Freelancing: The Pros & Cons Of Being Your Own Boss

Everyone dreams of being their own boss, waking up at a time that suits them, doing what they love to do, and setting the pace for the day. However, it’s not all fun in your PJs, as some will have you believe. 

While freelancing may be an excellent path for some, it is not as easy as it looks. Before deciding to ditch your regular job, take into consideration the pros and cons of freelancing:

Pros

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1. You are the boss

You have control over factors that affect your happiness: flexibility, freedom, and work-life balance. You can start work late or work through the night.

If you need to study to stay relevant in your field, you can keep a flexible schedule to develop your skillset. You are in control of decision-making.

2. You negotiate your terms

You are selling your own services, and you know what your value is. You can negotiate the hourly rate or pay that suits you. A boss does not cap your salary, and you are entitled to all the profit you make.

3. Responsible for your achievements

You don’t have someone looking over your shoulder all the time to see if you are meeting your deadlines. It takes strong willpower to manage your time alone. Accountability rests with you; the success or failure of the business rests on your shoulders.

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4. You can’t be fired

You can change your mind about the direction the business takes without worrying about an employer becoming disgruntled and firing you. It takes the burden off your shoulders, and you can focus on growing and adapting your business.

5. You don’t need to commute

Unlike other remote workers, you get to sleep a little longer without worrying if the boss is looking for you. You also save on fuel costs and the time it takes to travel to work. 

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Cons

1. You never get to ‘leave’ the office. 

It is tougher to set boundaries when you work from home, attending to emails late at night, or taking a call early in the morning. It can prove overwhelming. Working in bed may also develop into a poor work ethic. 

It is essential to set boundaries for yourself: get dressed, work at a desk, and have your meals away from your work area.

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2. You have to deal with the ‘headaches’

The people you are relieved to dodge are those who tackle the behind-the-scenes issues in the workplace. There is no one else to take on the challenges now. You are responsible for any problems alone. 

Your one-woman show means YOU are the accountant, HR manager, and sales team. It takes time to learn to wear all these hats. Doing the tedious bits instead of the job you love can be tiring.

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3. Your income is not guaranteed

Initially, it can be difficult to budget based on an irregular income. While you scout for new work or wait for a client to pay for a completed job, you are stressed over your bank balance.

There is no guaranteed paycheck waiting at the end of the month as freelancers face fluctuating clients and income.  A lot of freelancers can’t afford to take time off because there is no paid leave.

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4. You face isolation

Freelancers face long periods alone, especially if they have a computer job. If you enjoy socializing, then working for yourself could prove challenging. Having people to enjoy an early morning gossip or brainstorm with, or sharing a coffee break with is non-existent.

Social media networks may relieve isolation. Before giving up the office environment, be sure you have the personality to go it alone.

Written By:
Njeri Muriithi

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