Being Self-Employed Is Not Easy

Being Self-Employed Is Not Easy

It’s no secret. Being self-employed is not easy. If you are managing a consulting business, finding new clients can sometimes be difficult. If you are providing a product, all of the steps required to launch the product can feel like mountains. I am sure if you asked successful entrepreneurs like John Chow or Mitchell Harper how it was to start their own businesses and make them succesful, they would not say it was easy. I can’t even begin to tell you all of the frustrations I have experienced over the past few months that comes with the unpredictability of self-employment. However, I am also sure if you asked John or Mitch if it was all worth it, they would give a resounding YES!

I have been self-employed since early January and I am currently developing several online and offline businesses. As per my reader requests, this blog is going to focus more on my business development and quest to become a succesful entrepreneur.

The other day I wrote about the benefits of offline business development. I also talked about my new case study, The Scottsdale Review. Here are the updates to that project…

The Scottsdale Review

Last week, my business partner, Josh, met with the director of the journalism school at Arizona State University to find out if we could hire journalism students to write for our publication. The main advantage of hiring journalism students initially is that 1) the students will be able to receive school credit for articles they write for The Scottsdale Review; and 2) it will save us the cost of paying for content. Of course, once we sell advertising and the business becomes profitable, we will hire several students as full-time employees. One of the school’s requirements is that they work for us a minimum of 10 hours per week. This is a great opportunity. We faxed a job description to the head of the journalism school and are waiting on a response to determine our next move.

Scottsdale IT Consulting

Another business we have been working on for the past few weeks is our IT consulting business, aptly named Scottsdale IT Consulting. We already have a dozen or so clients we work with on a regular basis. The goal now is to expand our business enough so that we can hire several technicians.

One aspect that differentiates us from other IT consulting companies is that we also offer home-based computer training. We are looking to expand this part of our business, and on Wednesday we are going to call several retirement communities in the area to let them know of our services.

Moral of the story: if you are newly self-employed and lack clients, go out and find them! I moved to Scottsdale from Seattle just 8 months ago and did not know anyone other than my roommate and business partner, Josh. Thanks to my dedicated networking efforts and several key referrals, I now have more than a dozen clients with whom I am working with on a regular basis.

9 thoughts on “Being Self-Employed Is Not Easy”

  1. It’s a great idea to get students to write for you, especially when they come for free. Plus of course they get credits, which helps them in school.

  2. I think that many people see being self-employed as often unreliable, but seemingly easy. My non-self-employed friends regularly consider what I do as easy – but they don’t see the time I put in, 10-14 hours/day, including weekends, they just seem me as being home all of the time.

    1. It is super unreliable. Many times I have thought about getting a regular job, but luckilly, whenever I have been almost ready to start looking, something big has happened that has prevented me from succumbing to the man. They say though who succeed are those who fail the most.

      1. Keep focusing on getting sales Nate. That’s always the hardest part. The rest is relatively easy by comparison. And if you can sell something before you have to expend the cash to buy it, you’re laughing … because you know exactly how much to buy and you know it’s already sold.

        Bill Gates didn’t even have an OS when he put his first deal together with IBM.

  3. Freelancing is a big deal, and if you aren’t prepared to take the plummet before you do– you’re going to be in for a surprise. But, it’s also the most rewarding opportunity you will ever have.

    — Scot

  4. I admire your determination. Being self-employed is something I dream of but I don’t think I have the drive or bravery to dive right in. I currently have a full-time job and my online ventures are only a side job.

  5. You are obsolutely correct to focus on establishing links to clients. I’ve had a number of friends who tried self employment and focussed entirely on their capability to complete work, rather than their capability to WIN work. They failed.
    I know that most of the successful people I know sell first, and figure out how to supply second.
    I’ve been variously self employed, running small businesses, and working for the man. Being self employed with a small flexible team is something to cherish!

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