Entrepreneurs are a diverse set of individuals, each with a unique story as to why they’ve become self-employed. We’ve had the opportunity to hear some of these stories through our pilot of the Look Before You Leap: Self-Employment Survival Strategies course. Some found the flexibility of self-employment ideal for balancing life commitments or were simply just tired of working for others and wanted to be their own “boss.” Others were unable to find suitable employment or just simply fell into it during career exploration.
Whatever the reason, these individuals now work, for the most part, alone. Although some people develop their business and hire support staff, most are truly going it alone. This presents challenges in regards to skill sets (i.e., you’ve got to be able to do everything from balancing the books to marketing yourself and your product/service), but also to loneliness of working in relative isolation. There isn’t anyone to bounce ideas off of, problem solve with, or to count on during challenging times. Be sure to access the supports you need to be successful – lean on your friends/family, a business partner/associate, an entrepreneurial support group, and/or a career coach/counsellor.
As difficult as it can be working for someone (i.e., a boss) or with someone (i.e., a partner or co-worker), it truly does have advantages not only to product/service quality but also to your morale and productivity. At the end of the day, the advantages and benefits of self-employment (e.g., the freedom to operate your business as you like) may certainly outweigh the drawbacks; however, it’s important to carefully consider: Can you truly work alone?