Most people reach a point in their life when they start to wonder whether being an employee is actually for them. Whether it’s a long commute at the beginning and end of each working day, a mundane job that no longer gives any satisfaction or a lack of control over the working environment, there are many reasons why becoming your own boss can seem an attractive alternative. While being answerable to no one and being free to pursue you dreams is appealing, there are also some disadvantages to becoming self-employed.
It is, therefore, important to consider all the pros and cons before handing in your notice and going it alone.
Taking Control of your Life
One of the most important differences that you notice when you leave paid employment and become your own boss is the sense of empowerment that comes with taking control of your own destiny. You have the freedom to work the hours that you want, make decisions as you see fit and develop your business as you wish.
Many people see starting their own business as a way of making the most of the skills that they have and that they cannot readily use in the conventional working world. Whether it is selling homemade goods, setting up as a consultant or developing a hobby into a business, having the right motivation can be the key to success. While starting up on your own can be scary, as time passes and you develop new business skills your self-confidence will grow too. The sense of self-fulfilment that you will get when someone likes your ideas or products and actually wants to give you money for them is unbeatable.
Although the motivation for many people in becoming their own boss is the flexibility that this brings, it is important to remember that setting up on your own is hard work. You can grow your business slowly but if you want to make a living from it then you will have to put in a lot of work to generate enough income.
Being answerable to no one can be empowering. However, it can also be frightening as you are ultimately responsible for whether your business is a success or not. There is no one to stop you if you’re going down the wrong path with an idea or to debate different business strategies with. As a result, it can be difficult to switch off at the end of the day.
Being motivated and avoiding procrastination can also be difficult. When in paid employment, you probably don’t give a second thought to having the odd day when nothing much was achieved. When you are your own boss, however, your time is money.
You will also no longer get employee benefits such as sick pay or a company pension. It is likely that you will have to buy in some professional skills. Many people who set up on their own do not have relevant experience in all fields of business so will need to employ others, such as contractor accountants or solicitors, on either an occasional or ongoing basis.
Whether you decide to go it alone or not, you have nothing to lose by investigating whether becoming self-employed could work for you. Even if you decide not to take the risk, you may well end up realising that you actually like being a paid employee more than you thought.