Be Your Own Boss: 7 Pros and Cons

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:

Pros:

  1. You can set your own hours which means you can take your lunch break later or earlier to catch that sunshine.
  2. Got errands to run in town? Set up that meeting at a coffee shop nearby and make the most of your time.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Miserable weather and snow chaos and Rush Hours from Hell – don’t worry, you are staying in the warmth indoors.
  7. 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.

Cons

Getting started is hard and can be discouraging. Recommended read: 5 steps to help you get started

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Have lots of ideas pulling you to different directions? Yep, sounds like the average entrepreneur. Stay focused!
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

In All of Us; There live Two Wolves

“An indian was talking to his grandson.

He said: ‘In all humans there lives two wolves, who are fighting. One is evil –  He is anger, envy, sorry, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, calm, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion, and faith.’

“Which wolf will win?” said the grandson.

“The one you feed” said the old man.”

Everything Will be OK in the End…

Don’t be Distracted by What You Read Online

During the last decade the web has grown dramatically and it seems every day there’s a new blog / lifestyle guru / social media evangelist telling us how to live our life, what to do, who to be, what not to be, etc etc.

It’s easy to be distracted from the reality and glamorize “these people” (no names given) that have spent massive amounts of time and energy building their own personal brand. The thing to understand is that everyone online is working on “that perfect article”, the post that get you most shares, new followers and lots of social media attention.

Bloggers spend time writing stories about how to be a successful blogger and writing opinions on varied matters while representing themselves as experts. But what’s important to keep in mind is that a lot of what you read online is often pure fiction; the author’s life story and their world view. The problem with the democratization of user generated content (UGC) or self-publishing online is that we’ve lost the editors who used to provide quality control.

Photo credit: Vicky Lam

Before I started writing, I followed some online writers and admired their work, I even wished to become like them one day, and religiously tried to emulate them. But what I’ve came to realize is that it’s all just background noise. You can be any thing you want to be. And it’s important to keep yourself focused on who You are and what You do well, and to not pay too much attention to what others are telling You about what You should be and how You should do it.

Most online guru’s spend their majority of time writing and creating a valuable online self-branding image. It’s not just about the picture, but about the style, what content they produce, their activity on social media channels. And I’ve often felt intimidated by women who produce great content, take the perfect pictures, are active on twitter / facebook / pinterest, and on top of it have their day job and appear as guest speaker on various seminars. Let me break the truth for you – most of those have assistants, have various partners, assistants, freelancers and helpers working with them growing their online appearance.

It’s easy to read what others are doing and thinking that you want to become like them, believing that they live a perfect life. Perhaps you can be like them, but most likely you can be even better.

Bottom line is; don’t get distracted by what you read online. Create yourself and build your own success!

 Be Confident and Striving – always move in your own Direction. And like Liv posted Create Yourself!

Repeat Until Happy

Repeat Until Happy

I read this great article today at Behavior Gap.

It talks about how there seems to be this constant battle between what we have, what we need and what we think we want, today. How we all, including our kids, have gotten in to the habit of always wanting something new and shiny – but then tossing it for something other new and shiny a few weeks later.

Apple is the perfect example of a company and products, which seem to always be out of style. I bought the iPhone 4 when it was fairly new, had time to just get used to it when there was a new iPhone on the market. And then, my iPhone is all of a sudden looked upon as if it had a cord and was attached to the wall.

One of the most challenging personal finance issues we all face is the ever-expanding definition of “need.” Things we once considered clear luxuries have somehow becomes necessities, often without any consideration of how the change in status happened.

To achieve clarity about the difference between our needs and wants is one of the hardest things today. One of the most discouraging parts of modern life seems to be this never-ending sense that we should want more. Why can we not just be content with what we have? Or feel the pleasure and pride in keeping something for a long time (let me tell you, I don’t find it easy to keep something fresh, nice looking and whole for a very long time.) So here are a few of things to think about:

  • What if financial happiness is not about getting more but about wanting less?
  • What if things start out as wants and become needs not because the thing itself has changed but because our feelings about it have changed?
  • What if you can never really get enough of something that you don’t need?
To keep the balance between wants and needs, in the article they tell us to “sleep on a decision overnight” – this might actually help. Another tip they give is to never buy anything online until it has been sitting in your cart for five days. I am not too sure about that one…