We’re not going to lie to you, running a business and being self-employed is hardly a piece of cake. But, when you compare it to the daily grind of the 9-5 office job, there are many compelling advantages to going it alone.
Here are 10 great reasons you should take the leap to self-employment.
1. You get to do what you’re passionate about
When you clock up all the hours in your life spent at work, let’s just say it makes up a depressingly big chunk. Well, depressing if you’re stuck in a job that you have no passion or interest for. But, that’s just a fact of life, right? We don’t go to work to enjoy ourselves? We don’t work to service our hobbies and passions?
Well, why not? More and more people are assessing their career options and looking to self-employment to find added meaning and, well, enjoyment. The Centre for Economic and Business Research (CEBR) revealed in 2016 that more than one in ten British workers left a day job to pursue a career they’re passionate about.
We’ve spoken to many of these ‘funtrepreneurs’ over the last few years. One of those is David Willis, who left a role in IT to pursue his love of the outdoors and become a teacher of Bushcraft and Wilderness living skills. “The great thing is, despite it now being my work, my love of the outdoors hasn’t waned. There is always something new to learn – from outdoor bread-baking to flint knapping – it’s always new and exciting.”
2. You get to be your own boss
In the corporate world, it’s often hard to reach the top of the ladder and truly shape the things around you. We’re instead stuck in roles that have a limited remit, with the big decisions being made above our heads. Whilst that might be fine, there will always be an insatiable human urge to shape things yourself and ultimately control your own destiny.
When you’re self-employed, that’s exactly what you do. You are the boss. That means every decision you take has a real impact on the business and you get to fulfil your vision, not someone else’s.
Shaping your own destiny? Who wouldn’t want that, especially when you’ve been worn down by frustrations of a 9-5 day job?
Andy Cordina left her day job to start her own greetings card business, Bettie Confetti. “Being your own boss is a seriously appealing option for when you’ve had one too many of those meetings. You know the ones. Where you could have covered the content of the meeting in a two-paragraph email exchange and you walk out knowing you’ll never get that hour of your life back.”
3. You get to choose your hours
It’s mid-week. Your daughter is taking part in her school sports day. England are playing in the World Cup. You’ve got to drive to the airport to pick up your parents in the early hours. What do you do? Well, when you’re working a day job, you’re pretty limited. Sure, there’s some flexibility, but ultimately it’s at the discretion of your employer.
Being your own boss, it’s up to you.
You might prefer to start your day bright and early, finding mornings to be more productive. It’s up to you.
If you’re a night owl, you might prefer to work into the early hours. It’s up to you.
Your quiet days might be punctuated by trips to the gym, jogs, the school run and visits to the shops. After all, it’s good to get out. If it’s sunny, hey, why not have the day off? It’s up to you.
4. You get to challenge yourself
Yes, if it’s sunny, why not have the day off? There’s a statement that will have most entrepreneurs spitting their coffee out. The reason? Well, being self-employed is hard work. It’s a challenge. Sure, it’s exciting, but if you want to make a success of it you’re going to need to push yourself like never before.
Yet, for many, that’s what it’s all about. If we don’t feel challenged in our work then we end up coasting. We settle into a routine. With that routine, time just flies by doing the same things every day.
Running your own business is going to be a rollercoaster of new experiences, new challenges and new emotions. Those first six months might feel like a long six months. But, one thing it won’t be is boring.
5. You have unlimited earning potential
We have to put some caveats next to that statement, but, in essence, it’s true. In someone else’s business, your opportunities to move upwards and earn more money will be limited. Even if you reach the summit, become a CEO, there’s always going to be a cap on what you can earn. Those pesky shareholders will see to that.
Making the leap to self-employment is certainly no guarantee for endless riches. Indeed, your salary and job security rest on the decisions you take as a business owner to increase your profits. And that is scary. However, for many entrepreneurs, it’s that feeling of living on the edge that drives them to make the business a success and ultimately reap the rewards financially.