The other day I presented you with the case for following your passions in your 20s. As with most financial topics, there’s another side to everything. I like to look at both sides of the argument so that you guys are aware of the worst case scenario or what could go wrong. When it comes to working on your own projects in your 20s, there’s also a few setbacks that need to be considered. It’s not a great idea for everyone.
What’s the dark side of following your passions in your 20s?
You could fail working on your own.
Nobody wants to fail. Even though failure is often romanticized in our society, it still totally sucks. The main issue with failing is that you’ll lose out on valuable years of experience in the field. This will put a huge hole on your resume, which you’re going to have to explain to potential employers if you try to re-enter the workforce in your mid to late 20s.
I’ve covered the idea of overcoming the fear of failure. While you shouldn’t let fear hold you back, you should be aware that failing is always an option.
You’re on the hook for everything.
A huge setback of doing things on you own is that you have to literally do everything on your own, unless you hire others or outsource the work. When you’re self employed you can’t do any of the following:
- Blame your co-workers.
- Leave work early.
- Go on a vacation and not worry about anything.
- Take it easy when you’re feeling lazy.
Essentially, you’re responsible for everything. Can you handle all of this pressure? Some young people love having this pressure being put on them. Others will want to bail because it can be too much.
You might struggle with motivation.
It’s not always going to be easy to stay motivated. As I’m typing this I’m stuck using my brother’s old pc because my Macbook Air isn’t working. This is just a minor issue, but it’s still an inconvenience. You’re bound to experience much bigger issues that could hold you back from being fully motivated. When you struggle with motivation while being self-employed you won’t have a deadline or a boss breathing down your neck to push you. You’re going to have find a way to push yourself.
You’re going to have a messed up schedule.
Without a steady 9-5 you’re hours are going to be all over the place. In other words, you’ll likely stay up late at night working on stuff and then sleep in until noon because you were up so late.
When I covered the pitfalls of working from home, I mentioned the idea that your schedule is going to be all over the place. I received some interesting comments from readers on this point that I wanted to share.
Shannon wrote in on the struggles of working from home:
It’s true the grass always seems greener on the other side. Once you get there, however, the solitude and long/random hours may have you thinking a bit differently about the work-from-home option.
The blogger from Sustainable PF wrote on working from home:
When home becomes your workplace you lose that place of solitude and escape. If you let it happen work never ends.
These are all valid points. Can you handle having a random schedule? Will the random hours drive you crazy?
This article wasn’t designed to scare you away from doing something that you love in your 20s. I just want to be realistic. The good news is that you can still start an online business on the side. You just need to realize what you’re getting yourself into.