As much as you may love the idea of working for yourself, you have to also think about the realities of being self-employed. For starters, there are often a lot of really hard days. Until you fully get off the ground you have to do a lot of hustling. Be prepared to have some periods of extreme highs that give way to many more extreme lows.
Working from home does keep your costs down. However, it doesn’t always make it any easier. The temptations to stay in bed are often over-powering and if you don’t already suffer from depression, you can experience for the first time, emotions that you may not realize or understand. It takes a lot of self-motivation and fortitude when working for and by yourself. Sometimes you forget why you decided to make the plunge and if you can make it long-term. Those are the times that you have to really dig deep. If you’re in a situation where you aren’t able to pay your bills, you should really consider other alternatives with regard to supplementing your income while embarking on the road of self-employment.
Statistically more small business fail than succeed. However, you shouldn’t necessarily view this as an immediate deterrent to starting your own business. You should, however, be very cognizant of the very likely reality of some extreme hard times. The fact is, it’s not at all easy. Deciding to start a business takes a lot out of you and its impact is far-reaching. It will test you and it will test your relationships with your significant other as well as friends and family. Regardless of you deciding to have a regular brick and mortar establishment or if you’re simply working from home, do what you can to be better about saving money and about sticking to a strict budget so that you’re better prepared to avoid some of the more common pitfalls.
This month, almost a year into committing to work full-time from home, I have found myself for the first time in my life reaching a precipice where I won’t be able to pay all of my personal bills. It’s a raw and personally earth-shattering dose of the harsh realities of doing it on your own. Do I hate the decision to work from home? No. I hate that life can and will be cruel. Thus, hindsight being what it is, I pass along my experiences to others. Be diligent in your work, brace yourself for the inevitable seasons of famine and learn to live in a world without the perceived securities of the corporate world.
This article appeared on page 5A in the 4/29/15 issue of The Union-Recorder. This article was first published on my business blog on 3/22/15.