25 Awe-Inspiring Tips About Self-Employment

  • Is self-employment for you?
  • How long have you been thinking about it?
  • What’s holding you back?
  • Have you started testing your ideas in the marketplace?

For many, “Corporate America” is the end all cure all, the reason we get a college education. These “purists” love working 60-90 hours per week, not seeing their families very often, bowing down to their “master” boss who is all-knowing and who walks on water. The “security” they have far outweighs any ideas they have to do something bigger and better on their own. These people hope to stay at the same job for 30+ years, get paid a decent retirement, and “live happily ever after”. For me, this is a load of SH$#! I became officially “self-employed” on November 1, 2010. I left a company I’d been working with since right after college where I was making a decent salary (salary being the keyword). Luckily, I’d been doing quite a bit of business on the side while working with my former employer and this was something they recommended (sort of). Throughout the course of the last 5 months, I’ve learned a lot about being a self-employed entrepreneur, things I was never taught in school and things that I hope you can avoid as you take that leap into the dark abyss of self-employment.

25 Awe-Inspiring Things About Self-Employment

This guy found a niche worth pursuing 🙂
  1. Self-employment is a dream come true!
  2. Taking the first step away from “corporate America” is probably the hardest step you’ll take.
  3. Continuing to move forward every day can be difficult, especially if you’re not for sure where you’d like to end up.
  4. The benefits of self-employment far outweigh the risks.
  5. The more focused you are on a niche, the quicker you’ll see success.
  6. Being your own boss is not necessarily easy.
  7. Making mistakes (and learning from them) is a KEY to success as a self-employed entrepreneur.
  8. Assessing what errors you’ve made and not repeating them will help you take giant steps forward.
  9. When you first start, or maybe even before, make a long list of ALL contacts you can think of – this list will prove to open doors you may not have even considered opening.
  10. Update your social media profiles using specific keyword phrases of the services or products you’re offering.
  11. State in your social media profiles that you are taking on new clients.
  12. As soon as you can, find something you can do consistently to bring in even a little money every day/week while you work on bigger projects.
  13. There’s not really any “secret sauce” to success as an entrepreneur. Like anything, it takes hard work, creativity, and a willingness to not let fear hold you back – instead let fear MOTIVATE YOU.
  14. My college degree helped me learn how to study, but it hasn’t helped me much as a self-employed entrepreneur. A lot of the process is a “learn as you go”.
  15. 4 Self-Employment Questions to Ask Yourself: 1. Am I able to get organized and keep a consistent schedule? 2. Can I get things done without answering to someone? 3. Am I really dedicated to solving a specific problem or need in the marketplace? 4. How much do I really want this?
  16. Quitting your day job before you’ve thought about some of these concepts can cause so much stress that you’ll doubt your decision the entire time and go back to working for the man – plan as much as you can before you tell your boss to SHOVE IT!
  17. Begin working your idea part time, in the evenings or early mornings, to see how things go. Obviously the online route is the best way to get started since there are minimal overhead costs and it’s a 24/7 marketplace.
  18. Keyword research will really help you understand if your idea has a chance to succeed.
  19. Defining WHO you’re going to sell your product/service to is probably the most important question to answer.
  20. The sooner that you can create a scheduled routine, the better. Although having your own hours is awesome, you can waste a lot of time if you’re not careful and don’t have things planned out.
  21. A SALARY SUCKS, bottom line. Determining how much you’re going to make for the work you do is so rewarding. The secret, though, is to set an end goal, an Outcome Goal, and then track it backwards via Performance Goals.
  22. Go to events, network, and meet with clients and friends on a fairly regular basis. Working from home can be ideal, but it can also be really lonely. Interaction with others will give you new ideas, keep you motivated, and help you continue pressing forward.
  23. Partner, Partner, Partner! Find other businesses that are already established and do business with them/for them. This will give you some footing as you grow your own ideas.
  24. Put your goals on paper and place them in places around your home/office where you’ll be able to review them frequently.
  25. Ask for referrals!
Self-Employment is AWESOME! It’s hard work. But it’s so nice to get checks in the mail and know that it’s all YOUR money, that you don’t have to share it with your A%#H$%# boss or owner of the company. As I created this list, I realized there are so many more things I can add to it. For now, though, I’d like to ask which of these 25 points you would like to know more about. Leave a comment and in a future post(s) I’ll expound on some of the points you mention. Nate Moller, a self-employed entrepreneur, has been teaching clients how to start an online business for over five years. He’s worked with thousands of companies who are looking for answers in their online marketing journey. Follow Nate on Twitter and become a fan of Moller Marketing on Facebook!

17 thoughts on “25 Awe-Inspiring Tips About Self-Employment

  1. Mat Siltala says:

    Very very inspiring indeed Nate, thanks for sharing this. I often look back and realize that my life could have been a lot different had I never made the “jump” It is scary no doubt, but well worth it, and if people do it, they will soon realize how much money they were losing staying with their “job”

  2. Nate Moller says:


    How do you define “smart” is the question? You and I both have worked with lots of people that have a “smart” idea that we both know won’t go anywhere (ie. starting the next Google, a pet supply company – not that they aren’t needed, but they have to be really focused), etc. So I’m interested on what “smart” means to you Pablo!

    p.s. Jimmer is definitely smart!

  3. Dave Barnes says:

    Nate, I’m glad you decided to write some of your ideas and tips down! Keep em coming though, I’m still expecting a good book out of you 🙂

    I really liked No. 15. I’ve been thinking a lot about these questions recently and am making small improvements so I can answer them how I really want to. Soon I will make the “jump”!

  4. Mia says:

    Self employment is not for everyone, one needs to have a certain discipline in order to stay focus.

    I’ve always said that you need to learn first in order to teach others, so for a young graduate I don’t think that self-employment is the best thing. Of course there are some success stories, but without an unique idea, it’s not really feasible to succeed.

  5. Delena Silverfox says:

    Honestly, I think more people have the entrepreneurial spirit than don’t, but we’ve been indoctrinated since a very young age to do as we’re told, not question authority, go to school, get good grades, and go work for someone else. We only get to do what we want in our spare time –and that’s what it is, spare. Between household and familial duties, all we have energy for is to collapse in front of the tv for an hour or two before sleeping…and then do it all over again.

    It’s slavery, not a job.

    I’ve never done very well in the corporate work environment. I can’t stand doing what someone else tells me every moment of every day, and not having the freedom to make my own decisions (asking permission for a bathroom break, or not being allowed to color my hair…decisions affecting my own BODY and I can’t make them?). I’ve never done very well with not having autonomy over my own self.

    However, I work great with little to no supervision, am highly motivated anyway, and even the duties I can’t stand are a pleasure when it’s something I love dealing with.

    The greatest thing I had to get over, to become my own boss, was fear. Fear of losing that dependable paycheck. But I treated it like an addiction; who wants to be addicted to slavery?


  6. Jeffrey Gross says:

    Hi Nate!
    You have summed up very nicely, loved reading the post. i started around 5 years back, and first 20 points that you have mentioned really define me when i started, it was a tough decision and now when i look back, i am happy and content that i took it..

    • Nate Moller says:

      @Sam – Good call! It does take a LOT of discipline, which can be tough for me too. That’s why it’s good to not wing it completely solo. Work with some other start-ups, find friends or people in your area who have walked down the same path, go to events to meet new entrepreneurs, and get out and talk with people. Otherwise, you’ll probably be another “statistic” of someone that tried, failed and re-joined the “Rat Race”!

      Keep us posted!

  7. Nate Moller says:

    @David Stevens
    AMEN David! Fear = Failure in my book. The only thing fear can be good for is to motivate you to make necessary changes. For me, those changes were to walk away from “security” into a bit of the unknown!

    Thanks for the comment!

  8. Worli says:

    One should quit job only when he knows what hes doing. Being fortunate online is not always possible. I have read some where that 80% online business attempt fails. Competition is tough now for a new comer it will take 8-12 months to learn just the basics, only if he has proper guidance.

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