Most days, my “job” is a dream. I’m a work-from-home, solopreneur, freelance writer, so I get to make my own hours, and even choose my clients. On top of that, there are days that I don’t get dressed until lunch time.
However, even though I don’t have to choose between being a stay-at-home mom and a working mom, there are some downsides to being a solopreneur working from home. Before you decide that starting a home business is your preferred career path, consider whether or not you could handle the following challenges:
1. It’s hard to quit sometimes.
When you work in an office, it’s easier to separate work time from the rest of your life. However, when you work from home, you have to learn to separate work from family time. It’s tempting, as a solopreneur, to think that you have to be productive all of the time.
This attitude can affect your family relationships, though. Learn when it’s time to quit, and understand that you don’t have to be productive all the time; you can stop for fun – and to maintain relationships with your family. Finding that work-life balance is especially important when you work from home.
2. You can get lonely as a solopreneur.
Sometimes, when I’m in my home office, working away, I get a little lonely. My son’s at school, my husband’s teaching at the university, and there’s no one to talk to. While I normally like working on my own (it’s why I’m a solopreneur, after all), there are times when you just want someone around to share your thoughts.
Many telecommuters find themselves lonely when they first stop working in an office and have to get used to the lack of companionship. When I feel a little lonely, I plan lunch with a friend, or I turn to my Skype mastermind group. They’re great about responding to my random thoughts.
3. No benefits.
One of the advantages of working for “the man” is that you get access to benefits. There are a number of perks that come with working for a company, rather than being self-employed. Subsidized health insurance, paid vacation days, and a workstation are all perks. Some employers offer discount child care services, and perks like reduced-price gym memberships. A solopreneur has to cover all these costs. You have to buy your insurance (if you don’t get benefits from your partner’s work), and you have to make sure you buy all the equipment necessary to set up your home office and run your business.
Many solopreneurs are surprised at how much they actually received from the employers, beyond pay, when they have to take care of it on their own. Make sure you have the ability to make up for the loss of benefits when you make the switch to working from home.
4. You might hit career roadblocks.
When you leave the rat race, you might find that you end up with career roadblocks. Even someone working from home as an employee can find career issues due to being “out of sight and out of mind.” When you start your own business, you are removing yourself from the career ladder.
If you want to resume at some later time, you need to find ways to keep up with colleagues. Continue networking so that you are still connected if you want to get back into your industry later. Make sure that you regularly update your resume, and keep developing new skills. Make sure that you keep up with developments in your industry. Your stint as a solopreneur working from home can be a benefit to you – if you play it right.
Are you a solopreneur? What are some other challenges they face? Leave a comment!
Photo Credit: Daquella manera