Over a decade ago, I started my own freelance writing business. It was a very rewarding process and I was able to significantly increase my income. This, in turn, enabled me to increase my brokerage account balance and my net worth.
But while I loved many aspects of running my own company, I also encountered some unexpected surprises. In fact, there are three big things I didn’t realize I was going to do before I became an entrepreneur.
When I started my freelance writing business, I expected to spend my days writing interesting articles on topics I loved. And I definitely do a lot of that.
But I also spend a lot more time than I expected dealing with other things that are not directly related to writing. This includes things like figuring out a system for tracking deadlines, dealing with accounting issues, and researching the equipment and software needed to boost productivity. I also have to find alternatives to standard workplace benefits like 401(k) and health insurance, and make sure I’m billing correctly and keeping up with the latest new style guidelines or other requirements.
While all of these tasks are necessary to be effective at my job and to ensure that I am running a profitable business, they are not necessarily very fun. And I’m constantly amazed at how much of my time they take up, because at first glance my work doesn’t look like it’s going to be heavy on administrative tasks.
In fact, when you’re running a business, you’re not only going to be able to spend all day delivering your product or service — you actually have to take care of that. Business Management also. It is important to be prepared for this in terms of time commitment And Identify the administrative tasks that you will actually need to take care of.
2. The added cost of tax compliance
I expected filing my taxes to get a little more complicated once I had my own business. But, things ended up being a lot more complicated. Not only do I have to pay estimated taxes, but I also have to file business tax returns since I run my business as an S corporation.
I had to pay for a payroll service to handle some of my IRS obligations and an accountant to handle others, and those services together cost more than $1,000 annually. That’s a lot of extra money for a small business owner to pay.
3. The pressure you felt to work longer hours
Finally, once I became in charge of running my own business, I ended up being amazed at the amount of pressure I put on myself to always do more. Since I’m in direct control of my income, I find myself thinking it’s not worth watching that TV show or reading that book when I could have worked an extra hour and made more money.
I had to set some boundaries in order to get my work-life balance back, but it took some practice and a change in mindset to get to the point where I wasn’t just focused on working all the time to make my business a success.
If you’re starting your own company, you may encounter similar surprises — or other unexpected challenges of your own. The good news is I’m still really happy running my company despite these issues, and I hope you are too.
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