Going self-employed was hands-down the best decision I’ve ever made in my life. (Well, that and buying those shoes I wear every damn day…)
It was also something of an education. Here are some things I didn’t find out until I become self-employed…
You can never go on holiday again. Sorry.
Well, you CAN, but you probably won’t want to, once you realise that no one’s going to do your work for you while you’re gone, so you have to either do it all in advance, or take it with you. And that relaxing holiday isn’t QUITE as relaxing as you thought it would be when people are constantly emailing you with the words, “I know you’re on holiday, but…”
Shopping will be a whole lot easier, though. As will going to ANY public place during the day.
Not that I would KNOW, obviously, but I’ve HEARD the shops are are a whole lot quieter when everyone else is at work.
Not the gym, though. The gym is ALWAYS busy.
If you think you’re getting the jacuzzi to yourself, you can think again. Who ARE all these people? Why aren’t they at work? Are they ALL self-employed?
No one will ever believe you actually work
Possibly because of what I just said about daytime shopping. Would it help if I pointed out that shopping actually IS “work” for me*? No? Didn’t think so…
(*It isn’t, by the way.)
Your time isn’t your own any more
Instead, it belongs to everyone who ever needed a lift to the airport, or some kind of favour in the middle of the day. Well, it’s not like you have anything better to do, is it?
And your personal finances are now everyone’s business
I mentioned this last week, but as soon as you become self-employed, that whole “never ask someone how much they earn” rule goes right out of the window. I get that people are curious (especially when you do something like blogging, which, let’s face it, is a pretty weird way to make money), but, you know, when you show me YOUR bank statement, maybe I’ll show you mine: deal? (NO.)
TV is much less distracting than you think it’s going to be
I mean, have you SEEN daytime TV lately? It’s all re-runs of quiz shows from 1983, and adverts for funeral plans and stair lifts. If that’s your jam, then be my guest…
The internet, on the other hand…
So, the internet actually IS my job, and this time, I’m NOT kidding. Can you even IMAGINE how hard it is to be online all day and not get sucked into all of those websites you love? I checked Pinterest three times while writing this post: and once while writing this sentence. It’s open in another browser window right now, actually.
Your house is always messy
When I was just dreaming about working from home, I imagined that if it ever happened, my house would always be immaculate, a bit like one of those houses you see in TV commercials for sofas or bathroom cleaner or whatever. (Not that I watch TV during the day, you understand: heaven forbid!). What I totally failed to take into account, however, was the fact that my house would actually never be tidy again: because I would ALWAYS be in it. And when you’re always at home, you’re always using dishes, making food and generally messing the place up, aren’t you? Exactly.
You had no idea it was even possible to feel this guilty all the time
Because any time you’re not working, you’re going to feel guilty. Trust me on this.
Clients will think it’s OK to call you at all hours of the day or night.
I still haven’t recovered from the time an American client called me at 3am: then again the next night, even AFTER I’d groggily explained the time difference…
Friends and family will expect you to work for them for free, as a “quick favour”
No one will ever consult you about future plans: they’ll just assume you’re always available
Because, again, it’s not like you actually WORK, is it?
What day is it?
You will never know: because they’ll all blend into one…
Everyone loves a snow day…
… except you, because when you’re self-employed, there are no “snow days” where the boss sends you home from work to play in the snow. In my case, home IS where I work: and seriously, don’t tell her I said this, but my boss can be such a bitch…
Who knew it was this easy to become nocturnal?
Oh, what the hell: I was never much of a morning person, anyway…