The Most Common Struggles Self Employed People Face

Self employed people can seem like they live a dream life to those heading to a 9-5 job Monday to Friday. They get to set their own hours, they get to do work they enjoy, they can work in their pyjamas if they want – what’s not to love?!

On the outside looking in, it might seem like self employed people have it made. However, upon closer inspection, there are some pretty big struggles that they face on a regular basis. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t go self employed if it’s something you’re thinking about – it’s just a few things you should be aware of before you quit your current job and think everything is going to be hunky dory. Below you’ll find the most common struggles that self employed people face. Take a look and see what you think:

1.Feeling Lonely

Have you ever found yourself having a full blown conversation with your dog, or even your goldfish? Most self employed people have. There’s nothing wrong with speaking to your pets, of course, but this simply indicates that self employed people can feel lonely a lot of the time. To some, working at home alone might seem like a dream come true. Nobody to bug you or ask you for favors, or look over your shoulder, or any of those things that people in the workplace might do. However, there’s also nobody to talk to, to laugh with, to catch up with, bounce ideas off…the list goes on. It can be a struggle for extroverts especially to adjust to being self employed.

If you know you’re the kind of person who loves having work friends, work catch ups by the water machine, and even work outings and Christmas parties, then you should probably make sure you have the potential to do this in the future.

2. Feeling Motivated Enough To Work

You’re not always going to feel motivated enough to get work done. Many people only work in the workplace because they have a deadline, or somebody looming over their shoulder telling them what to do. In your own home, this is not the case. You’re the only person who tells you what to do, and forcing yourself to work can be tough. You have all kinds of distractions; the TV, your music, your phone, emails, and even your comfortable bed. For this reason, it can be worth getting out of the house and perhaps going to a co-working space to work, or even to a coffee shop. At least this way it’ll feel like you’re actually at work.

The Most Common Struggles Self Employed People Face

3. Struggling To Separate Work From Home Life

It can be such a struggle to separate work from home life. You have more freedom with how you spend your time and block out your day, but sometimes, this can mean working until late at night. You’ll soon feel like you have very little time to yourself if you do this on a regular basis! Many self employed people find that creating a time sensitive schedule for themselves allows them to get everything they need to do done, with time left for relaxing, self care, and whatever else they feel like. All of your days can blend into one if you’re not careful. Don’t fall into the trap!

4. Managing Finances

Not everybody is born being able to manage their finances properly. Well, here’s a newsflash for you: most businesses don’t fail because customers stop wanting to work with them. They fail because they simply run out of money! This goes to show that cash flow is one of the most important things you can focus on when you’re going self employed. Looking into things like making tax digital software can help you to minimize the time it takes to sort your tax and accounts out, and you might also want to hire an accountant or financial advisor to help you if times get tough. You have to be committed to teaching yourself everything there is to know about managing your finances. Below are some things you should be doing regularly to assist the success of your business:

  • Regularly review finances
  • Maintain a budget
  • Save appropriate amount for taxes on a regular basis so you can pay quarterly
  • Proactively reduce debt
  • Pay yourself a salary from business earnings (do this first)
  • Establish an optimal business structure for liability and taxes
  • Maximize tax write-offs and deductions

5. Not Having A Safety Net

Having a safety net just in case can give you peace of mind, as well as help you out in an emergency. Shockingly, many self employed people admit to having no insurance, no money for retirement – even those aged 50 and up, and no emergency fund. What would you do if your boiler broke, your car needed a repair, or something else happened? Having money behind you as well as the right insurance can help you to keep things running smoothly even when things aren’t going 100% to plan.

The Most Common Struggles Self Employed People Face

6. Selling Themselves Short

Many self employed people are scared to charge what they are really worth – plus VAT. They end up selling themselves and their products short. Thinking you have to be the cheapest on the market to earn customers just isn’t correct. Yes, you should do your research and figure out what your competitors are charging, but that doesn’t mean you should be as cheap as possible. You need to price yourself fairly. Know your worth and charge it.

7. Spending Time Off To Relax

What even is relaxing? Many self employed people struggle to relax. They are always answering emails, thinking about work, and doing things that don’t really constitute as relaxing. Being able to spend some free time however you want can be a great perk of being self employed, but you absolutely have to know when to call it a day. If you take a vacation, you need to be able to set that out of office email and leave it, no matter how difficult it is for you.

8. People Expecting You To Be Available 24/7

Unfortunately, being self employed can mean people think you don’t really work. As if you’re just at home, twiddling your thumbs and waiting for somebody to call you! Clients might end up calling you at all hours of the night, and getting annoyed when you don’t respond. Even friends and family might not respect your time, and get annoyed if you don’t agree to do favors for them or be there exactly when they want you. People fail to understand that what you are doing is still work!

9. Not Having Sick/Holiday Pay

Want time off? That’s fine, you’re just not going to get paid for it. Not having sick pay or holiday pay is one of the major drawbacks of being self employed. This is why having insurance to cover you if you do fall ill is essential!

10. Getting Dressed

You’re not always going to want to put proper clothes on, and this can actually make you lethargic. Working in your pyjamas seems great, but this isn’t the case!

11. Staying Healthy

When you’re self employed, you really need to make the effort to move. Sometimes, you might do less than 1000 steps a day because you’ve been glued to your work!

If you’re self employed, do you agree with the pointers here, or is there anything you would add to the list? If you’re not self employed, would any of these things put you off taking the leap? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below, and make sure you come back soon.

Thanks for reading!

The Most Common Struggles Self Employed People Face 

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