Most people think that it’s great to be self-employed and working for yourself, but it isn’t all that great really…
Sure, for the most part I don’t answer to anyone really (my wife maybe..) but there are deadlines to meet from jobs that you acquire and commit to. So yeah you do answer to the people who contract out your services, and essentially they are your boss, after all they’re the ones paying your bills.
One thing I’ve learned about working for myself is that time is really at a minimum, people, especially your family think that since you’re self-employed, work from home, that you have all this free-time, that’s the farthest from the truth there could be in reality.
I’ll get phones calls from my family asking me what I’m doing, and if I’m home, they assume that since I’m home I can drop everything I’m doing and run to fulfill their needs no matter how petty or small they may be, it’s amazing the demands that people can come up with when they think that since you are not at a ‘real’ job you really aren’t working…
Prime example would be when my mom was in the hospital for a week right after Christmas, my Aunt (mom’s sister) felt that I had become her slave for whatever reason and that whatever she wanted was more important than what I was doing. She called me up one day and demanded that I come down to my moms and take down her Christmas tree, and the amazing part was that she actually demanded it, it had to be done right then, right now, I had to stop everything and go do this for her. It couldn’t wait until the next day, and she just could not grasp the fact that when she called I was on my way to pick up my children from school and the fact that my wife had class that night so there was no way I could come down in the evening either and do it.
It seems to me that most people out there don’t view being self-employed as a real job, they think that if you spend most of your time home that you’re not really working at all.
I do quite a bit of things, I make barely any money from my websites, not even enough to pay my hosting and internet expenses every month, so of course I have to supplement my income. Obviously having knowledge about computers is helpful in getting work, and does provide a bit of income.
I do other work as well like I help a friend out who has quite a few upscale apartments in the Pittsburgh area, and a few are rented out to college kids, so sometimes they need a bit of repair work, painting etc. I also find it amazing that even adults can leave a place in a mess, it’s amazing how some people really don’t seem to care about things like that.
So I’m not always home, it depends on what I’m doing at the time, sure I might be home working on my website, but I also might be home remotely accessing one of the security computers that I installed and performing maintenance on it. Yeah I do that as well, PC based security systems, and trust me it’s not as fun as it sounds, sure the computer part is but running wires etc through dirty attics and climbing up on the roof isn’t my idea of fun when it’s 90 degrees outside.
Oh well, I just think that people need to understand that just because someone you know is self-employed and/or works from home they don’t have always have all this free time that you think they do.