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INTRO 5 things I wish I had known before becoming self-employed

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Mark98

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Oct 27, 2015
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5 things I wish someone had told me before you become 100% self-employed. Hope this helps some of you all.

1. Expect to work anywhere from 50-80 hours a week. No less than 50.

2. Charge the market rate for what you do. You can find your market rate at websites such as payscale.com

3. Have a vision for what you what to accomplish in the long term. This will provide energy when you are not feeling it.

4. Understand that if you go from being an employee to a full time entrepreneur and you live in the U.S. , that your taxes double. You go from paying 7.65% to 15.3%. Look it up.

5. Having a business is very similar to interacting with the opposite sex. If you try to please them they will cast you away. If you are strong and can guide them to a better future and not fall under their money spell and you’re consistent, they will continue to make room for you.
 

RicardoGrande

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Hey mark, thanks for posting!

Two questions:

1) You mentioned that one should expect to work 50-80 hours a week, do you mind sharing what industry you're freelancing in?
2) You mentioned taxes doubling from 7 to 15 percent, on which income? The average american can usually expect to pay 24% plus just as a W-2 employee.
 

MJ DeMarco

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4. Understand that if you go from being an employee to a full time entrepreneur and you live in the U.S. , that your taxes double. You go from paying 7.65% to 15.3%. Look it up.

This is not true unless organized as a sole proprietor, which IMO, is entrepreneur amateur hour.

2) You mentioned taxes doubling from 7 to 15 percent, on which income?

He's talking about the self-employment tax which is levied on sole-props.
 

Mark98

Contributor
Oct 27, 2015
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24
19
28
Seattle
Hey mark, thanks for posting!

Two questions:

1) You mentioned that one should expect to work 50-80 hours a week, do you mind sharing what industry you're freelancing in?
2) You mentioned taxes doubling from 7 to 15 percent, on which income? The average american can usually expect to pay 24% plus just as a W-2 employee.
@RicardoGrande - I appreciate your questions.
Answer to question 1: I work in the accounting profession. I do bookkeeping and accounting on a 100% self employed remote basis.
Answer to question 2: Your taxes go from 7 to 15 percent on self employment income. When you are purely W2, you pay half and the employer the other half. You now pay the full amount. Also in regards to the 24 percent, you must be referring to your effective rate>>> taxes paid/taxable income.

mark
 

maximusharrison

New Contributor
Jul 1, 2021
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5 things I wish someone had told me before you become 100% self-employed. Hope this helps some of you all.

1. Expect to work anywhere from 50-80 hours a week. No less than 50.
This is a type of self-employment that would usually be related to a business most likely. Because, if you're a freelancer, the hours you'll be spending within a week are highly dependent on your mastery of the skill or trade that you're going for. This is why you can directly manage how long you'll be using for a specific task or project. Just pointing this out, because it sort of feels like a way to "scare" newbies in the self-employment spectrum. Yes, it's going to take a lot of time in the beginning, but it doesn't necessarily have to be back-breaking and over-the-top.
2. Charge the market rate for what you do. You can find your market rate at websites such as payscale.com
I agree with this point, although I've no experience with payscale.com. I know a lot of people who charge for really cheap at the start of their freelancing/self-employment journey to build a clientele–and end up not changing the rate. This hurts your potential to earn money and is overall just a terrible way to undercharge yourself for the labor/work you're doing. I did read a good article recently on Quora (linking it here for reference) that talks about offer letters. I think this is highly applicable to people that are striving for a well-established status in their chosen niche or line of work. Try to study offer letters and packages given to prominent people within the field–study what they're doing, and find out what they're doing right.
3. Have a vision for what you what to accomplish in the long term. This will provide energy when you are not feeling it.
Motivation is a myth. That's something that people need to learn early on once you "become your own boss". There will be days that you don't feel like doing the work or accomplishing the task–and people would indulge you to "take a break" or "have a breather", this is the harsh reality: most of the time, whether you like it or not, you need to get something done even if your entire being goes against it. This exemplifies discipline in your craft. Motivation is a good catalyst to get the ball rolling, but it should not be the basis or the main driving force for you to work.
4. Understand that if you go from being an employee to a full time entrepreneur and you live in the U.S. , that your taxes double. You go from paying 7.65% to 15.3%. Look it up.
I'm not based in the U.S. so I have no way to confirm or deny this.
5. Having a business is very similar to interacting with the opposite sex. If you try to please them they will cast you away. If you are strong and can guide them to a better future and not fall under their money spell and you’re consistent, they will continue to make room for you.
I don't know how this analogy sits in with me... but I think pleasing someone (aka your client/consumers) is a byproduct of delivering value. This is why I think satisfying a customer is not something that needs to be antagonized. There will always be case-to-case differences with various scenarios, but I do agree with your point of being consistent and avoiding the affluence mindset. Money will always be a replenishable material, but the trust, loyalty, and integrity of the business you are trying to build will crumble if people see through your money-centered schemes, services, and products.
 

Mark98

Contributor
Oct 27, 2015
15
24
19
28
Seattle
This is a type of self-employment that would usually be related to a business most likely. Because, if you're a freelancer, the hours you'll be spending within a week are highly dependent on your mastery of the skill or trade that you're going for. This is why you can directly manage how long you'll be using for a specific task or project. Just pointing this out, because it sort of feels like a way to "scare" newbies in the self-employment spectrum. Yes, it's going to take a lot of time in the beginning, but it doesn't necessarily have to be back-breaking and over-the-top.

I agree with this point, although I've no experience with payscale.com. I know a lot of people who charge for really cheap at the start of their freelancing/self-employment journey to build a clientele–and end up not changing the rate. This hurts your potential to earn money and is overall just a terrible way to undercharge yourself for the labor/work you're doing. I did read a good article recently on Quora (linking it here for reference) that talks about offer letters. I think this is highly applicable to people that are striving for a well-established status in their chosen niche or line of work. Try to study offer letters and packages given to prominent people within the field–study what they're doing, and find out what they're doing right.

Motivation is a myth.
That's something that people need to learn early on once you "become your own boss". There will be days that you don't feel like doing the work or accomplishing the task–and people would indulge you to "take a break" or "have a breather", this is the harsh reality: most of the time, whether you like it or not, you need to get something done even if your entire being goes against it. This exemplifies discipline in your craft. Motivation is a good catalyst to get the ball rolling, but it should not be the basis or the main driving force for you to work.

I'm not based in the U.S. so I have no way to confirm or deny this.

I don't know how this analogy sits in with me... but I think pleasing someone (aka your client/consumers) is a byproduct of delivering value. This is why I think satisfying a customer is not something that needs to be antagonized. There will always be case-to-case differences with various scenarios, but I do agree with your point of being consistent and avoiding the affluence mindset. Money will always be a replenishable material, but the trust, loyalty, and integrity of the business you are trying to build will crumble if people see through your money-centered schemes, services, and products.
Thank you for your input
 

eliquid

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5 things I wish someone had told me before you become 100% self-employed. Hope this helps some of you all.

1. Expect to work anywhere from 50-80 hours a week. No less than 50.

2. Charge the market rate for what you do. You can find your market rate at websites such as payscale.com

3. Have a vision for what you what to accomplish in the long term. This will provide energy when you are not feeling it.

4. Understand that if you go from being an employee to a full time entrepreneur and you live in the U.S. , that your taxes double. You go from paying 7.65% to 15.3%. Look it up.

5. Having a business is very similar to interacting with the opposite sex. If you try to please them they will cast you away. If you are strong and can guide them to a better future and not fall under their money spell and you’re consistent, they will continue to make room for you.

Not trying to argue, but here are my views on some of it.

I used to feel the same way you do. But then after years of thought and experience I came to this:

1. Expect to work anywhere from 50-80 hours a week. No less than 50.

^^ I think this applies if you are low level employee. Typically 100% hourly, and a small % of low end salaried as those will hit 40 hours and call it a week.

BUT when I was Director, VP and CMO roles.. I routinely was a W2 and worked 50-80 hour weeks. I would think most "important" salaried workers are putting in 50 hours at least

2. Charge the market rate for what you do. You can find your market rate at websites such as payscale.com

^^ I somewhat agree with this. However, I charge what I am worth which can be 3x higher than market rates. I also charge what fits my goals too which might be higher than market rates. But I get what you are saying.

My only suggestion would be to charge what fits you/works for you.

4. Understand that if you go from being an employee to a full time entrepreneur and you live in the U.S. , that your taxes double. You go from paying 7.65% to 15.3%. Look it up.

^^ I see what you mean when you look at it as a sole prop. on a technical level. But employers know this as well. All of your "overhead" as an employee is factored into your "pay". So in a sense, you are paying this as an employee as well. You earn less pay because of it.
 
Last edited:

Pete Mack

PARKED
Jul 25, 2021
4
0
1
5 things I wish someone had told me before you become 100% self-employed. Hope this helps some of you all.

1. Expect to work anywhere from 50-80 hours a week. No less than 50.

2. Charge the market rate for what you do. You can find your market rate at websites such as payscale.com

3. Have a vision for what you what to accomplish in the long term. This will provide energy when you are not feeling it.

4. Understand that if you go from being an employee to a full time entrepreneur and you live in the U.S. , that your taxes double. You go from paying 7.65% to 15.3%. Look it up.

5. Having a business is very similar to interacting with the opposite sex. If you try to please them they will cast you away. If you are strong and can guide them to a better future and not fall under their money spell and you’re consistent, they will continue to make room for you.
If you can harness the power of leverage you don't need to work 50-80hrs. With the right leverage in place you could potentially work zero hours ! Warren Buffet could work zero hours and still make billions because of the massive leverage he has set up.

So my question to you is how can you apply more leverage to what you're doing so that you can work less and make more !?
 

Mark98

Contributor
Oct 27, 2015
15
24
19
28
Seattle
If you can harness the power of leverage you don't need to work 50-80hrs. With the right leverage in place you could potentially work zero hours ! Warren Buffet could work zero hours and still make billions because of the massive leverage he has set up.

So my question to you is how can you apply more leverage to what you're doing so that you can work less and make more !?
There is definitely a lot we can all do to leverage what we have.
 

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