If you’ve not yet started your own business you may be dreaming of the day when you can wave goodbye to your boss and make your first million. On the other hand if you’ve already started working for yourself you may be struggling with the loneliness or shock of the hours you have to work. Neither perspective accurately depicts the complete picture but there are some things you need to be aware of before deciding it’s for you. There’s a big difference between being motivated to research then start your own business and others who approach self-employment much like they would approach a job.

So, is self-employment worth it for you?

The first thing to think about is probably earnings. During the recession self-employment earnings have been in a downward spiral relative to salaries, probably because some of those entering self-employment did so as a last resort. Earnings inequality is far greater among the self-employed. The trick is to make sure you’re not at the bottom of the pile. You may have to make earnings sacrifices to begin with but if you focus on value and branding your business it will help you to resist pressure on prices.

The next thing is to consider is holidays and work hours. Many self-employed people forgo holidays with the family because they are too busy. This isn’t always a good thing since everyone benefits from some R & R but you should consider while you are on holiday you may not be earning anything.

As for work hours, many senior managers or professionals work well in excess of 60 hours a week.  But if you’re coming to self-employment from a basic 40 hour week, it can be a bit of a shock working all hours unless you’re not the main breadwinner: In which case you may be determined to have a part time business. Employing others can be one way to reduce your own working week, but brining other people into your business needs careful consideration and management. The bottom line is in most cases is it’s unrealistic to think it terns of picking your own hours of operation as you need to work the hours your customers are available.

In terms of job satisfaction, the self-employed, at least initially, find their work rewarding, although the feeling may not last.  Employees tend to experience less job satisfaction. Self-employment brings its own pressures. Investing in your own development and editing out customers, clients or work that is not rewarding should help, as will having some family or me time.

The traditional reason people went the self-employed route had little to do with unemployment or money. It was simply something they felt compelled to do. Self-employment, even today, although far from an easy option, allows people to express themselves in ways a job can never do. For the determined and motivated it can be a way to access uncapped income that simply would not be possible if they were employed. Knowing yourself and getting the balance right in terms of business and family life is the key to making it work for you.

We hope this article has helped you decide if Self-Employment is worth it for you!