What it’s really like to work for yourself: the best and the worst
Ditching the rate race and becoming self employed seems too good to be true, right? No boss scrutinising your every move, no dreary office politics, no more having your milk stolen from the work fridge. But are you sure you know what you’re letting yourself in for? Here are the best and the worst bits of life as a freelancer – things everyone who’s already taken the plunge will recognise. Written by our hotshot photographer and marketing superstar, Lauren.
Chasing people for money
As a self employed person you’re going to get very used to having to chase overdue invoices and remind people to pay you. It’s the number one bug bear and it takes chunks out of your day when you could be refining your awesome new product. And when you do find a client who pays on time, do everything to hang onto them, for they are gold dust!
It’s all consuming
Don’t be under any illusions about the sheer hard graft it takes to make a successful business. If you’re an entrepreneur building an innovative new product or trying to get a new startup off the ground, it has a tendency to take over your life. You’ll be spending all the hours in the day (and often the night), perfecting your new baby. Look elsewhere if you want an easy life. This ain’t no 9-5.
It can get lonely
If you’re used to a sociable office and enjoy daily banter with your colleagues, working for yourself can come as a bit of a shock. Suddenly it’s just you, making stuff happen. This is especially true if you’re going to be working from home – you might find yourself regularly striking up a conversation with the cat.
You can work from anywhere
If you’re freelance, as long as you have your laptop and a wifi hotspot, you can work from anywhere – be it a cafe, client office, coworking space or a far flung corner of the globe. This is especially true for internet entrepreneurs. Simple pleasures like checking your emails in your pyjamas whilst everyone else is crammed into a sweaty tube cannot be underestimated.
You can design your own work schedule
If you’re the sort of person who’s on fire in the mornings, you’re free to start your day at the crack of dawn. Similarly, if you have your best ideas at night, there’s nothing stopping you doing your yoga class and walking the dog in the morning, then burning the midnight oil to get everything done. Suddenly you make the rules and it’s OK to do things how you want, when you want. How liberating.
Unrivalled job satisfaction
When you run your own business, there’s nothing like the feeling of satisfaction when something goes well. You can truly say “I built this.” No one else can take the credit for your hard work. Plus, working for yourself allows you to do the work you really want to do, leaving you much more fulfilled. Yes, it’s hard work but when you wake up every day to go and do what you love, it’s well worth it.