Happy new year 2017! Today is the first day back at work for many, which in and of itself can be a thoroughly gloomy prospect. For most readers of this blog however, you’ve chosen to work for yourself in some capacity or other and so you already know that what I’m about to say is bang on.
Being self-employed rocks! Just a glance at what is happening in the world at large and I know that to be true. Here’s why!
1. You get to browse the internet mid-morning while listening to the radio on a channel you actually enjoy. This – in my case – gave me the idea for this blog, so for the next hour or two I shall be creative, while dedicating myself to one branch of my business: communicating with my customers. I’ll also be supping a mug of builder’s tea and warming my shoeless toes on the radiator.
2. You’re less likely to be forking out ridiculous rail fares (forgive me if I’m wrong and you do commute by train). According to the BBC, many commuters will pay an extra 2.3% on rail fares this morning, and even allowing for inflation, rail fares have gone up by an average of 25% since the mid-1990s (and some have increased by 40%)! Performance, comfort and space have not improved even remotely proportionately. The government uses the Retail Prices Index (RPI) from July of the previous year as a measure of inflation to determine price increases. Last July this was 1.9%. So, let us spare a thought for our fellow Brits, crushed into tin cans, heading for jobs, with salaries yes, but little soul.
3. Being self-employed rocks because you can have your cake and eat it. Also in the news today, it transpires that dentists have criticised “workplace cake culture” and claim that sharing cakes and biscuits in the office contributes to health problems such as tooth decay and obesity. Professor Nigel Hunt from the Faculty of Dental Surgery has stated that the UK needs “a culture change” at work, and has issued some tips to help poor, daft workers (who have spent the first two hours of their day inhaling the underarm deodorant of a complete stranger on an overcrowded train that cost them 2.3% more to travel on than last week) cut back on sugar. This includes ‘keeping it as a lunchtime treat and hiding snacks out of view’. This demonstrates perfectly that the Prof has never worked in an office himself. You have to hide your treats out of view as a matter of course, or someone else will steal them. I can think of two words for this idea and one of them is ‘off’. Now pass the biscuits.
4. Being self-employed rocks because you often get to choose the conditions under which you want to work. As someone who regularly has one of three dogs sitting on my feet while I work, I can confirm that this is a huge bonus for me. My own little piece of paradise. It turns out that Nestle has just heard of this too. The food giant (and environmental disaster) has made some steps to improve employee health by allowing dogs in some of their workplaces, including their head office at Gatwick, as this improves ‘employee wellbeing and reduces stress’. Presumably they don’t allow dogs in their chocolate factories.
5. The first day back after the Christmas break is a lot less painful when it is your own business. My Facebook feed is taken up today by people moaning about their commute, de-icing their cars, and how many emails they have. One person reckons she can only get through a hundred emails a week (and she had 638). Given that she’s only been away from work for 2 weeks, I’d suggest she needs to get a wiggle on. When you’re self-employed, emails tend to mean one of two things – work or problems. If there is a problem, you need to sort it out fast. A problem can stop you earning money. And it is your money and your time so that’s a hell of a lot of motivation. If the emails are about work – you want it. Boy do you want it. So self-employment rocks because you’re motivated and your fingers go tip, tippitty-tap on the keyboard. You’re in the zone.
6. And being in the zone, solving the problems, making solutions work for yourself and your clients and customers – that’s what makes you happy. The more of it you do, the happier you are, and before you know it, you’ve worked an extra hour or two and you don’t care. Being self-employed rocks because you’re less likely to be clock watching.
7. Being self-employed rocks because you have a stake in everything you do. You’re not doing it for someone-else, you absolutely have to care about everything your business does. How you present yourself to your clients and customers, marketing, PR, supply, stockists, branding, social media, self-motivation, employee motivation, UK business news, world business news, the weather, the type of biscuits you buy – it all has YOU at the centre, You’re not a cog in a huge anonymous machine.
8. You get to choose what you care about – ethically, morally, politically, socially, economically, etc. You don’t have to buy in, sometimes half-heartedly, to someone else’s world view. You base your choices on what matters to you, and what will help make your business a success.
9. You have to be creative and thoughtful about your own business. This morning I noticed an ill-thought out, or at least a badly timed, ad campaign from Penguin Random House. They’ve just de-recognised trade unions, and their readership – mostly forward thinking, fair-minded, literate pillars of the community – are not happy. There’s a boycott of Penguin literature in place. Someone at the company hasn’t thought through their actions. Running a business can be a roller coaster – but you have to take the time to really plan a strategy, and understand that there are consequences for all you do. You don’t want to shoot yourself in the foot … ever.
10. You get to spend quality time building genuine relationships with clients and customers. Perhaps the same can be said wherever you work, but when you’re self-employed it really matters, and you can feel pride in your engagement. That’s why I blog, and I hope you enjoy them!
So that’s my 10 reasons why being self-employed rocks in 2017. I was happy to get to work this morning and I hope you were too. Happy new year from all of us here at Wholesale Clearance UK – we hope it is peaceful and prosperous and you get plenty of cake!
Over to you
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