Author Topic: Why Did You Choose Self-Employment?  (Read 535 times)

BookLoverL

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Location: England
Why Did You Choose Self-Employment?
« on: December 04, 2017, 06:39:29 AM »
Self-employment and entrepreneurship have both advantages and disadvantages compared to typical full-time employment. I wanted to see what reasons people here had for taking the leap to self-employment.

Personally, after I graduated and made a series of attempts to begin the standard employee career path, I realised I just wasn't cut out for 9-to-5 life or office politics at all. I was so happy when I discovered Mustachianism half way through my first job, because that meant I could leave in 10 years rather than 50. But later, I realised that while I could play the part of the good employee initially, my burnout rate at a job was closer to 3 months than 10 years. So that was when I took a good look at my skill set and preferences and decided that I had to at least try self-employment. I decided to try freelance proofreading.

Now I'm self-employed, I'm already much happier. I still have a fledgling client base, so my income isn't that high yet, but I haven't had to set an alarm in months, I don't have to wear uncomfortable outfits or shoes, and I only have to put on my professionalism face if a client rings me or if I set up a meeting with one, rather than for 40 hours a week. Even if I end up "failing", I'll still have learned a lot from the experience, and I'll have gained valuable freedom during the prime of my life. But here's hoping I never have to go back to the office.
In pursuit of the freedom to make my own responsibilities.
Blogging at https://deathtocomplacency.com

Rubic

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 868
Re: Why Did You Choose Self-Employment?
« Reply #1 on: December 04, 2017, 07:54:24 AM »
One major advantage for me when I was self-employed (i.e. prior to forming a real LLC with employees),
was having 30+ clients.  I had just left a stable, but boring job at a University and my parents were
concerned about the risk I was taking.  However, I was able to point out to my father that I was in a much
better situation than most employed people.  The worse loss of any one client would be a 5% decrease
in income.  When you are employed, job termination results in 100% loss of income.

There were also obvious retirement account and tax advantages.

One disadvantage -- for me -- was that I could never take a proper vacation because I had to be
available for client emergencies.

SC93

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 367
Re: Why Did You Choose Self-Employment?
« Reply #2 on: December 04, 2017, 02:59:58 PM »
I was a loser working dead-end jobs. If I hadn't of started my own business I would be that guy trying to stay with everyone... finding new 'friends' to stay with them.... always borrowing money. No way could I ever hold a job for more than 6 months. Some I showed up and quickly left because there was no way I could take 1 day! lol Working for someone else just was not for me. I still don't know how anyone can do it. I am amazed every time I hire someone and they show up for work!!

Then my first business was mowing yards. At that time.... Wow! I can make $15+ an hour mowing yards? Cool. Then I started doing other work for my customers, I added on a helper although I could never find anyone to work a straight week. Now I knew how my old bosses felt. But my new feelings were.... I can make more in a day mowing/odd jobs than I could in a week working for someone else. I was hooked. Then I started a cleaning business with my now ex-girlfriend and from there it took off. The cleaning business afforded me to start other businesses and live a nice life. I consider myself very lucky to have found something that kept me from being a bum.

wordnerd

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 569
Re: Why Did You Choose Self-Employment?
« Reply #3 on: December 04, 2017, 04:25:12 PM »
I decided to try freelance proofreading.

How did you get started in this? Were the clients professional contacts you already had? Or did you find them some other way?

BookLoverL

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 14
  • Location: England
Re: Why Did You Choose Self-Employment?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2017, 03:23:12 AM »
To be honest I only have a couple of clients so far, in the friend or the friend-of-a-friend category. I've only been doing the self-employed business for a few months, though, so I'm sure I'll grow to a larger number of clients in the future. I think once you start producing good work for a couple of clients, people will start recommending you to people more by word-of-mouth.
In terms of skills and having some sort of qualification to present to potential clients, I took some of the online courses from the Society for Editors and Proofreaders, which seems to be the most well-regarded group for this field in the UK.

I am glad that I'd discovered Mustachianism beforehand, though, because that meant I've got a buffer of savings to help me along until I start making a larger amount of money. I'm still much happier already - whilst the careers I had been thinking of before I became disillusioned completely with 9-to-5 work were potentially more lucrative ones such as teaching and accounting, like SC93, I knew already that I'd never find a job I actually wanted to hold for even one year.
In pursuit of the freedom to make my own responsibilities.
Blogging at https://deathtocomplacency.com

bwall

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 322
Re: Why Did You Choose Self-Employment?
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017, 07:02:27 AM »
I was thinking about this thread last night as I watched the football game at a local watering hole. I overheard a fellow at a neighboring table talk about the person he'd just met the day before and how he could work as a brand ambassador for his company. He was genuinely excited at the concept of 'a great job/opportunity' to work for someone else. I was surprised at how surprised I was to hear this. I guess that's the result of 20 years of 'eating what you kill'.

I didn't chose self-employment, it chose me. I went to Uni in a foreign country where I didn't have a work visa. So, formal employment was off the table. I earned money teaching English, translating and other odd jobs. Then, just before graduation I met a person who wanted to sell items in the USA. So, I returned to the USA. I remember looking at a map of the USA and trying to decide where I wanted to live. At the time I recognized it as a luxury that many people never have in life.

After about six months of the self employed life and lifestyle, I was hooked. No going back for me. Some years I didn't make much money at all, some months I made more than many people here would consider a great annual salary. Within 15 years, I was FI.

For me, it's freedom more than anything.