From freedom, flexibility, and control, to pursuing your passion and working from anywhere, there are plenty of perks to being an independent professional. Here are 10 reasons to fall in love with self-employment.
When you’re an independent contractor, you have the flexibility to make your own hours and create the work-life balance you’ve dreamed of and deserve. Independents testify that their career choices stem from a desire to have greater freedom, flexibility, control, and purpose.
Finding the right balance can be a journey of self-discovery, but it’s an effort you’ll thank yourself for in the end.
Did you know that nearly half of the independent workforce (47%) reported making more money working on their own than they would in a traditional job? According to our State of Independence report, 3 million of the 16.9 million full-time independents earned more than $100,000—up nearly 50% from 2 million in 2011.
The large majority (75%) of independents agree that doing something you love is more important than making money. When you break down the reasons, it’s a no-brainer: more passion means more productivity. When you feel a personal connection to your work, it’s natural to put in more hours in a day. As one article puts it, our working careers will consume most of our lives, so we might as well do something we enjoy.
As an independent, you’re in it to do the work you love and that likely doesn’t include dealing with the needs of a back office. Our experts can help eliminate clutter, so you can focus on the things that keep your passion aflame.
On the other hand, if a potential project doesn’t seem fulfilling, you have the power to walk away if your heart isn’t in it. Those kinds of discussions, both with yourself and with potential clients, aren’t always easy, but it’s important to know that you’re able to say: “it’s not you, it’s me.”
The freedom to work where you want also provides the freedom to learn. Different projects you take on can require different responsibilities and skillsets. Keeping skills and knowledge current through personal pursuits or through diverse work experience can give independent contractors a competitive advantage when starting new work relationships.
Running your own business can be costly, but it also entitles you to some special perks. From office supplies to professional memberships and subscriptions, there are a myriad of expenses you may be able to write off as a member of the independent workforce.
Did you know that the average American worker spends over 42 hours a year stuck in traffic on the way to the office? Another study shows workers spend nearly $2,600 annually on their daily commute, and U.S. highway congestion alone costs $160 billion a year. Time is money, and that’s a pretty penny!
Less time spent on the road means more time to spend on your clients, and more time to dedicate to your personal well-being.
The freedom of creativity is a powerful thing. As a self-employed professional, your ideas are yours alone, and without having to run anything past a manager or team, your only criticism will come from someone already invested in your ideas, your clients! When you’re your own boss, no idea is ignored.
If you’re ready to share your ideas with the world, it’s time to consider building the right public thought leadership.
In the words of Buckaroo Banzai, “No matter where you go, you are there.” As an independent consultant, you have the power and technology to run your business from anywhere. Whether you’re California dreamin’, or are heading down South, between cloud-based services, mobile offices, and constantly evolving technology, home truly is where the heart is.
MBO’s self-employed resources can help to keep you on the move, whether you’re changing jobs or just changing addresses.
The independent lifestyle provides a unique opportunity to meet people you may have never crossed paths within a typical work environment. After all, the key to a successful start as an independent business is networking—whether it’s via LinkedIn and social media, joining professional organizations, or attending special events, you’ll be ahead of the game when it comes to marketing yourself and getting leads.
A look into 10 myths about independent contracting.
Make sure your small business operates legally with all of the required licenses and permits.