Almost exactly two years ago we took a step in the direction of self-employment. I can still remember exactly how excited and scared I was at the same time. Will it work? Will we make enough money to cover all of our costs? How will we work as a team? And, and and… I could definitely list out another 100 questions that I had at this time. If you are thinking about becoming self-employed, or you have already made this step, then you can surely understand these questions.
About a year ago I already told you about how the first year of self-employment went for us, what highs and lows we had, and all the things that we learned in the first months. Today after two years it is time for a summary that will help you to prepare for self-employment. Or if you already are self-employed, to let you know that you’re not alone with your worries. On the other hand, I want to show you how many wonderful things that come with self-employment, and why I would make the decision again and again.
The Pros of Self-Employment
1. You Don’t Have a Fixed Income
That is probably the number one disadvantage and definitely one of the first thoughts that you have when you begin to think about self-employment. Admittedly, this was the one thing that caused me to worry immensely in the beginning. However, as they say, the preparation stage is vital. As someone who is self-employed, you do not have a fixed income every month. However, you do have the possibility to set money from good months to the side, so that you can bridge over the the months in which you do not earn as much. Furthermore, you should also try to acquire long-term jobs so that you have some source of fixed income and can calculate with a certain basis income. But don’t worry if it doesn’t happen right away. Everything needs time to play itself out. The important thing is that you spend your money wisely and that you set aside enough money for taxes and other expenses. In this case you are definitely on the safer side.
2. You Work by Yourself and All the Time
I had to listen to this all the time before I became self-employed, and what can I say now? It couldn’t be more accurate. When you’re self-employed there is just not a clear separation between your work-life and your home-life anymore. Your work is the dream that you want to make a reality. It is a given that you will work more than in comparison to someone who is employed by a company and has a set work schedule. As someone who is self-employed, there is no set work schedule, and this also opens up weekends and holidays as potential work days. But do you know what? In exchange, you are living your dream and have become self-employed because of your passion. Furthermore, you can decide for yourself when you want to take time off.
3. You Have a Big Responsibility
Phew – I must admit that it can really be a big responsibility, and on some days, I would like to just hand over the whole responsibility to someone else. But these feelings always pass, because in the end no one forced me to become self-employed. Responsibility is something that grows on you and that always challenges you. The important thing is that you always keep a cool head and don’t let yourself get out of sorts.
4. You Must Be Well-Rounded and Good at It
As someone who is self-employed, you must be well-rounded and talented in everything that you do. For example, I am not only a blogger, but also a social media manager, photographer, food stylist, editor, marketing manager, content creator, etc. Besides that, we also have to take care of the website, our finances, and our taxes. There are lots of areas that require attention and at first it can seem like too much to handle, but I can reassure you that you will grow into every task. Apart from this, you always have the possibility to seek help from friends, family, or from expert professionals. Often, it makes sense to delegate tasks to other people in order to take a load off of yourself.
5. Lonely Workdays
This goes especially for those who do not have any team members or employees. Even for us, it is sometimes a bit lonely, even though there are two of us. In strenuous phases when we have lots of tasks on the agenda, there have been times where we have not left the house for days. Ultimately, we decided that doing this is not good for us, and began to go to a café nearby once or twice a week, which we use as a co-working space. At the café, there are so many other motivated people around us that it is a lot of fun to work here. I can really recommend working in co-working spaces or in cafés because it benefits your routine, you are not as distracted as you are at home, and you can plan your work hours better.
The Cons of Self-Employment
1. You Can Schedule Your Time How You Wish
Provided that you are engaged in online business, you can begin working when you want to, you can stop when you want to, and you can schedule your vacation without having to ask anyone for permission. You can take a nap during the day, or choose to work through without any breaks. You can work on the weekend, or you can spontaneously choose to take a day off during the week. You schedule your time how you want to, and this is the ultimate feeling of freedom! Of course, there are sometimes weeks where there is so much to do that you are working almost around the clock to get everything done. Nevertheless, you are your own boss and you work for yourself. You not only don’t have to work a 9 to 5 job, but you can also arrange your schedule based on how you need to so that it best fits your business, and based on how YOU work best and most productively.
2. You can Work Where You Want To
Given that you are working in online business or rare a freelancer, you can work from wherever you wish – whether that is from a desk at home or from a lounge chair at a pool in Bali. This aspect gives me a great feeling of freedom. Just to know what you aren’t 100% location-dependent just feels great and offers you even more possibilities for further development.
3. You Are Your Own Boss
Being your own boss requires on one hand a lot of self-discipline and responsibility. On the other hand, you have the freedom to do as you please. YOU can decide for yourself, YOU make the rules, and YOU do what YOU think feels good and feels right. You are not accountable for anyone, you don’t have to ask for permission, you don’t have to request your vacation days – you can configure everything exactly as YOU want it. You are the boss!
4. You Constantly Learn New Things
When you are self-employed, you are always learning new things. You grow as a person. You make new experiences, fall down, stand back up, and grow with every assignment, every failure, and every success. You have to constantly teach yourself new things, and you grow time and time again into your work. In my opinion, development and growth are the most important things in life and also in self-employment. I can say with 100% certainty that I have never learned so many things in my entire life as I have in the last two years.
5. Every Day is an Adventure
Even if you spend the majority of your time in your home office, and sometimes don’t even know what day it is: every day of self-employment is an adventure. This is because you have the reigns in your hands and new and unpredictable things are always happening. Sometimes these occurrences are not so pleasant and harbor new challenges, but other times these things provide huge chances. Self-employment is exciting because the sky is the limit!
The Bottom Line: Self-Employment – Yes or No?
Self-employment has its risks. It is thrilling, nerve-wracking and exhausting. At the same time it is the best feeling in the world to live your dreams and to grow every single day from the challenges you face and the tasks that you complete. Like every job, self-employment has its ups and downs – you have to consider both sides, because failures come alongside our successes. Have courage, don’t get down on yourself, and stand up for what you dream of doing!