In a desire to make your own hours and pave your own path for your career, many 9 to 5 workers are attempting to venture out on their own. But while there are many benefits to starting your own business and becoming your own boss - potential to make more money - create your own schedule, ability to implicate your own ideas, freedom to find your own path, etc. - there are several challenges every person starting their own business will come up against. 

Though everyone’s path towards carving their own niche business out is different, there are four challenges that everyone will need to meet and overcome if they want to find success.

Your clients and customers are your bosses

While one of the perks of entrepreneurship is choosing your own work hours, if something happens to your client’s needs, you have to be willing to drop everything to meet their needs. This can often mean sacrificing your weekends, and any extra time you may have to meet their deadlines. Accommodating your clients have to be your number one priority if you want to maintain a loyal client base. 

But you can overcome this obstacle. Instead of focusing on working for the customer, work with the customer to help them achieve what they want from your customer. This will allow your client to feel involved, so they feel confident that they are getting exactly what they want, and their confidence will provide positive emotional support that will help you to continue through your work with a positive attitude.

From insurance to benefits, you are on your own...

This is most likely one of the most significant challenges you will have to overcome. As your own boss, you can no longer rely on an employer to provide you with benefits. You will have to purchase your own health insurance and start your own retirement fund. And you will have to put paid vacation time out of your mind, primarily if you are working on your own. If you are lucky enough to be able to afford even a freelance employee, there are many rules and regulations for small businesses in regards to the insurance and benefits you will have to provide. 

However, don’t let this discourage you from “becoming your own boss.” Understanding exactly what is expected of you and what your business requires of you, will not only help you be a better boss but will help you on the day to day separate your personal life from your work challenges. Starting your own business is one of the most challenging things you can do, but also the most rewarding.

The work-life balance and maintaining your sanity

Mastering the “work/life balance” can be tricky even in the most ideal of situations. When you’re riding the high of starting your own business, it can be incredibly difficult to remember to take time out of a job for yourself to relax. And, unfortunately, by the time you realize that you are spiraling out of control, it is already too late. With no shortage of work to do - by just you - it can be hard to step away; especially if you are like one of the many entrepreneurs who enjoy staying busy.

About six months into your work, you will find yourself on an island and that you are on a very lonely island. You will see your days slip away and if you are with your family, you will find it difficult to focus at the moment if work is consistently on your mind. This will be difficult to balance as many people will question why you are stressed out or unable to hang out as people who are self-employed are perceived to be able to step away whenever they wish. Working for yourself requires a lot of time, effort, and responsibility and unfortunately - unless they are in the same situation - many people will not understand. 

Though your business is essential to you, you have to be able to recognize when it is time to walk away. Not only for your mental health but for those in your personal life so that you can maintain a healthy work life and a healthy personal life.

You wear all of the hats

Congrats! You are self-employed. You thought to sign up to be your own boss was the

perfect next step in your career path, but chances are you didn’t anticipate that you were also signing up to be your own marketer, salesperson, human resources manager, customer service rep… well, every job at your own company is now your job. Now you might consider implementing software for inventory management or other automation tools to help you out with managing your business. 

This means you will find yourself handling tasks the department you previously worked in never handled - such as office management, IT support, data analysis, and accounting. So not only are you stepping into your role as boss, but you will also play every other role - choosing a direction and every step your company takes. When you are your own boss, you have a hand in every choice and every task. 

Starting your own business and being your own boss, as previously stated, can be one of the most rewarding, stressful, challenging, but the most exciting and actually the best decision you could ever make. Though this list is not a catch-all, do these four things, and you will be incredibly successful if you start with these steps. You will also be able to carve out your niche and be an active proponent in your field.

You’ve got this!

Published by Zoe Sewell