The Genuine ScLoHo aka Scott Howard

The Myths of Employment vs Self-Employment

April 6, 2013 Really? The Personal ScLoHo 2

You need money.

Money to pay for stuff.

Important stuff, like food, housing, and everything that goes along with life.

You can either work for others or work for yourself.

There seems to be the myth that being your own boss is better than working for someone else.

The dream of independence is what drives many to fantasize that Self-Employment is freedom.

But let me share with you a little secret.

Self-employment is not freedom.  It means you have to hustle to find people to pay you to do whatever it is that you do.

It’s sort of like a non-stop search for employment, a friend told me a few years ago.

If you are going to go it alone, then you need to be able to sell, manage books, and a lot of things that probably go beyond your chosen field.

There is also a few myths about the world of being an employee.

One is that the company needs you and as long as you do a reasonable good job you can stay there forever.

Another is that the company is out to screw you and your co-workers, so you better not get to comfortable.

I realize that I’m not painting a pretty picture of any of the work-for-money options.

Having worked for large and small companies for over 1/2 my life and being an observer of life has taught me a few lessons, along with discussions I’ve had recently with some close friends.

You need to take responsibility for yourself, no matter who pays you.

The job you have when you are 25 is not the job you will have when you are 45.  And now it’s likely that you will make a job change or even career change or two or three after you turn 50.

The type of responsibility I am referring to means doing the very best at what you are being paid to do, along with continuing to learn and improve yourself for what comes next in life.

It means not waiting for others to recognize  you and promote you, but to show others what you can do in a purposeful way.  It also means to play offence, not defense.  Offence in the employment world means moving forward in a positive manner. Defense is making excuses, trying to justify failure, blaming others.  No one wins long term when you are always playing defense.

I believe there are some folks who are willing to jump out there in this world and be the self-employed types and they will have success and failure because they keep trying.

There are also entrepreneur types who work for others. These folks understand what I’m talking about regarding working for an employer and also taking responsibility for themselves.  Employers are fortunate to have these people on their team and yet very few of these folks will stay forever.

If you are not happy with your current job, but are terrified of the overwhelming idea of being 100% self-employed, perhaps you are one of these entrepreneur employees.  And that’s okay.


Scott Howard aka ScLoHo has 25+ years of experience in marketing , advertising, media and works directly in the radio and digital world from Fort Wayne, Indiana.  Contact him at or 260.255.4357.

2 Responses

  1. Leo Dimilo says:


    re: self-employment, you are so right. It’s totally a hustle and what people don’t realize is that usually in order to find work, you need to advertise and in order to advertise, you need to pay someone else..and when you pay someone else, that cost has to be added into your fees (usually).

    However, all that said, there is more of a sense of accomplishment throughout the day when you are living life on your terms (as much as you can, that is). I think that the passion for excellence on something that you are personally responsible for is greater when you have more in the game. To me, that makes life more “liveable” because it creates a stronger personal identity when it comes to working. Maybe most of the self employed feel this way as well….I don’t know. But that’s how I feel.

    My wife’s on the other side. She does office work. And I am convinced that most office workers spend over half their time on facebook and scheduling things to do in their off time (or calling their husbands to schedule things for THEM to do, lol). As I see it, the greater benefits to working for a company are the perks…like health insurance that is totally manageable cost wise. And taxes….anyone who is self employed in a small business will tell you that when the government needs a little extra money, they almost always pick the pockets of the little guys.

    • Thanks Leo for your insight. And I chuckled when I read your comment about office workers.. For the past ten years I earned my living doing a hybrid of self-employment and working for someone else. Sales. 100% of my income was commission. Mostly in the radio business, along with working for a website development firm briefly.

      And I saw how people in the office would spend time updating their Facebook or Twitter accounts in ways that were detrimental to the tasks they were being paid to do.

      My hybrid world consisted of the benefits of (mostly) picking my clients, deciding how to spend each day, and doing the hustle and bustle to accomplish what needed to be done. Usually there was a benefit package I could sign up for.

      Along with this full time employment, I also did side projects in the marketing and advertising world, but not enough to consider that work full time.

      Oh, I considered becoming completely self-employed, but prefered this hybrid model, for the most part.

      Almost ironically, when I decided to resign from my last full time position, my next step was to give up the freedom of time independence and trade it in for a full time position as the “Social Media Magician” for a multi-million dollar company, managing 5 brands and doing 50-60 hour weeks. Now my job is to be on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other social platforms on behalf of the companies I represent.

      I needed the break from the world of sales. And I really don’t see myself returning to traditional media.

      Passion for our work can be accomplished with either employment model, I want to encourage each person to find the model that works for them, and take personal responsibility for their actions and success, no matter who signs their paycheck.

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