Self-employment – not for the faint of heart

Taking the plunge. Walking off the cliff. Cutting the cord. “Are you sure you know what you are doing?”

Ah… self-employment. For a 26 year-old with a new mortgage, it was all of the above. But, the calling was there and a client was already lined up and so it was a logical next step.

When I studied graphics in college, I never really considered self-employment. Now I would not consider anything else. Are there trade-offs? Sure! Let’s consider those.

1. There’s isolation. For those of us who are creative introverts, it’s a bit easier. Still, regular lunches out and activities with people keep us from being eccentric nuts — although some of us probably still qualify. Part-time teaching helped me greatly with this. I’ll go into that on another post.

2. There’s a need for discipline.  No one is looking over your shoulder (except clients) to plan your day, prioritize or give you feedback. Setting your own goals and sticking to them helps. Also, financial discipline is needed. When there’s no steady pay check, you need to be your own bank. Bank it when you have it. Dip into it when you hit a dry patch. Replenish and repeat. And — save early for retirement. That will also be another post down the road.

3. Health care benefits. It’s all changed now, but health care alone has kept a lot of entrepreneurs working for other companies over the years. Now we have options so it’s not so much of an issue.

Those are a few of the downsides. But, the benefits — well, that is for another day!