11 Benefits of Self-Employment

Updated March 10, 2023

Self-employment can be a rewarding way to make a living. It takes persistence, dedication and resourcefulness to work for yourself and build a successful business. Best of all, the work structure that comes with self-employment offers the potential to have many advantages. In this article, we define self-employment and discuss the top 11 benefits of self-employment.

What does it mean to be self-employed?

Being self-employed means you work as an independent contractor or sole proprietor. Rather than working for a specific company that pays their salary, self-employed individuals earn and report their own income. Self-employed people work for a variety of trades, professions and occupations.

Anyone who is self-employed (excluding independent contractors) can choose from a variety of business structures, including a partnership, sole proprietorship, corporation, S corporation and limited liability company (LLC).

Related: 17 of the Best Self-Employed Jobs

11 benefits of self-employment

Even with its own set of unique challenges, self-employment offers many advantages. Here are 11 of the best benefits that come with being self-employed:

1. You’re in control

Owning your own business provides you with full control over every aspect of your company and allows you to structure your work environment the way you want it. Rather than having to report to someone else or follow preexisting rules and policies, you're able to make those decisions yourself. You can set your own goals, find work-life balance and create your own vision.

Related: How To Start Your Own Business in 9 Steps

2. You’re more passionate about what you do

Whether you're starting your own company or freelancing, self-employment allows you to engage in work that interests you. You have the opportunity to turn your passion, hobby and strengths into a business and make money doing something that you love. Rather than turning over your ideas to an employer who may not have the same vision or passion that you do, you can fully attend to those ideas and bring them to life without any limitations.

3. You make your own work schedule

Being self employed allows you to create your own schedule and decide when and how much you work. In the beginning, it's common for self-employed individuals to spend many hours building their business, which could mean working overtime or on weekends.

However, the flexibility that comes with being self-employed allows you to take time off or go on vacation when you want to without having to request or wait for approval. It takes a lot of motivation, dedication and discipline to push yourself when you have the freedom of creating your own schedule.

4. You choose your own coworkers

As you grow your business, you can decide whether or not to expand your team. Being self-employed allows you to choose people whose values and work ethic align with your own. Having control over who you work with can make various work processes more enjoyable, enhance the collaborative process and increase productivity.

5. You have creative control

Working for yourself allows you to be as creative as you like without the limitations that can come with working for an employer. Building your own business is inherently creative and provides the freedom to shape each component as you'd like, including your mission, standards, policies, values, branding and target audience. Being self-employed also allows you to design and sell a product or service that you can feel proud of.

6. You determine your work environment

Being self-employed offers the advantage of being able to work wherever you want. You might choose to work from home, or you could find a commercial office space. You could also structure your business in a way that allows you to work on the go. This option is especially appealing for those who want to travel frequently without it impacting their work.

7. You can grow your skill set and knowledge base

When you’re self-employed, you’re often confronted with unfamiliar processes particularly in the beginning. Overseeing customer acquisition, marketing, finance and other aspects of running a business can be a broad and immersive learning experience that can inform you throughout your professional life.

8. You can choose what you outsource to others

Being self-employed doesn't mean that you have to do everything yourself. If there are aspects of your business that fall beyond your skill set or comfort level, you have the option of outsourcing work to skilled individuals. Creating a work culture and a way for other people to support themselves financially can also be incredibly rewarding.

Read more: The Advantages of Outsourcing

9. You get the potential financial rewards

When you become self-employed, your potential earnings are ultimately determined by your own actions and initiatives. Unlike traditional employment where your income is regulated by a set hourly wage or annual salary, there is no limit on how much you can make at any given time. You may not be guaranteed an immediate profit, but putting in the effort and making informed and strategic business decisions can help you achieve your desired earnings.

Related: Business Start Tips: 21 Ways To Grow Your Business

10. You can enable variety in your routine

Depending on your business, you may find that each day looks different. Traditional work settings often require people to adhere to a routine, which some find overly repetitive. One of the advantages to self-employment is experiencing more variety in your day-to-day routine. A growing business means adapting, learning and overcoming challenges. For many, the variety is appealing because it generates excitement and creativity.

11. You can build meaningful networks

In traditional work environments, you often work with a team of people every day. When you're self-employed, you're responsible for networking and cultivating those relationships on your own. Networking can bring opportunities to collaborate with other business owners, which can turn into partnerships. Establishing those connections provide opportunities to meet like-minded and experienced individuals who can provide guidance on growing your business. You also have the chance to establish direct lines of communication with your customers and connect with them in meaningful ways.

Related: How To Become Your Own Boss

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