Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Why No One Talks About What Makes Self-employment Difficult


Do you mind if I confess something right now?

Sometimes it's really hard to be self-employed.

And though it hurts to admit it out loud, there were things about working for a company that really rocked.

Steady paychecks, predictable tax rates, only having to do one job.

Research and development, sales and marketing, and all things technical were handled by departments other than mine. It was great!

Wasn't it?

Self-employment is definitely a much bigger challenge because of the lack of guarantees but on any given day I'd prefer to be in control of all those other things because it means I carve out my own success.

And what's more fulfilling than that?

Limited potential to grow as an employee

As an employee I didn’t have to worry about much other than the general state of the economy. On the other hand, when I found a decent position with a company it became almost impossible to move up.

And therein is the real reason I went out on my own. As an employee I wasn’t really in charge of my own destiny. I had no say if the company stayed open for business. If they went under, I did too, no matter how good I was at my job.

Being self-employed means never having to be limited by anything other than my own drive to make my company as successful as I want it to be.

However, that's the thing that no entrepreneur likes to admit. The thing that no self-employed person is supposed to acknowledge because it might make us sound whiny or weak.

But I don't care about that because it's high time it got out there.

Sometimes, finding the drive to work is the thing that’s most difficult to find.

Sure ambition is key to success but, is it just me or do you struggle with getting the gumption every single day too?

In a company you only get so many sick or personal days, you had no choice but to show up. Being self-employed means setting your own schedule and sometimes that includes time off.

And time off is one of the reasons most of us wanted to work for ourselves in the first place, right? So taking a day here or there when you’re just not feeling it is perfectly fine.

The key is not taking too much time off.

Keep pushing even when you don’t want to or risk losing all drive

Yes it’s true that there’s freedom in being on our own. However, that freedom only comes after a good deal of hard work.

Don't feel like writing your book today? Write a blog post. Don't feel like writing a blog? Write some tweets. Don't feel like writing anything? Do research on a character, work on something else creative (helps open creative channels) or get out of your environment for a while.

Then come back and start writing.

Because in the long run it might seem really attractive to abuse our powers of freedom and flexibility but it's way tougher to get back on track when you fall off in the middle than it is to just keep rolling down the tracks.

No matter how slow you go.

Image courtesy pakorn on freedigitalphotos.net

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3 comments:

Sue FitzPatrick said...

Yes, as a self-employed person, there are some days that I'd rather sit on the couch and eat chocolates all day than pound the internet to find a new paying client! But there's always that payment that pushes me on -- can't subside on soap operas alone!

Sue FitzPatrick said...

*oops* that was supposed to say survive not subside!

Jenn Flynn-Shon said...

Yes! It always seems more satisfying to find that client, work hard and make what you deserve than to not make anything at all! Plus, can't we just watch our soaps during our lunch breaks? The joy of self-employment :-)