Do you dream of being self-employed, but feel like you don't have the money, knowledge, or skills to get a business going? Your concerns might be unfounded - and grounded in some of the common myths about self-employment. Imagine being able to increase your income and have a more flexible schedule. These benefits are a real possibility when you're your own boss.
So let's starting exposing the myths for what they really are:
1. Self-employed means working long hours. Many people who work for themselves do work long hours, but this is frequently a choice. They simply love what they do.
* Many people start businesses that generate income even while they aren't working. If you choose a business that includes passive, recurring income, you won't necessarily have to put in a lot of time working once you get going.
2. Being an employee is less risky. Employees get laid off all the time. And what if you need to raise some extra cash quickly? That's tough to do when you're working for someone else and your income is fixed. Being self-employed gives you more control over your income and the assets of the business. Control helps to reduce risk.
3. Self-employment means putting all your eggs in one basket. If you're an employee, how many "customers" do you have to lose in order to lose your paycheck? Usually just one: your boss or his boss. But if you have a bunch of customers or clients, they all have to fire you for you to lose all of your income.
4. Self-employment equals stress. When you work for yourself, you can create whatever work environment you choose, you can have greater stability over the long-term, and you have more control over your hours.
* You can also choose a business that isn't inherently stressful. Generally, you can make it whatever you want it to be, which will make your stress level only as high as you find acceptable.
5. Being self-employed is lonely. Actually, working for yourself can be a much more sociable lifestyle, if you choose. With more flexibility, you can often rearrange your schedule to suit your social life. Also, you can make friends with your clients.
* When you work for someone else, your co-workers tend to be your social life. Over time that can get old.
6. Self-employment means doing everything yourself. While you're the one that has to ensure that everything gets done, that doesn't mean you have to do everything yourself. Hire people to do the work for you. Your time should be spent growing and expanding the business, not doing the grunt work.
7. Running your own business is complicated. Yes, there is quite a bit to know, but none of it is complicated. There are books and experts available to help you along the way. Nothing is overly complex about insurance, payroll, taxes, and bookkeeping. It's just new to you.
* Plus, you only have to learn the information once. Then you can start as many businesses as you like.
8. You can't start a business without a lot of money. That largely depends on the business. A website and hosting can cost less than $100 a year. Your home phone or cell phone is already paid for as part of your monthly expenses. A tank of gas isn't that expensive, relatively. And Craigslist ads are almost always free.
* There are a lot of inexpensive ways to start and market a business. Drive around and find clients. Call on the phone. Where there's a will, there's a way.
Don't let a bunch of myths stop you from taking the plunge to self-employment. You can even start a business on the side and continue working your regular job until your new business is bringing in enough income to replace it. Now that you have the truth, what are you going to do?
Put on your thinking cap and figure out a way to make your dream a reality. There's no time like the present to take control of your life.