Despite the many benefits of working for yourself, self employment isn’t all fun and games. Just like working for someone else, there are downsides or drawbacks of self employment or entrepreneurship.
Here are some problems or stress factors faced by the self employed, and sometimes overlooked when deciding whether or not to jump into entrepreneurship or freelancing. Make sure you consider both sides before deciding if self employment is right for you.
The Downsides of Self Employment
- Being self employed often involves a heavy workload, and it can be time consuming. Many entrepreneurs find themselves working more hours when self employed than they were working under a full-time employer.
- Entrepreneurship and freelance careers put a lot of responsibility and general stress on someone who’s self employed, so they have to have the ability to prioritize, delegate, and cope.
- If an entrepreneur runs a service-oriented business where they deal with clients on a regular basis, and it’s a one-person business, taking vacation time can be very difficult, especially without a great deal of advanced planning.
- Clients and customers almost take over the role of employer. There’s always someone else to answer to, even when the entrepreneur is running the show. If customers and clients aren’t kept happy, the business can easily fail.
- The self employed rarely have the benefit of a steady stream of income. There are no regular paychecks for a lot of entrepreneurs, and there can be times when business is booming and times where business is incredibly slow. Entrepreneurs and freelancers have to recognize those fluctuations and handle their financial planning accordingly.
- The more relaxed work environment often accompanying self employment can lend itself to a great deal of distractions, especially because there isn’t a supervisor making sure they’re staying on track.
- Entrepreneurs sometimes fall into a trap of neglecting their home life, from family and friends to home projects and basic errands, because they can simply be too busy with work on a regular basis.
Before deciding if self employment is a good option in any specific case, it’s important to not only look at the benefits of self employment, but to also understand these and other downsides to make the best decisions.
This post was originally published on April 27, 2007 and was updated and republished on the currently-listed publication date.