3 Reasons Working for Yourself is Harder than Working for Someone Else

Book Signing at The Doubletree Hilton Hotel, downtown Chicago, circa 2014

It is more challenging to work for yourself in my opinion than someone else. My husband and I both run our own businesses. Here’s why it’s more of a challenge:

  • You Can’t Be Lazy

I know, you work for yourself, why can’t you? The truth is that though it’s more freedom, this freedom is a doubled edged sword. Having and running your own business is different than working a 9-5. When you work a 9-5 you’re expected to be there every day and on time and you can have paid times off or vacations or just decide not to come into work today. Pull that when you’re your own boss and it’s the difference between buying groceries and going hungry. The truth is that when you work for yourself you can’t be lazy. Instead of getting paid per hour, you’re getting paid per client and it is how you pay your bills and provide for your family. Not putting in work means to literally not get paid that day.

  • More Discipline

This goes hand in hand with not being lazy. Working for yourself requires more discipline. The reason is because when you work a 9-5 you have days off. When you work for yourself, however, you have to create those days and it’s tempting to procrastinate or put things off. Even though I work from home I still must discipline myself to get up early. There are only so many hours in a day and the earlier you get up the more you can get done. First of all, I need to get a good workout in to get the juices pumping and then I have to get to work which works well if I get up early enough. For my personal business, it’s more so building. Since I don’t have any “clients” yet what I don’t spend in money I spend in time. Researching, writing, blogging, sending off packages, marketing, promotion, and organizing.

However, since I am also the Vice President for my husband’s contracting business, I only have a certain amount of time to do certain things so I do not neglect any key responsibilities. My husband calls it “clocking in”. I call it walking into the office with a cup of coffee in my PJs. Though liberating, I have to constantly remind myself to take breaks and because I make my own schedule I have to incorporate my own vacations. This isn’t as easy as it sounds because when you work for yourself you’re never off. Your phone is constantly ringing from clients, your email and text messages are overflowing with new messages, and you’re just overall always locked in. My husband had to literally talk me into writing last weeks Black History Fun Fact Friday article. If it was not for him you all would not have had a BHFFF article for real. After grocery shopping, putting up food, and cleaning the kitchen I certainly didn’t feel like researching on the computer. But my husband’s work ethic is amazing and he does not let me slack off.  Truth is, people think that not having a “job” means you have all the time in the world and that you spend your days staring at the wall. In reality, I rarely have time to watch TV. (My version of TV is CNN as background noise). So, breaks such as movie night is something that we create.

  • Taking Breaks

10603772_720596317976228_4749338203801196478_nSince I mentioned breaks, I figured I should go ahead and list this one for the last bullet point. When you work for yourself you must schedule your own breaks. This sounds simple, but it’s not. Entrepreneurs are largely made up of what people call workaholics. The truth is not everyone is a workaholic, it’s just that when you make your own money you’re constantly working (as I’ve just mentioned) because nothing is guaranteed and every cent is earned. Therefore, business owners must create schedules to ensure they don’t lose their minds. We must create our own days off and vacations (mine is coming up, whoo hoo!) When we return, we’re reminded of why working for yourself is so much more mentally challenging. Everything we put off has piled up and so the grind continues but….

I would do it all again in another lifetime.

When you own your own business, you don’t just have more control but you gain so many more valuable skills, such as being more accountable for your actions and being more attentive to your surroundings and the behavior of people. You learn to do things like take the initiative (doing what needs to be done without being told) which is a great leadership skill. There’s something about doing the work yourself that gives you a different way of looking at the world, a new perspective, and a higher level of discipline and responsibility. In addition, the reward for all of this work is well worth it. The benefits of entrepreneurship certainly outweigh the challenges.


Yecheilyah Ysrayl is the YA, Historical Fiction author of The Stella Trilogy. She is currently working on her next book series “The Nora White Story” about a young black woman writer who dreams of taking part in The Harlem Renaissance movement and her parents struggle to accept their traumatic past in the Jim Crow south. “Renaissance: The Nora White Story (Book One)” is due for release summer, 2017. For updates on this project, sneak peek of chapters and the pending book cover release (coming soon) for this project, be sure to follow this blog and to subscribe to Yecheilyah’s email list HERE.

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Writing 101 – Assignment #9 – Breaks – When I’m Not Writing

I found it best to structure these assignments without introduction. It’s more engaging, I think if we just get right into it. For today’s assignment however, I suppose I can hip you to the rules. Since breaks are so important, like sleep that rejuvenates the body, we are to write about our lives when we are not writing, so here goes.

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Since I write full time I have equipped my day with a schedule to help to keep me balanced. As I mentioned in Assignment #6, I write best in the early morning. Though I do not publish a post until halfway through the morning, this doesn’t mean this is when I have begun writing. So I adjust my schedule so that my mornings are my writing time. When I’m not writing the direction of my day depends on what kind of day it is. But to keep me balanced and refreshed and to keep my mind clear there are a few things that never change from my day to day:

Biblical Study

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Prayer and studying the scriptures is what keeps me refreshed and moving in the right direction so that I do not forget my purpose. As astonishing as it may be, there is something I love more than writing and that’s the word. I have to study my scriptures and keep my head clear. As one of my favorite sayings goes: “Don’t neglect the physical because you live on the physical, but do not neglect the spiritual because it is higher than the physical.” I begin every morning with a prayer before I do anything and I pray throughout the day (at least 3 times a day). This ensures my eyes are always open and my head is always clear. Mental stability and clarity is everything.

Household

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Another major part of maintaining a balanced life for me when I’m not writing is managing my household. For the most part I’m a full time wife. Not that there are part time wives (who knows) but I’m a housewife to the fullest and it is something I take pride in because I happen to be good at it. Since I have the afforded luxury of working from home I see no reason not to keep a clean house. My husband’s career in Heating and Air Conditioning is very demanding so I make it my business to create an environment that keeps him happy. He’s Universally Certified which means he can work on anything for anyone and if he’s working nine, ten, eleven hours a day I see no reason for him to have to come in and do anything but rest. Of course, my husband is a very active person. He’s always finding something to do and he absolutely loves to cook so I don’t say this to say he doesn’t do anything. I say this to say that he has that option. This is his place of peace. My man’s place of residence should be nothing less than paradise.

Wine

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So I went back and edited this post to include wine. Wine and Movie Nights with the Hubby is definitely a great time to relax for me. I have to wind down with a nice glass after dinner and a good laugh. Daily laughter / intimate and mind provoking conversation with my love and daily wine, it doesn’t get more refreshing than that.

Workout

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I also enjoy working out which a) is a great way to renew my energy and b) something I’ve been admittedly slacking on. I suppose a trip to the gym is something I can incorporate into next week’s schedule.

Travel

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Last but certainly not least is another one of my most dear past times: Traveling. My husband and I love to travel. There is something about going outside of your environment and smelling air that does not belong in your backyard that is very refreshing. Because I write full time non-writing days may still consists of things that are writing related. There are orders to fill, packages to send off, people to contact etc. For this reason, whenever I want to really break I have to exit the whole scene; I want to leave my element. A break for me is not merely a break from writing it’s a break from the city! Let’s hop in the car or on a plane and just go. If I go too long without some form of travel I’ll get agitated because I really need these breaks. Speaking of vacations, I’m looking forward to the end of the year where I’ll be leaving this city once again for a chance to explore new lands. Talk about breaks, I’m so ready for one.

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