Do you ever wonder if self-employment would really be right for you?
Or maybe you're already self-employed but sometimes wonder whether it might just be easier to go back to employment? After all, working for yourself can get extremely tough at times.
I've been reflecting on this a lot recently as I enter a whole new phase in my business. Right now, I'm developing my first online classes, designed to help you start, build and grow your own dream business.
Developing these classes is testing my limits at a whole new level and this past week has been filled with an unusually high number of meltdowns. It's territory I've never explored before, and every step feels like a mountain to climb.
There have been times this week when I've really questioned whether I have what it takes and even wondered what it would be like to go back to a 'normal' job.
But whenever I ask myself questions like this, I eventually get back to the truth of why this path is so important to me and why I always find it within myself to keep going.
Far beyond the benefits listed below, self-employment is a journey of personal transformation. Walking this path is a process of discovery and growth like no other. Sometimes the path gets dark and lonely. Sometimes very dark and lonely. But after those moments of dark come moments of clarity, light and transformation.
It's these shifts from dark to light and internal transformation that for me, make this path so worthwhile.
And if that's not enough, here are my 12 top reasons why self-employment is seriously the best thing ever.
1. Freedom of location
I knew from the beginning that freedom was the most important thing to me. I hated having to commute at certain times of the day to an office I didn't want to be in.
Because I knew this from the beginning, I knew that whatever I built it would need to allow me to work from almost anywhere.
And now, at the beginning of a new relationship (check out the loved up deets on the Facebook Page) with a simply incredible man over in California, I'm truly grateful to have the luxury to operate my business from anywhere I choose.
2. Control your own time
You set your hours. You say what time you start. You say what time you stop. You have lunch when you want. You break when you want. You decide everything. I know some people have no problem with (and even enjoy) having their time mapped out for them. But if you're anything like me, you'd much rather be the one calling the shots.
3. Unbound and unlimited creativity
As a solopreneur, there are no rules about what to create. Within my business I get to be as creative as I want. Over the past few years I've run play workshops, taken people out for challenged on the streets of London, taken clients hiking in the Lake District and to Spain on retreat. I've met clients for walks in the park when I was fed up of being at my computer, started a group coaching programme and so much more.
The only limit in entrepreneurship is your imagination.
4. Develop way more confidence
Self-employment forces you to be constantly out of your comfort zone. It's sink or swim and faced with that option, you'd be surprised at the number of things you can go out and do that you might not have thought yourself capable of.
Self-employment is a crash course in confidence.
5. Enjoy the world in way 9-5ers can't
I love being out in London when everyone else is at work. The tube is quiet. Cafes are quiet. Travel is cheaper. Gym memberships are cheaper. You basically get to enjoy everything at its best.
6. Do work that makes sense, not just work for the sake of work
True story. I'd often get asked to schedule meetings when I was at work involving large numbers of people. I'd be asked to do it well in advance to increase the likelihood of getting everyone together. I'd spend hours in communication with each of their assistants, all of whom were protective over their respective boss's calendar, trying to find something that worked.
If I was lucky, I'd eventually get something in the calendar. And then 9 times out of 10, the day before (or the day of) the meeting, one or more of the participants would say they could no longer make it because something "urgent" had come up.
And then the whole meeting would get cancelled and I'd have to start again, knowing full well that this cycle would just keep on repeating itself.
When you're self-employed, you get to pick what makes sense and what doesn't and you won't ever have to do pointless work ever again. Unless you want to, of course. And then it's called procrastination.
7. Build way more skills
Back in my 9-5, I practised the same skills over and over again. I was a pro at printing double-sided documents, binding and scheduling meetings.
But when you start a business, there's no end to the new skills that you'll need to learn. Whilst it's certainly a challenge and steep learning curve at times, it's also a brilliantly satisfying feeling to be developing so many new skills.
8. No need to ask permission
Need to book an appointment? Want to go on holiday next week? No problem. Just go ahead and do what you want. No approval or permission needed.
9. Go to work naked (if you want)
I hate wearing most clothes. Especially jeans. I hate jeans. Why do people wear jeans all the time? They're uncomfortable and restrictive.
Well, I never did go to work in jeans because that was against the law. But I did wear clothes that I'd rather not have been wearing.
I even had a couple of pencil skirts. I think they're still in my drawer. I keep thinking maybe they'll be nice to wear again one day. They're nice ones, from Ted Baker. Do you want them?
If you like to wear tight things that dig into your stomach when you sit down and make you shuffle around like a penguin, you are totally welcome to them.
I don't wear things like that now. I wear jogging bottoms, or pyjamas or leggings and a really big t-shirt. And maybe a bra, if I'm feeling formal.
10. Choose your own customers/clients
If someone contacts me and I don't want to speak to them, I don't have to. I can turn people away.
When I was at work, I couldn't turn people away. I couldn't answer the phone and say:
"Sorry, I don't think we really have a great connection here and don't want to continue doing business with you."
11. Greater earning potential
Look, I'm not yet earning what I was earning in my job. But I know that within a couple of years I'll have blown the roof off that ceiling. It might take time, but there's way more opportunity for financial growth in self-employment.
12. Be yourself
Luckily, the best and fastest way to create a successful business in today's world is to be as much of yourself as you possibly can. Self-employment allows you to express yourself in all your quirky goodness in a way that most jobs don't.
Over to you...
Blog posts without comments are like the Wizard of Oz without the Wicked Witch of the West - no drama, no tension, no excitement. So add your voice to the comments below and share:
- If you're not self-employed but would like to be, what would be the biggest benefit to you?
- If you're already self-employed, what do you love the most?