Quitting your job and living a life of “total freedom” gets glamorized and glorified (I’m guilty of this).
But it’s not always what it’s cracked up to be.
There are a lot of things I wish someone would have told me before I quit my job. I would have been able to better prepare myself for the challenges ahead.
If you’re really passionate about being a rogue creator, by all means, go for it. It is most definitely worth it. But the path is not without trials and some things that absolutely suck.
So, these are 10 reasons you should not quit your job:
1. No one cares if you don’t show up, or don’t do your work.
When you’re in a cubicle, or on someone else’s time, there’s social pressure and accountability that comes along with it. We take this for granted when we’re an employee.
As soon as we start working for ourselves, we have to become self-motivated and personally accountable. Some days, it’s easy. Other days, anything seems more interesting than diving into your projects. You might be scared, it might be really difficult work, or you just might not want to do your bookkeeping. Whatever it is, it’s just a part of the package of not answering to anyone but yourself.
2. Working from home actually sucks.
First of all, no one thinks you actually work. Friends, family members and even your landlord think that you can just take time out of your day whenever you want and it’s no big deal. Actually, it is.
Not to mention, there’s a lot of distractions you have to constantly battle with. There are many times for me when cleaning the kitchen seems more interesting than editing a blog post (probably because I don’t want to deal with it being imperfect). The kitchen feels like something I can really control. And it has to be done, right?
Distractions can be the death of you working from home.
3. You never really clock out.
Your laptop is always there. And your smart phone. Just a few taps or clicks and you’re back in the social web, or back in your inbox. While this is becoming more true for some employees as well, it’s even worse when you’re working for yourself.
As an entrepreneur, you have to become ruthless about creating strong boundaries. No one is going to set them for you.
4. Too much freedom.
You can work on anything you want! What an amazing gift. Yes, I agree it is. But it’s a double-edged sword.
Sometimes you get paralyzed by the eternal number of choices you could make. Prioritization, planning and coworking must become your friends, lest you fall victim to paralysis by analysis and decision fatigue.
5. It’s really fucking lonely.
There are no water cooler breaks when you’re sitting alone on your couch trying to get your autoresponder sequence to work. No company picnics or holiday parties.
Of course, when you hire people, you can create these things. Or you can find other creative ways to get involved in your community. But still, it’s up to you. It’s not automatically included.
6. You have to pay yourself.
When you work for someone else, the money just magically appears in your account every two weeks. There is no magic being self-employed.
The first year after quitting my job, my income was up-and-down every month. There were some months I didn’t know if I was going to make my rent (luckily everything worked out). It was a roller-coaster of stress and anxiety.
While you do have more control over how much you make as an entrepreneur, you also have control over how much you make. If you don’t close deals, get new leads and clients, you’re S.O.L.
7. No one cares as much as you do.
You’re the boss. You’re the founder, CEO and owner. It’s your vision, your company, your mission. While you can hire amazing people that will make your life easier, they still will never care as much as you do.
Working for someone else, you have the luxury of not caring. You don’t get to just “check out” as a rogue. Caring, monitoring and nurturing is a 24/7 job.
8. No one tells you what to do.
There are many days I wish I could just show up and follow orders like a good little robot. It’s tiring making up everything all the time.
While I wouldn’t trade the freedom for the world, it does carry a lot of responsibility with it. I wish someone would have told me about this before I quit my job.
Taxes are really simply when you work for someone else. Just a W2 and TurboTax and you’re pretty much done in 30 minutes or less. Ah, those were the days!
Not as simple when you work for yourself. You either need to do your books, or hire someone else to do them for you. You have to keep track of receipts, expenses and 1099s. While there are a lot of things you can do to help make the process easier, let’s be honest: everyone hates doing taxes. And it’s much more complex working for yourself.
10. Doing everything yourself.
Freedom does not come cheaply. In the start up stages, you will wear pretty much every hat. If you don’t learn to become a master juggler, you probably won’t make it past the first year.
In time, you can hire other people to help you, and eventually you can even remove yourself from the operations of your business. But this is a slow process that requires years of effort. So if you just want to make art and not run a business, you might want to work for someone else.
Just be okay with them reaping all the rewards for your work. It’s the benefit of being responsible for making things profitable.
Anything I missed?
What’s one thing you think sucks about working for yourself?
Leave a comment below.
And pass this on if you think someone you know could benefit from it.
PS: A special thanks to everyone that answered my Facebook and Twitter posts on what they think sucks about working for yourself. You’re awesome!