For those of you who don’t know my full time job is the owner of a Marketing Consultancy.
I get to have unlimited holiday, work when I feel like it and have as many lies in as I want…….. Wrong. I wish this was what it’s like…….
A lot of people have the wrong impression of people that run their own business. They think that as you have no one to tell you what to do, no one to report to and no desk to be sat at by 9am that you have it easy. Well let me set you straight… It certainly isn’t easy.
I’m extremely grateful for the position I’m in and the lifestyle it gives me, and for the most I’m really happy with my career, but like a lot of things in life there are pros and cons.
Don’t get me wrong there are loads of perks of being your own boss and I wouldn’t ever change it, but this post is about telling you the not so glamorous side of running your own business……
Am I doing this right…!?
You know what it’s like. You start a brand new job, maybe it’s one a bit above what you’ve been doing and in a brand new company. You rely on your team mates, co-workers and your boss to tell you what to do and train you up. If you have a question you have someone to ask. If you think you’re making the right decision but aren’t quite sure, you have someone to run it by…….
Well running your own business means you have none of that. I’m constantly left thinking “Is this the right thing to do?” or “Could there be a better way”. In the end you just have to go with it and learn from any mistakes you make.
You have to do everyone’s job
Running a small business (like I do) where I don’t have loads of people working for me, means that I have to wear lots of different hats. One minute I’m the salesperson pitching my company, then I’m in Finance doing VAT returns/ chasing invoices, and then I’m an administrator sorting out paperwork.
Say goodbye praise
Isn’t it lovely when you do a great job and your boss says “well done”, you get a promotion, or maybe even a bonus. Whatever it is, we all like praise and I was someone who was very much motivated by it.
Well when you run your own business that all goes out the door – no more “well done” for me. All I can do is treat myself to a glass of wine and a bit of a shopping spree if I do well…. You can see my problem here!!
It’s super stressful
I’ve had stressful jobs before when I was employed. So stressful that I would go home at night and worry all that had to be done, I’m sure pretty most all of us have been there at one time or another.
The stress I feel now is on a whole other level…. I have a huge amount of responsibility. It’s all down to me as to whether my bills are paid every month, and now I have someone else working for me I feel incredibly responsible for her too. It’s down to me to ensure that she is paid every month. If I cock up, I could not only potentially be risking my income, but also hers. I take that responsibility very seriously.
We all make mistakes. We’re human. But the mistakes I make now (and the opportunities I lose) could not only substantially affect my life, but also someone else’s which constantly plays on my mind and creates a lot of stress.
If I don’t work, then I don’t earn
Now this one really frustrates me!! People think that as I work for myself I can just take time off to go and see them for a coffee, or leave work early to go for dinner, and I can take unlimited holiday. What people seem to forget is that if I don’t work I don’t earn! Not to mention that I have work to do, so if I take time out of my day for whatever reason, I have to make that time up which means me working evenings and weekends.
Goodbye sleep and social life
I spent 6 years working for a media agency so I thought I knew what long hours were. Agency culture is very much work hard, play hard. You got in at 8am and you quite often would work until 7pm/ 8pm, plus there was the travel and all the events and nights out you were expected to attend. That now seems like an easy option compared to the hours I do now. I regularly work weekends, work until midnight and am up again at 6.30am. My social and my family life has massively suffered, not to mention that I’m pretty sure I’ve aged a lot due to the lack of sleep.
I’ve been doing this for too long and I know it’s not healthy so I am planning to put somethings into place to try and get a better work/ life balance, but in reality when you run a business you are always going to work long hours.
Holidays don’t exist
Like I say if I don’t work I don’t earn. Long gone are the days where I would get all bank holidays off and 25 days holiday a year. What a lovely feeling it was to lay on the beach sipping cocktails and know I was being paid to do it.
No such luck for me…. Even if I go abroad I will still be doing emails daily. It’s not just holidays, weekends don’t exist for me either – in 2107 so far I’ve only had a small handful of days off.
So not only do I have to work while being on holiday, I’m not getting paid for it either.
It costs me money
Before I worked for myself I was very fortunate position and I had a lot of things paid for…….. When you’re employed it’s very easy to forget all the bits that your company pay out for you and even take them for granted.
Having a business means I have to pay for an accountant every month (who is not cheap), email addresses, a website, travel to and from meetings, stationary (it adds up!) and a whole load of insurance. Not to mention that not only do I pay tax (like everyone else), but I have to pay tax on any profit my company makes too! One of the ones that really bugs me is that I have to pay to have a business bank account each month – yep. For me to keep my money in an account with a bank I have to pay them money! Running your own company is incurs a lot more cost than you think!
A lot of these points will apply to full time bloggers and freelancers too, but like I say it isn’t all bad and I’m not writing this post for you to get the violins out – I could easily write a whole post on the great things that come with running your own business, as there are plenty – but hey, I’m pretty sure you can imagine what they all are so that wouldn’t make a very interesting post.
Next time before you say “you’re so lucky to have your own business” (which FYI it’s not luck it’s hard work) – just remember some of the above……….
Blazer: River Island
Shoes: Dorthy Perkins (old)
Dress: Tesco (old)
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