I’ve always been an entrepreneur. It started when I was in high school and sold my best friend’s au pair services to a lady looking for someone to look after her kids. My dad helped me draw up a simple contract, I charged a placement fee, my friend got a job, and a lady got an au pair. Win-win-win.
I didn’t manage to replicate the businesses model and only ever made one placement, but from then, I knew I was destined to work for myself. I didn’t immediately contine on my own, I worked for a large insurer, managed and ran someone else’s restaurant in the West End of London and taught kids to waterski in America.
Since 2004 though, I’ve always made most of my income from my own projects or businesses.
Here are my top 5 reasons for being self employed:
- Flexibility. Your life is as an employee allows you: weekends, public holidays and (around) twenty days of leave per year. That’s not enough for me. I want to go away for weekends and come back on a Monday afternoon sometimes to avoid the weekend traffic. Technology still allows me to be in contact while I’m away. So Monday mornings I can still be in touch with clients, as though I was in the office, but I can be having breakfast overlooking the lake I like to go to.
- Effort = direct return. Despite what I say above about not working long “office hours” I invest large amounts of time into projects and businesses that I’m involved in. I’m extremely motivated to do this, as I often see I direct result (personally) for the effort I put in. Each sale made belongs to me – not to my employer.
- Tax efficiency. Do you have a personal laptop or PC? You probably paid for it with your salary – after you were taxed on your earnings. Running your own business allows you to offset a large number of expenses like this, as business expenses, reducing your business’s profitabity and your tax bill.
- Control. Being in business on your own allows you to steer the company the way that you’d like to. Not the way that your employer or job description says you should. Want to make a customer happy by giving them a discount? It’s your business do it – no authorization required.
- A chance to sell. One reason many people start a business is so that they can build something of value, which they hope to sell one day. You might never want to sell “your baby”, but perhaps one day someone makes you an offer you can’ trefuse. It can be an exciting prospect.
Being in business on your own has challenges, and can be lonely at times, but also offers some benefits you’ll never get, being employed by someone else.
“Build and follow your own dream, or someone else will employ you to build theirs”.