Whether you are currently self employed or thinking about quitting on your lunch break in order to follow your dreams of self employment, you should know that it is both wonderful and incredibly challenging. It’s also not for everyone. If you don’t have a lot of self control, discipline and a huge willingness to face your fears and risk colossal failure, you should continue working for someone else’s company. If you think you have what it takes, check out the pros and cons of being self employed.
• Your schedule is your own. No need to get permission from anyone to take a day off or make a dentist appointment. When you are self employed, you can structure your work day according to what is most advantageous to you.
• You can pick and choose your projects. If you don’t want to work on something or with someone, you don’t have to. You can set whatever standards you want. If you are an accountant planning to set up your own bookkeeping business, you can decide what kind of clients you want to take on and make decisions on which projects are too big or too small for your time.
• Work from anywhere. There is no cubicle cage for the self employed. We can work out of our homes, we can rent our own office space or we can set up shop at Starbuck’s. We can work from the beach, the mountains and right down the street. It’s liberating.
• The money is good. Depending on what type of self employment we’re talking about, you have the potential to make a good income, and it is all yours. You can set your own rates, and if you’re good at what you do, customers will be willing to pay them.
• Those days off are unpaid. There is no paid sick time, no three weeks of vacation time every year, no paid maternity leave. Sure, your schedule is flexible. But if you spend a day fishing, that usually means you have spent a day not making money. If you get sick and cannot work for a few weeks, you are going to need to make sure your savings can carry you over until you can work again.
• You are your only co-worker. This might seem like it belongs in the “pro” column until you realize that you can’t ask yourself how your weekend was. There is a social element to going to work every day, and when you leave all that behind to become self employed, the work day can get a little lonelier.
• Benefits are expensive. Remember complaining about the healthcare premium you paid? It was probably like $100 per paycheck or something. Well, now you’re footing the entire bill for your health insurance, dental plan, retirement account and any other life insurance or disability insurance policies. That is going to add up to be a healthy business expense.
• Temptations are everywhere. Who wants to work when there’s the television, the movie theater, the mall, your good friends, your kids or your dog. Self employment requires discipline and structure; which is both a pro and a con.