5 Things no one told me about being self-employed
Things no one told me before I jumped into self-employment…
…And what they mean for others thinking of jumping too
When I thought I wanted to be a writer, I totally pictured that it would be similar to Carrie Bradshaw’s life. I’d fill my closet with cute shoes, attend cool parties, write about love and life and living in the city for a few hours each day and spend the rest of the time brunching with my best girlfriends or shopping for new shoes. Right?
I’ve learned that it takes a long time to build a sustainable business. In a creative field, it takes even longer to make a name for yourself. I think people need to trust you and your work ethics and your talent all at the same time in order to respect you as a creative.
As challenging as it is riding the waves, I promise self-employed lifestyle is still really fun. I am rewarded every day. I grow every day. Every evening I go to sleep excited for tomorrow.
Here’s my list: 5 things no one told me before jumping in to this life.
It can feel lonely
On the days that I don’t fill with meetings and phone calls, it’s pretty quiet around here. For the most part, I thrive in the quiet. Other times though, it feels lonely not having coworkers to bounce ideas off of. I mean, my pup is pretty good company, but sometimes I wonder what it’s like to work in an office setting. Am I missing out?
On the other hand—I think I’m pretty lucky.
You need to wear a lot of hats
I might not get to wear cute shoes all the time when working from home, but I do get to wear a lot of hats. I’m the founder and CEO, creative director, writer, photographer, and editor. Other days I also cover administration, accounting, and sales. I have to pay attention to both the WHY and the HOW of making this dream of mine work—roles that larger companies get the luxury of sharing with others.
And somehow, it works.
Every day presents a new challenge
Big or small—there will be a challenge. Mark my words, there will be one every day. My usual suspects include:
Rejection. Yes, I am still rejected! I don’t think that ever goes away if you’re running your business right.
Bookkeeping. I need to consider hiring someone for this soon.
Technical difficulties. My worst nightmare!
Among so many others. These are just the first few I thought of.
The highs feel extra high
When you’re riding the waves of self-employment, the highs feel extra high. My theory is that this is because the lows are all on you too. Your strong investment in your business makes every emotion feel exponentially more extreme.
There is no such thing as overnight success
I was in awe of overnight successes for a long time. Then, when I started working for myself, the smoke and mirrors faded to see someone burning the midnight oil in leggings and a messy bun. A lot of hours are clocked behind the scenes (and screens of our Instagram feeds). This less glamorous side of running a business is where the really good stuff starts to happen. And, little by little, sustainable success comes along.
All this being said, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love my job. I’m amazed every day by the life that I’m building. Sure, it’s difficult at times. Other times I’m not sure what I’m doing or where I’m going, but every day I get a little closer to the person I want to be.
Are you self-employed?
Who here is also self-employed? I’d love to know what you’ve learned so far in your adventure! Leave your lessons in the comments below.