This weekend the challenge is designed to help you consider working for yourself as opposed to a traditional job. Many people like the security that a traditional job offers, where you show up for work, do your job and take home a paycheck. They may like working for a larger organization and the additional benefits that it provides. However, many people are finding that they like the additional flexibility that comes from being self-employed or running their own business.
It is important to carefully consider your current financial obligations, and your personality type before you go into business for yourself. If you do not consider yourself someone who is self-motivated or someone that is driven to achieve goals, then opening your own business or working as an independent contractor may not be the best option for you. Additionally, if you have a hard time reaching out and making contacts with new people, running your business may not be the best option. No matter what field you work in, you will need to market yourself so that you can attract new clients and build a solid customer base.
Another important thing to consider is the additional financial risk you are taking on when you work for yourself. You will not qualify for unemployment if a contract ends or if you lose customers to a poor economy. You will be entirely responsible for planning your retirement. You will also need to cover your own health insurance. If you are on vacation, you will not be earning money and so you need to budget and plan around this.
However, if you like the idea of working for yourself or the idea of having flexible schedule with hours you set, you may be a great match for working for yourself or as an independent contractor with a company. You will have more flexibility, which can lead you to explore other options that you may enjoy more. It will take work, and you may want to slowly build into working for yourself, but many people find it very fulfilling.
The first step is to brainstorm some ideas that you may like to do. Some people choose to run an online store or to open a traditional storefront. Other people market their services and work as freelancer. Your decision will be based on your interests and skill sets. It may cost less to begin working as a freelancer, since you will likely need less start up costs.
Once you have decided what you want to do, you need to create a business plan with a clear timeline of monetary goals, and an exit strategy, if the business ends up not working out for you. If you are single, you will need to have a savings cushion that you can use to cover your basic expenses while you figure out what your cash flow will be with your new business. You will also need to come up with any start-up costs you may have. You should also have a solid marketing strategy in place.
You may want to start building your customer base while continuing at your current job. Then once you have a steady cash flow you can switch to working for yourself full-time. This option gives you a bit more breathing room, and allows you to put all of the profits from your business back into growing it when you first open it. You may also want to talk to a mentor before you begin working so you can learn some of the insider tips for your field.
Once you decide to work for yourself, you need to find independent health insurance and begin contributing to an IRA. You may also need to find an accountant, who can help you file your taxes. It is also important to have a large emergency fund in place when you are self-employed. These steps will help protect your against financial problems you may face later on. The emergency fund will also help give you some peace of mind, so you can make the best possible financial decisions.