Many of us dream of quitting our jobs and becoming our own bosses. We think of it when we’re overlooked for that much-deserved promotion.
We ponder the idea when we’re stuck working alongside a less-than-motivated colleague. We announce it to our friends on a Friday evening after a week of running errands for an uninspiring manager.
However, the majority of us never will throw caution to the wind and set off down the boss-free path. Why? Because we’re afraid of where that goat track might lead. Will it reach the highway? Continue aimlessly into the wilderness? Come to a dead end atop desolate coastal cliffs?
The truth is you won’t know where that path leads until you walk it.
Here are five reasons why you should wave goodbye to your boss and pull on those hiking boots at least once in your lifetime:
1. You only have yourself to answer to
One of the main reasons why people want to work for themselves is so they don’t have to answer to their boss anymore. No more explaining why you’re five minutes late, why you need Thursday off to attend an important family event or why your lunch break was ten minutes longer than usual. You only have to justify these things to yourself.
This doesn’t mean self-employment is a free pass to become lazy – it means you can use your time how you see fit. You might take an extra ten minutes for lunch because you need the time out, but you might also get a few things done on the weekend because it suits your schedule.
“Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life.” – Steve Jobs
2. You will learn invaluable skills
When you work for yourself, accountability is on you – and ultimately, you only get paid when you work. This means that if you want to succeed you become self-disciplined, develop better time management skills and learn the meaning of being conscientious. When you work for yourself, you have to make things happen for yourself – and discovering how to do that will teach you invaluable problem solving skills.
Whether you remain working for yourself long-term or eventually return to a nine-to-five job, these skills will serve you well and will help you achieve success no matter what you end up doing.
3. You can work towards something you are passionate about
Some people work for an organization that they are truly passionate about, and that’s a great position to be in. However, many employees don’t find their employers inspiring; over time, it becomes harder to work for a company you simply don’t care about. When you work for yourself, you have the opportunity to follow your passion and work towards something you love. At the very least, every effort made is done to benefit you – rather than line the pockets of someone else!
4. Your only limitation is yourself
When you work for yourself, you’re only limited by your skill set and work ethic. The more you learn and the harder you work, the greater the potential to find success and earn more money.
You don’t have to wait for a promotion or spend years climbing that corporate ladder. If you want to earn more, you will learn to work harder and smarter in order to ensure that pay rise happens.
5. You can travel
Working for yourself means that you can work from home, a shared workspace – or even while on the road.
Being your own boss gives you the opportunity to travel and work – without having to pick fruit, serve beers or sell dubious products along the way to fund your trip. As a freelance writer who has travelled Australia for nearly a year and half – and earned more than enough to cover expenses – I know it can be done.
My self-employment path traversed the busy highways of the east coast, rode out the corrugated dirt roads (and limited mobile reception) of the Northern Territory and crossed the endless stretch of asphalt they call the Nullarbor.
While operating out of a 1995 Hiace van isn’t the most efficient way to work towards becoming a self-made millionaire, it offers you something many jobs cannot – the opportunity to travel and work at your own leisure.
“To travel is to take a journey into yourself.” – Danny Kaye
Whether your own self-employment journey results in the creation of a successful entrepreneur, a well-travelled freelancer, or someone who returns to the nine-to-five workforce a little wiser, it is time well spent. The lessons you learn are invaluable; whether you make millions or just enough to travel the country, you’ll be richer for the experience.