Being self-employed rocks. In many ways, it is the very essence of the American dream. It means being able to apply yourself and build something spectacular on the foundation of hard work, a strong worth ethic, and your dreams.
As amazing as owning your own business can be—and it really is an amazing experience— before quitting your 9-to-5, there are a few things you need to plan for. The realities of the challenges are just as inescapable as the benefits.
The self-employment transition involves going from being an employee to learning how to manage it all alone. You are now taking on the responsibility of a business. To develop these new skills, you may need training. There are online options for those that may not have the interest in sitting in a classroom—many of which are affordable. Some people are great self-starters and may be able to learn as they go.
Whatever route you choose, making sure you have a way to gain the new skills you need to grow is important to being successful. Look for resources at your local library, networking groups, or online at sites like Lynda.com
Not everyone has a strong support system, but as a business owner, you will need a great support system to help you get through. Work–life balance is challenging to achieve and even more so for the self-employed. Your hours will be longer, you will have fewer days off, especially in the early stages, and you and you alone will be responsible for it all. It is a lot to handle.
In addition, your financial responsibilities will increase as you look to support your business as well as pay your bills and everyone in your life will need to be prepared to make sacrifices in order for you to succeed. This could mean spending less time with your family, less money to go out with friends, or paying for extended childcare. Take the time to speak with your family and friends before you make the leap to help prepare them for the adjustment. In doing so, you may also find a great support system in them. Those closest to you may also be willing to lend a hand, allowing you to outsource simple tasks early on.
This leads me to one of the largest if not the most difficult challenge of becoming self-employed: your finances.
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