“Becoming your own boss” seems to be an enticing route for many people to follow. You have the freedom to make your own decisions for your company, the ability to create your own schedule, the potential to make more money than if you stay at a 9-5 job, and the list goes on. While “being your own boss” is a dream many people have, it is also an incredibly difficult path to pursue as it requires a lot of hard work, self-motivation and dedication. Needless to say, if you aren’t afraid of taking risks and putting in the work, then leaving your full-time job behind may be a great option for you to consider.
Not everyone has what it takes to be an entrepreneur, so I’ve outlined a few of the pros and cons to help you better decide if this is the route you should follow.
BENEFITS OF BEING YOUR OWN BOSS
You set your own hours and deadlines
Perhaps one of the main factors that attracts people to entrepreneurship is the ability to set your own hours. As an entrepreneur, it is no longer necessary to ask for time off or to let your boss know when you’ll be late or leaving early. You have complete autonomy over your schedule. You work when you want to, at any time of day or night. If you find that you are most productive during the early morning hours or late at night, you can certainly work during those hours instead of the traditional 9-5 schedule.
You are in control
As an entrepreneur, you are behind the wheel. You have the freedom and ability to make your own decisions for your company. You can act on your hunches and intuitions as you see fit, without obtaining permission from someone in a higher position than you. When you are an employee for someone else, you are only able to make decisions within your job position’s boundaries, but this is not so as an entrepreneur.
You choose your workplace environment
Are you tired of sitting at a desk all day? As an entrepreneur, you will no longer be required to. You can change up your work space throughout the day – work in the kitchen for a few hours, head over to the coffee shop or even take the laptop outside and enjoy some fresh air and sunshine. Where you choose to work is all up to you.
You will have greater satisfaction and fulfillment
When you have outstanding performance as an employee you may receive a small bonus, pay increase, or a simple acknowledgement from your boss. But, when you are self-employed, you and your company will naturally reap all of the benefits from your hard work and your income will increase. You in turn will feel much more satisfied and fulfilled about your work.
CHALLENGES OF BEING YOUR OWN BOSS
Your clients and customers are your boss
While one of the perks of entrepreneurship is choosing your own work hours, if your client’s website goes down or you have to finish a report for them by tomorrow morning then you must be willing to work when the problems arise. This can often mean sacrificing your personal time or your weekends to meet their deadlines. If you want to maintain a loyal client base, you must be ready to accommodate them. The same goes for any customers you may have. Meeting your customers’ and clients’ needs, especially when it feels inconvenient, certainly takes a great deal of self-discipline.
Your commitments are your boss
If you want people to take you seriously, then you must hold yourself to your commitments. Even if that means working extra hours during the day or staying up later than you had planned. Your business will not be successful if you make promises to your clients and customers, but you don’t deliver or follow through.
You must use your own money
If you want to make money as a small business owner, you must be willing to invest and spend money. Whether you decide to invest your own money, or seek out investors or a business loan, you will have to track down sources to help you get your business off the ground. This is certainly a sacrifice and it can be risky. Not only that, but actually making a profit off of your work will take time. There is no guarantee as to how much you can depend on, income-wise, each month.
You don’t have benefits anymore
As your own boss, you can no longer rely on an employer to provide you with benefits. You will have to purchase your own health insurance and start your own retirement fund. Paid-time off will be a thing of the past as you must be fully committed to your business, especially if you don’t have any employees working for you yet, even on the weekends or when you are on vacation.
I don’t want to discourage you from “becoming your own boss”, but I do want to share the facts with you so you know exactly what to expect when you leave your full-time job behind. Entrepreneurship is one thing that is very rewarding and fulfilling, if you are willing to put 110% into your work.