The Trap of Being a Self-Employed Employee

It doesn’t feel that long ago since I left my job to become my own self-made man. It certainly doesn’t feel like over five years ago, but as I look at my son, I realise that it has indeed been over five years.

In that time, so many moments.
Some good.
Others tough.
Far too many mistakes.
The occasional success.

Lots of lessons.

If I could go back in time and do it all again, I would change a lot.

I would stay in my job longer and get a clear view on my business.
I’d side hustle for a while.
I would ensure I made momentum before I took the leap.

Different tactics…
Different strategies…
Different approaches and outlooks…

Alas, I cannot go back.
Neither can you.

We are just humans that make human-being decisions.
Some good.
Others… not so much.

But something I see too many people do…
(myself included)
… is leave employment to start on their own, only for it to become a job.

You start a business for freedom.
You go through the chaos to live a different kind of life.
The stress is worth it, because you’re going your own way.

Except… are you?
Do you?
Are you free?
Are you happy?

For many, the answer is: I don’t know.

You love your work and your clients, but you feel somewhat imprisoned.

You love the journey, but you don’t see an end in sight.

You are a bonafide entrepreneur, yet part of you feels like an employee.

Much of this is down to the fact that this is tough.
You have to put in the work.
At times, you need to hustle.

It all seems sexy on the outside.
From within, it isn’t.
It’s hard, and unless you’re living it… nobody understands it.

Of course, everyone tells you this beforehand.
The problem is, you don’t believe it.
You assume it will be different for you.

YOU… have this.

So you dive into the void and most of the time wish you hadn’t.

You hustle…
You work harder…
You work longer…
You try this…
You try that…
You say YES… all the fricking time…

And before long, you feel like your own business’ employee.
Both the boss and the slave.

And the fact is, many business owners and self-employed folk spend the rest of their life doing this. They own a business so feel like they’re free, but they’re impriosned to it and therefore never “feel” free.

They are self-employed employees.
They are free slaves.
They are walking-talking prisoners.

This defeats the whole reason we do what we do, right?
You don’t start a business to become its employee… right?

No.
But…

This happens.
Too often.

I think in one way another, this happens to everyone.
And it remains this way until YOU do something about it.

Life will rule you until you rule it.
This is true whether you have a job or a business.

So… how?
Well… I don’t have the answer.

I’m still figuring it out.
I’m free but not.
I work for myself, but that’s the point…
… I work for ME.

I’m my own employee.

But I don’t want to be.
I want to live life.
I desire a lifestyle that allows me to do this.

… to work on the work I love.
… to play as I wish to play.
… to spend it with those I want to, where I want to.

I cannot give you a blueprint of how to make this happen.
I don’t think anyone can.
I imagine it’s different for us all.

But what I can say is, I don’t think you will find it by focussing on a work/life balance. It isn’t about working from a set time to another set time, having weekends, time to travel, or anything like that.

It’s about you building a lifestyle that works for you.

Personal + Professional, aligned as one.
Passion + Purpose, as one at all times.

You… life… your ONE life…

Since I started to see it this way, it’s been easier to fathom.
I have a better idea of what I want and how I’ll get it.
Not easy… not without strife… but easier.

So if you can relate right now, as a self-employed maverick or business owner extraordinaire who doesn’t feel quite as free as you could be, don’t worry… you are not alone.

It’s common.
Too common, in fact

But you won’t fix this or overcome it by working harder.
More money won’t help.
Not even more time will help.

You already have time.
Each day, a fresh batch of 1,440 minutes.
More or less money doesn’t change this.

You get what you’re given.
That’s it.

Instead, make strides towards what you want.
Bring your Personal + Professional lives together.
Accept you have ONE life.

Not a work one and a home one.
Not a client one and ‘your own projects’ one.
Not a professional and hobby one.

It’s all the same… LIFE.

And it’s yours.
All you have to do is own it.