Are you building a business or are you self-employed? You love DOING your work but as long as your business depends on your talent, as long as you need to be there and do the work, you’re self-employed, you have a JOB going from project to project, you work hard with little time for your family or a life beyond work – you work to make money.
If you were to look at your work from a business owner’s point of view your work would focus on creating the structure and systems so that your business works to make money for YOU and eventually you’d have a business that’s not dependent on you.
You’ll say, wait, I don’t want to be stuck managing a bunch of people I don’t want that kind of business, I love what I DO, I’m making money and doing well. OK I hear this quite a bit and I think a lot of small business owners and independent professionals are perfectly happy bringing in occasional part-time help or take advantage of virtual assistants, keep their business small and meet their financial needs. What’s important is that you are clear about the kind of business you want to build. If you’ve made a conscious choice to stick with the self-employed model great, just know the pros and cons.
What concerns me more lately is what many in the self-employed model are starting to experience. You see, you may have been working at your JOB for 10, 20, 30 years, hopefully leading a good life enjoying what you do. Now you’re starting to think about slowing down and perhaps stop working all together, but here’s the question: are you going to be able to stop or are you faced with the scary reality that you have nothing to show for! All those years, you’ve worked at your JOB. You didn’t create the kind of business that has become an asset to sell or transfer. Did you accumulate enough wealth in a retirement plan? Perhaps your income was enough to provide you with a good life style but not enough to build a nest egg to continue that lifestyle when you stop working.
There’s nothing wrong being self-employed. However, be mindful and take care of yourself not only today but for the future. The sooner you start putting money away towards building your nest egg the better off you will be when you want to stop doing your JOB.