For these past few weeks, I have been getting your feet wet regarding the life of self-employment. This week, let’s take a look at some of the things you may encounter, good and bad, during a hypothetical day of self employment.
First, everyone’s schedule will be different. For this article, I will just give you a sample of my day. I start at 430 am on Mondays and 530 am the rest of the week. This is due to a customer time request I have on Mondays. 430 am servicing a customer request may seem like an early start, but the perk is that I walk a total of 7 feet to my office once I get up. I’m not rushing into the car and sitting in traffic or complaining about people driving in front of me – so it’s good. I enjoy it.
The first three hours of my day are dedicated to providing customers their products (as my customers are monthly subscribers to daily products). So this keeps me busy for the morning. But the good thing is I usually work for about an hour and then take a walk or go swimming for a little while to relax. It’s my work smarter not harder policy. How is that smarter you may ask? Well that takes me to the point that has been proven many times: adults usually stop functioning about 45-50 minutes after starting something. So I have implemented many breaks into my day for this reason and it allows me to return to my desk motivated and ready to roll again. This happens to be another perk of being your own boss.
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Now after my morning break, I usually work for about two more hours until lunch time. Then I go ahead and exercise before having lunch. I usually give myself 1-2 hours per day, depending on how I feel and what my work load is for the afternoon. I set my own lunch time, and do not have someone telling me when I must be back to work. I don’t mean to brag, and I promise I will share more of the grueling stuff related to self employment. But it’s important to show you how much freedom you have as your own boss.
Alright, so you just had the nice big lunch and you feel sleepy. Well don’t take a nap yet. Go ahead and get more of your client work done. Or if you’re done with your client work for the day, then it’s time to start the admin portion of your day. This usually takes me about one hour a day if I do it every day and involves everything from accounting to contracts, to invoicing clients so that you can get your paycheck. Remember, no one automatically deposits your paycheck on the 1st and 15th anymore, you need to generate your own paychecks. I guess this may be a downside to self employment, as many Americans prefer the stability provided by that 1st and 15th paycheck.
So now that you have your admin work done, it’s on to social media. With the way business has evolved, if you’re not on social media, you could be missing out on a lot of potential customers. I usually try to hit the major social media markets each day with a small update of what’s going on. Periodically, I run a promotion to get people to interact with my social media page. Remember social media is a very important marketing tool in a successful business.
Another downside to self employment is that when everyone else is going home for the day, you’re just taking an afternoon break (before ramping up again for the evening). The 3 PM “afternoon slump” is a good time to take a quick nap.
After your break, and now that you have finished moving your customer products for the day, completed your admin and your social media work, it’s time to start the sales work. Maybe have a list of 2-4 potential clients each day to give a call, with the goal of trying to sell them products. Remember, when self employed, you are doing all of these jobs yourself at first (because your budget is tight). Once you have done the sales calls (and usually on average you receive new signups at about a 1-2 % rate), it’s 4 or 5 pm and time to call it a day.
Not a chance.
It’s actually time to get a soda/water or coffee and get ready for the next part of your job, which is even more marketing. Here you will need to administer your website offers, update your online infrastructure, and look for places to promote your products.
And with all that work, you could still have one of those days where nothing happens and you make no money. My advice is to not get discouraged, and work hard again the next day. And always remember, your customers are your paycheck.
So as you can see on any given day, being your own boss has many perks. It also has many duties that make you wonder “why did I give up that 9-5 job”? At the end of the day, we need individuals who are willing to take the risk of being self employed and we need people willing to tolerate a boss and work for a steady paycheck. Both are very valuable to our society. But if you decide to become self employed, in order to be good at what you do, buckle up your seat belt and be ready for the daily ride that your business will put you on.
Enjoy and until we business talk again, all the best for your success.
Joshua Kelly is a 13-year United States Navy Veteran. Joshua holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Natural Science and Math. Along with several military decorations, Joshua was certified as a Community College of the Air Force Instructor. Joshua is currently self-employed with Dakota Weather Consultants.
“I am passionate about the military way of life and also the self-employed way of the future, and of course, the weather. You will find me, every day, running my weather consulting firm when I am not spending time with my family. I enjoy sharing information by writing to help others prepare themselves and learn from my experiences”. Joshua Kelly