Isn’t it awesome that we live in an age where absolutely anyone could start a blog, an online jewellery shop, magazine, YouTube channel, clothing company or whatever and potentially turn that into a job? Thanks to the internet we’ve opened up a ton of homegrown careers all by young, creative and talented people. I think it’s easy to forget that all these types of opportunities simply weren’t around when our parents were around and not to mention our grandparents. It's new and exciting, but also comes with a new set of challenges to overcome.
Being an entrepreneur or freelance in any industry is a challenge no matter if it's new media or plumbing. I think the majority of people if given the chance would love to be their own boss. Then again all my friends think I just sit around all day in my onesie twiddling my thumbs all day dancing to Fleetwood Mac... Well, sometimes. None the less the reality of working full time for yourself is hard. Often it comes with risks and can be incredibly demanding. But on the other hand it can be the most exciting and liberating career moves. There is also no rule book when it comes to trail blazing a brand new career for yourself and there are so many things you learn along the way.
Today I thought I’d share with you some of the things I've learnt about the not so great part of being part of the young self employed revolution.
Money Money Money.
When you’re working for yourself, you will find the money one of your main concerns. You’re responsible for it all. From getting the sales, drumming up business and the output. Be prepared not to be paid sometimes. Seriously. Ive been waiting on a hefty invoice of a well known phone brand that I have worked with over Fashion Week since February 2014. Numerous emails and even a phone call (or ten) and nothing. I’ll keep pestering away, but who knows if it’ll come through. Often some months all my invoices will come in and others none do. Although it’s pretty awesome fuelling your own earnings -the single most frustrating thing not knowing how much income you’ll be expecting and having no constant salary to fall back on.
Flexibility & Freedom
Being freelance is so liberating when it comes to having freedom and flexibility. You have no one to tell you and you rarely have deadlines and can work any time of the day you want. But sometimes I’ll work from the second I wake up till the second I fall asleep at my laptop others I’ll work for a few hours a day. Having my own daily timetable means I can manage my time in the best way for me. I like being able to turn down projects and pick ones I do want to do, rather than things being lumped on me.
I rarely take time off because I’m always constantly thinking about my blog. I know it's silly, but this is my job and I need to keep it ticking over as there is no one else here to do it. I can’t think of a day in the last 5 years where I haven’t looked at some form of social media or reloaded my blog. I find switching off or going on holiday one of the hardest things to do because there is always something to be done. Even though I've been organised and pre-written posts to cover a holiday not being able to check on it’s progress worries me more than it should. Another thing I worry about being my own boss is that I have no “formal” skills (although I do have a degree in Graphic Design), I don’t get sick pay and I also worry that one day it could come crashing down around me.
I’m so grateful that my friends and family now understand the risk I took to get to where I did today. I’d be lying if I said my parents were happy when I told them I packed in the day job to pursue this unknown career. While they are both supportive now, they did have their reservations. As my working hours are all over the place I find keeping my social life in check incredibly hard. I’ve come home from night outs early, turned down dates in favour of events and cancelled plans to edit videos. I’ve spent weekends holed up in my bedroom writing when I could have been living my life like the rest of my friends who do 9-5. Maintaining a social life is SO important when working for yourself, but it is incredibly hard in practice. Another thing to note is that because I don’t go into an office every day I often feel very isolated. 5 days a week my housemates aren’t in during the day so I have no one to talk to all day. There is no one to bounce ideas off or have lunch with. It’s surprisingly lonely even working within such a social industry.
Anyway those are a few of my home truths I learnt when I decided to take the leap into being self employed. Obviously my Buzzfeed style title says this is all about blogging but it applies for everyone who is self employed really. Saying that these things makes me realise that the positives do out weight all the negativity working for myself. I feel like I have one of the most rewarding and forfilling day jobs a girl could dream of and Im so blessed to be able to do the things I do!