Pros and Cons of Being Your Own Boss: What You Need to Know
If you work a 9-to-5 job, the chances are that one person rules most of your working life: your boss. If you have a good boss, then your life at the workplace is probably peaceful and even happy. If, however, you have a toxic manager, going into the office is sure to be hell. From affecting your mental health to controlling your professional growth, your boss has an enormous impact on your life.
If you are self-employed, then you are your own boss, and you don’t need to depend on anyone’s whims but your own for your professional life. Moreover, you get to work on your own business, not on someone else’s. As American businessman Farrah Gray famously said: ‘Build your own dreams, or someone else will hire you to build theirs.’
A large number of Australians are now moving towards self-employment. The Guardian reported in April that a third of Australians are considering resigning, a major contributing factor to this being the Covid-19 pandemic. Between 2010 and 2021, the number of self-employed workers went up by 7.2%, according to a report by GlobalData.
In this post, we’ll look at the pros and cons (there are some!) of being your own boss, especially in the case of aspiring small business owners. We’ll leave you with some thoughts and ideas about how to succeed in this field.
Pros of Being Your Own Boss
Independence and Control
The first difference you’ll experience in life as your own boss is the independence you feel and the control you have over your professional ventures. You have full freedom to make decisions by yourself. Since you are the one running the business, you determine the direction it needs to take as well as the strategy to follow.
You create your schedule, whether for each day, the entire week, or your career, since you need to take instructions from no one.
Thinking about ways to turn your passions into profit? We have created a guide just for that!
Flexibility and Work-Life Balance
Since you are creating your own schedule, you determine the pace at which you work as well. This way, you can work hard and play hard. You can choose to work for 14 hours a day for a project, and then take time off for two entire weeks to travel and recuperate, if that is your style. Or, you could choose to work only four hours a day, if that’s what suits you.
Workcations are also an option since you don’t have to report in at the office. Sounds like a great opportunity to get that work-life balance right!
Know that feeling of waiting with bated breath for the annual company bonus to be announced? This is usually followed by the disappointment that comes with receiving pennies because ‘the company’s performance hasn’t been great’, even though you’ve worked your hardest all year.
However, when you’re self-employed, the sky’s the limit. You determine how much money you will make, and you reap the benefits of your hard work and success.
While working a 9-5 job for someone else, you probably usually get stuck in completing routine tasks and sticking to the role that has been assigned to you. As your own boss, you have the freedom to pursue any direction you like. Follow your passion and bring your ideas to life!
Opportunities for innovation are present every day and even every hour of your work day. No one will question what you do and how you do things at every step. You can explore new business concepts whenever something appeals to you.
Personal Growth and Satisfaction
The freedom and awareness of doing work that directly translates into visible results are bound to leave you with a high of personal achievement and fulfilment. Along the way, you’ll also get a chance for continuous learning and personal development!
Cons of Being Your Own Boss
Not everything is rosy, however, when you are running your own company. Just as you have no one to boss you around, you also have no one who will take responsibility for your actions. Here are some drawbacks to being self-employed:
Increased Responsibility and Pressure
The first aspect that changes when you run your own gig is the sense of responsibility. You have the ultimate say in everything to do with your business. You may have others to whom you can delegate tasks, but you are the biggest stakeholder and the one most accountable for everything.
This can lead to much higher stress and pressure, as you have to handle all aspects of the business too, whether it be finances, employees or operations.
Uncertain Income and Financial Risks
Being employed in a regular job has one excellent attribute: a steady salary. Every month you will receive your paycheck, typically without fail. However, when you run your own business, this is not necessarily true. One month may be great in terms of income, but the very next month may be a slump.
This financial instability needs to be managed properly. Financial risks also need to be considered and planned for, as your expenses may well be higher than your income when you start out.
Long Working Hours and Sacrifices
While some jobs do require overtime work (paid!), most function within the confines of normal working hours. When you are running your own company, however, your stakes are higher, so you need to be available whenever your business needs you. For example, if a high-value client needs your help at midnight, you may have to attend that call. Or say your company website crashes during a Sunday brunch. As the boss, you’ll have to fix it right away.
Forbes published a quote from serial entrepreneur Bernie Klinder describing startup life. Long hours and personal sacrifices, including personal time and social life, become a norm when you are working for yourself.
Limited Resources and Support
Established companies have budgets for learning and development resources, technological investments and so on. When you’re running a company by yourself, such conveniences are really heavy on the pocket. Especially when you are starting out, you may be counting every dollar, so even certain needs like a new laptop might require some thought and planning. Sufficient support and assistance may become hard to come by.
Handling Multiple Roles
Finally, being your own boss means wearing multiple hats and performing a variety of roles. You’ll probably have to act as a customer service rep as well as a product designer, along with being the CEO of your company. This will need you to develop diverse skill sets so that you can handle the various aspects of your business. You can no longer work in a silo as you are the one person who is in charge of everything.
When deciding to go solo and start your small business, keep these key points in mind:
- Greater independence
- More flexibility
- Increased financial potential
- More scope for creative expression
- Greater personal growth.
- Increased responsibilities
- Uncertain income
- Long working hours
- Limited resources and support.
Being your own boss is like diving into a world full of exciting opportunities waiting to be seized. If, despite the cons of being your own boss, you have that little voice telling you that this is the path for you, don’t worry. Sleek is here to help and take away many of these obstacles. Of course, you may still have some sleepless nights – your business is your baby after all – but hey, at least you won’t be overwhelmed with mundane tasks!
Sleek’s mission is to help Australian entrepreneurs run their ventures smoothly and efficiently, and it does this by taking care of the grunt work for you and removing roadblocks in the way of realising your dreams. Sleek is the ideal partner to help you succeed! Now what are you waiting for? Get going and chase that dream until it’s realised! Subscribe to our email newsletter for easy tips and insights on how to ace being your own boss!
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Motivating yourself when you need to be your own boss may indeed be difficult at first, especially if you've worked for many years in a job. But once you realise that all the work that you put in goes into something that is benefiting you alone, your sense of ownership over your business will grow. When that happens, there'll probably be no stopping you! You may even find yourself trying to take a break since the work is so enjoyable.
In this day and age, not going outside to network isn't a problem at all. Search for online communities such as Facebook groups as well as organisations related to your field, which often host webinars and online conferences. Apart from that, you can also network through social media platforms such as LinkedIn and even send out cold emails to other small business owners.
When starting out as your own boss, things may seem intimidating at first. But there are ways you can handle them without being overwhelmed. You could always ask for help from a friend or reach out to people in your network who are pros at being self-employed. Or, you could hire professional assistance like Sleek, which can take care of all these aspects of business for you.