Is a Move into Self-Employment the right thing to do?

Taking the plunge into self-employment can be daunting, yet exciting, but is it the right thing to do?

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Are you thinking about what it would be like to be your own boss and turn your back on being a wage slave?  Are you worried about your decision, feeling the pressure of wanting to make the move, not really sure of how you would secure some work and research is telling you about all the things you need to have in place to be "self-employed" which leaves you a little overwhelmed?

I can appreciate your position; 8 years ago I found myself "on the job market" as I'd chosen to take redundancy from a Senior Human Resources Role.  I felt excited but also overawed by the sense of freedom and choices that were suddenly in front of me.  I knew I wanted to be self-employed - I'd had enough of office politics, rat-race commuting and generally feeling stifled and suffocated.

I decided I wanted to turn my passion and burning desire for creating a life that was fulfilling and on my terms, into some kind of business idea.  Coaching had been a huge part of what I did in my Corporate life, so it made sense to become professionally qualified so that I could then "sell" this skill and share a way to achieve the huge breakthroughs that come through a solid coaching experience.

Naively, I thought that I would set my stall out, get a website, talk to a few people and I'd be in business with clients queuing up to work with me.  And so, the question "Is a Move into Self-Employment the Right Thing to Do?"

As well as all the practical steps you need to take to move into self-employment and the hats you need to wear:  CEO, Finance Director, Marketing, Sales, Customer Service, Training etc., the biggest challenge is around Mindset and the belief in yourself and your ideas.   Among the many skills you will need to have, Resilience features strongly.

If you are considering a move into self-employment* the following questions may help you think things through:

  • Why is it that you want to move into self-employment?  What do you want to achieve in life?
  • What is your business idea?  
  • Who will be your target market?
  • Does research show you that there is a need for this product/service?  How will you be different to your competitors?
  • How will you manage financially whilst starting up?
  • How will you manage financially with the potential irregular earnings?
  • What do you envisage your ideal day will look like?
  • Who have you spoken to who is self-employed - what do they think about this way of life?
  • What will you do to manage your motivation when you are going through a tough time?
  • What support do you have from family and friends?  Becoming self-employed is a life-changing event and will require hard work and potentially long hours, especially in the early stages
  • How will you manage the potential isolation you might experience when shouldering all of the responsibility for your success?

If you can positively respond to all of the above questions, it's time to start exploring your ideas fully through Websites, Books, Organisations such as Banks, Chamber of Commerce and Federation of Small Businesses, Events, Trade Shows and Networking Forums.  

Ultimately, only you will know if a move into self-employment feels the "right thing to do."

My personal mission is to help as many people as possible create a working life that they really enjoy which contributes to their whole life happiness.  If you would like to discuss how I could help you, please get in touch, or visit my website:

*There are, of course, lots of other ways to be in business - freelancing, franchising, buying an existing business, starting a new business, portfolio work, interim consultancy - the questions remain the same.


Michelle Tranter

Career SOS, Work-Life Balance & Professional Development Coach,

The World of Work can often be a challenging place to be. Are work worries keeping you awake? Are you facing redundancy? Have you fallen out of love with your career? Do you want life to be different? ​I'm Michelle Tranter, a qualified Career, Leadership and Life Coach, HR Practitioner and Trainer, with many years' experience of working in the real world - the ups and downs of managing a team, the wrath of autocratic management, being “dumped in at the deep end,” restructures, a crazy busy workload with no let up and often left feeling that I was dancing to someone else’s tune and not living my life. I've supported 100's of professional women, from all sectors, to take positive action and develop flourishing careers. Work and life are intertwined and you, the human behind your job title, are in the driving seat. Why not contact me and we'll have a chat about how I can help: *Featured Expert for Abintegro - the Career Development Portal *Featured Expert in Psychologies Magazine *Creator of "How to create a happy and productive work from home lifestyle" for Psychologies LifeLabs