It's funny when I listen to people who have a "proper" job and go into an office 5 days a week. I wonder what it would be like to meet someone at the water cooler, or to have someone sneak your lunch out of the fridge leaving you with carrot sticks. Or the way bosses can be utterly useless and far less equipped than their team. Sometimes I dream I'd actually like to work for someone else. And then I look down and realise I'm in my pyjamas at 2pm in the afternoon creating recipes for a living and laugh out loud. That is just one perk, but I also have similar "water cooler, lunch nabbing issues too". Whilst being my own boss is my dream, it doesn't work for everyone so don't think the grass is greener on this side of the road! Having said that, it could work for you. So here's my brutally honest list of What No-one Tells You About Working For Yourself.
1) You learn quickly that life in pyjamas could become an obsession. If like me, you work from home and by yourself you'll soon appreciate that no-one sees what you're wearing so if you don't feel like getting dressed, you don't.
2) You start talking to yourself, the chair, the tree outside. Quite frankly, anything. Yep it's true. As a solo-entrepreneur I rarely talk to people voice to voice. Most of my client communication is done over email. Days can be pretty bloody lonely. I remember when I first started dating T, I could answer my phone straight away or I'd be wondering what took him 10 minutes to reply. But doh! He has colleagues and calls and will put his phone down for the majority of the day, whereas me on the other hand, well I'm on hand ALL the time.
3) There's no such thing as a day off. Working for yourself means that you're always on call, there's always something to do and if you don't work, you don't earn. I'm all for finding work-life balance but let's me be honest. The only time I have work-life balance is when I'm actually on holiday and I put my 'out of office' hours on. Weekends - totally reply to emails, do my accounts, send off pitches. Evenings - social media baby. The first three -five years when you're getting your name out there are the ones where there'll be no work-life balance. Just be prepared.
4) Working for yourself means working harder than ever. That's right. so there are perks (see #1) but because I care more about my business than most other things, I work harder on it. #3 is perfectly fine with me because a) I love what I do so it doesn't feel like work and b) I want to be on the sky rocket road to success so I got to work hard! Working for someone else going in and out of the office is the EASY route.
5) If you need stability, working for yourself may not be for you. Like a regular pay check? Do you like the feeling of knowing the buck stops with someone else? If you do, then working for yourself might not be the best option. There are no guarantees when you work for yourself. No gurarantee that someone will pay their invoice on time so you can pay rent. No guarantee that you'll get a job next month. For me, that works as motivation and I can't deny I actually get a kick out of never knowing.