Monday 21 December 2020

3 Emotional Questions You Should Ask Yourself Before Being Self Employed

Being a self employed in Singapore isn’t easy. During my initial years, I got many hard questions from my relatives. Many others said it was better to find a “real” job. On hindsight, all of them are employees. In what seemed like a blink of an eye, I have been self employed for 10 years and I hope to share with you 3 emotional questions that you should ask yourself before being self-employed. 

Question #1: Can you accept having a different schedule from your friends?

This sounds like a trivial question but I felt it was one of the hardest things when I first started out. I became a self-employed at 24. As most of my friends eventually become employees for companies, their schedule is a consistent 9am to 5pm on weekdays. Most of the time, they will be free on weekends. If there was a gathering, it will be either during weekday nights or weekends.

As a self-employed, our effective working hours are slightly different. The marketing that I was doing was more effective during weekdays nights and weekends as more people would pay more attention to it. It was also more effective closing deals during that period of time too. However, this will mean that it is difficult to attend any gatherings. Eventually, my friends stopped calling me out as I would be “busy”.

I found it very tough to be excluded during the outings then. I would be sad when my friends don’t invite me when they would in the past. This is one statement that stings.

“We thought you busy mah. So, we never invite you.”

Ask yourself if you are ready to have a different schedule from your current friends. Although I may have lost contact with old friends, I made new friends who are working on different schedules and some of them became close friends. When one door closes, another opens. 

Question #2: Can you accept not earning as much money as your friends in the initial years?

As a university graduate, there is a good possibility that your monthly income is in between $2500 to $4000. However, as a self-employed, your income is always a big question mark.

My income in my initial years were terrible. I always remembered the month when my salary was only $200. In the initial years, you need to build up your expertise, your knowledge and also your clientele. The thoughts of being employed at that time was tempting. This is because you know that your next best alternative is getting a stable income. It was also painful to compare your salary to those especially in the government sector.

Ask yourself if you are able to accept not earning as much money as your friends in the initial years. I also found it useful not to compare with other. Each job or each occupation has their own set of pros and cons. I believe that getting satisfaction and happiness in doing the job is more important that the salary you make.

Question #3: Can you accept having different life experience from your friends?

Being a self-employed means doing everything yourself. You need to work on your accounting, you need to work on your HR and also you need to work on your sales. There are no IT department to knock doors on when there is an IT issue. You just have to get it done yourself. You will find that the type of complains you will be very different from your friends. Some frustrations that will be hard to relate to are as follows.

“My manager like to micro-manage.”

“My manager is not a good leader. Why is he/she so discouraging?”

“The XXX department is holding us back. Why are they always so slow?”

“Can’t believe XXX got promoted. There must be something happening behind the scenes.”

During your meet ups, it won’t be easy to relate to their pains and frustrations. They also may not understand your pains and frustrations. As work makes up a big part of our lives, the level of connection with your friends may no longer like the pre-working days.

About Chengkok

Thank you, SingaporeanTalksMoney, for the opportunity to write on your blog. Initially, she wanted me to write about my journey as a trainer and how I started on my career. After writing a few sentences, I felt an epiphany to share about these 3 emotional traits that I faced during my self-employed years and I want to share them for those of you are interested to be self-employed.

Hi again, my name is Chengkok. I am an Associate Financial Consultant and the Founder of Wealthdojo. My vision is to build the biggest community of financially free families all over the world. It all started when I realize that the majority of families are overwhelmed by family and work obligations. Even though many of them are hardworking, they become stuck financially and unable to achieve the results they desire in life.

I am an active investment coach and mentor for Buffet Online School. I coach a diverse group of individuals from Executive to Chief Financial Officer with > $3.1 million worth of investment funds.

Lastly, I am also awarded as a Million Dollar Round Table member of AIA Singapore. Chengkok has been invited to speak in different countries including America, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. In Singapore, he has been invited to speak at various institutions such as NTU, UniSIM, RP, Lim and Tan Securities, SIAS, USANA, and 93.8Live.

Check Chengkok out here.

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