Being your own boss can have tremendous rewards but it also has many down sides. Here are the pros and cons and how to overcome them:
- You can set your own hours which means you can take your lunch break later or earlier to catch that sunshine.
- Got errands to run in town? Set up that meeting at a coffee shop nearby and make the most of your time.
- When you’re starting up and / or if you’re work is based online, you can Work from Around the World which could mean tropical locations or even your backgarden.
- It’s 5 am and your brain is overloaded with ideas that you have to action now. Don’t worry about being tired the rest of the day, you can always take a nap later.
- Everyday feels fulfilling when you know that the 10+ hours you just put in to the project wasn’t for a corporation that’s not going to pay you for overtime.
- Miserable weather and snow chaos and Rush Hours from Hell - don’t worry, you are staying in the warmth indoors.
- Work from home and gain 1,5 hours of your life that you would otherwise spend on commuting everyday to work. That is 30 hours a month. 360 hours a year. 15 days of a year. In other words, if you work for 10 years and commute 45 minutes to work, 45 minutes back home, you’ve lost 150 days on just commuting.
Getting started is hard and can be discouraging. Recommended read: 5 steps to help you get started
- You cashflow will be limited and you’ll have to make some sacrifices. The money you have / the revenue stream has to be put back into the business. To understand where your money goes, I recommend to keep an excel budget sheet where you document what you spend your money on, so you can take control over your financials. Coffee latte $3 / day = $1080 for a year. Be prudent and spend your money wisely.
- The temptation of getting a “regular job” will arise with fantasies of stability and comfort. If you’re not willing to make lifestyle changes or Sacrifice working Long Hours and “Weird” Locations, then the startup world might not be for you.
- Entrepreneurs are not known for being patient. They are risk takers and often act impulsively on gut feelings. However, building your own business takes time and you’ll have to learn to master patience. It’s highly likely that you will fail on your first time out.. But don’t let that stop you. Instead learn and be flexible and most of all be patient.
- Have lots of ideas pulling you to different directions? Yep, sounds like the average entrepreneur. Stay focused!
- Sometimes you have to say NO to people. That could be meeting friends, business Fairs, seminars or even prospect clients. If you have a deadline to meet or you need to be productive, then turn social time / business meet-ups down. If a client doesn’t feel right, listen to your intuition. Sometimes you have to turn even clients away.
- Working by yourself can be lonely and requires a lot of self-discipline. If you find it hard to motivate yourself, then try to find your mojo. Is it working in a busy place or perhaps a quiet place like the library? My recommendation is to find a partner in crime – a person who’s doing “his/her own thing” that you can team up with.
- You can only do so much and often it’s better to focus your time on your skills and let others work on what their talents are. Elance can be a good place to hire freelancers. But finding the right people to work with can be challenging, especially when cashflow is low. My advice is pick online courses like Udemy or learning to Code with Codecademy and teach yourself the ‘How To’. Also, allow others to be part of your idea, and share equity for their knowledge and time.
Have you started your own business or are you thinking about it? Share your pros and cons in the comment below.