Getting used to being self-employed

Back in August 2017 I accepted redundancy from the company that I’d work for since I was 18. It wasn’t an easy decision, but it was certainly the most logical.

Although I was offered an alternative job with the same company, which I did trial, it simply didn’t work out. It was an evening job which I initially thought would work quite well for me, however that wasn’t the case. I had thought that it’d be good because I could take our children to school and pick them up meaning my husband could start work earlier, (he’s also self-employed).

Unfortunately, due to travel time, it actually worked out that it wasn’t possible for me to also pick our girls up from school. Aside from the working hours, I also felt like I was  back at square one.

Finding myself in a room with school leavers meant I felt very out of place. After much discussion with my husband, we decided the best thing for all of us would be to take redundancy.

It was a scary thought at first. Knowing that I had no other job lined up made me question on numerous occasions if I was making the right decision.

I’d spend hours searching online for part time jobs, but I couldn’t find any that suited. They were either part time over four to five days a week or evening jobs.

Of course whilst the girls are in school that would be ok, but during half term, with my husband being self-employed and the main earner, if I worked four or five days during half term, it would mean that my husband wouldn’t be able to work as he’d need to stay home and look after our twins. During the summer holidays, this would leave a big dent in our bank balance.

I started to wonder if I’d ever find a job that would suit my family and I. That’s when I thought about doing something for myself. A job that would mean I could set my own hours and work flexibly to suit our family.

Before accepting redundancy, I had discussed the possibility of setting up my own cleaning business. My husband thought it was a great idea, and fully supported my decision to go ahead and give it a go.

So after accepting redundancy in August, I set up my own business in October. Four months later and I’m pleased to say that it’s going well.

I work three days a week at hours that suit me. I can take our children to school and pick them up. I don’t have to wake up at silly o’clock to join the rat race, to sit in traffic and struggle to find a car parking space in the multi-story car park.

I’m fully booked and have had lots of positive feedback from my customers. However, I’ll be honest and admit that it has taken me a long while to get my head around the idea of being self-employed. I’m still not used to it, and I imagine it will still take me a while longer to fully get to grips with the idea, but for now it works and I’m pretty happy!


32 thoughts on “Getting used to being self-employed

  1. Being self employed can be a totally different mindset. Everything revolves around you! Marketing, accounts, the work and more. I’m self employed and the amount of times where I feel like saying to our staff “look you can replace the toner cartridge yourself!” Is crazy.
    The deal is the buck stops with you.
    I’m sure you’ll agree it’s the best choice after the first year. Then it becomes a new routine. Good luck.

  2. You are brave but fortune favours the brave – remember that!
    For a while (a few years) my wife and I were running and building up our photography business. I would be out doing family portraits in home on the weekend and also covering weddings – while I still had a hectic day job through the week. We loved the idea of taking it to a level where it was out main income source but were caught in a trap of not being able to build it to the level required because I had a day job, that ensure bills were paid, but not being able to give that job up as the photography wasn’t bringing in the amount needed to take the jump. When I was offered a job and the chance to move to the country we chose that over the photography business and shut it down – starting again in a completely new area didn’t appeal to us. I miss it though.
    Sound like you have been given an opportunity and are making a real go it it. Well done.

  3. I am so glad it all working out for you and your beautiful family. My mum did the same thing as you when I was growing up and although it came with some challenges at first we all adjusted and in the end worked out well for our family. #ThatFridayLinky

  4. Congratulations on taking the plunge to start your own business. I really admire that and wish I had the guts to do something like that. I’m sure it will be tough to get your head around for a little while, but stick with it and establish yourself. In a few years you will be thanking yourself, I’m sure! #ThatFridayLinky

  5. I think I would find it very strange going self-employed and having all the uncertainties that follow, luckily you have Nige who’s been doing it to help you, so that must be handy! And at least you’ve found what works best for you and the family, which is always great if you can manage that! #ThatFridayLinky

  6. My husband has been self employed for 10 years now and always says he’d never go back! He travels (a lot) but if he doesn’t want the work, he turns it down. Special dates are marked out in the diary and although we miss the company pension, car and health insurance we have other perks. x

  7. It must have been scary to take the plunge and set up your own business, but it’s great to hear it is going well and it is working for your family. Well done on being brave and for putting in the hard work, as I know it must not have been easy to set up a business from scratch. Would be interested in your cleaning tips! 🙂 #ThatFridayLinky

  8. Well Done on taking the plunge. I became a stay at home dad in September 16 and am now trying to make some money through writing to help subsidise it. So never had that same ‘big jump’ where I had to ‘hit the ground running’.

  9. Emily, this is fab news! Well done you. I can imagine being self-employed is scary but what a great achievement. I’m really pleased for you. #thatfridaylinky

  10. Well done, I’ve been there before, trying to find work that fits in with the rest of the family. I think becoming self employed is a great idea and setting up your own business is difficult but I believe you deserve a huge pat on the back. I hope it all continues to go swimmingly well and that you soon get used to being your own boss. How exciting!!

  11. It can be very hard to make a career change when you are a parent, let alone becoming self employed. I think it’s amazing that you did it! Soon enough all uncertainty will leave and stress will go and you will be left with the best decision of your life. I would much rather be self employed and have the ability to spend more time with my kids, than working how I am now.

  12. Well done – taking that initial plunge is always the hardest. You now have the opportunity to work when you want, take time off when you like, be answerable to no-one but yourself and you can take on as much or as little as you want to. It’s nice to be able to have something to work around the children, isn’t it? #ThatFridayLinky

  13. Well done you! It’s so tricky finding work that fits around a young family and I know that I found it so stressful at times when mine were younger. At least with your own business you are in control a little more. Good luck! #thatfridaylinky

  14. You have found what works for you for now and that is all we can do as parents. To be honest, I hate how so many mums are pretty much forced into self-employment if they want to work as employers are very rarely family-friendly and the whole 9-5 thing does not really work around schools and nurseries etc. So much needs to change so that mums can actually contribute to society via work without heaps of added stress. Sorry you have hit on a subject that really winds me up #ThatFridayLinky

  15. Hi Emily, that’s great! Good for you. I don’t think I would be very good at being self-employed. I like the structure and social aspect of the office. Well done you though for taking the initiative. Pen x #ThatFridayLinky

  16. Fantastic to see what can happen from adversity. Well done! I’ve been through the redundancy process a number of years ago but came out better and stronger for it. Every cloud…

  17. Congrats lovely! being self employed is a scary thought, but thats what i’ll be getting up to by the end of this month too! Sometimes with kids, being is your own boss is the best way to fit around family life! looking forward to hearing about a team of cleaners you have and you sitting back and running the show in the future! =] #thatfridaylinky

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