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3 Things They Forgot to Tell You About Being Your Own Boss

Be your own boss! Work without pants on! Set your own schedule! It seems like an ideal situation. And, in a lot of ways, working from home and being your own boss really is a dream come true. However, you do need to realize that it isn’t all unicorns and rainbows. There are some very real challenges to leaving your “real” job and working for yourself at home. When you are your own boss, you have all the responsibility — and you have to stay motivated. Before you make the leap to becoming a full-time blogger, or starting in on some other business venture, make sure you are ready for some of the realities that come with being your own boss.

1. You’re Not Actually Your Own Boss

I don’t work for “the man.” I set my schedule, for the most part. However, I’m not exactly my own boss. And when you work from home, as a self-employed person, you might not always be your own boss — especially if you have clients. In reality, most of the time I have a lot of bosses. All of my clients could be considered my bosses. I have deadlines to meet, and guidelines to follow, depending on the client. Plus, if you are making money through affiliate advertising or some other way, chances are that you have to follow certain rules in order to make your money. That means that, to some extent, someone else is in charge. Consider what you will be doing, and realize that, in some ways, you really aren’t your own boss, even though you are self-employed.

2. It Can Be Hard to Get Going and Stay Focused

Even now, I am trying really hard not to just get up from the computer and go grab a book. But I am supposed to be writing, solidly, for 90 minutes. So I am. But it’s hard not to check my Facebook, read a book, get up and get a cookie, or see what my husband is preparing for the psychology class he’ll be teaching later. Distractions are everywhere — and my son isn’t even home from school!

Plus, sometimes, it’s hard to get out of bed, and motivate yourself to get going in the first place. When you are accountable to someone at a job, it makes it a little easier to force yourself to get moving and accomplish various tasks. When you’re only answering to yourself, it’s a little easier to find reasons to put of doing your work. It’s easy to fritter away the day and find yourself held hostage to small interruptions. If you want to work from home and be your own boss, sometimes you have to keep going, and focus, even when there’s no one “forcing” you to do it.

3. Family and Friends May Not Understand that You are Working

One of the hardest things for me, when I first started working as a professional blogger, was the fact that no one took what I did seriously (there are still plenty of people who probably don’t). You’re home all day, so people think that you have unlimited leisure time to hang out, or help, them.

What was especially difficult for me was that, at first, my husband thought that I was just messing around on the computer. I was making money, and supporting our family, but it was hard for him to tell that I was being productive, since it looked like I was just surfing the web all day. Now he gets it, but when you first start out, it’s hard to explain to friends and family that you are working and being productive.

Do you work from home as your own boss? What do you find difficult about it?

Posted November 14, 2011 in: Blog by Miranda Marquit

  1. I can definitely relate to #3! I have to tell my wife I’m putting on the headphones to work. It’s the only way to block everything else out for a bit.

    GlenCraig, November 15, 2011 at 12:08 am
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  6. I’m sitting here reading this and nodding my head yes at each sentence. This describes my life perfectly! I’ve been a virtual assistant for five years and I’m still not sure my family knows what I do!

    carolm, November 15, 2011 at 5:09 pm
  7. I feel the same exact way! Sometimes getting out of bed is the worst, and there are definitely distractions everywhere!! I have to write down everything I need to accomplish and just go down the list, I have to take breaks every once in awhile just to refresh my mind. It is hard to describe to people what you do, and I do a little bit of everything, virtual assistant, blogging, and anything else that has to do with online marketing. Glad to know I’m not the only feeling the same way. :)

    _CassArchut_, November 16, 2011 at 5:33 pm
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  9. This so rings true. You always have a boss, even its your customer.

    I’ve had a number of periods I’ve gone through where I’ve worked from home, and the first week is always the most productive. After that, the days start later, the mind more easily drifts. I think 1 week per month is optimal from both a productivity viewpoint and keeping your mind fresh.

    freshthought, November 22, 2011 at 4:01 am
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