Not All That It Is Cracked Up To Be

Fortunately, I'm now on the mend from my illness last week. It's been a while since I've had a bug like that. It completely knocked me for six. Although it caused an enforced absence from the trading, the break was welcome.

I've never made any claims that trading the sports markets was anything other than a hobby for me. This past week has served to reinforce that belief. Being unable to trade when my livelihood depended on it would be an unwelcome worry. Being self-employed, I already have that stress. I don't get 'sick leave' from my clients. I cannot pull a 'sicky' when I cannot be bothered to go into work. If I don't go, I don't get paid.

My health hasn't been bad in the seventeen years or so I've been self-employed but the threat of illness is one of the many drawbacks of being self-employed. There's many other issues such as isolation, loneliness, irregular income, lack of support and so on that means self-employment isn't necessarily all it's cracked up to be.

The idea of substituting one form of self-employment for another, potentially more isolated form is not one that appeals - even if I had the trading skills to earn a full-time wage. If anything, I'd be looking to pack in self-employment altogether and get myself a proper job.

Having succumbed to many of the drawbacks of self-employment over the years, I'd advise anyone considering going that route, whether in sports trading or any other field, to think long and hard about it. It is not as glamorous as some would have you believe and there are major disadvantages that will not only affect you and your health, but that of your direct family and friends.

Is it worth it?


The Geek said...

I have been doing it for 7 years now, and it was the best thing I ever did.

The only downside is the isolation, as I don't actually have leave the house at all these days for work.

Compare that with the upside of being here to watch my kids grow up, having plenty of spare time during the day to romance Mrs Geek, the freedom to work your own hours, much better money than a 9-5, and the freedom to just get up & do something impulsive, I wouldn't trade it.

And in my line of work, not being tied to a specific location means I can up sticks & live anywhere in the world.

It's not for everyone though as it requires some discipline, and there are times when you have to work 16 hour days.

Alistair said...

Don't get me wrong, I'm glad I turned self-employed, though I never dreamed I'd still be that way 17 years later. There are many upsides to it.

It has cost me dear though as it was a major contributing factor in the collapse of my marriage in 2002 and I've since been more of a full-time single parent at the expense of my business and career - not that I regret that.

It's important for anyone going down this route to be aware of the downsides and thereby avoid the elephant traps that I fell into.