As I mentioned in recent posts, I have been working for myself for just over a year now. I’ve been a business owner off and on for nearly 20 years, but this is the longest stretch during which I’ve done it full time. It’s also been my most successful.
I used to think working for someone else provided job security. It gave me a steady and dependable paycheque, defined work hours, and great benefits.
Then I was laid off twice in three years.
Over the past 13 months, I’ve grown to love working for myself. In fact, last week, I discussed 6 things I love about working for myself. To be fair, I thought I should point out things I don’t like about it.
1. I work long hours
I tell people that I don’t work 9–5, I work 5–9. That’s actually pretty typical. I have plans to hire employees in the near future, but before I can do that, I need enough work for them to do. Until I do that, I have to do all of the work.
2. I get no holidays
In the last 13 months, I have taken two weekdays off: Christmas and my uncle’s funeral. For Christmas, I moved all of my work to the following Saturday. For my uncle’s funeral, I spread my work throughout the other days; in fact, it took me three days to recover from the backlog.
Because I am my only employee, if I don’t work, the work doesn’t get done. If I took holidays, I either charge my clients for work I didn’t do, or I give them a reduced rate and take home less. So, no holidays.
3. Saturday is my Friday
I take Sundays off. It’s the only day I take off. As a result, Saturday is to me what Friday is to everyone else. I have a six-day work week.
4. Pay is intermittent
Some clients take months to pay me. Some clients have me do small job which are only, say, $10 or $20 worth. It’s difficult to budget when you have no idea how much money you’ll make, especially in the initial stages of the business. Things are starting to stabilize, so I expect this to be less of an issue before long.
5. People forget I’m working
Every so often, I will get a phone call from someone asking me to help them with something during the day. Sometimes I can help, but usually I can’t. They always seem to phone when I’m trying to meet a deadline, too.
Are you your own boss? What do you hate about it? Or do you love everything about it? Let me know in the comments below.
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