Disadvantages of Being Self Employed
Not long ago, I joined a very interesting group on line called Wealthy Affiliate. All new members are asked to set their financial goals for their developing on-line business. As I read some of the responses, my old employment counsellor hackles came up (I spent twenty years doing employment work in Canada’s north). Are they going into this work with their eyes wide open? Yes, some are. They are wise enough not to quit their day job as they learn new skills and develop their new business. But I do wonder how much research they have done about the pros and cons of being a solopreneur.
As I sat in reflection about the realities, I considered what I would share from my own experience as a solopreneur. Here’s my list:
- There’s no one to guide your journey. Business directions are often set by someone up the company pipe in many job-jobs.
- There are no colleague sounding boards. For those of us that need to think out loud, sounding boards are critical to making good decisions.
- Need to know/learn a lot about business management. There’s an infrastructure for all businesses that is often taken care of by another department so we never learned about it.
- It’s all consuming – business never leaves your mind – It’s not a 9-5 experience. Yes, there may even be some sleepless nights when we wonder where the next customer will come from.
- It’s lonely. You no longer have that instant social network. You must go out and find people to connect with yourself.
- There’s a lot of stuff to get done. There’s never enough time so you need to become very good at setting priorities.
- Have to sell – hate selling – can’t stand the thought of rejection. This is likely the most common disadvantage because we hate being sold to, so we are negative at the mere thought. (Do you answer any of those marketing phone calls you receive on your smart phone?)
- Have to become an expert networker. We quickly learn that we need to discover alternatives to the old marketing methods. One way is to get out and meet people in the community (both on-line and the city). This is difficult for most of us, but more so for an introvert.
- It’s uncomfortable talking about myself. At most networking events, you are asked to give your elevator pitch. That takes time, practice and refinement.
- There’s no one else to blame. We must get used to shouldering full responsibility and accountability very quickly.
- You have to pay attention to finances. Many of us hate working with numbers, detail and linear processes. We end up doing some things we do not enjoy and not every business hat fits.
- There are never ending challenges – just as there are never ending changes to deal with.
- Money is tight, especially in the early days. There’s more outflow than inflow.
Of course there are ways to handle all of this list, but it doesn’t happen over night. One way to make the process less daunting is to acquire some help from an experienced business coach. I offer a short Affinity Consultation to help you decide if this is for you. You might also find this checklist Is Solo Enterprise For You? helpful.
Now, you might notice that some of us might see some of the above as advantages, rather than disadvantages. I completely agree; and I acknowledge there are many advantages. For success in business, it’s critical that we are very clear about why we want to become a solopreneur.