This is the first of 5 articles I have written as part of celebrating 5 years of working for myself. It has been a long hard slog, but it seems to have flown by at the same time. So stay tuned and please join the conversation by adding a comment if anything you read strikes a cord with your own journey.
This one was harder to write then you might think. Not because I hate working for myself. (As you may be forgiven for thinking from some of my other articles.) But because there is so much to love about working for yourself. So without further ado, here is my top five things I love about working for myself.
1) You get to choose where you work from.
Well to some extent. I do need a reasonably quiet and well laid out desk if I am doing some things. But I have had the pleasure of working from some amazing places around the country.
I get to sit out the back of our house on warm sunny days and enjoy the view I have been working so hard to pay for.
I have also worked off the top of my travel cases out the front of airports too…
I likely never would have had the chance to do these things if it weren’t for the fact that I work for myself.
2) You get to choose the work you want to do.
Again, this is only to some extent. For the most part you have to take the work that comes to you. Especially when you are starting out. But if you work for yourself you get to choose the kind of work you want to pursue and how you want do that work. For example I am now working with 3D scanning and Virtual Reality across quite a few unrelated industries. It keeps things interesting and fun. I likely would never have been able to do that if I worked for someone else.
3) You get to choose when you do the work.
Again this is to some extent. But most of the time I get a job to complete and a date that job needs to be completed by. That means if I have to take care of something else during business hours I can and so long as my client has what they were expecting by their dead line, it doesn’t matter. I don’t have to feel guilty about not doing the work between 8am and 5pm or letting my employer down. I don’t have to ask for a sick day or holiday. I don’t have a set start time in the mornings so if I have a really late night trying to meet a deadline, so long as I don’t have something to do in the morning I can have a sleep in.
(although my dog seems to think 7am every dam morning is a good time to get up. Is there a life like robotic boarder collie shaped alarm clock that I am not aware of my fiancé could have brought?…Lucky he’s so cute)
4) The fact that you know every bit of effort you put in is for your benefit.
This is actually one of the things that drives me pretty hard. I know that at the end of the day everything I have done and achieved is because of the effort I have put in. Looking back on the last 5 years I am pretty happy with how far I have come. While I have been proud of the things I have achieved while working for others, none of it compares to the feeling I get when I think about what I have done for myself.
5) That feeling you get when it all comes together!
If I could bottle this feeling and sell it I would be a multi millionaire! I can not begin to describe how good it feels to know that you “got that big client”. Or when you feel like you have slaved away for 12 months and not reached your targets then look back on the year and realize not only did you reach them but you did so much better than you had even imagined you could with your most optimistic guess! I am not an emotional kind of person, but I have almost been brought to tears a few times in the last few years knowing that not only did I make something big happen for my business and my life, but that it was all because of the effort I put in. If I am honest I think that this feeling is likely the reason that most people would stay in business, to chase that feeling. On paper being self employed is a mugs game. That pay off though, it really is worth the effort!