I love freelancing, but it's okay to admit that it isn't right for you.

12 March


I've seen a lot of people go freelance in the last year or two.

I started my own business in Autumn last year and honestly, I don't think I've felt so passionate about anything since peanut butter KitKats became a permanent fixture in the confectionary aisle.

But with the rise of people going all #girlboss, I've noticed that there's a rise of said girlbosses, dare I say it, complaining about it.

They seem utterly miserable about everything that comes with being your own boss - keeping up with social media, pitching to clients, even the working from home.

They seem to be forgetting that it's a choice - you don't have to run your own business, there's no shame in admitting that it isn't for you and applying for a job.

Except, there kind of is.

There shouldn't be, but there is.

Working for yourself is romanticised to the point where it seems like it's the ultimate marker of success - and it really isn't.

Firstly, quotes like "if you don't build your dream, someone else will hire you to help them build theirs" are unhelpful and, quite frankly, a load of crap.

We all have different dreams. We don't all dream of starting our own company. We don't all want to climb up the career ladder. There is no, I repeat, NO SHAME in being happy working for someone else.

Secondly, running a business is bloody hard work. You've got to love it and feel that passion for it fizzing around your body or girl, you ain't gonna last long.

There's the pressure of posting regularly on social media, the sheer volume of admin work and getting your head around a whole load of new things like networking, marketing and tax. Pitching to clients, waiting anxiously to hear whether they're happy with your work and even more anxiously for your invoice to be paid.

And of course, the delightful feeling of fear, ineptitude and a smidgen of envy of seeing your peers smashing it on Instagram when you're having a bad day.

It's okay not to enjoy those things, most people don't. But if you're finding the whole thing disheartening and constantly feel tired, unmotivated and negative, it's 100% okay to say "hey, this isn't for me."

Finally, starting your own business isn't always the mark of progression it's made out to be. Often, it comes from a place of unhappiness or desperation.

Real talk: I started Easy As VAT when I was deeply unhappy with my life, having daily panic attacks and my relationship was falling apart, to help take my mind off those things. If I was happy at that point, who knows whether it would ever have existed.

And I know tons of people who have started a business in similar circumstances, or have a chronic illness which means they can't work and have had to get creative to generate an income to, you know, feed themselves, or have been fired and couldn't find another job.

Starting a business, while really cool and impressive and everything, doesn't necessarily mean you've hit the highest rung on the career ladder and it was the next logical step, sometimes, maybe even most of the time, it comes from being dealt a shitty hand in life and shaking the fuck out of it.

So if you are a freelancer, or a full-time blogger, or any other kind of self-employed, please don't feel like packing it in and getting a job means taking a step backwards.

Because changing something that doesn't make you happy? That can only be a step forwards.

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