Work Trends

The Tricky World of the Self-Employed!

Working for yourself can be a tricky affair. For starters, you’re never really working for yourself. What you really mean to say is that you are working for everyone else so that they can take relaxing holidays and buy expensive looking gifts from the Chinese shop down the road. This all happens while you are pretty much trying to work right up to the last moment to try desperately to pay off the last three holidays. And working up to the last moment means trying to arrange meetings with people who get salaries who by this time are cracking open their fifteenth bottle of lager and occasionally popping their heads in to make sure the lobster’s not burning. Trying to work while others are playing is more difficult than trying to teach your wife to throw like a man! It’s virtually impossible, and no matter how much you explain the concept of skimming a stone across the water, all you end up with is a lot of huffing and puffing and an embarrassingly small splash at the end. Despite the odds stacked against me, I did try and arrange meetings in the so-called holidays, and in fact I managed to even get one booked. Unfortunately for me, it was with another self employed masochist. He confessed later that he had nothing to do and just wanted to get out and look busy. So there we sat, lamenting our plight and thinking of our more fortunate ‘brothers’ who would be holidaying in exotic locations, recharging their batteries as they prepared for the New Year. All financed by their holiday bonuses that none of them really deserved but took anyway. How rude I thought. But then it struck me. No it really did strike me. It was this massive insect that buzzed like a small aircraft, and crashed straight into the side of my head, and landed slap bang in the middle of my Cappuccino! It was horrendous. As if my situation wasn’t bad enough. Now I faced the prospect of either giving up my one drink for the day, or I had to savour what would be the Cappuccino twist. I chose to stare at my cup for the rest of the meeting as if nothing happened. By the time the meeting finished I was surprised to feel myself quite energised. We actually had some clever things to say, and the creative juices started to flow. To the point where we came up with some really cool plans for projects we’d always wanted to do, but never had the time. It was then that I was grateful again for being self-employed. Because it teaches you to be resourceful and self-driven. There is no-one telling you what to do. No-one is paying you a salary or a bonus. You simply get what you give. And today, I gave some time and got some wisdom. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow brings.

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As a columnist and speaker I have been able to connect with so many interesting people who have experienced wonderful adventures in life. I am fascinated with the limitless power of people and try to reflect my own experiences and thoughts through these pages.

1 Comment

  1. Claire

    Tongue in cheek account of what I think most small business owners go through! Now where’s the ‘like’ button?
    Seems so many business owners and entrepreneurs aren’t financially minded. UCT and GetSmarter are offering a part-time course on Financial Management for Non-Financial people starting in August –

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