Thursday 22 September 2011

Being Self Employed & Disorganised: The Reality

Yesterday I made timid steps into scraping together figures for my first ever tax return.


There were tears, there were tantrums. Items were thrown (luckily just against the wall and not at anybody), feet were stamped and the air was turned blue with foul, foul language - the stuff that would make your granny faint. I knew it was going to be bad, but I didn't expect it to be so soul destroying.

Now before you accuse me of being melodramatic (me? never!) the nuts and bolts of putting together the figures -once I had turned the house upside-down and eventually found the folder with all my receipts in- were not too bad. Maths may not be my strong point, but we are living in the age of the calculator (hurrah!) and at worst all that guff was just painfully boring.

No. The hard bit was confronting the bits of my personality that I just don't like. My flaws. The things I am bad at. The fact that I'm great at organising my accounts for all of a month, and then I lose interest and start forgetting to collect receipts, stop writing things down, and suddenly -WHOOSH- it's 12 months later and I've got no idea what's happened (like the kid in Flight Of The Navigator - while everyone else has been diligently keeping their monthly records, I have been in a spaceship partying with a load of weird aliens, completely oblivious). I hate that I'm foolishly tenacious and I'm also slapdash with details, so I end up enthusiastically ploughing endless time and energy into projects that don't get anywhere, or make minimal progress. That, although I am a great ideas person, I am not a natural entrepeneur. I HATE that I am not a natural entrepeneur. I look at people who are good in business and I just do you do that?


Needless to say, the final figure was a bit of an "oof" moment.

But at least the tax man will not be taking much -if any- of my money this year. And I did not make a loss (insert jump for joy).

Am I alone in this? Are there other people out there who find the housekeeping side of self-employment makes them feel completely inadequate? Is it normal to expect a moderately depressing start-up year in business? Should I just go and find a mundane office job, get bitter about wasting my potential and go back to stealing from the stationary cupboard?


  1. Your first year of business has been about training and building up a reputation, finding spaces, working out what works and what doesn't. The second year of business is about building on that and learning from it. And the third year is when you start making money.

    Persevere and you'll be winning!

  2. How do people live and make no money for the first two years? It's crazy. Thanks for the reassurance though.... At this rate I will be a very rich and very flexible octagenarian!


  3. I'm self-employed too. I'm also terribly disorganised, but always manage to get there in the end.

    What I need is for someone to email me every few hours, and say, stop procrastinating, and get back to work you lazy sod!!

    I am that bad.


  4. I wanted to thank you for this excellent read!! I definitely loved every little bit of it. I have you bookmarked your site to check out the new stuff you post. business articles