Showdown 9: Time

April 22, 2007

Posted in Small Business.

This is part nine of a series exploring factors in self-employment and traditional employment. For more about this series, read the opening article.


How much time your work requires and your influence over it

Self Boss
Pros Cons Pros Cons
  • Drop everything! Go play golf!
  • Vacations and weekends whenever can be any time you like
  • When you’re not productive you can stop working
  • Pick your own hours – work 1am-9am if you like
  • It’s hard to stop working when the benefits are directly yours
  • There may not be anybody to take over for you when you stop
  • Time is money – the more you work the more you make
  • Vacations aren’t paid – because you only get paid when you’re working
  • Paid vacations
  • You can work 9am – 5pm and actually stop at 5pm
  • Unpaid overtime
  • Having someone ask you to work on weekends
  • Can’t just take off in the middle of the day


One of the biggest myths about self-employment is that you’ll work less and make more. But because your time directly affects the amount of money you make (especially if you’re billing hourly!) you’ll find it hard to stop working. However, when business is good you have as much control as you like. Some small business owners make time a priority by setting the number of hours they’ll work and building their model around that. If you want to work 30 hours a week, make sure your business can support that. And the extra hours are very rewarding because you know they make a difference. Still, there’s nothing like calling it quits at noon and hitting the golf course.

Winner: Self-Employment