Taking the Plunge: Why I Love Being Self-Employed
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Welcome back to another post in the Taking the Plunge series as I discuss leaving my corporate job to run a business with my wife. If you’ve not read those earlier posts, then I highly encourage you to do so in order to get an insight into my thinking. Mrs. Frugal Rules and I have been self-employed and running our business for almost a year now. To be fair though, my lovely wife started it two years prior and has since taken off to the extent we can both manage it. While being self-employed is tough work and anyone considering it should give it full thought, I have to say that I have quickly learned one thing among many…I love being self-employed! As I do not know the future, it’s entirely possible that I may re-enter the corporate world at some point; but, my hope and vision is to create a company that sustains itself and opens up further entrepreneurial opportunities.
Being Self-Employed Creates Freedom
We all crave freedom to a certain extent, some more than others. Being self-employed, I have quickly learned that it breeds freedom. Sure, you can take that freedom and sleep in until Noon every day in order to catch the latest Jerry Springer episode in your sweats and eat Cheetos while doing it. However, if you’re looking for that type of freedom in self-employment then I suggest you find yourself a Sugar Daddy/Momma as you’ll not last long. This is not the freedom I am talking about. The freedom I am talking about here is working on what I want to work on. Sure, there are some activities you must do in order to pay the bills, but what type of work you focus on is up to you. That freedom, once you taste it, is incredibly contagious and I found that I wondered why I waited so long. The other big freedom is that you can create your own schedule. To be honest, my wife and I bust our backsides, especially my wife, but we get to schedule it how we want. A perfect example of this was surprising my three year-old son a few months ago by taking him to go see Finding Nemo in 3-D for his birthday. It was in the middle of the day and we were the only ones in the theater. He had a blast and I have memories that will last me a lifetime. Sure, I might have been able to do that when I was at my former employer, but the point is that I had to check with no one. I was able to schedule my week so I could take the afternoon to be with him and no one could tell me no. That freedom is priceless.
You Learn A Lot About Yourself
Being self-employed has taught me a lot about how I tick. What gets me motivated, what gets me down and what I want in life. I knew much of that before I was self-employed, but it’s much clearer now. One of the toughest aspects, and one of the last things we considered when we were making the decision to move to self-employment was health insurance. We knew we would lose all of our health insurance when I left my corporate job and being married, with three little ones it was no option not to have health insurance. We had no clue what it was going to cost or what to expect. Thankfully we were able to find an insurance plan that was only $75 more than what I had been paying, so it was nothing to worry about in the end. The great thing is that we found we had many more options than the few given by my previous employer and something that was a greater benefit for us. This is just one of many things we’ve found that being self-employed opens up more opportunities for us and ones that we can use for our benefit. I love having that freedom and is one that regularly teaches me more about myself which will help me as a person, a husband, a father, and a business owner. As a side note, I do plan on covering self-employment health insurance in a future post.
You Benefit From What You Create
If freedom is what I love most about being self-employed, then benefitting from what we create is a close second. At my corporate job, anything I created went to benefit their bottom line. Being a leader in the financial services industry and sitting on $1.7 billion in cash alone I knew that at the end of the day they benefitted from me and not the other way around. Sure, I got a paycheck and benefits, but the enjoyment and fulfillment was not there. Not to mention the fact that I was not being mentally challenged and was in a job I detested. In running our own business, we see directly how our work benefits us. It benefits our bottom line and is extremely rewarding to see the outcome of something we created. That feeling is awesome and one that that we strive for. Why work for years in a dead end job and not getting noticed when I can create something of meaning, something of substance and value? I see what’s possible now, and it drives me. Additionally, doing it for myself is far more enjoyable than for some cold, impersonal corporate firm.
I will close with the same disclaimer I have given in the previous Taking the Plunge posts, if you’re looking to run your own business then go into it with your eyes WIDE open. It’s not the get rich scheme that many make it out to be. It is hard work and takes a TON of time and it is not for everyone. That said, if it is something that you’re longing for, there are numerous self-employment opportunities to be had, you just need to know where to look and what you want to do.
What are your thoughts? Do you think you’d love to be self-employed? Or, is it something that has no appeal to you?
Photo courtesy of: Tim Barrett
John is the founder of Frugal Rules, a dad, husband and veteran of the financial services industry whose writing has been featured in Forbes, CNBC, Yahoo Finance and more.
Passionate about helping people learn from his mistakes, John shares financial tools and tips to help you enjoy the freedom that comes from living frugally. One of his favorite tools is Personal Capital , which he used to plan for retirement and keep track of his finances in less than 15 minutes each month.
Another one of John's passions is helping people save $80 per month by axing their expensive cable subscriptions and replacing them with more affordable ones, like Hulu with Live TV.
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