Having been self-employed for 23 years, I can say that working for yourself has its economic and lifestyle advantages. Pamela Slim’s “Escape from Cubicle Nation,” is a great read. And so is her corresponding web site, www.escapefromcubiclenation.com. You may also download a free chapter, here.
But with all the great things about being “the boss,” there’s another side to all this such as having employees, getting through economic downturns, paying bills, and making sure you are putting money away and investing it for some sense of retirement.
I know people who work for big-ass corporations, love it and do well. I know people who have left, gone out on their own and did well. I know people who have left, gone out on their own and did not do so well.
Whether or not you decide to jump out of the cubicle world on go out on your own, the book is a good read because it’s inspirational and yet very practical. And much depends on your personal financial and family situation.
Do you have a supportive spouse?
If you to have no income for x years how long could you survive?
If you have children, and you need to cut back on expenses, how do you explain this to them?
Given what we have been through in the past two years, I also think there is an opportunity to approach your employer about having some type of freelance relationship. The benefit of doing so means you’d still have some type of income, the freedom chase other business and keep some semblance of stability. Your employer – or rather new client, would benefit as they know what they are getting (assuming you’re really great) save money not only direct salary costs, but all the associated costs of benefits, an office, equipment, travel, etc.
Escaping from one’s cubicle could land you in another metaphor – the land of the lonely and possibly poor. I am all for being self-employed. I’ve done it for almost a quarter of a century.
And done well.
I encourage you to take the leap, but do so with a sense of reality and the will to sustain.