8 truths & lies they'll tell you about working for yourself
Let me guess, there’s a twinkle in your eye and right now you’re dreaming of working for yourself?
Or maybe you’ve already taken the leap to full-time girlboss and you’re here to confirm ‘yep that’s true’.
When you share with anyone that you’re thinking of working for yourself, get ready to hear their opinions, requested or not, on your decision.
People have opinions. LOTS of them. Some valid, others truly useless.
I want to give you the insight from someone who’s been there and done that.
I’ve worked for myself and ran my own online business for almost 2 years now. So I’d like to think I know a thing or two about what’s actually true when it comes to running your own show.
The lies about working for yourself
1. You’re going to go broke
While it’s true that you can’t rely on a paycheck coming in with certainty every two weeks, that’s far from meaning you’re about to go broke. The wealthiest people in the world? Yeah, they’re not waiting for pay day from their 9-5, instead they run a business.
While yes it’s true there’s not the same reliability of income you get in a 9-5, there’s also unlimited potential. When you run your own business, business income fluctuates and so often people working for themselves have fluctuating income too as a result.
But here’s the secret those working in a 9-5 don’t know, while your income will fluctuate by working for yourself, you can make more in a month than 9-5ers make in a year. Yeah, working for yourself can be a rollercoaster, but you’ll still likely be better off than in your 9-5.
2. it’s not a ‘real’ job
While it’s true you won’t be commuting, dealing with an annoying boss or clocking in and out every day, when you work for yourself your job is still very real. Just because working for yourself from the comfort of your bed with a flexible start and end time doesn’t seem to be very similar to normal jobs, your job is still very, very ‘real.’
You create real value in the world and people pay real money for it = real job.
3. You never really 'work,' you're just on permanent vacay
I’ve found since working for myself that most people in my life don’t really get that I do indeed actually work!
I spent 3 months working from Bali this year and when I came back home people were rather surprised I didn’t have some fabulous tan, wasn’t yet a pro at surfing and hadn’t explored every inch of the island while I was there.
“What did you do for those 3 months in Bali then?” they asked. “Work,” I replied.
The benefit of working for yourself means you can work from anywhere, including a tropical paradise island. This just means that you get to complete your work in a stunning environment.
Don’t get it twisted though, no matter where you choose to work from while you’re self employed, you’re still going to be doing the work.
The truths about working for yourself
4. It’s lonely
When you work for yourself, these four emoji’s pretty accurately describe what your emotions will be when you get to interact with real humans in a day: 😯 😃 👭 😍.
When you work for yourself, there’s no coworkers, no chats with your neighbor as you stroll to your desk, no shooting the breeze with Karen from the 4th floor, and no meetings with other people.
It’s just you by yourself, day in and day out. (Oh, and your laptop.)
There’s a reason coworking spaces are popping up left and right these days. More and more people are working for themselves, and once people do, it doesn’t take long to realize that working for yourself can be a truly lonely and isolating experience.
5. You’ll work longggg hours
40 hour work week? Not a thing anymore. Try 70 on for size.
Good news though, while you’ll technically be working more hours, when you are doing the work for yourself and not the man, you reap all the benefits of those long hours.
And honestly, if you work for yourself doing something you truly enjoy, you’re going to be legitimately excited for the hours you’re working. Plus, when you’re ‘off’ work, you mind will still be on it, scheming up new plans and hatching new exciting ideas.
While you’ll work more hours, work won’t feel like work.
6. Your friends and family won’t get it
Typical question whenever I visit my Dad: “So, how’s that internet thing going?”
Other frequent questions people have asked:
“Oh, I thought that was a part-time, hobby thing?”
“Do you really make any money with that?”
”Are you going to get a real job anytime soon?”
While people mean well, working for yourself is just so far from what most people have experienced in their life that they just won’t get it.
You have two options to these questions.
1. Give a sarcastic answer
2. Fully explain exactly what you do.
I’ll let you choose your own adventure there! 😉😂
7. You’ll struggle to explain to others what you do
Because when you work for yourself, your work doesn’t really seem like work to the rest of the world, so while you can indeed explain what you do, most people still won’t get it.
Meaning you have to try to explain how what you do is a real job that makes real money.
Orrrr you can just make up some fake job to end the convo quick.
8. You'll flip flop between 'I want to quit' and 'this job is the best gift I’ve ever received!'
Working for yourself is massively rewarding and massively challenging.
The doubts are going to creep in, things will get tough, the outlook will be bleak, and some days you’ll want to head back to a normal, safe job.
Other days when things are going well you’ll want to pinch yourself and ask if it’s really all actually happening to you.
It’s a rollercoaster. So hop on and enjoy the ride!