Working for yourself can be the ultimate freedom. You can set your own schedule, take days off without permission and you don’t have to answer to anyone.
This is all appealing; but as you embark on this new phase in your life, you might quickly discover that working for yourself is much easier to say than do. For that matter, it’s important that you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into.
Here are five things you need to know if you want to work for yourself.
Isolation can be powerful
If you’re not a people person and you don’t mind solitude, working for yourself might be a dream situation. But if you find pleasure in the camaraderie of a team and you look forward to occasional water cooler talk, working for yourself can present challenges that you never considered.
Unless you have employees or a business partner, you’ll most likely spend the majority of your days alone in your home office. Even if you have phone conversations with clients, this interaction might not be enough to combat loneliness.
Seriously consider whether you’re able to perform at your best under these conditions. If not, you might be better off working in an office around others.
You’ll need extra savings
Even if you have an excellent idea for a venture and expertise in this area, it takes time to build a business and clientele. Therefore, you need to plan accordingly to ensure that you have plenty of money to weather financial ups and downs.
There is no set rule regarding how much you need to save. But if you can manage to save at least six months of income, you’re off to a good start. Also, it helps to maintain a sizable savings even after your business gets off the ground.
Anyone who works for themselves understands the meaning of ‘feast or famine.’ Your income can be fantastic one month and pitiful the next month. A cash reserve can help you get through rocky patches.
This isn’t a pass to sleep in
You might revel in the freedom of staying up late and sleeping in. But if you want to get your business off the ground and take your income to another level, you need to stick with a daily schedule. This involves waking up at the same time each morning and having a daily plan.
It’s okay to be flexible. There is nothing wrong with running the occasional errand during the workday or taking a quick power nap to recharge. But if you fly by the seat of your pants every day and always procrastinate, you might not complete your work, which can affect your bottom line.
This can be tough, especially if all you want to do is climb into bed. However, drowning in your sorrows can have a tremendous impact on productivity, which ultimately impacts your income.
You may breathe and live work
Your life will be a constant hustle in the beginning. Work can take over and it might be difficult to find a comfortable work-life balance.
This is normal when working for yourself, and until you’re able to find your rhythm and work out all the kinks, expect to work longer and harder. There will be a lot on your plate since you’re responsible for each aspect of the business — research, financials, marketing, customer service, etc.
Being in constant work mode can become discouraging, and you might feel like throwing in the towel. But don’t make a hasty decision. Think of this situation as a temporary sacrifice — a stepping stone to get where you want to be.
A part-time job could help
Even if you leave your full-time job to work for yourself, consider looking for part-time employment. This approach has its benefits. Not only does a part-time job free up half your day to focus on your business, you’re guaranteed a certain amount of money each week, which can reduce any financial worries in the early stages of growing your business. It’s a win-win.