Signs self-employment isn’t right for you

Are you tired of working eight-hour shifts, Monday to Friday? Fed-up with constant demands to work overtime to meet deadlines? Do you want a flexible schedule that allows you more “me” time? Think you can make your own decisions and be the boss of your own company?

If the answers to these questions are “yes”, then maybe you are one of the millions out there thinking of hitting the road to self-employment.

But before you hand in your resignation and work on a start-up, consider this – self-employment is not for everyone.

Just because self-employment offers you more freedom, it does not mean it’s easier than an office job.

For every successful self-employment story, there are many more failures – so think twice.

Here are some signs that self-employment is not for you.

You can’t settle on one solid idea

Having the knowledge and creativity to think up unique and marketable ideas can be both a blessing and a curse.

One day you’re coming up with a cupcake recipe for your bakery, the next you’re looking for capital to fund a new tech start-up.

Conceptualising a really good idea is one thing; following through with it is quite another. Many self-employed individuals generate profitable ideas but fail to stick it out until they meet with success.

Do not be discouraged if you encounter minor setbacks – these are easily solved. If you think your idea will bring you money, plan well and go for it. If you can’t find a good enough idea to work on, don’t leave your day job just yet.

You think an office job is for losers

Sure, you hate working for eight hours straight. But don’t be too quick to believe an office job has no value. Use what you learn now and apply it to your own business later.

This is even more important if you plan on entering the same industry as your employer. Let’s say you want to open your own restaurant and are currently an employee at the finest Italian restaurant in the city.

Take some time to understand the business; observe operations and procedures that you one day can use at your own restaurant.

Some say experience is the best teacher. What better way to learn about an industry than working in it for a year or two? A lot of people don’t realise it, but an office job is actually great preparation for self-employment.

You have a tendency to slack off

Self-employment is really hard work. You have to be dedicated and passionate about what you pursue if you want to succeed. If you think you do not have the energy and willpower to make things happen, self-employment is not for you.

Remember that as the boss who makes decisions, you must now be the most responsible person in your company.

Stay productive, right from the very beginning. The words lazy, inept, and slacker should never be used to describe your character. Contrary to popular belief, billionaires don’t just sit around their mansions all day and “live the life.”

Even Bill Gates spent long hours tinkering with programmes and computers before he became a tech industry success story. Self-employment is not for you if you think that being your own boss is easier than clocking-in at the office every day.

You panic when the going gets tough

The path to self-employment is covered in successes and even more defeats. You will encounter problems no matter what happens. Whether it’s your fault or not, things will not always go your way.

The important thing to remember is to maintain composure and always get back on track after falling down.

Things almost never go well when the person in charge panics in times of crisis. You are the boss when you are self-employed, and are responsible not only to yourself but your employees.

You cannot afford to panic and make bad decisions during times of trouble. You must remain calm, composed, and focused during good times and bad when you are self-employed.

You have no control over your personal life

Becoming self-employment not only affects you but every single person dependent on you. Be sure that everyone who may be affected by your decision is on board with your plan for self-employment.

It is difficult dealing with personal problems and business problems at the same time. Sit down and talk to your family before you decide on anything, and make sure everyone is comfortable with the plan.

You are responsible not only for your company but your family. It is also nice to have friends and family supporting you when you need it most. Also, make sure you can continue to care for your dependents even if your plans go awry.

This article first appeared in

The New Savvy is Asia’s leading financial, investments and career platform for women. Our bold vision is to empower 100 million women to achieve financial happiness. We deliver high-quality content through conferences, e-learning platforms, personal finance apps and e-commerce stores.