13 Signs You Are Meant To Be Self-Employed

By Julia Campbell
November 19, 2012 • comment(s)
Your rating: None Average: 5 (2 votes)

Your boss is driving you crazy because of his short-sightedness.

You don’t get along with the other employees because you keep taking control of team projects and bossing everyone around.

You are sick of your great ideas being ignored.

You are frustrated at the status quo and the lack of innovation in your field.

Maybe you’ve been discriminated against, laid off, restructured, demoted and under-valued.

You’re fed up and ready for a change.  

Does this sound like you? Then you may be ready to step out on your own and join the growing ranks of the self-employed!

I’ve found that there are 13 important characteristics that predispose people to go out on their own, and I’ve listed them here. If this list sounds anything like you, then seriously consider starting fresh and being your own boss. I know that I have never regretted it!

13 Signs You’re Meant To Be Self-Employed

1)      You want flexibility in your schedule. Yes, everyone wants this. However, to succeed out on your own, you have to understand that being self-employed does not mean a shorter work week – in fact, it usually means a longer day and week. I have been self-employed for two years and it’s nearly impossible to take a vacation longer than a 3-day weekend. However, if it’s a really nice afternoon and I’m not on deadline, I can go to the beach or sit outside or take my daughter to the park. With self-employment, you make the rules of your schedule, but time not working is time that is not paid. This trade-off is one that you appreciate and are willing to embrace.    

2)      You want more control over your ideas, your projects and the work that you do. Are you a control freak and a micro-manager? Are you Type A personality? (I know that I am.) I can’t imagine having to run things past a co-worker or a boss now. M work and my ideas are mine alone and the only criticism I get is from my clients (positive or negative).

3)      You don’t play well with others. People generally consider me to be friendly, gregarious and outgoing (and humble). However, in a work setting involving a team project, I turn bossy and controlling. Being self-employed, I have made a conscious decision not to grow my business to more than one full-time employee. I do work with other freelancers and contractors as needed, but I don’t manage or supervise anyone, and I love it that way.      

4)      You have passion for what you do. Whatever you decide to do with your one person business, you need to have an ability to translate your passion to your customers and clients. The self-employed thrive on an unbridled enthusiasm for their work. Otherwise you will quickly burn out and get discouraged.  

5)      You are a good listener. Being self-employed does not mean talking about yourself all the time to anyone who will listen – quite the opposite. You need to listen to conversations in your industry, listen carefully to your customers and your clients and become a fantastic analytical thinker. Be able to repeat back to people what they are saying to you and offer solutions to their problems.  

6)      You are comfortable being “the decider”. When you are your own boss, you can’t pass the buck. You are your brand and your business, and if something goes wrong or there is a complaint, you need to embrace the criticism, make improvements and move on.

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3 Comments

Dianne Dixon's picture

Yep, I was sporting quite a few of these because I was having a higher vision of a better way to do things than the decision-makers did.I may be working longer hours now but at least I'm making that compromise on MY terms.
Good article!

Tony Gallacher's picture

I've recently decided to start out on my own, so I found your tips helpful. (I am currently trying to generate my first paid work.)

Personally, politics also puts me off wanting to work for a company.

With ref to 6), if you are self-employed, it helps that any decisions you make will always be in the best interests of the company (because you *are* the company.)

Whereas, office politics can often undermine good decision making in companies; that can stop them creating great products and services. Personal or department agendas are often a 'deciding' factor.

Julia Claire Campbell's picture

I wholeheartedly agree. I always have to be 100% confident in my decisions, b/c the buck stops with me. But I love that aspect of self-employment.

I also completely agree with out about office politics - backstabbing, ladder climbing, etc. For me, the last straw was being laid off when I was 9 months pregnant!