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What is it is like being your own boss?

My ultimate goal is to become a speech therapist and help children in elementary schools work on their speech disorders. One reason I job this job is because many times, speech therapists are self-employed, and this is important to me. What is it like being self-employed? #speech-pathology #speech #speech-therapy #self-starter #self-driven

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Mike’s Answer

I still vividly remember my first day of running my own business -- it felt like everything I'd done up until then was for a reason and that I had always been meant to run my own company. I started and had my own company for eight years. It was both the hardest and most rewarding time of my life. I also learned more about sales and business in the first two years of being an entrepreneur than I did in all of college.


If you're not afraid of wearing multiple hats, knowing that the buck stops with you (and that whether food gets on the table next week also sits with you), experimenting and iterating on ideas, doing business with and hiring intelligent people that are smarter than you and whom you enjoy and respect, and not being bogged down by bureaucracy, office politics, and the other non-sense that has infected many companies, then you I highly recommend starting your own business!

Thank you comment icon Thank you for the insight! Bianca
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Andria’s Answer

I was my own boss for a couple of years and I would have to say it was tough. there are so many things you have to do, like marketing and selling yourself as the brand etc that was challenging. there are so many hours in the day and i didnt have enough hours to do all of what I felt i needed to do.


I am higly motivated in everything I do but I want to make sure i am very succesfull and it was tough to do everything with no help.


I have to say that what you want to do for the kids is amazing and that in itself with me so rewarding. Maybe working with another company to get a little knowledge of what it will all take will help you fully understand what is all needed. Going into with no experience of the big picture can be hard.


Good luck and thank you for all the kids you will help.

Thank you comment icon Thank you, this was very helpful! Bianca
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T.’s Answer

Actually, many of us speech language pathologists are NOT self-employed which would include 1099-tax form. If you are interested in working in an elementary school you will be working through a contract agency, directly hired by the district, or you can form a company in which you can independently contract yourself out to schools for service. The joy of being a speech language pathologist in the school system, is being able to utilize your scientifically acquired skills to enhance a student's ability to improve in communication, swallowing, receptive/expressive language, and other needed abilities to find success in the classroom. While there is autonomy in the field, and private practice is a possibility, we are hardly majority self-employed.

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Jennifer’s Answer

I am not self-employed, but I work remotely. That means that my company has offices around the world, but I have chosen to work from home. I'm answering your question because there are some similarities to being self-employed.


To be successful you must be self-motivated, organized and structure your time. It can be easy to get distracted, so important to have clear goals of what you want to accomplish each day. It's also really important to remind yourself what your dream is in your role - to start the day with an inspiring look at what you do and why you do it to stay motivated.

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much! Bianca
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X’s Answer

I'm self-employed. Like Jennifer said, being self-motivated and managing your time well (with clear daily goals) is crucial.


As your own boss, you're responsible for marketing your business. This involves everything from a web presence, LinkedIn, etc. to networking. The workload can be unpredictable... for example, last month I had no work the entire first week of the month then had three projects come in the next week. There's a certain "feast or famine" aspect to it. The unpredictability sometimes makes it difficult to plan things outside of work.


You're also responsible for invoicing for your services, which isn't as straightforward as it sounds. Some clients pay promptly, while others pay on a four-month delay or longer. You need to budget carefully because unlike a salaried job, you have no guarantee when the next check will arrive. Invoices sometimes get lost or misrouted, so you also get stuck being your own collection agent and following up on unpaid invoices (which is hands-down my least favorite part of self-employment).


Taxes are complicated. You'll have to decide up front how to structure your business (whether to be a sole proprietor, incorporate as an LLC, or something different). No tax is withheld from your checks, so you need to set aside money from each check and make estimated tax payments quarterly. And because no taxes are withheld from your checks, you're also responsible for paying self-employment tax, which is a tax meant to account for the fact that self-employed people don't have Social Security and Medicare taxes taken out of their paychecks.

Thank you comment icon Thank you so much for the help! Can I ask you what you do for a career? Bianca
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