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You Are Already Self Employed - Self Employment Redefined

Updated on March 28, 2013

The most common understanding of self employment today involves filling out your tax forms, taking an incredible amount of responsibility and striving to keep your company afloat. Here I will underline what self employment actually means and why you are in fact, already in the drivers seat.

You Are Already Self Employed

Yes perhaps you happen to be one of the people reading this who are already self employed. For those of you who believe you are not however, I have news for you. Let me explain a little about what self employment really is and why the interpretation of the term 'self employment' really does matter.

For many years I have wondered...

What is the difference between those who are self employed and those who work for other people?

At first I came to the understanding that self employed people had only themselves to fall back on, with no support, no safety net and no guarantee that their business would be successful. But then should they be successful would the rewards be a lot higher? Plus, only having to answer to themselves is a dream that almost anyone could ask for.

Those employed by other people on the other hand, whether working behind a desk, on a shop floor, an oil rig or in a sports team, have their company to rely on. The security of working within a company, the safety net and the guaranteed salary all seem to be a part of the 'employee' category. The down-side of course is that working for a boss tends to involve answering to them, having limited choice, limited freedom and limited pay-rise prospects.

It seemed to me that employed people work only for other people, giving away a good part of their paycheck to management, while self employed people work for themselves, reaping their well earned benefits.

But then what if I'm wrong? Perhaps working for another persons company actually makes more sense. After all, people need to work together so that business can run smoothly - right? But then what about the money - and the power! This confusing debate was all so frustrating!

The Turning Point

Over time however, things started to make more sense to me. My previously black and white way of thinking changed completely and the cogs in my mind began revolving. With a gradual picture emerging from a contribution of jigsaw pieces, the picture became clear...

I'll ask you to read the question one more time. -

What is the difference between those who are self employed and those who work for other people?

The complete jigsaw lies within the question itself!

As someone who has spent a portion of their lives experiencing the negativity of unemployment, I had developed the understanding that employers were the bad guys. Just white collar bureaucrats telling people what to do and how to do it.

Yes perhaps this is true to some extent, but along my own geared up journey towards self employment (driven by a motivation that anyone could understand) I approached my alternative way of seeing things.

Picture the ideal company with the ideal boss. What would that be like?

  • A boss that listens?
  • A boss that shares wages equally?
  • A boss that understands the needs of their staff?

I bet that there are some very successful companies out there that are built on such strong foundations.

So how would this ideal company work?

We can only assume that each staff member would feel respected and just as equally respect their fellow workers. The most important fundamental of this company would be that the staff work both for themselves and for other people just as equally.

So what does this mean?

Then there it was!

- staring me in the face like a blinding beam of light from the heavens.

A company built on equality is just like a group of self employed people all working together.

That's it! The rest of this article is just a load of rambling to emphasize this point!

The truth is that self employed people aren't always better off and neither are those who aren't self employed. Upon realizing that self employed people answer to just as many people as those working within companies, my mind was now opened and a transformation took place as if I were Megatron from Transformers.

Is There Really Any Difference?

As humans, we work together. We always have and always will.

Managers themselves work to keep their staff in jobs. (If there was no company there would be no workers.) The interesting thing about this however is that a staff member will work to keep their manager employed as well. So the system works both ways and that is a simple fact.

This two way agreement between employer and employee, in an ideal world, means an equal say, equal pay and a similar level of respect from both sides.

At the end of the day, we all work to keep each other employed. This is because every single working person is relied upon by other working people in order to make the world go round.

So where does the equality come in?

You Are Your Own Manager!

Believe it or not, you are your own manager and are already in the drivers seat.

The chances are that you - do your own admin; organize your own life; know what you enjoy and know what you want from life.

That's the thing - you know yourself better than anyone else does. You have more control over yourself than anyone else does. You aren't just a worker held on strings at the hands of other people. You were born with this entitlement -

You own yourself and nobody else does.

Yes, perhaps your job lies in the hands of someone else, or many people. But the simple truth is that they rely on you and your work is valuable not just to yourself but to other people as well.

Understanding that other people rely on the work that we do is important. It allows us to see that we have something other people want. This reinforces our views on what we are actually capable of achieving.

Employed And Unemployed People Alike

This applies strongly to those who are unemployed too. In many cases, an unemployed person becomes demotivated and starts to convince themselves that they aren't highly valued as a prospect worker.

Even though this downward spiral mentality is rather common and is subsequently understandable, having a low level of self worth is destructive and useless. Self respect is important and to love one's self is to love and enjoy life.

Any work you have done, want to do or are definitely geared towards doing, just remember -

  • Any work you do is valuable.
  • The change you want in life is just waiting for you to embrace it.

Self Employment Redefined

We can now conclude that although there is some lateral thinking involved here, employees and self employed people have a few things in common.

They both:

  • work for other people
  • work for themselves
  • are self managers
  • have the right to state their boundaries
  • benefit from respecting both co-workers and customers

Which are you?

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Starting Your Own Company?

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    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Harte 4 years ago from Glasgow

      :) you don't need to, I simply had to make the point :)

    • Infobrowser profile image

      Infobrowser 4 years ago from UK

      Hello sparkleyfinger, nice to hear from you. I completely agree with you about self employed people actually being employed by their customers and therefore have their own boss(es) so to speak. I did briefly make this point but perhaps I will revise the structure of this article to be a bit more clear and emphasize such areas as this one.

    • sparkleyfinger profile image

      Lynsey Harte 4 years ago from Glasgow

      I can see your point. But being employed is very different to being self employed. You touched on it, but having a company behind you to pay sick leave and contribute towards your NI means that it is actually less stressful to be employed. If you are self employed you must rely upon your own budgeting and some people simply can't budget.

      That being said, to touch on another point of yours. Being self employed does NOT mean you don't have a boss. Your boss is your target market- the people buying your product or service. If they suddenly decide that something is no longer in fashion, they will stop buying it, leaving you to have to create the next big thing. You are controlled by your customers. And, if you choose simply not to listen, your company will fail :/

      I also wonder about the search possibilities for your title... I trust you have researched this? And finally, well done for coming back to your hubs... :)