Working for yourself can be more about hard slog than short days and long weekends.
Working for yourself can be more about hard slog than short days and long weekends. Yuri Arcurs

Working for yourself can be a tough job

WORKING for yourself sounds like the perfect set-up - no boss, the freedom to set your own hours and spend your time doing something you're really passionate about.

Which is all great, in theory. With the exception of the latter point, working for yourself can be more about hard slog than short days and long weekends.

To fully commit and establish yourself in business is a big move and a lot of work, often not the type of work you were looking for in the first place.

A study released by small business accounting services firm Intuit Australia found Australian small business owners spent on average one third of their time on administrative work, rather than their core business operations.

Instead of spending their time on the work they went into business to do, Australian small business owners are spending hours recording transactions, paying bills and wages, and working through BAS and tax-reporting paperwork.

If you're committed to becoming your own boss, those tasks are just a fact of life, but one that should be considered before taking the leap.

Intuit Australia director of accountant strategy Rich Walker told website SmartCompany that administrative tasks often detracted from other more important jobs.

"Given most small business owners (55%) branch out to capitalise on a skill or field of expertise they have, administrative tasks take time away from their core business or expertise," he said.

The Intuit survey also examined the motivations and methodologies of Australia's small business owners, with the majority creating their business as a means of capitalising on their own expertise, with almost one quarter wanting to be self employed to do something they loved, with 7% buying existing businesses and having to learn how to run it.

One third of business owners quit their previous job to start their business, 30% run their business as a side project to their main job, with 12% moving into self employment after being made redundant from a previous job.

Dabbling in a spot of moonlighting or freelancing around other work can provide a supplementary income stream without requiring you to go all-in and commit completely to self-employment - you can keep your "day job" and the security that comes with it, while pursuing an interest and hopefully turn your talents into cash.

At the end of the day, self-employed or otherwise, the most important factor is to be happy in what you do - you're a long time working, so make sure you spend that time doing something you're interested in, passionate about and really, really good at.

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