So for those of you who don't know, alongside being a blogger, my main money maker is as a freelance illustrator. I left university in May last year, graduated in October and have been officially self employed since July - like my business name is registered with HMRC and everything. Real grown up business tings.
There is a lot of stigma around being a blogger let alone being self employed and working from home and I think there's a lot of misconceptions floating around. With that in mind, here's some of my personal favs.
1. It's easy.
Let's just put it out there....it ain't. It is a hard slog and all the responsibility for your businesses success rests on your shoulders. Can't be bothered to put in 100% effort today? Soz you won't be making any money today then. You CANNOT drop the ball because the success or failure of your career rests completely with you. If that ain't pressure at work I don't know what is.
2. It isn't a 'real' job.
Ugh. Don't even. I don't know what constitutes as a 'real' job but in my mind it sure ain't sitting at a desk 9-5 working for some big wig that doesn't pay you enough. I don't even know if anyone can say they have a real job but those of us who are creative and work for ourselves are in just as much a viable career as the next joe blogs.
3. You get to keep all the money yourself.
Last Sunday I spent an entire day with my files and accounts books around me working out Post Office receipts from last November and doing my self assessment tax returns. Nobody likes paying tax but it's a damn side easier to simply have it taken away from you on your pay slip before it's really entered your brain. If you're self employed it is not that easy. You have to keep a record of EVERYTHING from postal receipts to amazon orders to paperwork for sales to website bills. You have to justify everything and you have to offset all your expenses with your income and it is very complex. Ultimately you don't get to keep the money all to yourself. You still have to pay National Insurance. You ultimately make a loss initially as you invest all your money back into your business. And at the end of the day can you imagine getting paid and then taking 20% tax away from yourself? Bitter sweet.
4. Working from home is easy.
I'll admit, obviously working from home is one of the biggest perks of being self employed. However, you have to motivate yourself to work when you have 7248737587 distractions going on at home. You can see the mounting pile of ironing that needs doing, the phone is ringing off the hook, the dog still needs walking, the cat needs feeding, your family is distracting. Working from home I think in many ways is more distracting than it is motivating because you still have to get on with your every day life and you cannot switch off from work at 5 when you leave the office. You'll find yourself at midnight still working away because your office and your work is in your home.
5. Anyone can do it.
As a creative person that works from home, I and anyone else in the same business can assure you that ain't true. There is a reason why not every individual goes to art school and that is because soz, but not everyone can draw or design. Art is a talent in the same way that the ability to sing is and and the ability to act. You can certainly get training to improve but there has to be a talent there to start with and creating a business from that talent, and all the work and dedication that goes with that is certainly no mean feat and certainly not something everyone can do.
I absolutely love being a freelancer and working for myself but flippin heck it's hard work!
Are you self employed or work from home? Do you find people have misconceptions about the work you do?
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