The Pros and Cons of leaving the 9-5 to work from home/for yourself..

It has been over 12 months since quitting the 9-5 to pursue running a business from home. Through this period, you experience every emotion imaginable following one of what I would consider the biggest decisions you may ever make in your life.

We are conditioned to believe the process is school, university and then find a job. We weren’t (Well I wasn’t) ever taught entrepreneurship, how to set up a business, the importance of multiple streams of income etc. Unless you are fortunate enough to be born into a family business, wealth or having business owning close relatives, the thought of leaving the “normal process” to set up on your own is extremely scary and daunting.

Once you do make that decision however, it is good to prepare yourself beforehand for all of the pros and cons that come with it to see if it is actually for you! Some of us are happy to work for someone else and in a comfortable job whereas others spend their whole life working for someone else wishing they had taken that jump earlier on and never do. Don’t let the latter be you! If you are not happy, make a plan – even if you can’t action it just yet!

Pros:

TIME

When you look at the time it takes to commute to work, pointless meetings, tea breaks, commuting home, sitting in traffic, having conversations with colleagues. When working from home you get a lot of time back, whether this time is spent relaxing, doing more work, house work, socialising or with family, the point is it’s time back to spend however you would like to!

FAMILY

You probably spend more time with your colleagues than you do with your family when you work full time. I now see my family and talk to my family a lot more now I work for myself. I will also get to continue to spend most of my time with my daughter (who is now 5 months) at home whilst I return to working from home, and work around her routine.

LEGACY

Perhaps I wouldn’t have included or thought of this point if it wasn’t for having a baby recently, but I have become more and more conscious of what legacy I am leaving my daughter.

As they say a JOB stands for Just Over Broke, because if you lost the job tomorrow and didn’t get a new straight away for any reason, the majority of people wouldn’t have another form of income, and if anything happened to you, you can’t pass your job on to your children. Owning your own business could mean you can, it opens opportunities for your children in the future. This point makes me even more motivated to grow the business even more!

FOCUS

This is personality specific I guess, as some of us just find it hard to focus in a busy office! There is a lot more distraction and a lot more disturbances to your flow. At home, if you are well disciplined and set up your home office well, you have more time to remain focused on each task, which in return should help make you more productive. Again some of us find it even harder to stay focused at home with many distractions in your house!

FINANCIAL (Long term)

If you execute your business plan well, and continue to plan to grow – the financial gain in the long run is a given. We aren’t even close to where we want to be with the business, but already we have replaced my 9-5 income and work a fraction of the hours I was doing before, we are able to pay for employees/contractors to support us, which gives us more time to focusing on expansion.

Cons:

ENVIRONMENT

I went from working in a 50+ person lively sales office to working in my home office either on my own or alongside my husband. What a change is an understatement! And you do miss having the social aspect to work, which I have now adjusted to, but it does take a while!

MOTIVATION

You do not have your colleagues or your boss to motivate you, push you, set goals etc, you need to do this for yourself! Remember what worked for you in the 9-5, was it images of what you wanted to buy yourself personally? Was it the positive feedback? Find a away to still receive the things that motivated you before. My husband, close friends and family are very encouraging which is motivating. Also, setting myself monthly, quarterly and annual goals push us to exceed them, then treat ourselves when we do.

PERCEPTION

This is a point really worth mentioning, once you work from home, all of a sudden everyone has this perception that you are always free! Free to run errands, babysit, have long conversations, go out etc! It is important to make sure you know to say no, you are still working whether it be in an office or from home. Put your phone on silent like you would do in an office and still switch off from the world to remain productive.

FINANCIAL (Short term)

Generally, when starting a business there are upfront costs to get up and running. Setting up the business, equipment, desk, laptop, insurance, hiring, logo, website, etc etc! Which some may consider a risk, but if you are going to do everything you can to make this business successful, then this will no doubt pay off in the long term!

The list could go on, but ultimately its whether or not its the right decision for you. I believe I have made the best decision I could have ever made for both my family and I. It is worth noting we set up the business around a year before I actually left my job, so timing is key if it is in your plans to work for yourself.

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