Many people envy self-employed people whose offices are in their homes. While it has its benefits, do they fully understand the pros and cons? If so, they may not be so envious! I recently told someone that I was feeling stressed and the response was, “ I have to be at a job, Monday through Friday, 8 to 5,”  implying that I’m not working as hard as someone who is employed by a company.  Ha!!  Anyone out there who wishes to chime in?

Some days, I long for pre-entrepreneur days at my old job in a large corporation when I powered off the computer, turned off the lights and shut the door behind me at 5:00pm on Fridays. Granted, not everyone who has an 8 – 5 job can leave it behind, though.  But when you are self-employed, the worries don’t stop when the office door is shut. As I’ve entered the phase of heavy-duty marketing of my book, I find that I’m constantly pasted to my computer checking Facebook for an opportunity to drop a strategic comment that someone will see in hopes of generating interest, writing letters to ask for reviews, and posting to other blogs.  I could spend hours each day looking for events and places to sell.  I often catch myself staying up very late as I search for new opportunities. With an always lengthy to-do list, it’s easy to work 14-16 hours a day, 7 days a week. Taking a break seems self-indulgent and evokes feelings of guilt that you’re not doing all that you can to ensure success.  Exercise also takes a back seat.  And I often awake in the middle of the night with anxiety over what I should be doing.

The benefits of being self-employed are many, however. I have complete flexibility with my schedule, working until midnight and sleeping late in the morning if that best suits me. I can easily manage appointments for car maintenance, doctors/dentists, and other necessities.  I also can throw in a load of laundry while I work. The freedom is wonderful. 

As with anything, the grass can seem greener on the other side.  It just depends on your personality and choices and tolerance for uncertainty. If you do chose the self-employed route, it’s so important to have a strong support network of family, friends and business professionals. My writers group is terrific and I couldn’t ask for better friends and family.  And the National Association for the Self-Employed also is a great resource for the business end. 

P.S. Note the day and time of this post!  No such thing a lazy weekend!