The pros and cons of running your own business.

Written by Natalie Doyle

July 21, 2023

A woman working on a laptop outside

I’m writing this on the last day of the school year. I’ve been reflecting on how much more manageable the school holidays are now that I run my own business. Nearly 3 years of working for myself, and it’s the best decision I ever made but there are obviously some downsides. These are my main pros and cons to running my own business:

Pros:

  1. The flexibility. This has been an absolute gamechanger for me with having two school age children. I can be around for sports days, assemblies, school plays etc without any issue. Although my work sometimes requires attending events or travelling around the country, it’s mostly very flexible and I can work around my other commitments.
  2. The challenge. This might not be a plus point for some people but I like taking risks in my work and I love a challenge so building a business from scratch is a great way to work for me. I find I encounter new challenges with the business all the time, and it’s made me more creative than ever with finding solutions to these challenges.
  3. The possibilities. The truth is I’m not 100% sure where Sport Sister is going! It already looks different to how I thought it would look when I first set it up. New opportunities have come my way that I didn’t expect, and I’ve learned a lot about what sort of projects I want to work on and where I want to focus my time. When I was in employed roles, I found that any progression was mapped out in quite a linear way. Promotions and working up the ladder were the priority, but I can’t be promoted any more! It’s an evolution over time, trying things out, experimenting, working on different projects and for different clients, and finding the best fit. The possibilities are endless, which is very exciting.

Ok, so those are the positives, but there are obviously some downsides. These are the ‘cons’:

  1. Uncertainty. I’ve been fortunate that the business has given me a full-time income since I started, but I also know that this isn’t guaranteed. The major plus of being employed is you know that your salary will be in your account every month. You don’t have that certainty when you run your own business where income can fluctuate and you also might have to spend time chasing payment of invoices.
  2. Not switching off. I’m very disciplined when it comes to my working hours and I rarely work in the evenings or at weekends. However, even when I’m not technically working I find Sport Sister floats around in my head most of the time – new ideas can strike at any moment, I think about challenges and possible solutions in my head when I could be relaxing. When you’re building something, it’s difficult to get your brain to recognise downtime!
  3. Self-doubt. Apart from if you receive a lovely testimonial from a client, there’s no-one around to tell you you’re doing a good job (not that this always happens when you’re employed either!) You can question whether you’re making the right decision. I try to surround myself with people I trust in this situation, both personally and professionally. Sometimes you just need another person’s perspective.

Sure, there are positives and negatives to it, but I wouldn’t change it for the world. It’s an exciting ride to be on, and I’m now ready for a summer of family adventures before ramping things up again in September.

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