Being able to work for yourself is a double edged sword. There are many great things to running your own business and being self-employed. The greatest of all is that you are the one earning the money and making the decisions. That might sound like quite a daunting task. The chances are if you are self-employed then you will be self-motivated and enjoy the challenges and decisions, though. Some other great benefits of working for yourself is that you are the one that sets the time schedule. You can work more hours if you need to, or less if you aren’t able to. The flexibility is great, particularly if you have a family. Then if something with one of your kids comes up, you could take time off work if needed. You can work into the evenings if you want, or start up early in the morning if you’d rather.

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The flexibility goes for your working location too. You might have an office or study at home that you work from. If that is the case, and you don’t have client meetings, you are flexible to work from anywhere. As long as there is wireless internet and phone signal, you’ll be all sorted. So you can still do some work when you travel or when you are out and about. This is one of the great benefits of working for yourself. It can be a negative, though. If you work for yourself, you only earn when you are doing work. So it can be hard to take two weeks off to go on holiday, for example. During those two weeks, you wouldn’t be earning money. Perhaps some residual income but that is it. If you are able to still do some work then you are away; you can still be making money. The downside is that you can’t properly switch off. It isn’t going to be a relaxing holiday the whole time if you are doing work while you are there. Even if you were away and didn’t plan to do much work, you might still have to check a few emails now and again. When you are the one in charge, you can never switch off fully. You need to check on how things are going and decisions are always needing to be made.

One other thing about working for yourself is that you are all of the roles. In another company, they have different people to do different things. To start with anyway, you will be doing it all. You will be the chief executive officer as well as the customer service team, sales and marketing, and perhaps even a cleaner or janitor. You will be the pay department and chase payments as well as the human resources department. When you work for yourself, you do it all. It is good in some ways but keeps you extremely busy. So certainly something to think about before going self-employed. If you aren’t already quite organized, you will need to be. If you are wearing all of these ‘hats’ you will need a plan in place. You will need to think about setting yourself a strict schedule. As you will want some time off. So you could decide only to do work during certain hours or something along those lines.

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With this in mind, it is important to be aware that you might not like all of those roles that you will have to play. Your main thing will be being CEO and overseeing the business making money. In theory, you might like the idea of sales and marketing, but when you have to do it, you might not like it. Other things you will love and excel in. So it is important not to let a small thing like that throw you off. Just focus on the end goal and you will get there. If you need to and are able, you could always outsource for some things. If you don’t want to think about your tax return, get an accountant that can do it for you. If you aren’t too tech savvy, you could always get someone else to run your social media marketing, for example. Don’t let negatives put you off or stall your business plan.

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As you are everything from the person in charge right down to the pay department or human resources, there are a few other things to think about too. In a bigger company, you might have an occupational health department. They might perform regular checks on the staff for their health, or even that they are sitting at a desk in the right way. When you work for yourself, you will be responsible for this. You might have a small team, or it might just be for you. You need to take steps to make sure that you and safe and well when you are working. So think about getting a health assessment regularly. A website like talks about being healthy and well at work. So look into it a little more if you need to.

One of the downsides, particularly at the start, is dealing with irregular income. Things will get better in the future but to start, you might not know how much you have coming in when. So setting a budget for yourself is so vital. Try to set a bit of a baseline budget for money that you know you will get in each month. That could be some regular clients or payments. Then just work it all out around that. Then it is a good idea to put extra money you earn aside, for months that aren’t as plentiful. There is a great article from Money Crashers about how to create a budget. So if you need a little guidance, you can read it here:

Are you thinking of becoming self-employed or are you currently working for yourself? What are your thoughts and concerns? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts on this.