According to one study, 40.8 million Americans were self-employed in 2017, and the number continues to rise. It’s easy to see why. Being your own boss means you make your own hours, work around your family’s schedule, and hopefully, do work that you enjoy. If you’re considering taking the leap into self-employment, check out these tips for successfully becoming your own boss.
1. Learn Self-Discipline
One of the biggest reasons people fail to be successful at being their own boss is a lack of self-discipline. If you aren’t naturally adept at time management, you may need to re-train your brain before you go it alone. Being self-employed means creating and sticking to a schedule. Too often, people get into the routine of sleeping in or working in their pajamas. Successful entrepreneurs recommend getting up at the same time each morning, getting dressed like you’re going to an office, and working in a dedicated space in your home.
2. Do Work You Like
If you already work in an industry you like and want to work from home, you can more easily transition by asking your company if you can telecommute. This way, you’ll have a steady source of income as you build your own business. Just remember to put in an official notice before quitting your day job. If you want a complete career change, stick to what you love and know. Are you gifted in the kitchen? Consider baking cakes or opening a catering company. Do you enjoy writing? From blogging to ghostwriting to submitting op-ed pieces, the options or being your own boss as a writer are practically endless.
3. Get Your Finances in Order
When transitioning from traditional employment to self-employment, you must think about two types of finances: personal finances and business expenses. It’s a smart idea to have a significant amount in your savings account to help cover personal expenses, such as rent and utilities, as you transition into being your own boss. Consider the type of business you’ll be running, too. A writer probably won’t have many business expenses beyond buying a stylebook or two, but an entrepreneur in food service will need to purchase equipment and ingredients, advertise, pay for transportation, and more. Look before you leap to avoid being under too much financial stress.
4. Build a Support Network
One thing many people find after becoming their own boss is that it can be lonely. Help yourself prevent a rut by creating a support network. In addition to regularly spending time with loved ones, you can join Facebook groups or other social media networks that pertain to your industry, attend trade shows and other networking events, or coordinate a meetup for other self-employed locals. You might also consider renting co-working space on occasion to mingle with other entrepreneurs. Chances are you’ll not only make some new friends but find people you can work with to build your business as well.
5. Create Passive Income
CEO and financial services leader Don Gayhardt recently posted about the importance of earning passive income and how technology can make it easier. The truth is that self-employment has its ups and downs, especially during the first few months or years. Creating a stream of passive income makes it easier for you to survive any downturns by putting money into your bank account with little to no work on your part. Passive income can be anything from writing an e-book and selling it on Amazon to downloading and using apps that automatically round your purchases up to the nearest dollar and invest the extra pennies or add them to your savings account.
Being your own boss is quite rewarding, but you can’t expect it to happen overnight. Like any great endeavor, it takes time, patience, and practice. By considering your options carefully and creating a solid plan for the transition, you help to ensure your success as a self-employed entrepreneur.