Five Benefits of Being Self-Employed
Barbara Winter writing on being self-employed…
I was once on an airport shuttle with a young man who inquired about the trip I’d just taken. When I mentioned I give seminars on making a living without a job, he got that wistful look I’ve come to recognize.
“Oh, I’d like to do that, but I can’t give up my benefits.”
“My company gives me benefits, too,” I said. “In fact, they send me to Europe whenever I want to go.”
We’ve all been somewhat conditioned to think that benefits only come as a result of having a job. Consequently, logic suggests that not having a job means not having benefits.
Self-employed people have all sorts of benefits — the conventional sort, and many others that no employer has ever offered.
In fact, an important part of planning a successful business is deciding just what benefits matter to you…and making sure that you include them.
According to reports in the national news, some companies are instituting nap time and providing space for employees to snooze during the day. They defend this radical notion by citing increased productivity. We “self-bossers” have known about this perk for years.
2. Lower Automobile Expenses
Unless you drive extensively for your business, you’ll probably enjoy much lower car expenses (including lower insurance premiums) than if you were spending hours in traffic every day. Plus, cutting out a long commute has enormous stress reduction benefits and provides you with extra hours to spend in more pleasant and valuable ways.
3. Improved health
While a growing number of studies now verify the health hazards of a stressful job, less publicity has been given to the studies showing the link between satisfying work and healthy longevity. When you’re in charge of your schedule, it’s much easier to include physical activity as a regular part of your work day.
4. Flexible Hours
You can schedule your work around your own particular rhythms and even burn the midnight oil if that’s your style. You might choose to spend six months working intently followed by six months devoted to leisure…or opt for a “two days on, one day off” approach.
5. Tax deductions
You’ll find numerous deductions available only to the self-employed. Often, these include ordinary expenses you’d be making anyway. When tax time rolls around and I’m adding up my deductible travel expenses, I like to think that the government is paying me to be a roving ambassador.
If you need some more encouragement to explore self-employment for yourself, start asking the small business owners you encounter what they like best about working for themselves.
Some of their answers won’t surprise you…they’ll rejoice that they’ve left cranky co-workers, stressful deadlines, and unhealthy fast food behind.
But, you might be surprised when they burst into a grin and say, “I get to work with my cat in my lap.”
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