Wednesday 31 August 2022

5 Things Self Employed People DON'T Want to Hear!

Just like any job there are often ups and down, some things you love and some you could definitely do without and being self employed is certainly no exception. Whilst being self employed definitely has its perks and for us personally as a family has worked out, it isn't without its serious issues too. Working from home makes it almost impossible to walk away or switch off since you live in your office and you never really leave. You are solely responsible for finding work and making your own money so taking time off means no payment, there is no holiday pay or sick pay when your self employed and so if you choose to take time off, expect to have to work twice as hard after to make up for it. 

But of course it has its perks, the hours are mostly flexible (by this I mean I can have time off in the day to attend a school assembly for example, by then working until 10pm instead!). I can be home for the school holidays but it still means a very stressful and hectic work/life balance and there are days when the mum guilt at having to stay in and work with two bored kids on a sunny day really gets to you. Its nice being able to work in your pyjamas or a big fluffy jumper on a cold winter day, but its also lonely and isolating at the same time. There are no office parties, birthdays or celebrations, no Christmas party or work place incentives, just me and my laptop at my dining room table trying to stay motivated for my families sake, which I will be honest is not always so successful. 

"Will you ever get a real job?" 

For some reason there are still a lot of people who seem to think that being self-employed for some reason doesn't count as a real job...! This one probably stings the most and it doesn't matter how many times I hear it, it still hurts. 

I don't know what it is about going out to a place of work, sitting at a desk, or working for someone else that makes a job a "real job" or perhaps it's the lunch breaks and getting a proper pay slip that swings it? Either way the way I see it is that being self-employed is just as much a real job as any other and its actually really insulting to assume it isn't. No, we don't get holidays or sick pay, we don't have a manager to answer or office politics to deal with but we very much have real responsibilities, earn real money that pays real bills (and pay a very real tax bill) and stress about work just as much as you do and to me that's make it a pretty real job

"Can I get this for free?"

This probably applies more to those who sell actual physical products than me as a blogger (although I regularly get emails asking me to create content or work for free or better yet "for the exposure", I am sure the energy company would love me offering to pay the bill in exposure too right? But please don't ask for things for free, they aren't free to us, and neither is the time it takes up to promote, package, sell etc these products. Most friends or family will likely offer a discount but if you can, if you love a product someone you know if selling just go support them by purchasing the product rather than asking for it for free. And if you can't buy right now, that's fine too, there are plenty of ways you can support your friends such as sharing their content, speaking about them to others, and making recommendations all being free. 

"Your so lucky you get to stay home all day" or "I'd love to earn money sitting at home all day"

Again I appreciate that whilst my job is mainly based as home, some self employed people work from work sites or offices etc so this one is mainly aimed at those who work solely from home. But yes, I hear this all the time (even from my own husband who often begrudges me as he leaves our home for work each morning). Whilst working from home is nice, the novelty is quickly fleeting and lets not forget that being at home all day means using your own electric, water and appliances all day (and the cost of that soon adds up in the current climate). 

Oh and I don't earn money from "sitting at home all day", I earn money just like everyone else, my working hard and doing my job, just because I do it from my home doesn't make it any less demanding or stressful. In fact working from home means I am alone, no colleagues to ask, no superior to get advice from. If I make a mistake that mistake is on me, not only to own up to, but to fix as well, all on my own. 

"I am going to start my own business too, can you help?"

Now this one is slightly different because I actually am more than happy to help people where I can (I am definitely no expert and mostly wing it myself!). But its when its made as a passing comment where people thing they are going to be able to spend an hour at their laptop setting up a blog or a website and start making money straight away. 

I am happy to give my time, my advice and guidance but only if your really truly interested in starting a business and understand that its hard, its time consuming and building a business doesn't happen overnight. I often get a look of horror when I tell people that I worked at my blog and its content for several YEARS before I actually started earning. Of course there are other self employed businesses where you sell physical products that will allow you to earn much quicker. But again these are often about building up trust and a good customer base so will still take time and patience before your earning good money. 

My advice to others is always that starting your own businesses isn't a get rich quick scheme so only really ask for advice if you are willing to invest your time. 

"Can you look after my child since your home all day?"

My kids love play dates just as much as the next kid, but its not really much fun (or fair) when its all one sided. Don't get my wrong, I am happy to help a friend out and have your child now and again if something happens or childcare falls through (it happens to the best of us) but please don't assume that because someone works from home they are essentially "free" childcare. 

Working from home with my own children home is hard enough so having extra children running around only adds to the drama, mess and mostly noise. Even if your friend does work from home, they'd still appreciate your taking their child in for a play date sometimes too so don't be afraid to reciprocate the offer even if you think they don't "need" it.

So yes there are loads of perks of being self employed and when its going to good, its absolutely fantastic. There is the possibility to earn lots, the freedom to work when you can and of course the comfort of being in your own home or choosing where you work. But it isn't all easy going, chilling at home, raking in the money kind of work. Its hard work, it can be costly when your home all day your bills are costly and there are long hours and often lonely. Its stressful and manic all at the same time and when you see us at our kids assemblies or dance performances just know that whilst we know how lucky we are to be able to be there, we will most likely be making up for it later. 

So before you make a comment to someone who is self employed next time just remember that as much as you envy them, they probably envy you sometimes too! 



  1. Great post. It's amazing how people think when you are self employed and work from home you don't do anything or much. I hate it when people expect me to write a post for them for for exposure. It's hard enough being self employed let alone then being expected to advertise others for nothing in return.

  2. I am self-employed, work from home, and have two children. I make a good living working from home, and what I value most is my independence. Although my children occasionally distract me, I enjoy having them around all of the time, especially during the holidays. I also appreciate not having to pay for office space. One of the best decisions I've ever made was to quit my job and become self-employed.

  3. Even just reading these makes me a little annoyed and I'm not self employed full time. I always have people ask me about gifted items and press trips, and it's like you don't realise how much work goes into this they're not really 'free' x

  4. Haha, oh wow this post hits the nail on the head! I get the begrudging husband too, and I agree that working from home gets boring and loses the novelty relatively quickly.

  5. I don't know why employed people think that being self employed meaning staying at home all day and not having a real job. Yes, I do have a flexible schedule, but that's because I choose when I work. For me, the most productive day is Sunday, when most people actually relax.