Just a heads up — I’m a self-employed Graphic Designer and Illustrator so some of these may only apply to creative industries and projects…
Anyway, it’s a simple blog post concept so I’ll get straight into it.
Here are my pros and cons in regards to being a small business owner aka self-employed designer:
- Through networking, word-of-mouth and on social media, you get to know like-minded people and brands and form strong, long-term connections.
- In service industries the process can be very collaborative, you’re making someone’s vision come to life and that’s pretty special.
- Feedback can be personal and heart-warming, and communication can be enthusiastic with mutual excitement towards bringing an idea to life.
- You can take pride in your work. Most, if not all, input and output for projects comes from you, your mind, your talents. You can always reflect on years of growth as a business owner when things get tough.
- When you’re creating a product or providing a service, you can narrow down your skillset, refine your style, and clients/customers come to you, for your personal touch.
- As a designer, people put their trust you with the visuals that they will share to show off their passion project. Something they’ve been dreaming about for days, months, years.
- You get to choose what to work on (if you’re in a position to do so).
- If you offer online services, you can work from anywhere in the world! Spending time as a digital nomad has been pure bliss for me before.
- Small wins feel big and celebrating feels even better.
- You get to build your very own brand into something from your very own dreams.
- You get to work from home, always. So you can start and finish whenever you please, wear whatever you like, drink and eat whenever, nap sometimes, and you don’t have to call in sick!
- Working from home can be a double-edged sword. Sure, you get to set your own deadlines and work at your own pace, but it’s also easy to get lazy and distracted.
- Unfortunately, sick pay, annual leave, insurance, and super contributions are not part of the package.
- It can get pretty lonely.
- It’s a 24/7, 365 gig – but if you’re passionate about it, that’s okay. The wins and highs and lessons from the failures and lows, definitely make it worth it.
- The lows can be tough to deal with on your own. Quick little reminder: be sure to reach out to your loved ones whenever things get tough!
- You can’t blame anyone else for anything that doesn’t go according to plan.
- Failure feels personal. But it’s also part of life in general so accepting that, helps.
- You can become your own worst critic and second-guess pretty much everything. But you can also become your biggest fan which feels a lot nicer… So there’s that.
There are countless other pros and cons when it comes to being self-employed, feel free to add your own to the comments below!
Sometimes the cons do feel as though they outweigh the cons and I’m not so sure why I’m still doing this — this building a small business into a bigger business thing. That’s why you need to write your ‘why’ down (…note to self). And you need to look at that note to self. Often.
Hopefully I can keep doing ‘this thing’ forever but what is meant to be, will be. I’ll be sure to keep you posted either way.
Kelsi aka Bink