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Want to Start a Business? Here are Top 10 Myths about Self-Employment

If, like many you’re taking the New Year as an opportunity to launch a new business, you may be wondering what to believe in the noisy world of advice. There are a lot of myths floating around so we’ve put together a list of our top ones:


You get tons more free time

You may have more flexibility in how you use your time but that doesn’t mean you can take time off whenever you want and let everyone else run the business. Being a business owner is a full-time job and more. You’ll always have something to do so don’t count on unlimited holidays.

It’s more stressful than being an employee

This can certainly be true for some people but it doesn’t necessarily apply to everyone.

According to research from AXA Business Insurance, 78% of self-employed people describe themselves as stressed to some extent. While this may seem like a high percentage, it’s not compared to the 90% of people who say the same while working for someone else instead.

The best thing about being in charge is that if a problem is stressing you out, you can do more about it. Gareth Howell, managing director of AXA Direct said:

“I do feel there is something here about how much control an individual feels they have over their destiny. When we asked people about their motivations for starting a business ‘control’ was the word that came up time and again.”

You will make lots of money

You certainly have the potential to earn a lot of money. The great thing about being self-employed is that there’s no real cap to the amount you can earn like there is with a salary. However, it’s going to take a lot of work and even then you’re at the mercy of the market.

Overall, the earnings gap between employees and self-employed people isn’t as dramatic as you might think. The average self-employed person earns around £33,000. That’s £6,000 more than the average employee.

Being self-employed is too risky

There’s an element of uncertainty when you go it alone but this risk can be managed. It all depends on how much work you put in, whether you address the needs of your market and how well you team works.

In many cases, being employed isn’t any safer than being self-employed. Redundancies and cut backs are now common and have become one of the driving forces behind people starting their own ventures.

Having a good product is enough

While this is the first step in any business, finding a good product or service, it’s not the only thing to think about. It doesn’t matter how new and inventive an idea is if there’s no real market for it. If no one wants to buy from you, then you’re going to struggle to keep going. That’s why it’s important to listen to what customers need.

You need a business education

Think only people with MBA’s get ahead? Think again. Plenty of the world’s biggest entrepreneurs got ahead without any higher education. In these cases drive, passion and common sense count more. That doesn’t mean jumping into it without any knowledge or experience is a good idea. The more you can teach yourself about business the better, and experience can teach even more.

You only do work you love

Now that you have the freedom to work how you want, you may think that your time is going to be filled with stuff you love to do. Unfortunately this is just not the case. There are always going to be tasks that aren’t much fun alongside the stuff you enjoy.

This is why it’s important that you’re passionate about your business. Not just because it’s more fun but because when you come to spend time on inevitable tedious or stressful tasks, your passion will keep you going.

You don’t have to answer to anyone

Even if you’re at the top, you still have people to answer to. This could be your employees, your customers, the Government or investors. Businesses are made of people so it’s important to be open to new ideas and advice, especially if you’re just starting out.

You have to do everything yourself

In the early days, being able to wear many hats is a good thing. You’ll often have to take up several responsibilities to get going without forking out for lots of new staff.

However, you have to eventually let go of the reins. When your business grows and you hire people to take over the kind of tasks you didn’t want to be doing long term, you need to let them get on with those jobs. Learn to delegate and give up some control as this will create a more productive office and make your life less stressful.

You have to do all of your accounting

Following on from the previous point, you don’t need to do everything yourself. This means that no one expects you to be hunched over a calculator, working with tons of receipts to work out your tax every year.

Having an accountant can take a huge weight off you as a business owner. It means you can keep your focus on what you’re best at, running your business.

For a quote on accountancy services, you can follow this link here.


Have you heard any other myths you’d add to the list? Have any ever made you had second thoughts about going into business? Let us know your thoughts.

Stephanie Whalley
Serial snacker, compulsive cocktail sipper and full time wordsmith with a penchant for alliteration, all things marketing and pineapple on pizza.