As a kid, I was sometimes allowed to skip school. Maybe I had a dentist appointment, or sometimes a piano exam. Often I’d just spent the morning with my head pressed against the radiator, before asking my Mum to put her hand on my forehead. “I’m ill aren’t I?”, I’d ask – marks from the groves of the radiator still marking my skin.
On these few occasions, we’d sometimes take trips into town; something I found fascinating. Whilst my entire working week took place inside a classroom – a prison of primary colours and plastic chairs – I had no idea that on the outside world, some adults were allowed to walk free. Both outraged and impressed, I remember asking my Mum why these people were allowed to walk around so flagrantly; browsing WH Smith at 2pm on a Tuesday afternoon. Shouldn’t they be at work? At school?
“They’re self-employed”, my Mum explained. “They make their own rules”.
Older and now settled into my own – adult version – of the 9-5, I still thought about this rare species. I would glimpse them on my lunch break or on the odd afternoon I’d take off from work. Sometimes they’d be working inside a cafe; their office a warm and bustling Starbucks. What mavericks, what dissenters, I’d think. I made a mental note that one day, I too should be brave enough to try being one of these people.
I should become self-employed.
In this podcast, we discuss what happened when we both, remarkably, made this leap. It turns out that whilst indeed this swathe of the population are spending their Wednesday mornings sipping Lattes in cafes, they are also probably incredibly stressed; driven by a unique fear that haunts the self-employed. From worrying about the obvious (money), to adapting to a life without colleagues or reassuringly familiar routine, we have discovered that self-employment is one tough gig. But also, it’s something that can be unbelievably rewarding.
So please do have a listen. If you’re a fellow Tuesday-morning-cafe-frequenter, let us know! We’d love to know what you find to be the highs and lows of this world.
Thank you for listening!