I don’t really remember how I would answer the question “what do you want to be when you grow up” when I was asked it as a kid. I guess I probably said “a footballer” or “a fireman” since I never really gave it any thought. But one thing I have always been sure of is that I didn’t want to get stuck working in an office. Don’t get me wrong – I have done plenty of contracting work within office buildings and that’s just fine by me. But the thought of wearing a suit every day, and being in the same location all the time? Just not my thing.
And I guess it was this thirst for freedom (well, relatively speaking!) that put me on the road to self-employment. The funny thing is, it doesn’t matter where you are in life, there will always be a little bit of the “grass is greener” factor going on. So while being self-employed means being free of having a boss, it doesn’t mean being free of having to work for a living. In fact, you probably end up with even more of the working day devoted to job-related tasks than if you’re an employee.
The drawbacks of being self-employed do exist, but they’re not enough to make being your own boss any less attractive. But you have to be realistic, so here are the main ones, in my experience (feel free to add any others in the comments).