Many people dream about owning their own business or being self-employed. While there are definite perks to being self-employed, namely being your own boss and setting and achieving your unique professional goals, there are drawbacks, as well.
The self-employed often worry about whether or not they have made the correct decision to go out on their own. The owner of a one-person tax preparation firm, for example, may worry that he or she would be better off as an employee at a larger firm to avoid the stress of variable income and long work hours.
As with most things in life, however, the key to being successful is to focus on the positive while managing as effectively as possible the occasional challenges. Here are three important ways a self-employed individual can do just that:
- Anticipate problems and deal with those problems proactively. No matter where you work, there will always be some unexpected challenges that arise out of the blue. However, in most cases you should be able to anticipate challenges before they occur. For example, you can expect your workload to increase dramatically if you recently sent out a marketing mailer so it is important to plan accordingly.
- Work smarter, not harder. Have a tax problem you can’t seem to figure out? Instead of spending hours researching the issue, consider partnering with a tax services consulting company that gives you access to tax preparation support. While you may be self-employed, it doesn’t mean you have to be on your own!
- Know when to say no. If a client asks you to turn a project around in an unrealistic amount of time it is in everyone’s best interest to tell them no. While you want to please your clients, and there will be times when you will make exceptions, if there is no way for you to get something completed on time, you aren’t doing anyone any favors by overpromising. Instead, you risk letting this client down and putting yourself under tremendous stress. Further, you will likely let other clients down because you won’t have time to concentrate on their needs.
There are several advantages to being self-employed and most self-employed individuals will tell you that they love the freedom and rewards. While life as the self-employed certainly has its unique set of challenges, there is no reason to let these derail what can be a great way of life—professionally and personally.