This week two years ago I walked into my boss’s office, dropped my resignation on her desk and in doing so set in motion a series of life-changing events. Apparently I was later accused of having thrown down said resignation on said desk. In hindsight I should perhaps have done that because then the first part of this story would have made for much more dramatic reading.

Anyhow, two years later I am, fortunately or unfortunately, depending on whether you love me or hate me, still around doing what I enjoy doing.

And I still regard the decision I made two years ago as the single best one I ever made.

So what is it like working for yourself? In my opinion the key word here is freedom. I did not realise that I missed freedom until I truly experienced it. And in my line of work freedom makes one hell of difference. It’s hard to put your heart and soul into something abstract if the everyday circumstances around you are, well, shit. I have more work satisfaction now that I ever had before.

Stuff I hear frequently:

Is it really stressful to work for yourself? No, but it is uncertain. I suppose to some people uncertainty equals stress, but in my case it’s just uncertainty. I actually have less stress now than I ever had working for a boss. Working to earn income makes sense. Working to please someone else is just ridiculous.

Don’t even try starting a business in this hopeless economy! The economy is only as hopeless as you see it and opportunities will only develop where you create then. If you can’t come up with new ideas on a daily basis then this is not for you.

Do you now have to work impossible hours to make ends meet? No. But what I have found is that my hours are much more irregular. Weekends and holidays blur away and you settle into a rhythm of your own. I still have time to sleep, eat and go on holiday like I did before. You work to make stuff look as good as you can but you always aim to get it done within the time set by the guy paying for it. Honestly the best ideas don’t necessarily happen during office hours. The most idiotic thing I was ever part of was the forced “creative work between 8 and 5 on weekdays with a lunch hour in between” farce.

It must be great just sitting around at home and/or I won’t be able to work from home. No denying that it is great working from home. But stuff still has to get done on time. A large amount of self-discipline is required. My edit desk becomes an office like any other when I’m working. When I’m not working it’s just a piece of furniture with a helluvalot of production gear on it that most people won’t have in their homes. The only difference is that I’m no longer forced to sit there by anyone.

You'll have to go begging for work from people. Only if you’re really bad at what you do. Most people recognize quality and are willing to pay a reasonable amount for it. I know I am. If you can deliver a useful service at consistently good quality, you will have more than enough work to keep yourself occupied.