Earlier this year, I stepped down from working a full 9-5 week. As a result, I’m now my own boss. That means I work my own hours, devise my own business strategy and am solely responsible for earning a crust. It’s exhilarating, exciting, nerve-wracking and challenging in equal measure.
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Having worked for someone else on the 9-5 treadmill for countless years, I feel I’m in a position to compare the two. And, if you’re thinking about taking the plunge, I’d like to tell you what I’ve learned.
Time Becomes More Fluid
When working a regular 9-5 job, you fall into a routine. Every Monday to Friday, you get showered at the same time, leave the house at the same time and return home at – you guessed it – the same time. After a while, I found that to be incredibly monotonous.
Working for yourself frees you from the grasps of pre-defined working hours and patterns. I, for one, like to rise early and get to work after that first cup of coffee. For others, starting later is more favourable.
It takes a while to get used to the flexibility of working for oneself, but once you do, you’ll find opportunities to do more of the things you love alongside paid work.
A Lack Of Guaranteed Income Keeps You Focused
If you’re on a company’s payroll, you can be safe in the knowledge that a sum of money will be placed into your bank account at the end of every month. When self-employed, or running your own business, you don’t have that luxury.
It is now apparent to me that, whenever I sit staring at a blank screen, or take the dog out for a walk, I’m not earning. That realisation comes quickly, but it has a powerful effect – it keeps me focussed. As a result, my productivity has increased and I am far less likely to procrastinate. The latter is all too common a problem in the 9-5 world, due to the guaranteed income.
Setting Up Is Easier Than You Think
Running a business is hard. Holding down a job with a regular income is hard. But the former, when you take the plunge, can be an awful lot easier to get off the ground than you think.
If you chose the sole trader route, you can pretty much get started straight away. In fact, even if you want to set up a limited company, the process is far simpler than you might expect.
In a 9-5 job, the technicalities of running a business are hidden away in the accounts department and in the board room, but on your own, you see it for what it is; a bunch of legal obligations, forms and a commitment to keeping your books up-to-date as time progresses. Don’t be scared of it!
There’s Nothing Quite Like Being Your Own Boss
In summary, I absolutely love being my own boss. And you know why? It’s because it is, finally, entirely down to me. I have to find the clients. The work has to be done by me. Only I can make my business grow. The 9-5 treadmill feels like a distant memory.