It should come as no surprise that a majority of the developed world’s workers would prefer to be their own boss. If you’re reading this blog, you’re no doubt interested in the same thing. The reasons are as many and varied as there are people. In Europe, increased profit potential is frequently listed in business polls on the topic; in the United States, personal freedom is usually the number one quoted desire.
Whatever your motivation, there is no denying that you can attain a great deal more freedom by working for yourself and securing your own personal, independent earnings rather than voluntary placing a number of bosses above you in a chain of command and working for a set wage largely disconnected (2) from your output. But don’t jump too fast; if you think you’re looking at a life of lazy luxury, think again. Self-employed workers also work far and away the largest number of hours weekly; over a quarter hit upwards of sixty hours a week. (3) That’s a big jump up from the average “full time” job – but don’t forget that taking on a job working for somebody else is essentially trading away your time for an hour wage.
There’s no sugar coating it – with great freedom comes great responsibility. When you answer to yourself, you have to hold yourself accountable for your results, because if you don’t, your clients certainly will.
Given that self-employment reconnects your income with your input, it should come as no surprise that the ranks of the self-employed include some of the hardest workers – no doubt this is due in part to the nature of the sort of proactive people who would embark on such an adventure, but it cannot be denied that tying your revenue directly to your effort aligns all the incentives properly to generate the best results for your business and your clients. You’ll quickly find that setting up and managing a business is hard work – but since the work is rewarded directly, you are also likely to find you’ll enjoy it. There’s no doubt you can expect to put in many long hours, at least at first, as you get the ball rolling. But no matter how many hours you put in, you can take pleasure in knowing that they are your hours.
And despite what the job market would have you believe, you can’t put a price on that.