Why “Being Your Own Boss” is not all that it’s cracked up to be.

First thing’s first, I’m so inspired by people who take the plunge and follow their dreams by giving up their full time job to pursue their passion. These people have balls regardless of how their venture turns out. It takes an awful lot of guts to go into it, and I applaud anyone who genuinely works hard in order to be successful.
Now that’s out of the way, I’m seeing commonly now on social media people sharing their “business opportunity” and boasting how great it is to “be your own boss”. If you’re visualising long hot days on a white beach without a care in the world and think that by being your own boss will make that happen then read on.
Long Hot Holidays, if you get one, are few and far between (and you still work on holiday). Yes, you are your own boss, but when you stop working, you stop earning. Then if you do decide to book time off, there’s the matter of arranging or employing someone to cover your business while you’re away and let’s face it how many people could you truly trust to put your business 100% in their hands?
There’s a lot of paperwork to sort out. Receipts. Never ending receipts, tax returns, book keeping, email lists, social media contacts. Logging your activity into a diary so you can record mileage for petrol, was that trip to Dundrum for business or pleasure?
When you work from home, people think you do nothing. When you’re doing said paperwork, or updating social media, answering emails, putting some marketing strategies together there’s always someone who will interrupt you with “are you busy?” expecting you to say no. Because you know, you’re your own boss, of course you can immediately stop working because you have something “more important” to do.
You live from hand to mouth pretty much all the time. When you get a good week or month’s takings you have no idea when the next profit euro will come in so you have to make everything stretch. Either a moth has been in my wardrobe, or I haven’t gotten new clothes in a really long time.
People think you’re loaded.leoloaded
I can confidently say that those who boast about booming business (in order to reel in people to join said business) are probably not as well off as they make out. Then you get the other end of the scale of people who ask for freebies cause they think you can afford it. That would include those who do runners on taxis, that “freebie” is another payment further away from meeting the monthly mortgage.
Be prepared to go homeless in order to keep your business running. Well that’s what happened to me. I’m eternally grateful that I was in a position where Mammy took me back, tail between my legs when the cash ran out (too many “freebies”) but if you’re not in a position where if it all goes to shite and you’ve nowhere to go then reconsider your options.
Your life milestones get further and further away. If you want to get a mortgage then you need at least 3 years of healthy books to be considered… so I’m gonna be in my Mammies for a very long time. And my baby clock is ticking. I’ve been told if I got pregnant I would get a free house though… I wonder if that’s true?! I won’t chance it. If I brought a tiny human into this house then it would keep my Dad awake – he works nights and is also “his own boss”.
You need to be self disciplined with your time management.time management
I could be on that white beach right now if I could stick to working the hours I intend to work. But then I either procrastinate or someone comes in with the “Are you busy?” thing.
Everybody else gets paid before you do. Whether it’s rent or employing people or buying stock, the money that eventually does come in, has to be paid out before reaching your pocket… oh and don’t forget your tax bill in October! I’ve had people come to work for me and they earned more money out of my business than I did!!
There are no safety nets. No social welfare, no sick leave, no holiday pay. You’ve given up your full time job, you go back to your ex employer asking if there are any hours going spare and the likely response will be “Really? I thought you wanted to move forwards not backwards”. The thoughts of going for an interview “Why did you leave your last job?” “I worked for myself, but that didn’t work out” and getting that look from the panel that reconfirms your failure.
As my Uncle Des says: “You’ll never know if you “can’t do something” unless you try”
I honestly didn’t mean for this to get a bit depressing. I LOVE MY JOB. I help people become happy within themselves and it’s incredibly rewarding when I see people smile. But of course I wish I knew more when starting out, planned more, every day is hard work and some mistakes you make along the way can be unforgiven by some. But you just have to concentrate on learning from those mistakes and get better.
Just remember that “Being Your Own Boss” is a lot more than that white beach. It takes a lot of passion, determination and focus. You have to be prepared to fail and accept that – that is the risk and it’s huge! You will piss people off along the way, no matter your best intentions. If you can accept that, then I wish you the very best of luck and I’ll send you a postcard when I eventually get to that white beach!
leo glass

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