Many of us dream of leaving behind the drudgery of the 9-5, but we keep going because the thought of turning our backs on a guaranteed income is terrifying. I’m guilty of this myself at the moment. I’m employed 25 hours per week, but I’m actually now making more money from my own business than I am from my job. But for some reason, I just can’t bring myself to walk away from the steady income.
Why are we so reluctant to take the plunge?
Being self-employed can be pretty frightening. Particularly if you’re leaving behind a steady, consistent income to dive into the unknown. This is my main issue at the moment. Whilst my husband works full-time, we rely on my income to actually put food on the table. We have this system where his wages sit in the bank and cover the big bills and mine go into our “spends” account which we use for food and everything else we need to buy throughout the month. There’s no way we could survive for any length of time on just his wage. So I need to be bringing in a consistent wage. For the past three months, my income from my business has exceeded my wages from my job. But I just don’t feel ready to dive into full-time self-employment. I guess that I’m lucky because my job already allows me to work from home. If I was going out to work every day and juggling childcare etc around work, then I’d probably take the leap a lot sooner.
Another issue many of us have is that we just wouldn’t know where to start! I know that when I first became self-employed as a childminder 8 years ago, I felt like a rabbit in headlights. I didn’t have a clue what I needed to do. Thankfully, back then the training I had meant that there was somebody who was able to talk tax, show how to keep records, and all the other stuff that businesses and those who are self-employed need to think about.
The benefits of being self-employed
I think one of the main benefits of being self-employed has to be that you are your own boss. I’ve had jobs in the past where I was actually scared of my boss, he’d throw things, yell and just generally was not a nice human being. Being your own boss means that you aren’t answerable to anybody except your clients.
Freedom is another big advantage of being self-employed. You can set your own hours, choose your own holidays and work in the way that you choose.
Doing something you love – my business is my blog, alongside which I run a number of other websites to boost my income. I absolutely love everything about blogging and I know that if I didn’t love it, I would have given up a long time ago. I strongly believe that if you’re doing something you’re passionate about, then you’re far more likely to make a success of it.
How to make a success of being self-employed
- Choose a business based on doing something you love – there are so many options!
- If you can, build up your business around your existing employment so that you know you’re still financially secure.
- Don’t be afraid to ask for help.
- Make sure you know the legal requirements for your business – health & safety etc.
- Take some time to understand the tax you’ll need to pay and how to declare your income.
- Keep records and receipts from the start.
It is really important to take a practical approach if you’re considering being self-employed, but it really shouldn’t be something to be scared of. As long as you make sure that you have the finances covered, and you know you’re not risking it all on a whim, then taking that plunge should be a truly exciting time. Who knows, launching your own business could be the start of amazing things.
*This is a collaborative post.