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I have been self-employed for more than 5 years now – I can’t quite believe it! Today I want to talk to you about the highs and low of self-employment. The highs and lows, and there have been a few! This is a collaborative post in association with Boost Capital who offer Small Business Loans.
While there are going to be a few niggles and moans in this post I’m sure I want to share with you the truth about how I have found 5 years of self-employment. I hope you’ll enjoy a little bit of insight into my family life and how things have changed during the last 5 years.
5 years of self-employment – the highs and lows
The highs of self-employment
Working for myself
This is the main high for me. I work for myself. I choose almost everything that happens in my life, work or otherwise.
Able to create my own schedule
By working for myself I can choose when I want to work. If I only want to work when my daughter is at nursery, or out with family, then I can do so. Likewise, I can squeeze my work into the evening hours when my husband is on night-shifts if I want to.
Can refuse to work with brands I don’t like or agree with
If a brand emails me, and I don’t agree with their treatment of people then I can say no thank you. I always check what brand I will be working with before agreeing to work, or signing contracts.
Don’t have to take any crap from a rude boss
In the past, I’ve had a rude boss or two. Now I don’t have to put up with that. If someone is rude to me I can choose not to work with them. If we’re already obligated to work together I can choose not to ever work with them again.
My home is also where I work. I don’t have to commute. I can choose to say yes or no to work that involves travel, although I do enjoy the travel more now that I don’t do it 5 days per week.
No childcare worries
If the Nursery is closed unexpectedly, or my in-laws are poorly, busy or on holiday, I’m not stuffed.
Lots of varied work
I work on lots of varied projects. My blog brings me a lot of wonderful opportunities but I also make money online too in a variety of ways.
I don’t get bored often. From time to time I will have a piece of work that I have to force myself through but those times are few and far between as I am selective about the work I take on.
The lows of self-employment
No set salary to rely on
I have paydays all over the place. Some websites pay me once or twice per month for affiliate income. Others pay me less often, or sporadically.
No sick pay or holiday pay
If I want to take two weeks off with my family I need to work hard beforehand, to ensure that money is still coming in. If I’m unwell then the work will be there waiting for me when I get back to my Macbook. If I was long-term sick I would have to rely on savings to see me through I expect.
No automatic pension scheme
I have to think about my own pension and make the arrangements for myself. Grown-up sad times!
No PAYE tax
I have to be disciplined with saving a set % of my income each time I receive a payment. I also have to track all of my incomings and outgoings to ensure that I maximise my expenses and only pay the tax & National Insurance I deserve to pay.
If I want to talk to someone I don’t have any colleagues here. As I often work with Daisy is at Nursery, and Thomas is at work, this means I don’t have many people offline to talk to about my work. However, I do have lots of lovely online friends these days so that is nice!
I’ve become less flexible
I’m much less likely to take crap from people, in all areas of my life. I’m not sure if this is high or low really?! It’s probably a high for me, but a low for others. I feel like I am much less likely to put up with poor service, bad friendship or relatives who don’t put themselves out like I do.
No two days are ever really the same for me and I’m really grateful for that! I love my life, love self-employment (mostly) and I feel really blessed. I HAVE worked hard to reach this level of contentment, and the working hours I do, but I’m really grateful for everything I have and work hard to ensure we have a nice life, my self-employment is successful and my family is happy.
Want to see where I want to be in 5 years time? Although really there are only 4 years left since I wrote this post!
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