Self-Employment Reality Check: The Most Common Myths Decoded


Being self-employed seems like the perfect job. In fact, it’s sought by so many people in the world that there is an entire industry set p to help small business owners do all sorts of things from accounting to financial planning, marketing, and more.

But, there are also a lot of myths surrounding self-employment. Here a few you need to break through before you can become a success.

Myth: You Get To Do What You Love

You don’t always get to do what you love, unfortunately. But, this myth persists because it’s the “dream come true” of most entrepreneurs. There is very old advice that says “If you do what you love, you’ll never work a day in your life.” That’s not really true, because there are a lot of things in every profession that are just no fun. And, there’s no two ways about it.

Every job encompasses something that someone doesn’t like. For example, Jacksonville car accident laywers love being personal injury attorneys. But, marketing isn’t something that most lawyers see as “fun.” It’s simply necessary in order to practice law.

It’s like this in most industries. There’s something that’s not fun, but ultimately necessary for success.

So, while it might be fun, it’s not an endless sea of euphoria.

Myth: It’s Great To Be Your Own Boss

You would think that business owners love being their own boss. And, for the most part, they do. But, there is a flip side to all that. You have to take 100% responsibility for everything. And, sometimes, that’s just plain stressful. For example, if you don’t know a lot about retirement planning, you will still have to figure out what you’re going to do, how you’ll save money, and how to get everything set up yourself.

Myth: You Have Freedom

Most business owners get into business because they want financial freedom. Then, reality hits. They’re not really free. They’re chained to their business. On the one hand, you may be free from set schedules and the pedantic demands of micromanaging bosses. You might be happy to pick up your kids from school every day, or take time off when you feel like it. But, you also have to contend with the fact that you “eat what you kill.”

If you don’t work, you don’t eat.

Your freedom is cramped by the necessity to work for your survival and there is no paid time off. The holidays are not necessarily vacations, and you don’t have traditional 9-5 boundaries.

Myth: It’s Too Risky

Life is inherently risky. Most employees feel a certain kind of safety that comes from working for someone else. But, that safety hinges on the business owner making enough money to pay the bills. You are entrusting your own job security to someone else. When you work for yourself, you move yourself up the chain of command and place the burden, and reward, on your shoulder.
The risk of success and failure is still there, but you’re in the driver’s seat.

Myth: It’s Stressful

Being self-employed can be stressful. No doubt about it. But, it’s not endless stress. If you properly manage your work and home life, then you won’t have more or less stress than you would working for someone else. Remember, even lounging on a beach in the Caribbean isn’t totally stress-free. There are sharks, hurricanes, and even the “stress” of a lukewarm island drink.

Penny Bailey runs a graphic design agency and thrives on the day-to-day creativity. For many years she worked freelance and enjoys sharing her tips and knowledge with others who are keen to go it alone!

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