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The Biggest Con of Working For Yourself

by J. Money on Monday, January 16, 2012

facebooking at work

Ever since I started this year’s 50/50 mission, I’ve been keeping track of the hours I’ve spent working, and something hit me HARD last night (not what she said). It occurred to me that every hour I put down on that paper, is a SOLID hour of hard work. Not facebooking, not talking on the phone, not going out for coffee or long walking breaks, nothing – just pure work.

And then I think back to my old 9-5 jobs :)  And how many hours spent there REALLY went towards my core duties. 6?  5?  3? Not counting my restaurant or retail jobs (THAT is a lot of no-B.S. work), you already take out an hour for lunch, and then another one when you first walk in since everyone knows that’s time for catching up and checking email (personal, and work) and getting everything squared away so you can “start the day.” Then factor in all the internet searching, or out of office breaks the average person usually takes, and we’re already down to 6 or 7. Maybe even 5 knowing some of my friends ;) (I think one day I actually worked ZERO hours to see if I could get away with it.  And as bad as it sounds, no one noticed. I wouldn’t dare recommend it though!)

Pretty crazy if you think about it, right? I mean, it’s def. good for YOU the worker, and I’m not saying to work 100% straight w/ no breaks or fun time or anything like that – it would indeed kill productivity – but it’s DEFINITELY different when you’re self-employed. Every hour you bill or need to complete a project is exactly that: An hour. There’s no internet rando time here, or goofing off and getting away with it there – it’s all pure work. I mean, yeah – we DO waste time online and all that too (do you know how many awesome reruns are on during the day?? Judge Judy? Hoarders?)  but that only *extends* our work day as we still have a job to finish up. We can’t go home and forget about it for the night, because to the self-employed, ANY hour can be a work hour. And there’s no salary to tell you it’s gonna pay off in the end. Literally ;)

So the next time you say you “wish you could work for yourself” or “It must be nice working in your boxers!” think about what you’re really asking for there. Would you be able to work 10-12-14 solid hours each day to make that happen? Not knowing 100% if you’re even GONNA get paid for all that work in the end? If you’ve never thought about how good you just may have it at your boring day-to-day gig, perhaps some of these things might perk you up just a little ;)

Owning a small business, or writing blog posts all day may sound sexy to the average person, but it’s not always $hits and giggles. You gotta seriously enjoy the hustle if you want to be successful.  And if you’re not disciplined enough to sit still and pound out the work day in and day out, it may not be the best fit. Which is totally cool – it takes all kinds of people to run this world of ours!

Other small biz owners: Anything you’d like to add? Do you put in more *actual* hours than a typical office job? Or am I totally cuckoo over here?

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(Photo by marshillonline  – Edited by J$ ;))


{ 46 comments… read them below or add one }

1 The Frugallery January 16, 2012 at 6:58 am

So true! I used to get so frustrated with the amount of wasted time at work. I thought if I worked for myself at home I would get so much more done. Turns out, I cannot work at full speed for 10 hours a day. I miss the interaction and what was “wasted” time was actually very encouraging and motivating for me. Lesson learned!

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2 KC @ PsychoMoney January 16, 2012 at 6:58 am

for sure. Something else to keep in mind, look at management, remember those bosses that never did anything. Those bosses actually did a lot of thinking and planning and deligating but never did any of the actual work. So in the end you would probable list them as 0 hours a day of actually work. All of that emailing, thinking, surfing the web and gathering ideas is actually work that is growing your business but just does not seem like real work. As I grew my business I had to step away from the day to day work of the business and higher employees to do all of that, then my time went to all the managerial stuff that really does not seem like work.

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3 Alexis January 16, 2012 at 8:15 am

You are right on the money, J. Money! I have been a freelancer for five years or so, and when I have a big project, it’s like college again: all-nighers, caffeine and junk food, no time for hanging out or checking personal email or even wiping my you-know! Thankfully, as I am technically part-time, those days are not so frequent. But even when I’m working on something that’s not super-urgent, I don’t count the goof-off time to my total. So even if I’m at my desk for nine hours in a day (9-3 and 8-11, split for family time) I only record that I got five or six hours of work done, to keep myself honest with billing and records.

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4 Daisy January 16, 2012 at 8:59 am

So true. Workers spend a lot of their 8 hour day doing non-work related things, like talking with peers, checking email, etc.
I’ve never really had the urge to work for myself, mainly because at the point in my life I crave stability and I don’t think I’d get it if I worked for myself, but this is a really good point. My dad always worked for himself and worked a lot harder than the people who worked for companies. It’s not all butterflys and rainbows!

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5 Ginger @ Girls Just Wanna Have Funds January 16, 2012 at 10:20 am

This summed i up right here!
“Owning a small business, or writing blog posts all day may sound sexy to the average person, but it’s not always $hits and giggles. You gotta seriously enjoy the hustle if you want to be successful. And if you’re not disciplined enough to sit still and pound out the work day in and day out, it may not be the best fit. Which is totally cool – it takes all kinds of people to run this world of ours!”

I’ve been thinking about how incredibly long I spend working on this and I love it. Right now it just comes natural to me and when I hear others say the same about working for themselves, I wonder if they understand that it means working overtime with no pay for yourself. I know that I have the discipline, right now it’s about sitting back and waiting on the results! Because at the end of the day, we’re not pounding away late at night for nothing!

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6 Edward Antrobus January 16, 2012 at 10:23 am

I remember when I temped at a state agency. I had so much free time at work it wasn’t even funny. That’s when I beat Mine Sweeper on Hard.

But your point about “Not knowing 100% if you’re even GONNA get paid for all that work in the end?” is exactly why I just don’t have it in my to be a full-time entrepreneur. Some side hustles are fine, but if I’m going to depend on the money, I have to depend on the money actually coming in.

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7 PKamp3 January 16, 2012 at 10:25 am

Not to mention the coffee breaks which tend to stretch on past 10 minutes – and, let’s be honest, the meetings in which you are only loosely attached (but presented 3 weeks before so you are still on the invite list). Us Day-Jobbers have it easy in a lot of ways, and I respect your craft, Mr. J$!

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8 Debt Free Hispanic January 16, 2012 at 10:51 am

Then you have quarterly taxes and IT issues to handle on your own. Oh and medical insurance is extremely high.

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9 Iva @ This Side of Perfect January 16, 2012 at 10:54 am

Love the truthfulness of this post, JMoney. My husband is working on starting his own business and has literally been working on a project all week long. He’s getting paid for it, but when you’re right out of the starting gate, you put a whole lot more work into your business than you get out of it. And he’s willing to do it – and I’m willing to support him – but it’s definitely a “cake walk”. And that’s okay. I think I’d sooner have my husband work for himself – he seems much happier. But that’s another blog post…

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10 J. Money January 16, 2012 at 10:58 am

I forgot to mention above that I know this “office” life isn’t the same for everyone. A lot of you DO work your ass off, and are pretty responsible with your time/work/etc. I’m just channeling how it was at places similar to my old gigs ;) Which encompass a lot of entry-level jobs, sprinkled with a middle-management one or two. Though I have heard from some almost-retired folks that they like to goof off as much as we do, haha… so take it as you will.

@The Frugallery – Haha yup! I’m learning that a lot now too ;) All those “interruptions” helped pass the day nicely. Which they still actually do, but now I *feel* bad about it! Haha…
@KC @ PsychoMoney – Hmm.. that’s probably true too. A lot of the surfing online and what not can DEF. go towards learning and growing your biz more, but only when it’s not the “personal” stuff. I totally respect managers who can think big picture and make things happen – even when they’re not technically doing the dirty work to get it to that point.
@Alexis – Haha, that sounds about right :) I commend you on your honesty too – I forgot to add up in the post that I’m sure many people DO include all that extra fluff in their numbers to get more $$. Glad to see you’ve got a great work ethic!
@Daisy – It’s SO GREAT that you know that about yourself!! I’m impressed. And it’s totally cool too – as long as you’re happy, and you’re getting exactly what you want out of your place of employment. Thanks for sharing that with us :)
@Ginger @ Girls Just Wanna Have Funds – Haha, amen sister! The time will come indeed. And if it doesn’t, then it means it’s time to switch things up again and place our valuable hours towards another direction! Cuz 10 hours of busy work doesn’t mean squat compared to 1 hour of GOOD work. Somtimes we just gotta figure out what’s busy and what’s good ;) Keep the hustle up, baby!
@PKamp3 – Haha, thank you ;) I def. don’t miss those stupid meetings. They always tend to come either right when you’re in the middle of doing really GOOD work, or half an hour around break times… which makes you lollygag for another 30 mins since you don’t want to start on something only to be interrupted all over again. At least you’re getting paid for it though ;)
@Debt Free Hispanic – Yup Yup and YUP! All cons for sure. Congrats on being debt-free if your referencing your own heritage up there :)
@Iva @ This Side of Perfect – Indeed, my friend :) My wife tells me ALLLLL the time how much happier I am, and act, ever since going on my own. Those are huge factors to keep in mind for sure – glad your husband is going for it!! (And has an awesome wife to back him up!)

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11 Kacie January 16, 2012 at 11:17 am

Absolutely! I should probably log my hours. I’m sure my hourly wage is way lower than I think. Oh well, at lest it’s fun!

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12 Andrea @SoOverDebt January 16, 2012 at 11:39 am

This is my first month of self-employment, and I agree. People have no clue how much work I put into my blog and freelance projects. I have to force myself to take breaks, eat lunch, and turn off the computer because there’s so much to get done. I love what I’m doing, but I am definitely working harder than I ever did as an employee!

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13 Melissa January 16, 2012 at 11:49 am

For me, it’s kind of the opposite. I definitely still take Facebook breaks, or, read Budgets Are Sexy breaks. :) The biggest difference is that when I worked, I put in eight solid hours a day (with occasional breaks, because no one can *really* work eight hours straight in front of a computer), and then I did that for five days in a row, and then went home. Now that I’m working from home, I still work 40 hours a week, probably, but that’s spread out in smaller bursts throughout the day, and into the weekend. So the work is the same, or more, but it’s not as contained as when I worked a desk job. I’m not really sure which is better. Though I’m in my pajamas right now, and it’s freezing cold outside, so that’s a definite plus.

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14 Renee January 16, 2012 at 11:53 am

At my previous job, I could literally get away with not working 90% of the day if I wanted. Not everyday of course, but most days. At my current gig (the dreaded DMV) I don’t even have time to crap properly while at work. lol. So, I understand where you are coming from. lol

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15 SmartAssetTeam January 16, 2012 at 12:13 pm

Thanks for telling it like it is! So many people dream about living a different life and only see the pros. But almost everything in life is a combination of pros and cons. I sometimes dream about owning a small business, like a coffee shop or cafe, until I think about how complicated taxes and accounting and being responsible for a staff and a host of other worries… You have to be ready for the pros and the cons!

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16 Kris @ Debt-Tips January 16, 2012 at 12:35 pm

But at least you know when you work for yourself that more work=more money. When you work for someone else, in most jobs, more just means more work.

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17 LB January 16, 2012 at 1:47 pm

When I had my business, I was constantly selling my business and myself (wow that sounds horrible) in order to gain more and more business. I was working all the time and loved it. I would work constantly, because new ideas would come every second of the day and I would act instantly. It was awesome. I didn’t like the small paychecks compared to the hours however, but would do it again if I could come up with a solid business plan.

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18 Justin Wright January 16, 2012 at 1:49 pm

I completely agree! I sometimes reminisce about my old office job and how I spent a majority of my day “killing time” so I could head home for the day. Once I switched over to self-employment I quickly realized that killing time wasn’t effective anymore. I no longer get paid for the time I don’t work.

You definitely have to be willing to make anytime work time. The hardest thing I’ve found with self-employment is that it tends to interfere with your non work life a lot more than a job. I always find myself jumping on my computer or responding to emails when not “working” or when I’m on vacation.

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19 Jesse January 16, 2012 at 1:50 pm

I completely agree, but I wouldn’t say that is a con. At a day job, you aren’t rewarded for your efforts like you are when self-employed. Say you do kill it at work, get up early before work to get started on your emails, and actually work every single hour you are at your job. Does anyone notice? Meh, probably not. But when working for yourself, you have full control over your situation right? The harder you work, the more possibilities you create.

I’m really looking forward to working my butt off as a self-employed, but then again I do love the hustle.

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20 Sandy Webb January 16, 2012 at 1:59 pm

You are right on! My late husband and I owned a crane service together and our joke was: “I quit working 40 hours a week for someone else so I could work 80 hours a week for myself!” When self employed you think about work 7 days a week, never a day off. Since he passed I am back to working for someone else and frankly I really enjoy it. I work my 40 hours and go home to not worrying about it. I am not sure that I would ever want to be self employed again.

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21 AverageJoe January 16, 2012 at 3:58 pm

You totally put in more hours (and definitely more “serious” hours. But, beyond the “have to work to get paid” aspect, is the fact that you own it. My self employed status is like crack. I keep going back because it’s fun and because I get to keep 100 percent of the results….which are all my little baby.

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22 J. Money January 16, 2012 at 4:05 pm

@Kacie – Haha, yeah – do it! It really opened up my eyes :) Kinda like when I did that with my money, actually. I *thought* I knew what was up, but it wasn’t until I started tracking it all until it really *clicked*. It’s amazing how that happens.
@Andrea @SoOverDebt – Awesome! I had no idea you were self-employed now, congrats!! What a great great feeling :) If I can ever help with anything, just let me know!
@Melissa – HAH! Love it. So true too – we have the ability to spread it over time whenever we want as well. Which is a blessing, and a curse ;) Guess we all figure out what works for us though and run with it, eh?
@Renee – OMG that is too funny, haha… yeah DMVs are always busy!! I always admire all the people there who do the face-to-face stuff because MAN do people get pissy up in there. And the longer they have to wait, the angrier they get… that’s one of those jobs where you learn how to do customer service SUPER well.
@SmartAssetTeam – Yup! And I used to think I had to do everything myself too – which is also not true. If you can find a good accountant/lawyer/etc, you can pay them to worry about all that stuff ;)
@Kris @ Debt-Tips – Very true indeed. I’m def. not complaining, I just want people to know it’s not so glamorous as some make it out to be ;) I would’t change it for the world.
@LB – Yeah, it’s awesome right? Being able to implement things ASAP and not have to wait for permission/authority/etc?? Great point for sure, thanks for sharing it! (and let me know when you go into biz again, would love to help if I can! :))
@Justin Wright – Haha, ain’t that the truth ;) I told the wife the other day that I was “done w/ work” for the day, and now I was gonna go do something fun, and she told me “so you’re going back on the computer?” haha… and after maybe 30 mins of organizing or something, I jumped back on it ;) That’s the problem/awesomeness of being self-employed – you love it so much you want to keep doing it! Though now I’m making a conscious effort to do non-budgetsaresexy stuff on my “breaks” in order to divide it up. So that’s the time I work on other projects or ideas or inventions… gotta love the internet!
@Jesse – Very true too, sir – the reward is MUCH bigger when you’re on your own (usually) than when employed at a 9-5. Even if you make your company thousands, or millions, of dollars, nothing can stop them from laying you off at any given point in time. But if you were to make the company of YOU thousands or millions of dollars, well, even if you fire yourself you’re now left w/ a lot of money ;) So hurry up and get self-employed sir! You’re so close!
@Sandy Webb – There’s def. some beauty in that for sure :) If there was one thing I miss a lot too, it would be that: To not *think* about work 24/7. I really enjoy it a lot, but man – sometimes I can’t turn it off! Haha… glad to hear things are well for you :) Sorry for your loss.
@AverageJoe – TOTALLY!! That’s dead-on my man, keep rockin’ it!!

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23 maria@moneyprinciple January 16, 2012 at 4:11 pm

Good evening, J. I read this with great interest and existential understanding. I have been on sabbatical for six month now and have been working harder than ever in my life. Mainly writing – different kinds of writing. I have been working solidly for 10-12 hours a day but my feeling is that it is not sustainable in the long run. Need to do something so that work doesn’t continue to be my life. I NEED A LIFE!

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24 20's Finances January 16, 2012 at 8:25 pm

Wow – that’s a great point. You have to work your butt off to make it big too. For me, it sounds so appealing right now because I can motivate myself. I really just like the challenge (well, I like writing, and making money, etc.) I guess I will just have to kick some butt on the income level to make it worth the transition (eventually).

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25 Long January 16, 2012 at 8:38 pm

Personally, I don’t mind working long hours. I do already and pretty much have my whole life. The problem I’m having is getting paid for those hours while working on my own projects. The other issue is time management while working from home. It’s tough just knowing there are a million other things to do around the house. That’s what keeps me distracted. Does anyone have any work from home time management tips?

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26 Diane January 16, 2012 at 9:58 pm

I have the opposite experience. I work very hard, but I take lots of breaks too.

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27 Megan January 16, 2012 at 11:06 pm

I really really love working for myself, but I feel like I’m going to have to take a FT job here soon. Financially it’s just a better move for my husband and I. I hope in 5 years to be fully self-employed, but it takes a LOT of work and financially it’s just better if we both work FT for a while until we can get our house and plan to have kids.

I’ve interviewed at a couple and am waiting on callbacks and try to fill as much of my time with client work. Unfortunately, the non-paying work takes up time, too (marketing, administrative stuff, etc.) and I wish it didn’t. I’m not in a position to outsource that, though.

I wish I were in a position to work really long days, but the client work comes and goes. Some weeks I’m swamped and some I have little to do.

Also, my husband isn’t exactly the easiest person to work around. When he was unemployed this winter I couldn’t get much done like I wanted because he wanted to spend time together. Sigh. Maybe if the FT thing doesn’t work I’ll find a way to work a lot more. Maybe hit up Starbucks a few days a week. :)

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28 Jeff @My Multiple Streams January 17, 2012 at 1:23 am

Even though I do ‘breaks’ through out the day, my day dosent end at 5pm or even start at 9. I’m up at 7 and I start working right away, the whole day up till I crawl into bed after 10pm (sometimes later) is a work day. Even though I try to keep Sundays to myself it lasts all week long as well. Sometime I wish to go back to the engineering cubicle I called a job and just collect that consistent check every week so I can clock out each day :)

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29 Good Cents Savings January 17, 2012 at 9:46 am

This is so true, and something my business partners and I talk about all the time. We use time tracking software to keep track of billable hours and it can be so disheartening at the end of a long day to see that you’ve only billed 6 or 7 hours. It’s almost like all the running the business tasks and our own personal projects are “free time”, when in reality it’s serious work too. Still – I much prefer working for myself and feeling more control over my own destiny. Even after my health insurance bill comes in…there’s another downside of self-employment!

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30 Jeffrey January 17, 2012 at 9:47 am

I kinda hate the wasted hours at my job. It just seems so inefficient, but it’s impossible to be 100% productive. I know I’m not totally efficient with my side work, either, but I feel there’s more incentive to work towards that than there is at my job.

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31 J. Money January 17, 2012 at 11:28 am

@maria@moneyprinciple – That’ll happen! I wonder the same thing every other week ;) But then I remind myself that it’s always just a phase. Sometimes we go hardcore into our work, or our relationships, or fun times, or whatever else is at the top of our priority list right now, but it always changes. And even if it takes some conscious decision making, it’s ALWAYS in our power to change our paths in life :) As my blog post today shows, I’m all about running with what you’re “in the mood” to do at any given time while you’re nice and passionate (and efficient). If you think it’s too much though, start scheduling in an hour “off” each day! Maybe that’ll help?
@20′s Finances – That’s always the best way to do it :) Hustle on the side until that side projects starts bringing in close to what you’re making full-time, and then try and make the switch. And that timing will always be different for everyone since some are bigger risk-takers than others.
@Long – Oh man, you’re right on that one. And usually when I focus on my work hardcore, I just ignore everything around the house which is good AND bad, haha… Good for my projects, bad for getting things done around the house :) I do my best to do work-work though in morning and afternoon, and try and do house-work in the evening. Just like it would be if I were going to work each day. Hopefully some others have some better tips though?
@Diane – Well that’s good! A nice concoction :)
@Megan – Haha, there you go! That helps me a LOT, going to cafes. You have no choice but to WORK there. Hardly any distractions, unless you randomly come across friends or something. But usually they’re at their 9-5 working ;) Good luck on the job interviews! I hope you get something really good that you’re excited about!
@Jeff @My Multiple Streams – Haha, that’s the life of a entrepreneur! Damn good you’re passionate though, your work REALLY pays off – I see it! Not too hard to get excited either, if you’re always surrounded by beautiful women ;)
@Good Cents Savings – Oh jeez, you’re not kidding. All those things we took for granted at a 9-5 comes back to get us when we’re solo! Health insurance, and taxes, for sure. I preferred it when it was all just auto. deducted from my paycheck ;) Out of site, out of mind!
@Jeffrey – Yeah, cuz it’s going to the business of YOU ;) After a while, I realized that if I’m gonna waste time at work, I might as well be building up my blog stuff – so that took over all “extra” time. Not saying that’s a smart move for everyone (def. not!) but if you’re gonna waste time anyways, might as well be towards something you actually care about.

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32 Yazmin January 17, 2012 at 2:52 pm

I was just talking to someone about this. Now that I freelance, I feel like I’m doing more work than when I was employed. The income has also taken a nose dive. I wake up at 5 in the morning to blog and sometimes continue working till the evening. Tiring! Some days I wish I could slack off like the old days.

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33 Lindsay Gattis January 17, 2012 at 9:10 pm

Oh absolutely! Not to mention some/most weeks you’re probably working weekends. Or maybe that’s just me. ;)

I’m really frustrated when people tell me “oh you can’t meet me for lunch? It’s not like you have a real job.” ARE YOU KIDDING? Working for yourself is a lot harder than having a “real” job. And it’s a lot more fun too :)

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34 Donna Freedman January 18, 2012 at 1:24 am

It isn’t just the camaraderie that I miss, but the chance to bounce ideas off my co-workers. When I was a features writer, I had a couple of other reporters I’d ask to listen to ideas. Several of us would take walks around the building when we had writer’s block, and sometimes talking over a piece with them dislodged the block — I’d go back indoors and sit down and write.
And, of course, there was always someone with whom to whine about how hard I worked. Ahem.
While it’s nice to work in your PJs (some days I never do get dressed), it can be hard to stay motivated to research, to interview, to write. With a regular job that has structure, you don’t have to create your own rhythm — you just meet someone else’s idea of a deadline.
Hey, look! I’m whining again! Thanks for listening, J$. :-)

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35 J. Money January 19, 2012 at 1:13 pm

@Yazmin – Haha, you’re right about that sometimes. Lots of pros and cons to each, but as long as you’re HAPPY it’s all that matters :) And if you can’t take it anymore, you know you can always go back and get a job again w/ all that knowledge!
@Lindsay Gattis – RIGHT?? I get that too from my friends sometimes. In fact, I seem them way less now than I did working a 9-5. Mostly cuz I’m now at home and live farther away, but also cuz I’m super busy and don’t like leaving mid-working session. Which as you said, is all week and weekend, haha… it’s def. fun though! :)
@Donna Freedman – Hehe, you make a helluva great point there my friend :) It’s hard to get pumped up at home sometimes for sure! I blare lots of rap music and call people to help with that, but it’s def. not he same as working physically near others to gain fresh perspective. If you were closer by I’d TOTALLY go on walks with you! It’s my #1 favorite activity to do outside anyways, and it’s even better with a good friend. Move here already! :)

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36 perudelights January 24, 2012 at 2:19 pm

I work from home, and this is not the first time I´m doing this. I love it. And it is really hard work. I´m kind of workaholic, so I work seven days a week, late at nigh, with some breaks every now and then to have coffee or to take a walk. I manage to keep in touch with so many people to get feedback or some sort of ideas, and because of this I don´t feel lonely. It´s great. BTW, I´m a big fan of your blog, and recently I read an interview of yours in Spanish. Cool, ah!

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37 Rose Byrd January 24, 2012 at 2:48 pm

Hey, I just realized while reading this post: I DO like the hustle; that is the real me! Also, when I worked so many years as a techiegeekiewordygeekie, I was using my higher cognitive parts almost exclusively. Now, I produce my best work when I just use my heart and soul, especially my soul! In my senior years, I figured it was about time, before the juices dried up, you know?

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38 J. Money January 24, 2012 at 6:47 pm

@perudelights – Hey! I know you ;) Big fan of the person who interviewed me for that Spanish blog too! I’m glad you found something you truly enjoy doing – that is wonderful. If we live any closer, I’d totally join you on those walks too :) I get a LOT of great ideas while out taking in the fresh air myself.
@Rose Byrd – Haha, true that! Working w/ your soul can do wonders ;) Glad you’re Happy!!

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39 Robin @ The Balanced Life January 24, 2012 at 8:35 pm

I couldn’t agree more! I work harder than ever now that I’m self-employed. Even though I may only be with clients 4 – 6 hours a day – I put in at least 12 hours most days. I wouldn’t trade it, but it is certainly different from my corporate job.

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40 J. Money January 25, 2012 at 6:32 pm

Keep rollin’ with it then! You’re blessed to enjoy what you do so much :)

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41 IMSC Pam March 4, 2012 at 10:02 am

As a full time mystery shopper, I started working from home eleven years ago, leaving a position at the local school district as a supervisor. I can certainly relate to the people who say others do not think you have a “Real job.” Even my own husband has said things like, “You are not really working, you are getting paid to shop, eat in restaurants and have fun.” Really???? He forgot about the time it took to find the jobs, all the note taking and then the reporting, scanning and sending receipts, etc. I worked at least twelve hours a day and did not have a day off for many years.

Now that I am the President of the Independent Mystery Shoppers’ Coalition, I work even more hours. However, I would not have it any other way. I love what I do and I love not having to deal with the politics and rantings of some of the crazies that are in positions of management. Although it is nice to be able to work in our pajamas, one downfall I have noticed from this is that I do not take as much time as I should to make myself look my best, which I believe prevents me from feeling my best.

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42 J. Money March 5, 2012 at 10:11 am

Hehe, yup that’ll happen sometimes! I haven’t shaved my face in over 60 days!! I’m turning into a caveman behind the computer :) But I’m so glad and happy for you that you found something you enjoy so much! And that you can get paid enough for! That’s def. something special, way to go. I’ve secretly wanted to try mystery shopping too so I’m also half-way jealous ;)

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43 Kevin H October 9, 2013 at 1:46 pm

One of the biggest hurdles I had (and continue) to over come when working for yourself is realizing you have a lot to learn. When working for an employer, chances are if you don’t know how to do something another not far away in the company will teach you (assuming you are not too chicken to ask for help). While you can still ask others for help when self-employed it can be much harder to find the people with the knowledge you want. Basically this means you’ll have to do your fair share of researching and learning a new skill on your own. It can be mentally draining (especially when worrying about getting paid) yet extremely rewarding if manage to pull through.

In my case I get steady pay as a dairy farmer with learning how to run a plumbing business on the side. Having a steady paycheck from farming helps take some of the financial sting out. Still, learning a how to run a business from scratch has definitely been draining at times. I’ve learned much though and while I can’t say I’ll still be plumbing five years down the road many of the business management skills learned will definitely help when I take over the farm management.

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44 J. Money October 9, 2013 at 10:45 pm

Wow, did NOT see that one coming when you started leaving this comment, haha… we don’t get too many dairy farmers up in here, but love it! :) And so very very true about learning and researching – I often struggle with that too. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I launched my latest site, RockstarFinance.com, because I wanted to network more and force myself to learn and research about what everyone else in the money blogging field was doing. So it’s a perfect outlet for expanding my own horizons, but also promoting some of the best content out there since all the site does is curate these awesome articles I’m finding :) Kinda like a Pinterest I suppose, only for money articles.

Thanks for stopping by and sharing, my man. Great insight.

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45 coralyn January 25, 2014 at 9:17 am

I’m reading many comments about the stability of working a 9-5 job. Why do you believe working for someone elses business is more secure than your own. At any point your company you work for maybe having financial or market problems you don’t even know about, and could Cal you into the office, hand you a severance package, and out you in the pool of unemployed and looking. The people you’re working for….all started their own companies. Your job is at the whim of their business plan. Plus whatever work you do end up getting done isn’t going to you, its going to them. You’re getting about 10 to a 15 percent return on your efforts. If you are working for yourself, than chances are almost all your efforts will be going to you. This is why the only way to ever achieve real wealth and stability is to work for yourself. Blogging is a dumb business plan. In order to get yourself to the point of seeing returns on your efforts you have to become a household name…which, no offense, I don’t see that happening with this one. Small businesses should be as simple as possible. You are serving/ selling x to y customer for z amount. Otherwise your “small business” is really just a project you decided to spend all of your time doing…so of course you may not make money working for yourself. You have no sellable service or product that you can sell right away!

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46 J. Money January 25, 2014 at 10:26 pm

I’ll agree that no job, whether working for yourself, or someone else, is ever solid. But usually a 9-5 tends to be more stable than going out on your own (depending on what the 9-5 is and also what “going out on your own” is as well).

As for blogging being a dumb business plan, well, that would be true if you were treating it as a blog and not a business ;) There’s a lot of stuff going on behind the scenes most people are unaware of that make one blog worth $3 million and another $3.00 (and there are plenty of blogs in the finance niche who have sold for over a million dollars than most people know (and/or have even heard about)).

So the fact it’s a blog in itself shouldn’t be the determining factor of whether it’s dumb or not, but rather the strategy/goals behind it. Though I’ll agree 99.9999% of blogs will never make a penny. Fortunately the one you’re reading right now has more than supported a family for over 3 years…

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