Starting off on your own, the short story

I got the question yesterday on what the pros and cons are of having your own company as a consultant (or in general), versus being a hired consultant or hired in general.

There is no “right” answer to this question, as it depends quite a lot on your personal preferences, attitude, financial situation, how much time you can allocate to building your company and risk averseness.

Being your own fees you – but it can be scary. Picture from

Being self employed is one thing, being an entrepreneur is a lifestyle. I see myself first and foremost as a creator, thinker, company builder – this has certainly reflected itself in how I have built and manage my consultancy firm Hvitravnur AB and my other businesses. My attitude and way of being has of course also reflected itself in how I communicate professionally as well as in private: with confidence in what I can deliver and confidence in my intellectual capacities and capabilities.

When it comes to the amount of time I see myself putting into my company: I am a nerd. I spend a tremendous amount of time in front of my computer because I enjoy it, I enjoy researching, writing and a lot of things that in one way or another can be related to business. I do not mind doing my own bookkeeping (and have the competency to do it), my own marketing, creating my own website and so forth – which of course saves me money, but helps me hone a lot of different skill sets. You can (and should) outsource most of these activities, but I feel that it helps me focus and to be on top of things (e.g. bookkeeping and the financial health of my firm) and the tasks in question are are fairly easy for me to do myself, and takes less time then having to explain to an external party.

Stability and risk averseness is a question of personality. How comfortable are you with not knowing if you have a salary in a few months? Of having to chase your own work instead of having set tasks and a secure salary? Being your own … is as it sounds. You do not have a boss, you are the boss and main owner. With all the responsibilities that entails, of chasing prospective clients, marketing, being on top of your industry/field, coming up with new ideas and so on. I for one love it – if I fail, it will be my fault. If I succeed it will be on my own merits and I reap all the glory and financial upside.

Its easy to talk about being bold, attitude and freedom when you have the financial stability to go off and create a company. I had capital in place to last two years without a salary prior to jumping off the cliff of becoming an entrepreneur. Some start off with nothing. Some start off with more and a network. For me, it does help me sleep better at night knowing me and my beloved cats do not need to become homeless in a week if I do not get staffed on a project for a while after the one I am currently on.

Are you curious on how to build your own company, or just have questions in general?