Everyone’s hustle is different. Some work underneath a number of people, some work above a team of people. Some people even work above those working above a team of people. Some appear to be in charge, but are answering to a higher figure. And some are self-employed. Regardless of whether you work on your own, or whether you run a team, you’re still the one in charge and are the one expected to make all of the big decisions and essentially support the future of your company. Everyone thinks that being your own boss makes you the luckiest person in the world. Yes, to some extent that’s true. But there’s a lot more to it than first meets the eye.
I personally love working for myself, but it does come with its drawbacks. And whilst I could spend all day batting back and forth the ups and downs of being your own boss, I’ll strip it back to the very basics for the sake of this week’s Monday Hustle.
Pro #1: You work your own hours.
Having worked in a job role that required every waking hour of my being (and then some), being able to have flexibility around my hours is an absolute godsend, especially when it comes to factoring in bad mental health days, CFS flare ups, and of course, just days when you need some time off. Having said that, a lot of people do think that ‘work your own hours’ means do the absolute bare minimum, and people who think that either need to a) try it for themselves, or b) fuck off.
Con #1: It’s harder to switch off.
I can’t tell you the number of times that I’m laying in bed, the computer is off, my phone is on the other side of the room, and juuuuuust as I’m dropping off to sleep, something like, Maybe I need to write about x, y, z. Okay, let’s start writing. But don’t open your eyes or get your notebook or anything silly like that, it’ll keep you up. You’ll remember all this in the morning. Needless to say, I never do. And sometimes it’s just nice to be able to finish for the day and let your mind focus on other things for the evening.
Pro #2: You get to pick and choose what projects you undertake.
This is something that massively resonates with me. When it came to working for someone else, there were the odd occasions where we would work with someone - whether that be a person or a company - that just didn’t sit well with me. I would tell myself that if I ever was in charge of myself, I would stay true to my values and beliefs, and wouldn’t let money be the deciding factor when partnering with an outside entity in any capacity. And I still do to this day.
Con #2: Payday doesn’t necessarily mean every month.
In previous jobs, I was either paid at the end of every week (which was a winner) or the end of every month. The latter is the general way of doing things. Not when you’re in charge, though. Working for yourself means that every time you don’t get shit done, you don’t make money. Those slow Friday afternoons of spinning round on your chair, and pretending to look busy — and getting paid for it? Gone.
Pro #3: Your employer is left to deal with all the legalities.
Generally if you’re working under someone in the UK, you opt for the PAYE (Pay As You Earn) option. That means that, before you receive each monthly paycheque, your National Insurance and tax is taken out of it, so you can just go on about your business and spend (or save) your wages accordingly, without the panic of the tax man coming for you.
Con #3: Tax returns.
This doesn’t even need a proper introduction. If you work for yourself, you have to deal with HMRC. Every tax year. Cutting it fine to get your tax return in before the deadline - and the sheer panic that you feel leading up to its submission - is a lot like doing all of your Christmas shopping on Christmas Eve. We shouldn’t do it, and should be better prepared, but we’re all guilty of it at some point. If you’re a lucky son of a gun who can afford an accountant, then they do all of it for you, but it’s still a pain in the arse.
Whilst I can carry on listing what suck when it comes to being your own boss, I can safely say that the pros outweigh the cons — in my case at least. Safe to say, I wouldn’t change a damn thing.
Founder and Editor of The Unedit