Working for yourself is awesome. It really is. There are so many incredible benefits to being an entrepreneur.
You get to do what you love. Working for yourself you can decide what business you want to be involved with. You can even decide within that business what you like to do and what you want delegate to others.
You can determine your schedule. No one is going to get mad at you if you decide to come in to your place of business at 10am instead of 8am if you work at an office (or roll out of bed and over to the couch with your computer!) You can decide which days you want to work and which days you want off. You can take your vacations whenever you want to schedule them. If your child gets sick, you can just get them to a doctor with out worrying about loosing your job!
Your income is based off of your time and effort and isn’t static. I know so many people whose companies have downsized and their work load doubled, while their pay stayed the same. You can decide for yourself what to charge and how much to work. When you work for yourself your income can grow exponentially depending on your effort, but when you work for someone else you are lucky to get small raises rarely, maybe a bigger promotion exceptionally rarely.
You don’t have a crazy boss breathing down your neck. You don’t have to be under the thumb of one persons ideas of how you should work, when you should work and what you should look like when you are working! You can choose (and fire) your clients to suit your needs and how you want to be treated.
These are all great things. And I wouldn’t change it for the world.
But is it for you?
Here is the cold hard truth about working for yourself.
It’s hard. VERY HARD.
Having someone tell you what to do is easy. Making priorities for yourself and being self-motivated is incredibly challenging.
Having a flexible schedule is wonderful, but sometimes so many non-work things come up, and because of that flexible schedule, it is challenging to stay focused and on track.
It is incredibly time consuming to work for yourself. Especially when you are just starting out. You think, “Hey…I am going to become a yoga teacher, or write this book and build a website and everyone will flock to it!” Then you realize, that not only do you have to teach yoga, but you have prepare for classes, you have to market yourself incessantly, you have to pay your taxes and do your accounting, you have to keep going to trainings, you have to take classes and network, you have to build a website.
So here you are as a yoga teacher or a self-published book author and you are working on your website and now you realize that you have to do it yourself or become an effective delegator real fast. It seems so easy, just build a website and they will come right? Wrong. You have this beautiful design idea, and then you realize that you have to work on the content for the site, and you have to get the right photos and you have to connect with social media sites and you have to write amazing content for your blogs and newsletters. Then the next thing you know you have to learn search engine optimization and you have to start getting other websites to link to your site. You also have to keep at it and update everything regularly. The list goes on and on and on.
So you find yourself doing all of this stuff that has nothing to do with what you had originally wanted to do and the next thing you know, that flexible schedule has you working ALL THE TIME. Somtimes you even start finding that the things you once LOVED to do start to feel just like…WORK!
When you are an entrepreneur you are doing what you love, but you also have to become an accountant, a marketer, a sales person, a manager, your own cheerleader, and trust me, those are not all of the hats that you will have to wear!
Also, you will find that you don’t have one boss breathing down your neck, you now have MANY CLIENTS WANTING SOMETHING FROM YOU and you have to prioritize and juggle all of their needs with your own.
Let’s not forget to mention dealing with things such as paying quarterly taxes, paying for your own health insurance, not being able to collect unemployment or state disability if something goes drastically wrong, and of course not having the same paycheck coming in at the same time each month.
There is nothing easy about being an entrepreneur. In fact it is infinitely harder than being employed 40 hours a week. It takes more time. It takes more motivation and it takes more energy. You have to really want it. You have to have verve. You have to be stable and consistent. You have to be outgoing and a people person. You have to be COMMITTED.
Then one day you look around and wonder WHY AM I DOING THIS TO MYSELF and THIS is the moment of truth. This is when you have to dig deep, because it is in that moment when you either decide to give up or when you decide to push forward towards awaiting success.
Before you quit your job or start that new side business, you have to ask yourself, “Do I REALLY have what it takes to become an entrepreneur? Am I REALLY ready for the time, effort and struggle?”
Because it is only worth it if you are.
Of course, the only way to really know…is to try.