glad you started this topic! I took the leap mid of 2018 and created my first company. Never looking back ever since. End of last year, I created my 2nd company.
One of the big advantages of being self-employed: you are your own boss
Disadvantage: you can’t complain about having a sh*tty boss
I was a manager in my previous role (managing a team of IT professionals + working technically as well), and I knew there was a big demand in my profession (SAP). My previous company was badly managed, so I decided to give it a try. I had enough money saved to be able to survive 1-1,5 years (without getting any project).
The last two years have been amazing in terms of earning money. Still, there are also downsides:
- you have to be able to sell yourself
- you need to do accounting, or have someone doing it for you
- there might be times, when business is not going well
- negotiating prices needs a Bazar mentality
- you’ll usually be working a lot (at least that’s the case for me - my opinion: I can have vacation when I don’t have projects)
- might not be working too well with family and kids (work-life balance)
- you will basically be a soldier, unless you have a product you can sell
- in my case: I’m selling my knowledge, which means I’m the product. That’s not scalable (at least at the moment)
- higher earnings
- you can choose which projects you want to do
- faster way to FIRE
- learning curve in terms of business administration
- you can use much more of your potential for your own good (vs working in a company, where you can do the best job in the world and still only get a 2% pay-rise every year)
It might sound riskier to work in a small company, but lets face it: working in a big company like UBS or Swiss Post, you also have no job security (at least in IT). I know very well what I’m talking about. I was working for one of the biggest outsourcing companies worldwide, until they made a decision to carve-out all technicians in my country. We’re talking about >1.500 people at that time.
If you are working in your own company, you at least have the option to adjust. I could offer different IT services, I could do coaching etc.
So, from my point of view: yes, there are risks, but as of today I wouldn’t want to go back to a corporate job. I’ve seen it numerous times at customers: political games, clueless management, people getting promoted just because they knew the boss. Not interested in that any more