4 Common Mistakes Made By The Self-Employed

5 Common Mistakes Made By The Self-EmployedI’ve been fully self-employed for almost a year now (side hustled for 3 years) and I have learned a lot over this time period.

No, I’m definitely not an expert but I do know a little bit about owning businesses and running them since that’s all I did when I had my day job as a business analyst.

As a quick summary, in my old day job some of my responsibilities included conducting interviews to learn more about a company and how they operated, analyzing any legal and business agreements, reviewing and/or compiling financial documents (including tax returns, financial reports, etc), and so on.

When I had this position, I saw some really amazing companies. I saw many companies where the owners completely started from scratch and built multi-million dollar companies which were extremely successful.

However, I also saw many, MANY companies that made some horrible mistakes. These companies operated at losses each and every year, and I just don’t know how they did it.

Even though I run a fairly simple business (all I need is a laptop and internet to work), I’m starting to understand more and more about what these business owners went through in order to get to where they currently are.

I’ve also made my own fair share of mistakes, and I know no one is perfect. Hopefully, you can avoid some mistakes though!

Below are four common mistakes made by the self-employed:

 

1. Not being organized.

This is a very common mistake made by the self-employed. I’m guilty of this one too.

I make this mistake all the time, but I am trying to improve. When you have your own business, you really need to work on being as organized as you possibly can.

You need to make sure to keep your personal and business finances separate, receipts organized, papers organized, and pretty much everything you use for when you do your taxes the following year need to be prepped and organized.

Keeping everything organized will help everything go much more smoothly when you eventually need the item. It’s easy to let each little thing slide and all of a sudden your disorganization will take over your life.

It might become impossible to find anything, and you might even lose important documents.

 

2. Thinking being self-employed will be easy.

Now, this one isn’t necessarily too common, but I do think it’s a common way that people who are NOT self-employed think.

I recently read an article about someone who quit their job and entered the self-employment world because they wanted to do something easier in life. Sadly, they found out the truth was the exact opposite.

Being self-employed isn’t a never-ending vacation. This is something too many people think. Just because you work for yourself and/or at home, it doesn’t mean that life is automatically easier.

You will need a plan for your business, research about how you will actually make an income, organize your finances, handle the legal side of owning a business, manage to not let your business takeover your life, provide services, sell products, find health insurance, save for retirement, and so on. Oh yeah, and don’t forget about taxes!

 

3. Not having an emergency fund.

I have seen too many people enter the self-employment life, only to have a few bad months and completely give up. I understand that running a business can be hard (see above), but I do think having an emergency fund can be a lifesaver in many situations.

Different people like to have a different amount in their emergency fund. I have a full year of expenses just in case everything completely tanks, or if something major happens to either of us or our home. Keep in mind that we do have a $12,000 deductible before we can actually use our health insurance, so we keep our emergency fund extra inflated with a year’s worth of expenses because of that as well.

An emergency fund can really help if you have a bad month, if something goes wrong with your business plan, or if you have some major expenses coming up.

Instead of completely giving up on your dream, your emergency fund can help you power through any bad months so that you don’t have to quit (unless you truly want to, of course).

 

4. Spending a crazy amount of money.

Luckily, my business is very cheap to run. I don’t need much in order to make an income. All I really need is my laptop and internet. Everything else I pay for are really just little luxuries to make everything a little bit easier.

When I first started my hustles, I ran it much more cheaply than I run it now. I wanted to save as much money as I possibly could.

This is not how everyone runs their business though. I have seen some business owners start their business by spending TOO much money on items that they probably do not need. Yes, some items are a need, but others can probably wait a little bit until you know you have a viable business plan.

Also, some spend a lot of money on their business just so they can write the expenses off on their tax return. Let me say this, just because you get to write it off it does not make the item free! You still have to pay for the item.

 

What mistakes have you seen or made?

 

How To Start A WordPress Blog On Bluehost

How To Start A WordPress Blog On BluehosIf you’re looking to start a WordPress blog for cheap, then choosing Bluehost for your hosting needs may be your answer.

You may be thinking, “Well I can just start on Blogger for free.”

NOOOOO… Don’t do that.

Read why here.

There are many reasons for why you may want to choose Bluehost for your WordPress blog. These reasons include:

  • It’s easy to use.
  • Bluehost makes it very easy to create a WordPress blog.
  • They offer technical support.
  • They are extremely affordable.
  • They offer a guarantee in case you determine that Bluehost is not for you.
  • You will be self-hosted. If you want to monetize your blog, then you will want to be self-hosted.

First, you will need to head on over to Bluehost to do any of this. I have an affiliate link, and if you could use it that would be great :)

Click here to start the process.

 

1. Register your domain name.

The very first thing you will need to do when starting a WordPress blog on Bluehost is to think about what you want your domain name to be. This can be tough, and I would give some serious thought to this.

I don’t even remember how I came up with my blog name. It’s a long one though and at times I regret it. Trying to spell out my blog name to people who don’t know about it can get frustrating because they don’t know if I’m saying “cents” or “sense!”

Anyway, most people buy their domain name through GoDaddy it seems like. So, you would want to think of and register your domain through Go Daddy and then use Bluehost for your hosting (more steps below).

Or, you can just buy your domain directly from Bluehost. There are positives and negatives for each side. I personally own all of mine through Go Daddy.

How To Start A WordPress Blog On Bluehost

2. Buy hosting for your blog

With Bluehost, they have three main hosting plans.

They have the “Starter” which is $4.95 per month, the “Plus” which is $6.95 per month, and the “Business Pro” which is $14.95 per month. If it’s your first website, then the “Starter” package is probably good enough. If you want to have more than one website, then you will have to move up a package.

If you buy a whole year ahead of time, then you will say more money. So, if you know that you want to blog for more than just a few months, then buying a yearly (or 24 or 36 month) plan will save you the most money.

  1. Go to Bluehost and click the “Get Started Now” button.
  2. Click on the package you are interested in.
  3. Enter your domain name you registered with earlier.
  4. Enter your personal and payment information.
  5. Next you will be passed to enter a password. Make sure it’s secure as this information is very important.

 

3. Connect your domain and your hosting

If you buy your domain through Go Daddy, then you will need to connect your domain to your hosting account. Go Daddy has a full support page for setting nameservers for your domain names. Below is a snippet:

“When you register a domain name with us, we set it up on our parked nameservers so a temporary page displays when visitors go to your website. After you determine which hosting provider to use, you can change your domain name’s nameservers to remove the parked page and activate your domain name.

If you registered your domain name with another provider, you can still purchase a hosting account with us, use our Off-site DNS services, or use our CashParking® or Quick Content services. If you do any of those, you must view your nameservers in your account with us, and then set the nameservers with your domain name registrar.”

 

How to modify your DNS Nameservers when you are using Go Daddy for your domain and Bluehost for your hosting:

  1. Log in to the GoDaddy.com Account Manager.
  2. Select Manage Domains from the Domain Names drop-down menu or the Manage Your Account list.
  3. Select the domain name you wish to modify using the checkboxes and then click Set Name Servers.
  4. Enter your updated name server information in the spaces provided under the blue Name Servers heading on the right side of your page and click Save Changes at the bottom. Your entries should look like this: ns1.bluehost.com; ns2.bluehost.com

 

For further help, check out Bluehost’s help page on this subject.

 

4. Install WordPress

Okay, this is probably the step that all of you have been waiting for. If you want to start a WordPress blog on Bluehost then continue reading.

This part isn’t hard at all. It will seem like it is but I promise it is not. Bluehost makes it very easy to create a WordPress blog.

  • When you are in your cPanel, find the part that says “MOJO Marketplace.”
  • You will want to click the “One Click Install” button.
  • Then, click on the WordPress icon on the next page located under “Blogs.”
  • Click on the “Start” button. This will begin the installation.
  • Once in the installation process, you will have to decide which domain you will want to install WordPress on. Click the dropdown menu to the domain you plan on using.
  • Now, you will see “Advanced Options.” This is where you choose your username and password for your WordPress website. You should choose something secure. Don’t use “Admin” as your username. For my website, I receive many hackers each and every day and that is the number one username they use to try to hack my website. Instead, create a username that is a combination of different letters, numbers, and anything else you can use. You will want to check “Automatically create a new database for this installation” as well, unless you already have a different database (if you don’t know, then you probably do not).
  • Click “Install Now.”
  • Remember to save your username and password.

 

WOOHOO! You now have a WordPress blog. You will have to work on the design, and producing high quality content, of course. Good luck!

If you are looking into the actual design of your blog, Genesis seems to always be the most popular. Genesis is used on my blog, and I highly recommend it.

 

Do you have a blog? Why or why not?

Share your blogging mistakes as well!

 

Three Year Blogiversary and $1,000 Cash Giveaway

Three Year Blogiversary and $1,000 GiveawayHello everyone and happy Monday!

August marks my third year of blogging. You can click here and read my very first blog post, which is rather embarrassing for me to share.

The other thing I’m embarrassed about that you can’t see when clicking over to that old post is the way my website used to look. One thing I regret not doing is screenshotting the way my blog has looked over the years so that I can laugh at myself. I have had some pretty bad designs that I made myself because I was too cheap!

Luckily, all you can see are my beginning blog posts…

I first started blogging on Blogger (don’t make my mistake, read why you should start on WordPress) on August 10, 2011. It was just a few days before a vacation, and I remember even though I was only a blogger technically for 3 or 4 days, I was on my blog the entire time we were on vacation.

I remember Wes being confused about the whole blogging thing.

And I bet he had no idea what would come from it.

 

Blogging has been a very positive hobby/business for me.

My life has greatly changed in the three years I’ve been blogging. Just three years ago, I was a full-time MBA student and also working as a financial analyst. I was working and attending school which meant very long days for me. My days were jam packed and my friends and family would often complain about not being able to see me much.

Now, I’m out of school (graduated with my MBA two years ago this month) and I am a full-time freelancer. I am happier than ever and I love the career path I am on right now.

Back then, we also had a decent amount of debt. We were continually spending more and more money because we were unhappy with our jobs and the only thing to really make up for that in our eyes at the time was to spend more money because we “deserved” it because of the stress we had from our jobs.

Now, my student loans are completely paid off and we are working on our spending. We are not perfect, but we are improving.

It’s also been positive because I have been able to hire my sister for some of the tasks I need done, and she is able to make some side money as well.

 

Thank you.

I personally want to say thank you to all of my readers, friends, and family. Without all of you, blogging would not be the same. I appreciate all of you, and I enjoy reading the awesome e-mails, tweets, and messages I receive each and every single day.

The blogging community is amazing!

 

Plutus Awards

This is the last time I’ll ask as voting is almost over. If you could vote for me for a personal finance Plutus Award, I will love you forever. All you have to do is click this link and enter your favorite blog (I hope it’s mine :) ). It’s really that simple and there is no registration required.

 

Giveaway

To celebrate my 3 year blogiversary, I am having a giveaway. I will be giving away $500 cash to two winners, for $1,000 total!

a Rafflecopter giveaway