Whether you’re freelancing, consulting or running your own business from the spare room at home, the world of being your own boss has immense advantages over conventional nine to five office work. For starters, you are literally your own boss. You need to make an executive decision? It’s all yours, baby! No more waiting for anyone else to wave a magic wand. You don’t like commuting? Super, you won’t need to, at least not daily when everybody else gets to work. You’re not a morning person, but thrive at night? No worries, work whenever you like.
Then again, many people not familiar with the day-to-day life of self-employment create an almost too good to be true image. It involves sleeping in late, doing a bit of work on your couch and simply enjoying the high-life. Just because traffic grid-locks and public transport issues don’t affect freelancers so much the life of doing it solo isn’t all just fun and games. Let’s dispel some of prevalent myths, shall we?
You can focus only on the things you love.
Yes, it also rains sausages and money grows on trees, no? That’s right, there’s still the commodity of mullah requiring any freelancer, consultant or business chick to agree to projects because they pay bills at the end of the month. And guess what, once on your own leaving the comfort of an organisation and other staff you’re responsible for maintaining relationships, acquiring new clients, doing your finance, implementing your marketing and, yes, actually do you’re work. If that sounds like a difficult juggling act then you get an idea.
You save money for clothes and make-up.
If you have no face-to-face client contact that may be true. But you spend so much more money on developing your own business! Whether it is a new laptop, more comfortable office furniture or faster internet; honestly? Sometimes I’d much rather buy a new pair of shoes and not look into how I can upgrade my personal website.
You eat much healthier.
This myth weaves together with the notion of saving money on food since you’re not buying your lunch every day and you also have time to prepare meals. Yes, nobody is looking over my shoulder and frowns upon the length of my tea or toilet breaks, but I still have the work of a full-time job to do. I do eat healthy, but I have eaten healthy before I’ve started freelancing. In stressful peak times it still means a sausage roll and bar of chocolate. To date I haven’t seen significant savings, but perhaps other freelancers have different experiences?
You have more time for hobbies and exercise.
This is another “healthier life” perception. The truth is, if you don’t exercise or practice any hobbies regardless of how you earn your money you won’t change your behaviour just because you work from home. Doing things you enjoy apart from work always need building into your schedule. As I said before, you may be more flexible when you do your work, but the amount of work doesn’t change.
Have I forgotten any myth? Let me know if there’s more to dispel, ok?