Without going into too many details, I’m now standing at a crossroad where I need to decide whether or not I should look for another full time job or simply leave the corporate world behind and become my own boss. To say the least, the past few weeks have been very stressful at work due to its disappointing instability and frustrating uncertainty. I’m usually a pretty patient person and often perceive things optimistically, but in this case even my patience is wearing thin.
My blogging enthusiasm is getting affected as well, I can’t seem to get myself into the right mood for creative and inspirational writing. I’ve got several ideas drafted but they are just staying there untouched and collecting dust. This week has especially been a difficult one, which resulted in no posts from me since last Saturday, but I thought of letting some things off my chest and seeking for your input.
I realize that I can’t put you on spot by asking for your direct advice, however it would help me a great deal if you could share your thoughts and personal experience with me. Plus, I’m sure that there are many others who, like myself, can’t decide whether or not going solo and working for themselves is the right thing to do, so hopefully the discussions around this post would help others as well.
First of all, I would like to outline several PROs and CONs in being your own boss. Please, feel free to add to this list, as I’m sure that I’d miss some important things here.
CONs in going Solo
Let’s start with the list of disadvantages of solely depending on ourselves and being our own boss.
1. No Steady income
I’m aware that owning a company, no matter how small or big it is, involves a risk. I can’t say that I’m the type of a person who likes to gamble with life, but I’ve had my share of risky decisions — some good, others not so much. However, as it stands today there are several important factors to consider before I throw myself into building my business: family with a little child to support, a relatively high mortgage to pay every month, plus all the other monthly expenses and bills.
As we all know, the only thing that beats a nice steady paycheck is the constant stream of clients and revenue from the business. But this is where the risk starts.
2. Looking for Clients/Projects
Currently I’m already owning a small web & graphic design business which sometimes brings so much work that I have a hard time keeping up with, while other times it gets very quiet. I realize that I haven’t had much time to build up my business and go after more clients, so things might change once I dedicate all my time for that. However, that’s when #3 comes to play:
3. Too much of overtime work
It certainly takes quite a long time to develop a lucrative network of contacts that would result into profit-making contracts. Of course, people occasionally work overtime at their full time jobs, but running your own business is different. Building a network, meeting with clients, following up on business requests and proposals leave very little time for the actual work (in my case, design and development). That means I’ll have to sacrifice more than usual the time with my family and friends.
4. No more teamwork
This aspect of working alone can be very important to some people. I love working with other people and I would definitely miss the daily interactions outside the house. That’s actually one of the reasons why I still blog – connecting with people on the Web.
5. No paid vacation
This is another important detail when working for ourselves: no paid vacation, sick days, no paid benefits. It is all possible to arrange, however less time for work results in less pays.
6. Extra paperwork
Owning a company means we have to deal with all the paperwork and fees surrounding our business, which once again leads to the extra expenses with less time for the actual development work.
PROs in going solo
I think I’ve covered the major disadvantages for self-employed, now let’s see how the PROs work out:
1. I’m the boss
The fact that there’s no one else to report to and depend on is certainly one of the most appealing parts of running your own business.
2. No more commute
Here’s another big plus — saving time by working from the home office rather than getting stuck in a traffic on the way to work.
Even though I mentioned that the overtime work usually accompanies self-employed people, in general terms you’re much more flexible in setting your own hours of work, and the vacation time. Plus we’re the ones to make the choice of working with a certain client/project.
4. Striking it rich
There is always a possibility that my company thrives, which leads to more income and less the actual work time.
As it stands now, looks like the CONs are outweighing PROs. So I’m passing it on to you to tell me what are your PROs and CONs of being self-employed? What was a tipping point for those of you who decided on going solo? How much time did you spend on building your business until it became a success? What would you like to warn me about going solo? Would those of you with a full-time job prefer to be your own boss? What prevents you from doing so? I would really appreciate your thoughts, opinions and possibly, experience with being self-employed vs.having a full-time job?