In an ever-changing world filled with endless opportunities, more people than ever before are being driven to become their own boss.
That’s why we thought it would be a good idea to put together the ultimate list that gives you the scoop on all you need to know about working for yourself!
1. Being your own boss is harder than working for a boss
Anybody who is self-employed will tell you that they work harder for themselves than they ever did as an employee. But you don’t work hard because your mean boss is making you but because your work is your investment.
2. There are no guarantees
Some days you might not know where your next paycheck is coming from. When you’re an employee, you’re guaranteed your salary. When working for yourself, no work often means no pay. You must also have a plan in place for time that you may want to take off.
3. Manage your taxes
Taxes; one of the most daunting tasks when it comes to working for yourself. There are so many questions; What to claim? What not to claim? Should you hire a professional? Make sure to manage your tax situation from day one to avoid a tax season nightmare.
4. You are responsible for your own pension
There’s no financial security in place for when you retire, which is why you need to be saving for your future. This is a daunting task since there is no one to choose a pension scheme for you and income may not be consistent.
5. You need to schedule breaks during your day
Breaks give you a chance to gather your thoughts without the distraction of e-mails and social media. When working for yourself, you tend to become so caught up in your work and it’s easy to lose track of time. If you’ve never heard of the Pomodoro Technique, check it out. It is a great technique for self-driven productivity.
6. The work is never done
There will ALWAYS be something to do when working for yourself! There’s no 9 to 5 which means work could pop up at any hour of the day or night.
7. You are emotionally invested in your work
Your work is your livelihood and as a result, you pour your heart and soul into it. Well, at least you should be if you want to be successful!
8. Put contracts into place
When doing continuous business with ongoing clients, it’s easy to agree to a project without insisting on a contract. The problem is that you run the risk of doing a job without ever been compensated for it.
Make sure that you have a contract in place for each an every job that you complete. You should also consider hiring a lawyer to help you close any holes in your contract template.
9. Networking is key
It’s very difficult to succeed on your own. You will need the support of professionals in your industry, people to vouch for you and market your services to others on your behalf.
10. Narrow down your niche
You need to find a niche and stick to it. If your message is confusing, you won’t be viewed as an expert in any field. Clients prefer to hire someone who has a focus and who works with people like them.
11. It can feel lonely at times
Some days when it’s just you and your laptop, you might long for those days of sharing frustrations and inside office jokes with annoying colleagues.
But networking with other people in your industry and connecting with other small business owners in your area can do wonders for keeping your spirit alive!
12. Don’t be too hard on yourself
Allow yourself to make mistakes, take breaks and take time off when needed. You need to listen to your body and be kind to yourself. Make sure to spend some time on yourself and learn valuable techniques for managing your stress.
13. Planning ahead is important
You need to know where you’re going, what your ultimate goal is and what steps you need to take to get there.
14. Learn to negotiate
It’s difficult being asked the question of “how much will you charge?”. You run the risk of either bidding too high and losing the job or underselling yourself and earning far less than you deserve. Instead, respond with questions such as “What is the most you can manage?”. The art of negotiation is a skill you will want to brush up on sooner rather than later.
15. It is totally worth it
You are blessed to have work that you are passionate about and to spend your time doing the things you love. Following your passion is an opportunity of a lifetime not to be taken for granted.