Many working adults ask the question, “Should I quit my job and go out on my own” at some point in their careers. This is a challenging decision to make. Some employees like the structure and benefits of a corporate environment. Others feel stifled and don’t really care for having a boss who calls the shots.
The decision to become self-employed needs to be well thought out, with a plan in place before cutting the chord with an employer. Once a solid plan is in place, there are three basic things you can do to successfully adjust to the self-employment lifestyle.
Set Up a Financial Safety Net
Being self-employed does not guarantee a paycheck every 2 weeks. The economy shifts, and sometimes there aren’t clients knocking on your door for your services. Also, some clients just don’t pay on time, for whatever reason. It is recommended to have a savings account with a minimum of 3 months’ worth of living expenses to cover you during a rough patch.
Try to put at least 10% of your earned income into that account every time you get paid. If you need to use the savings, replenish it as soon as you are back on your feet.
Trust Your Intuition
Your intuition guided you in this direction in the first place. Stay positive and open to learn from your gut feelings and even your fears. Be open to change if it feels lucrative at the moment. This is essential to staying ahead of the competition.
If something just doesn’t feel right, be prepared to walk away from a potentially problematic project or client. Do your homework. If it sounds too good to be true, research the client’s business history. It is so easy to do a background check online, much of which is free. Listen to your gut if there are red flags.
It is very important to stick to your guns when it comes to work hours and interruptions. This is especially necessary if you are working from a home office. Your friends and family might see your self-employment as more time they can spend with you.
Make it very clear that you are working specific hours during the day and cannot be interrupted. Your clients also need to have boundaries. Unless you allow it, they can’t call you during dinner or on weekends just because your business phone is nearby.
While on this topic, get dressed for work just as you would if going into an office. Working in yoga pants all day may set an overly casual tone for you and your clients.
The decision to become self-employed can be such an exciting one. The entrepreneurial spirit is in the air these days. It is recommended to have a solid plan in place before venturing into the world of elf-employment. Once there, use some of these tips to stay on track for a profitable business or freelance venture.