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7 Secrets of the Happily Self-Employed

Happily Self-Employed

Do you know that the self-employed enjoy their work more than everyone else?

According to researchers at the University of Sheffield and Exeter in the UK, the self-employed find the most fulfillment. The respondents report feeling more balanced and less stressed than their 9-to-5-er counterparts.

The self-employed are happier at work, despite long hours and the inherent uncertainty of working for themselves. Self-employment provides freedom and control, significantly boosting happiness and work satisfaction.

If you’re venturing into a new business or already in one, there are ways to maintain your happiness while you’re self-employed. Read on to find out more!

What Makes the Self-Employed Gratified?

Do Work You Enjoy

Many people start a business because they think they can get rich quickly. As a result, they choose whatever they believe will make money the fastest. However, they soon realize that:

a. Just because they run their own business doesn’t mean they’ll instantly live in luxury.

b. Spending all day doing something they don’t love will get them bored fast.

Therefore, if you haven’t started yet, incorporate your passions into your business. If you’re up and running already and it’s different from what you would call your passion, find a way to morph your work to include more of your passions.

The ideal job should be something you consider fun and meaningful and provide you with a good living. At least, it should be two out of the three.

Create the Workplace You Want to Work

Whether you’re a parent starting a catering service from home or a consultant giving financial advice, you’ll hear other people with the same suggestion: You’re a business, so think and act like a business.

However, you should act like a business only where you want to work. That means even if you’re the only one in it, your workspace should be a pleasant place where you’re happy to spend your time.

Besides, you should get a professional-looking business card and website. You should also receive the best salary and perks you can afford.

Stick to a Schedule that Works Best for You

Not everyone can work productively from 5 am to 9 pm. If you can get the most focused and productive work done from 11 am to 4 pm (or even 11 pm to 4 am) with small breaks in between, then do it!

You’ll find yourself much happier if you follow the schedule that enables you to be most productive and least overwhelmed at the same time. However, if your best working time is “out of regular hours,” you might want someone to check emails or cover the phones.

Remember to Write a Business Plan

A business plan details your product or service, how you’ll sell it, expected expenses, and how you’ll cover them. Entrepreneurs who create formal business plans are 16% more likely to achieve viability than their non-planning counterparts.

Writing a business plan can help you:

  • Highlight your idea’s strengths and weaknesses
  • See opportunities and foresee possible changes
  • Draw a roadmap and measure your progress

For most business plans, you’ll:

  • Write a one- or two-page summary
  • Prepare your business profile and the industry you’ll be penetrating
  • Describe your product or service
  • Define your market and how to reach it
  • Outline the way you manage your business
  • Provide a schedule with critical steps leading to the launch time
  • Forecast your financial health (expenses, profits, etc.) for the first three years.

Furthermore, think about how you’ll attract, keep, and grow your share of customers.

Don’t Do It Alone

Being self-employed doesn’t mean you always have to be by yourself. Ask experts and consultants for help with anything you don’t know about, and ask full-time or part-time employees to take on tasks you can delegate.

Hiring someone smart enough or outsourcing the least favorite tasks can help reduce your workload and stress while allowing you to focus on the essential things. Whatever you do, never fall into the belief that it’s easier to complete a task on your own than explain it to someone else.

Manage Your Money Wisely

Whether you own a sole proprietorship, a partnership, a DAO LLC, or a corporation, financial management is one of the most vital responsibilities. When all the money comes to you rather than just a paycheck from a normal job, it can be tempting to overspend.

Make sure you’re controlling your finances realistically, and don’t hesitate to talk to an accountant if you need help. The price of asking for help will be much less than the cost of making mistakes on your own.

Never Stop Learning

If you’re not constantly learning and improving, you aren’t going to remain relevant and valuable when technologies change and update.

No matter how well you understand your business, watch for new ideas.

If you’re trying to sell the same services as five years ago to someone, they’ll laugh and hang up the phone. It’s necessary to continually learn and adjust to give yourself the best advantage in whatever self-employment job you’re in.


Your career entirely lies in your hands, and it’s up to you to direct it where you want to go. It’s too easy to follow the market’s lead instead of deciding for yourself where the best direction lies.

When you’re self-employed, it becomes more vital than ever to carve out your time for strategic planning for you and your business.

Remember to visualize where you desire to wind up and the specific steps to get there. Doing that will keep you happily and successfully self-employed for many years to come.

About the Author
Ivan Serrano is an enthusiastic writer who enjoys learning whatever he can about business development and growth hacking. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge of technology and how it can improve business communications on an international level.