The Worst Thing About Working For Yourself

Working for yourself can be great. You often work on projects of your choice, set your own hours, and enjoy the flexibility to take a break whenever you feel like it. Right?

When I left the world of working for someone else for good, I thought I’d miss it. I secretly believed I’d be back at my desk busting out tax returns and financial scenarios within six months. I couldn’t have been more shocked when, a year later, I suddenly realized that I had absolutely no desire to return to work. I’d grown accustomed to my reduced income and started to find a niche doing work I truly enjoyed – for myself.

But there are times when I just don’t want to work. You know the feeling. You’re just not in the mood. When you work for someone else it’s okay. You either have something that has to get done or you don’t. If work is pressing, you do it – because if you don’t there’s that whole not-getting-a-paycheck thing to deal with. If nothing begs for your attention, you clean out your desk, surf the web, or gossip. You might even do some ancillary tasks that may one day result in work, but don’t require too much energy today.

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When you work for yourself, it’s much the same. Pressing deadline? I do the work whether I feel like it or not. Sure, there’s a check in it for me, but even more – it’s my name on the letterhead. What about when I’m not feeling it and there’s really nothing banging on my inbox? Yikes. Not only am I unproductive, but I also feel guilty. I remind myself that this too shall pass, that I will soon resume my enthusiasm. In the meantime, I clean out my desk, surf the web (pretending it’s research), gossip (again, research), and because I work from home now – toss in a load of laundry, eat way more than necessary, and even scrub a toilet. Pathetic, no?

When I finally begin to emerge from my funk, I may even write about it. Yeah, freelancing is the best job ever. I only I can keep those deadlines coming.