*this post is sponsored by Ferratum, but all positivity about being self employed is of course my own!
Becoming self employed has easily been the best decision I’ve made, especially for my mental health.
Since taking the plunge and registering with HMRC, I’ve noticed that I’m a lot more positive and self confident. I’ve managed to attend networking events, meet some amazing new people (both online and in person) and work on some fantastic campaigns.
All things that my anxiety would have held me back from doing a few years ago!
I love seeing my business grow and every time I achieve something (no matter how small) I can feel my confidence grow; both as a person and as an entrepreneur.
Don’t get me wrong, it can be a really scary time when you first go self employed. I know I put off registering for a long time, mostly because I was terrified I’d mess something up.
A recent study by Ferratum revealed that 3 in 5 millennials (18-34 year olds) want to start their own businesses, and I think the popularity of freelancing is only going to grow in the next few years.
There are so many blogs, podcasts and articles out there that can help you set up and run your own business; most of which are completely free, which really helps.
Even though there are times when I feel overwhelmed and stressed, being self employed is something I really love and I can’t imagine ever going back to “traditional” employment again.
Freedom to work where you want
I’ve struggled with social anxiety for years, which makes commuting really difficult.
I have days where I love being out of the house and will go work from a local coffee shop. But other days, just the thought of leaving the house will leave me having an anxiety attack.
Being self employed means I can work where I feel most comfortable, which has had such a positive impact on my mental health!
No more 9-5
Although these days it’s more like 8-6, and that’s assuming you don’t have to work late on top of that.
I’ve always struggled to be creative in the mornings, even when I was at school. If I had lessons like English or Geography first thing it wasn’t really a problem, as they’re more book/knowledge based. But if we had music, art or drama, I noticed that the quality of my work was shocking compared to if I had those lessons in the afternoon.
It’s still the same over 10 years later!
Even though I get up at 7am most mornings, if I try to write a new post or take some photographs first thing in the morning, I can guarantee the quality will be rubbish and I’ll have to redo everything later.
But because I’m my own boss, I can work around this.
Instead of forcing myself to get work done first thing in the mornings, I’ll take that time to do some housework so it doesn’t build up and I suddenly find I have nothing clean to wear!
I’ll listen to the latest episodes of my podcasts while I put a wash in, dust and generally tidy up. Then I’ll do a bit of yoga, have a shower, get dressed and then do my skin care.
By the time I’ve finished all this, I’ll usually start feeling creative and actually want to write a new post or shoot some photography.
Working when you actually feel productive rather than when you’re made to, is a real perk of being self-employed. I think it helps not only the quality of your work, but your mental health too.
I can choose when I work
If I want to have a lie in because all my projects have been finished a week before they’re due, I can.
If I want to take a break from work and go for a mid afternoon dance lesson, I can.
Its so easy to fall into that mindset of “sleep when you’re dead” or “if you don’t work on your business 24/7, you don’t want it enough” – neither of which are helpful.
This was something I really struggled with when I first started out.
I probably still average between 8 and 10 hours a day “at work” (including weekends most of the time), but I’m slowly starting to find a balance.
I can priorities my mental health
This is one of the main perks as far as I’m concerned. If I’m having a bad day, I can take some time away from work and have some self-care time.
Not something most bosses would be happy for you to do in a traditional job!
I try to get projects done well in advance of the deadline where I can; which gives me a bit of breathing room if I have a bad day.
Now I don’t want this post to make it seem like there are no downsides to being self-employed.
I never know when my next pay-day will be. Whether an invoice will get paid on time or I’ll still be chasing it 6 months later. If I’ll hear back from a brand I’ve pitched a collaboration to.
All of that can add up to a lot of stress and anxiety. Even depression, especially if you keep getting rejected.
But because I’m so passionate about what I do (and there are so many benefits to my mental health), I honestly do think the positive points outweigh the negative ones where my mental health is concerned!
Are you self-employed? If not, do you want to be in the future? I’d love to know your thoughts!