Beware of Self Employment Myths
Your biggest break can come from never quitting.
Being at the right place at the right time
can only happen when
you keep moving toward the next opportunity.
Have you been dreaming about becoming self-employed, but feel that you do not have the money, the time, the knowledge, or the skills to get a business going? You have lots of company. Your concerns may well be unfounded, and grounded in some of the popular myths surrounding self-employment. As we recommend often, be sure to get the facts before you make big decisions that will affect your future.
Of course, the lure for anyone with an entrepreneurial spirit is that opportunity to increase your income and have a much more flexible schedule. These benefits are real possibilities when you are working for yourself. So let’s starting looking into a few of these myths to see them for what they really are.
1. Long hours
Self-employment means working long, hard hours. Many people who work for themselves do indeed work long hours, but this is often a conscious choice. They simply love what they are doing.
Some people begin their businesses to generate income after they have stopped working at their “regular” job. If you are able to succeed in a business that includes some passive, or recurring income, you won’t necessarily have to put in a lot of time working once you make the transition.
2. Less risky to work for…
Especially in our current economic times, employees get laid off all the time. And what do you do if you suddenly need to raise some extra cash quickly? That’s tough to do when you are working for someone else, and your income is fixed. Being self-employed may give you more a little more flexibility and control over your income and the assets of your business. Control helps to give you as sense of reduced risk.
3. All or none
Myth: Self-employment means putting all your eggs in one basket. If you are an working for someone else, how many people do you need to lose favor with in order to lose your whole paycheck? Usually just one. Either your boss or their boss. But, if you have a multiple customers or clients of your own, they would all have to fire you at pretty much the same time for your income source to dry up completely.
4. Its stressful
Myth: Self-employment equals stress. When you work for yourself, you can create the type of work environment you like, as long as you aren’t driving off your customers with your choices. You will feel a greater sense of stability over the long-term, and you have a little (or a lot) more control over your hours.
Of course, you can also choose a business that is inherently stressful. But, generally speaking, you can make it whatever you want it to be. You can make and tolerate the stress level that you find most acceptable.
Myth: Being self-employed is lonely. First, I have an issue with the way in which people tend to use the word. Not everyone who is alone, works alone, lives alone is lonely. There is a world of difference between being alone and being lonely. But I digress…
Working for yourself can be a much more sociable lifestyle, if that is what you choose. With greater flexibility, you can sometimes rearrange your schedule to suit the other parts of your life. Also, it is entirely possible to become friends with some of your clients. But, be very careful about setting clear boundaries between business and social.
When you are working for someone else, your office co-workers tend to become your social life. Over time that can get old, and wear thin.
Myth: Self-employment means having to do everything yourself. While you are certainly the one who has to ensure that all things get done, that hardly means that you have to do physically do each thing yourself. Hire people to do parts of the work for you. Your time should be focused on growing and expanding the business, not doing the grunt work. There is a difference between working in your business and working on your business. Learn it early, or risk burn-out.
7. It’s too hard
Myth: Running your own business is complicated. Yes, there is quite a bit to know, but not impossible to learn, or have someone to help you with. There are books and experts available to help you along the way. Yes, there are some intricacies to learning about insurance, payroll, taxes, and bookkeeping, but they are not impossible to learn. It is just a new area to you.
8. I don’t have enough money
Myth: You can’t start a business without a lot of money. Whether this is true or not really depends on the business you plan to start. A website and hosting can cost you less than $100 a year. Your home phone or cell phone is already being paid for as part of your normal monthly expenses. There are some free (most of the time) services like Craigslist and Ebay.
There are a lot of relatively inexpensive ways to start and market your business. Drive around and be on the lookout for potential clients. Call on the phone. Where there is a will, there is almost always a way.
Don’t let a bunch of myths stop you from considering taking the leap to self-employment. You can even start a business on the side while you continue working at your current place of employment until your new business is bringing in enough money to transition from one to the other, full-time.
Now that you have a slightly different perspective, what;s next? Put some serious thought into this over the weekend, and begin to figure out a way to make your dreams a reality, rather than just a wish. There’s no time like the present to take control of your life.
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