What They Don't Tell You About Being a Creative Entrepreneur

by Alixandra Gould in


In our social media maelstrom, the entrepreneurial lifestyle has been seriously glamourized. The posts you see make it seem like us creative types, start-up queens, and girlbosses (and guybosses) don't really have a job at all.

Alixandra Gould Photography Blog

It's not surprising so many people are drawn to this type of lifestyle. But I'm here to burst the entrepreneur bubble, at least a little bit.  Yes, there are some great perks and very rewarding aspects. But before you quit your day job, maybe consider the following about self employed life.

It's not all #laptopsonthebeach!

1. You DO have a boss

Actually, you have many bosses. Each and every client is your boss, and you are still beholden to their wishes, creative input, and schedules. Sure, they may only be your boss for a brief period of time, but you should think of them as your boss nonetheless.

2. You will be less "creative" and more "entrepreneur" than you think

I'm gonna use "photographer" here as a job example for obvious reasons. I spend equal if not more time emailing clients, organizing schedules, creating marketing materials, bookkeeping, overseeing my employees, and doing taxes as I do shooting and editing. 

I did NOT expect that when I first started. 

3. Benefits are super awesome guys

So, so awesome. Be prepared to have to pay for literally everything out of pocket. Dentist, massages, chiro, physio, drugs, and for my American readers, healthcare! Unless you have a legal spouse that can share their benefits (which, I personally, am ever so grateful for) you're kinda out of luck. 

4. No, you can't just sleep in when you want to

Creative industries are a little more accepting of alternative business hours, but you have to ask yourself, "When will I be most productive?" Netflix, social gatherings, and a nice glass of wine are a little too much temptation for me in the evenings, so I know I gotta get up and do stuff in the mornings. 

Just because you work for yourself doesn't mean you don't have "office hours". Without this discipline, you can expect to be asking for that day job back pretty soon. 

5. You never stop working

Even if it's just in your mind, you never, ever stop trying to figure out ways to make your business better, forge new connections, learn new skills, or do something a little differently. 

The tasks are truly never done.