Moving from a boring, unfulfilling day job to working for yourself is an awesome and satisfying experience. However, there’s so much more to consider than just the financials when you’re thinking of making the switch. (Although being in a good spot financially is a MUST.)
Now that I’m in my fourth month of working for myself I feel like I have a better perspective on some aspects of self-employment that I once didn’t consider. Here are three factors that may have crossed my mind at some point but that I didn’t weigh heavily enough.
Work Ahead – There Are No Sick Days
Last week was kind of a whirlwind for me. We got hit with a major snow and ice storm. There was no possible way I could’ve taken my girls to the babysitter for a few hours like I normally do. This meant my only uninterrupted work was when the girls were asleep. To top off working with a three and five year old by my side my brother’s wife went into labor meaning my nephew was coming to stay with me.
I ended up keeping my six year old nephew from Tuesday through Thursday. While the kids were pretty well behaved the majority of the time, they still made working a hard thing to do.
Then on Saturday I started feeling rough – really rough. Saturday, Sunday, and Monday were spent in bed. Tuesday I started to feel more like my normal self so I took the girls to the babysitter for a few hours and started to catchup on my work.
I try to do the majority of my work ahead of time and now I’m so glad I do. Those three days down would have screwed me if I’d waited last minute to get my assignments done.
If you’re self-employed and get sick you might not be able to take a break to recoup – especially when you have several clients. Sure, a few clients are awesome and would totally understand, but then there are others who expect you have your work in on time, all the time – no exceptions. This is a big change from side hustling, where you still have your day job.
You Have to Stick to Your Guns
Before I quit my day job I’d take just about any freelance job that fit my skillset. I wanted to gain experience and I wanted my monthly income number to be as high as possible. Therefore, I’d stay up all hours of the night writing tons of articles for a client who paid me well below my asking rate.
However, since this particular client supplied me with a lot of work I thought that accepting a price a lot lower than I normally would was a good idea. Boy I was wrong. He completely tore apart a lot of articles I wrote for him. And, it blew me away.
What I’ve come to find out is that every time I negotiate my rates I end up with a client who wants more and more for less and less.
This is something that you’ll probably have to figure out on your own. My advice would be figure out who your really good clients are, and drop the rest. Even though I now have less clients than I did before my income is slowly growing and I’m faced with less stress.
You Shouldn’t Compare Your Success to Someone Else’s
I am still early on in my self-employment journey, although I have been growing my business for more than a year.
What started out as a hobby to me is now my primary source of income. I am not getting rich by any means but I am slowly seeing my income grow. Compared to others my income looks like pocket change – but this is all relative.
I live in a low cost area and I have consistently brought in the same amount of money or more than I was previously earning at my job as an insurance agent. That’s huge.
When you compare your progress to someone else – it’s not apples to apples. Your business models are at least slightly different, your level of experience is different, your cost of living is different, and your time in the game is different.
When you look at income reports from others it’s easy to feel envious, but you shouldn’t. Let those income reports show you that the level of income you’re after is achievable and use it as motivation and nothing else.
Look at your progress. That should be how you rate your success.
Working from home is great. I’ve wrote before that there are cons of self-employment but for me there are far more cons to working in a job I don’t like.
Also, I just want to say that I find nothing wrong with working at a day job. There are tons of people who love their day jobs and, that’s great.
Working for yourself can be stressful at times but it’s also rewarding. If you’re thinking of making the switch set a date and start preparing! You’ll learn what you need to tweak as you go.