I love working on my own. I have been on my own for the last 6 years now. Over the past 1.5 years, I have focused on starting a new business. It has been a struggle at times, but I have always appreciated the opportunity to work on my own and here are my top 10 reasons why:
  1. Independence - Working on your own means complete independence. No person or organization controls what you do. Everything you do is on your own by your own choice. Of course you still have to answer to your customers and employees, but it is still all on your own terms.
  2. Flexibility - No regimented schedule. Your work schedule is completely up to you. Owning your own business requires a lot of work. I may work 60-80 hours a week, but I do it when it suits me best. I may work early in the morning (often arising at 5 AM) or I may work late nights and week-ends, but then I can take time off as needed for family and other stuff. No vacation requests, no sneaking out of the office, and no personal/sick time, just planning your own schedule on your own terms.
  3. No Boss - Does this really require any further explanation.
  4. No dress code - In my case, most of my work is done on my own, remote from my customers, so I can dress as I want. Jeans, shorts, sandals, sweatshirts, or whatever I feel comfortable with. When I need to, I dress appropriately.
  5. Owning your successes and failures - To me, this is the crux of it! Owning it all. The good and the bad. The successes and failures. Nobody to blame or encourage except for yourself.
  6. Using cheap/free stuff - When you are on your own (especially when you are starting), there is no need for fancy equipment, sophisticated software, or expensive services. There is a ton of free or inexpensive resources on the web for almost everything you need. Tools and services like Gmail, Dropbox, Freshbooks, just to name a few. You don’t have to make any huge investments to use these resources. I love to be able to try out something new at almost no cost. When you work in an organization it is almost impossible to simply start using free stuff.
  7. Choose who you work with - I only work with people I like and trust. I work with great people, and I do not have to work with others. It is even true with customers (in most cases). If I don’t like to work with a specific company then I can refuse their offer for work.
  8. Flexibility, again - This is really key. Above I talked about flexibility of time, but there is also flexibility of what to work on. If you want to spend time/effort on a new project or new idea, you can. Nobody has to approve what you choose to do, it’s up to you to do what you think makes sense for your business and what does not.
  9. Doing it all - You really must do it all; accounting, HR, marketing, legal, sales, etc. I think this is a great learning experience and really challenges and opens you up to other areas you may have little or no experience with. It will definitely take you outside your comfort zone, which I think is a good thing. That being said, I think it is equally important that you rely on other resources where it makes sense, because the real truth is YOU CANNOT DO IT ALL! It is imperative you realize this and pay for resources/help in areas that will help you improve and grow your business.

What would you add to this list?