If you’re curious about becoming self-employed, you’ve probably heard a lot about it. But self-employment, popular as it may be, is obscured by plenty of myths.
Here, we expose some of the most persistent self-employment myths. Keep each of these in mind as you think about venturing out on your own.
1. You Are Doing What You Love
Someone once said, if you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Well, it’s somewhat true, but not exactly.
No matter what you are self-employed in, you’re going to take on some tasks that suck and even turn your stomach at times. Self-employed work isn’t endlessly painful and awful, but it’s not all puppies, sunshine, and rainbows, either. Everything in life has peaks and valleys and self-employment is the same.
For example, good content writers can easily make several hundred dollars per day writing solid, sharable copy for all sorts of industries, from finance to personal injury law. Sounds great, right?
But most writers are paid per word, and if you don’t crank it, you can wind up making squat. Burnout is a problem. That said, you could do a lot worse than getting paid $50 an article working in your gym shorts lying on your bed with your laptop.
2. Being Your Own Boss Is Amazing
Many self-employed folks got into the business because former bosses abused them. Hey, when your former CIO uses you on company time to write his MBA assignments, what would you do? Run out the door, right?
However, if you tend towards procrastination, being your boss can be a problem. Your income can suffer, and you might even miss a mortgage payment if you cannot kick yourself in the rear and get to work.
3. Endless Freedom
‘Freedom’ when it comes to self-employment is hard to put the finger on. You are indeed free from bloodsucking bosses and 90-minute commutes to a cubicle farm where the woman behind you cracks her gum all day.
However, your freedom is crimped by needing to work to eat. You don’t have paid leave, vacation time, and the 9-5 confines that result in weekends off. As a self-employed worker, you may find you are always working. But at least many self-employed remote workers can operate from anywhere, as long as they have an Internet connection.
4. It’s Risky
Well, everything is risky in some way. You need to choose the type of risk you are willing to tolerate. If you work for a large company, you are incurring risk, whether you acknowledge it or not. Your company could be bought out in a merger. And never forget, in a 9-5 gig, you entrust your job security to others.
The choice you decide on depends on how much you trust yourself. Many self-employed people believe in themselves and don’t see it as risky.
5. You’re Always Stressed
Stress is part of our lives, no matter what we do. Even if you spend all your time fishing on a remote lake in Canada, you will have some stress, such as getting reliable Internet or being far away from loved ones and adequate medical care.
Working for yourself means you are trading one type of stress for another. Many self-employed left the regular work world because of the 9-5 grind pressure and being at the mercy of bosses who weren’t any smarter or talented than they were.
6. It Isn’t a Real Job
Despite what some in the government think, being self-employed is a real job. It’s even more real than a job where you work 40 hours a week in someone else’s office building.
Being self-employed successfully requires a lot of hard work, and many self-employed make more money and have more job security than they ever did in the ‘real’ work world.
So, if you are mulling the self-employed life, take heart: There is a lot of promise in working for yourself, and you might find it the best plunge you ever made.