Is Self Employment Better Than Paid Employment?

Is Self Employment Better Than Paid Employment
Self Employment vs. Paid Employment

Thinking of becoming self employed but not sure if giving up the safety and security of your job is worth it? You’re not alone. Many people consider becoming self employed each year and a lot of them make a successful go of it. But there are a lot of things to consider before giving up that job or career and jumping into the world of self employment.

I have also dreamed of becoming self employed and am taking the plunge s-l-o-w-l-y because I don’t want to take too much of a risk and lose my salary and benefits until I know I’m able to be successful. And I chose a side hustle that offers a lot of flexibility – I am writing this blog about self employment options. It’s fun for me to talk about and I can research and write about it when I have the time.

You may have a completely different idea which doesn’t allow for getting started slowly and that’s fine – As long as you’ve done your research and mapped things out!

Characteristics Of The Self Employed Person

  • Driven
  • Self Motivated
  • Independent
  • Flexible
  • Great Planners
  • Able To Adapt Well To Changes
  • Can Work Hard Consistently

Characteristics Of The Paid Employed Person

  • Appreciate having a set cut off time in their work day
  • Like having more predictability in their schedule
  • Appreciate the safety and security of an hourly wage/salary and benefits
  • Enjoy being around Coworkers and socializing.
  • Appreciate NOT being the boss
  • Enjoy working hard and moving up the ladder over time

Of course there is overlap between these two categories but, generally speaking, the above characteristics hold true. You may have other reasons of your own to add to either of the lists above. I felt it important to point out these characteristics so you can do a thorough self examination to find out which category you fit best into.


Self Employed Or Paid Employed
Photo by Justin Luebke on Unsplash

Pros Of Paid Employment

  • Steady paycheck
  • Health benefits
  • Socialize with Coworkers
  • Retirement benefits
  • Opportunity for upward mobility
  • Built in vacation/sick time

Cons Of Paid Employment

  • Lack of independence
  • Can be hard to move up in the company
  • Not a lot of flexibility around schedule
  • May or may not get annual raises
  • Over time, you can feel trapped in a career you eventually don’t like
  • Office politics

Pros Of Self Employment

  • YOU decide what business you want
  • YOU are the boss
  • YOU set your own hours
  • YOU are in control of hiring decisions (if you need employees)
  • YOU decide how to run your business and make all advertising decisions.
  • No commute
  • No office politics
  • Can make HUGE profits if things go well.

Cons Of Self Employment

  • No steady paycheck in the beginning
  • Health benefits must be paid out of pocket
  • Hard to find others to bounce ideas off of
  • You shoulder all overhead expenses
  • Can involve LONG hours, particularly in the beginning.
  • Additional costs such as business license, insurance, upkeep etc.

As you can see – there really is a compelling case for either self employment or paid employment. It really depends on YOU and what type of work and lifestyle you prefer. If you are the type of person who loves adventure and is OK with takings risks, perhaps self employment is for you…and if you like the safety and stability of a job (especially if you LIKE the job) and can put away money for retirement, maybe paid employment fits better. I’m hoping you’re getting a better sense of what will suit you best as we go along.

So if you’ve taken a long hard look at yourself and decided you’d like to take on the adventurous world of self employment, keep reading!

How To Get Started

Self employment takes a lot of planning so below are a few steps to get started…

Step 1 – Plan out what type of self employment you want to pursue

Step 2 – Research Research Research! Learn all you can about setting up your business and how to market it.

Step 3 – Talk to others who are operating a similar business. Glean as much from them as you can like what works, what doesn’t, pitfalls to avoid etc.

Pros And Cons Of Self Employment
Photo By Rawpixel

Step 4 – Determine how you are going to fund it – savings? bank loan? Get a clear idea before starting your new business.

Step 5 – Develop a business plan. Quickbooks has some great information on this, as does the Small Business Administration (SBA) – and a great deal of this information is free of charge on their website or by calling a representative by phone. I’ve called the SBA in the past and they have been an AWESOME source of FREE information on setting up your business, helping you determine if you need a license etc.

More information on setting up your new business can be found here.

How To Market Your Business

Successfully marketing your business is an integral part of making it grow over the long term. But advertising costs can be expensive! So let’s take a look at some free or affordable ways to make your business grow.

  • Tell everyone you know – friends, family etc. Word of mouth can go a long way in helping build a loyal customer base.
  • Advertise On FREE Resources Craigslist services section is great.
  • Create a Facebook Page – one of the easiest way to reach your friends, family and countless others!
  • Advertise In Your Local Paper (often includes the online version as well)
  • Free Classifieds – A great tool for reaching a wider audience.
  • Build A Website – It’s not as bad as it sounds! There are some great, affordable website hosting providers out there that can provide you with all the tools needed to get started. The hosting service I use is called SiteRubix and they have HUNDREDS of beautiful templates to choose from. All I do is add my content and they do the rest.

Grow Your Business Online – After you’ve built your website, it’s time to attract potential customers to your it. It makes no difference what business you want to start – mechanic, architect, gopher trapper, tree trimmer, computer programmer etc., you’ll need to find a way to grow this business online. Think about this for a minute…with over 2 billion people online (and growing), wouldn’t it be great to reach even a fraction of them?

Photo By Davide-Ragusa, Unsplashed

It’s totally possible, but if you haven’t done this before, it’s hard to know where to start! That’s when it’s great to have the right training platform that provides all the tools and support needed to develop and grow an online presence.

There is an overwhelming amount of information available on the web which can teach you how to grow your business website, but it’s A LOT to sift through. Not only that, there is a lot of junk online, making it even harder to determine what’s legit and what’s not!

So if you decide to use SiteRubix hosting, they work in tandem with a platform that offers all of the training needed to scale your business on the internet. It’s called Wealthy Affiliate. It has taught me everything I need to get my little business off the ground. Also – it’s FREE to check out so give it a look and see if it looks like something that will work for you! Or see my review explaining the pros/cons of the program.

Final Thoughts

I hope by now, you’ve come closer to deciding if starting your own business is right for you. Maybe some of you have already decided what you’d like to do, while others are wanting to proceed a bit more slowly. Either way is fine as long as you’re planning ahead!

Should I Be Self Employed
Photo by Japheth Mast on Unsplash

It’s exciting to know there are options, especially if you’re in a dead end job and looking for a new job or career change. Check out the rest of this site for other ideas on being self employed. With more information, you’ll be able to make an informed decision that’s right for you..whether it’s finding another job or joining the ranks of the self employed.

Please leave a comment below if you have any thoughts on self employment vs paid employment – I’d love to hear your thoughts. Thanks for stopping by!

2 thoughts on “Is Self Employment Better Than Paid Employment?

  1. Hi Tom,
    You give some really good reasons as to why both can be good. I am going down the path of self employment however not fully there yet so I do need my stable income as I build my online business. I have found what I love to do online, but hundreds of hours has been spent on it, hence it really being a labor of love in the beginning.

    I think that is the key though. A year on and even though my income from self employment isn’t sustaining me just yet, I still have the drive and commitment to keep at it. Great article!
    Cheers, Sharon

    1. Hi Sharon – I wish you the best of luck. Many people are in the same situation. You make a great point – it takes A LOT of time to get a business up and running and many lose patience before reaching the goal of being self employed. I’m glad you’re staying the course! Thanks for the comment.  

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