in at the end of the week (lucky buggers!).