So You Want To Be Self-Employed?

by Matthew on May 21, 2011

Sometimes it seems there are two choices in life: 1) work for “the man” and collect a regular, steady paycheck, or 2) be “self-employed” and have to fret all the time where your next paying gig will come from. Wrong. This is a false dichotomy and a limited perspective.

Over the years, I’ve heard lots of “self-employed” people complain about their troubles: people with lots of rental properties who complain that tenants call with leaky faucets, or independent salespeople complaining after a blowout year that things have slowed down. Compared to those complaints, a nice stable job with a regular paycheck sounds terrific. That way, other people will be concerned when faucets start leaking and they will be tasked with drumming up work to do.

On the other hand, the same folks who complain about their self-employment frustrations may forget to mention that for months on end, their businesses brought in money hand over fist. Or, perhaps they are single-handedly managing every aspect of their business even when it has grown too large to do so comfortably and need to learn some business management.

Truth is, I’m not just looking to be self-employed, I want to be a business owner. Well-run businesses generate profits which accrue to the owner(s). If my goal was to simply be self-employed, I might end up as simply both the employer and employee and that’s a big task. Plus, I would still be just an employee. If I own a business and the business does extremely well, I can reap the benefits of that, rather than just collecting a paycheck from myself.

From a mindset perspective, I want to build and own a business. Sure, it’s a form of self-employment, but it’s a lot more rewarding.


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