It’s been almost two years since I quit my full-time job to work for myself. It was a big risk but at the time I thought that if it didn’t work out, I could always go back to a ‘regular’ job. There was always that option. But as time marched on, going back to work for a company started to seem like less and less of an option to me. Fast forward to today and I actually just couldn’t imagine going back to work for a company ever again. Whilst self-employment is definitely not an easy gig (then everyone would be doing it, right?), if you can make it work, you’ll never look back.
Why I could never go back to work for a company again:
I’ve never slept better in my life
Gone are the days where I’d wake up bleary eyed to the alarm clock’s pre-dawn wake-up call . Since I made the move to work for myself, I’ve never slept better. Whilst I still set my alarm every morning (otherwise I would totally sleep away the morning), the time I set it for varies from day to day. I always ensure that I get around 8 hours of sleep per night so depending on what time I go to bed, I’ll then just set it for 8 hours later. Sometimes it will go off at 7:15am, other times 8:30am. The only times I’m ever jolted awake by the ringing alarm at 6am (the norm when I was working for an institution) only seems to be when I’m heading to the airport to catch a flight!
Let’s talk about flex, baby
One of my favourite things about working for myself is how flexible it is. If I’m feeling a bit tired one morning and don’t feel like writing, I might choose to work on admin tasks instead and leave the creative work for later in the day when I feel more inspired. If my mum calls to say she’ll be nearby and did I want to grab a coffee at 11am one Tuesday, I’ll say sure, let’s go. I can schedule personal appointments during the day without the worry of having to inform my boss. Some days, I might not even sit down at my desk until 4pm but then I’ll work until midnight.
Basically, I’m free to plan my days however I please. My life doesn’t have to fit around my work; actually, I make my work fit around me. I’m living my life completely on my own terms. When I start to think about having a family, I can’t think of a better situation to be in.
I’m my own boss
Let’s be totally honest here. Having to answer to a boss suuuuucks. Those agonising emails you anxiously send to ask for time off, the pressure of always feeling like you need to impress, the extra work that is dumped on top of your already heavy load that you’re expected to take on without complaint. Yep. Having to answering to somebody higher than you can be intimidating and can leave you feeling powerless. Being your own boss means that you’re the one calling the shots, not someone else. Don’t feel like working today? That’s cool. It’s up to you how hard you work. Feel like working in your pj’s from the couch? Go for it.
Each day is wildly different to the next
There’s a reason that it’s called the ‘9-5 grind’: you’re stuck doing the same thing day in, day out. Every hour is meticulously scheduled. You’re forever on the countdown to the weekend, essentially wishing your life away. It’s all so mind-numbingly tedious. When you work for yourself, the opposite is true. Each day is wildly different to the next and you’re the one responsible for determining the structure of your day. One day I’ll find myself writing blog posts or freelance articles for different publications, the next I’ll be off on a press trip and the day after that, maybe I’ll be on a photo shoot for a new brand collaboration. Every day brings something new and varied.
I’m building my own dream, not someone else’s
There’s no better feeling than reaping the rewards of building your own dream. All of your time and energy isn’t spent on making someone else rich and successful; working for yourself means that you take absolute responsibility for the outcome of your time and everything you do benefits you alone. I’ve never been more invested in my work than I am right now because I built my business out of nothing. I itch to start work in the mornings and Monday is my favourite day of the week. Every hour that I spend working is an investment in my own future.
My income potential is limitless
Working for somebody else limits your earning capacity. You agree to receive a standard salary that is the same every month. Whilst it is nice to receive a guaranteed, regular paycheque, you are also limiting your earning capacity. No matter how much work you put in, your salary remains the same. But for the self-employed, your earning potential is actually limitless. There’s no salary cap. The fruits of your hard work go into no one else’s pocket except yours. Recently I took on a job that paid me the equivalent of a month’s salary in my old, full-time job for what amounted to just one day of work. ONE DAY. For the self-employed, your earning potential can scale infinitely.
I’m in control of my future
Is your position coming up for review? Have to sit through nerve-wracking performance reviews? Worried about redundancy? Not me. I don’t have to worry about any of this! Job security is a myth since as employees, you are always dispensable. The unfortunate reality is that companies aren’t looking out for you, they’re looking out for themselves and their profit margins. I’ve got a few friends who have been hung out to dry after unexpectedly finding themselves on the chopping block. When you’re self-employed, everything you do serves one simple purpose: to secure and protect your future.
Looking for more posts about freelancing? Check these out next:
- 10 Things That Happen When You Quit the 9-5
- Shouldn’t I Have My Shit Together By Now?
- Why You Need to Re-think Your Definition of Success
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