I really enjoyed the discussion on self-employment. I find myself still struggling to determine which uses of my time generate the most income and how that compares to what I enjoy doing. In general I’m self-employed because I tend to bounce off the walls if forced into too much routine. That and having a broad but difficult to monetise skillset (so finding employment that gives a decent return on my abilities is basically impossible).
I don’t generally mind the paperwork but find it very difficult to advertise what I’m working on through social media - it feels like intruding on people’s private lives. I’m also struggling with the transition from hobbyist to professional. So far I’m not sure whether people don’t like my work any more or just consider it my job and therefore not something in need of admiration.
For context I make, cast, and distribute wargaming models. When I was just making models for hobby purposes people would encourage me to sell copies. Now I wonder whether I’ve just got worse or whether people think “Of course he’s good at it - it’s his job!”
As I’m self-employed I don’t have colleagues that can give me feedback and encouragement. The lack of support structure can be a real problem at times and it’s not a problem I’ve yet figured out how to solve.
You guys also pointed out something that we all know but seems to be lost on people that haven’t experienced it - there’s a lot of overhead to deal with. If muggins here doesn’t do the paperwork really bad things happen. The website doesn’t admin itself, products don’t pop into existence with product descriptions and photographs ready to go, etc. etc… It’s a lot of work and whilst I don’t resent any of it (well, making mould boxes can be pretty dull!) I also don’t feel like I get any “social credit” for working my arse off.
Right, I’m off to drink champagne out of something impractical.