Waking up on a Monday feeling happy and energised. Taking a day off mid-week to pick the kids up or do the groceries. Be part of a business that coincides completely with your values and beliefs. Sounds good doesn’t it?
Being self-employed isn’t for everyone and what I mean by that is not everyone is cut-out for the job. Being self-employed definitely has its perks but it’s not as easy as handing in a CV and then getting paid £30k to answer phone calls. If you have ever considered going self-employed or want to start your own business then hopefully this blog will guide you in some aspects of the self-employed life.
A lot of people hate their jobs. It’s simple. Offering someone like this the opportunity to do something they love and be their own boss sounds like the best idea ever; however it’s not as easy as packing up your things from the office in a cardboard box and changing lives. There are bills to pay, families to feed and some would just have no clue where to start.
What I find with a lot of my clients is that individuals don’t know what it is they want out of life and they immediately think running their own business is the answer. Unfortunately there is little guidance out there and many people jump the gun and leave employment without even considering survival budgets, how long things take, all the legal bits etc. etc. These people then end up in difficult, unsecure and financially unstable situations. But do we want to encourage them to go back to their mundane job? No not at all, but it does highlight a need for a greater understanding between employment and self-employment.
For individuals who have been made redundant or come into some form of financial safety; self-employment could be the perfect option AS LONG as some form of planning and budgeting is done.
The World Has Changed
Gone have the times of stable jobs and steady income. Back in the day people would get a job, stay in it for several years, live in the same house and probably retire there. Easy, simple and safe. However times have changed and people don’t just do one thing anymore. Back when education first began they wanted individuals to learn the basic skills that would allow them to be employed into jobs that made the world go round. It was easy to find jobs back then. As my Nan explained to me; ‘We never had to hand in CV’s to multiple companies. We would get hired for a job. If we didn’t like it, we would leave and go work somewhere else. They actually came looking for us’.
For this reason it seems going self-employed might be a good way to be in charge of how you want to live your life during such an unstable time.
Positives and Negatives
We’ll start with some of the negatives (or potential negatives as I like to call them):
All the pressures on you.
You have to control everything (until you get others involved).
Long hours to begin with.
Not a 9-5 job (you WILL have to work weekend, weeknights and early mornings).
You have to sort out your own pension.
Pay for your own national insurance.
Balance your work, family life, friends, social life.
Some…Many sacrifices will have to be made.
No certainty of income.
You will have to work alone sometimes.
There could be a lot of competition.
If you don’t work, you wont get paid (if your work is your service)
Now onto some positives of being self-employed:
You have freedom to do what you want, when you want, how you want. (You’re probably sold just on that, right?)
If you put in more work, you should get more results.
Wear your own uniform (related to your brand obviously).
It’s fun and definitely challenging.
You control your holidays and time-off.
You work to your strengths.
You learn A LOT.
You get to see YOUR work flourish.
You can charge more money for your services.
You could earn a fortune doing what you love.
You create your own legacy…
When Can I Start?
You can start whenever you want but first you must figure out who you are and what you want out of life to see if this is what you truly want to do.
Many start-up coaches or career coaches throw you in the deep-end and ask you ‘where do you want to be in 5 years?’… How are you meant to know if you don’t even know WHO you are deep inside? We take a step back with our clients and so should you. Explore your inner thoughts. What makes you unique? What challenges have you faced in life and overcome? How did you overcome them? What’s imbalanced in your life? What does success mean to you? Consider all these things before even stepping foot onto the path of self-employment.
Once you figure out these things, it’s time to explore your options. There are many ways you can become self-employed and they all depend on what field you’re in or the type of life you want to live.
You could be a freelance or a contractor. You could start a portfolio career based on all your skills and expertise. You could buy a franchise like a coffee shop. You could get into network marketing and sell products to people you know. You could start a business for either your services or your products; or even both!
Do some research and find out which type of self-employed lifestyle you’d most like to adopt.
So What’s it Gonna Be?
You should by now have started to think about if being self-employed is for you. It’s not easy and if it was, everybody would do it. But from my own experience, it can be very, very rewarding. Not just financially, but for self-fulfillment knowing that YOU created this and the success was down to YOU.
If anything do what we do with our clients:
Find out WHO you are first.
Explore you options.
Find a good coach or mentor.
Set your goals.
Believe in yourself and go for it.
If self-employment isn’t for you then don’t worry. There is still so much to achieve and you can do exactly the same. By helping our clients find out WHO they are and what they want out of life, we are able to help them try and find the right job or develop in their current one.
So whoever you are and whatever you want to do, start believing in yourself and make the most of the rest of your life.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” – MLK Jr.