The other evening, Paula Lucas shared a dream on Facebook. Paula is longing to travel the country pulling one of those adorable teardrop trailers.
Since I got to know Paula at the recent Obstacle Buster Mastermind program, I knew that she has been building a lively business selling at outdoor markets. I heard opportunity knocking.
I jumped into the conversation and suggested she could travel and build her business at the same time. She had, of course, considered that possibility.
“Do you realize,” I asked, “that if you and your teardrop trailer are not just traveling, but also setting up shop at flea markets, it would make your travels a tax deductible business expense?”
I was pretty sure Paula would find that appealing. As do I. Tax deductible travel is one of my favorite self-employment perks.
We’ve all been somewhat conditioned to think that benefits are something that come as the result of having a job. Consequently, logic suggests that not having a job means not having benefits.
Nonsense. Self-employed people have all sorts of benefits—both the conventional sort plus many others that no employer ever offered.
In fact, an important part of planning a successful business is deciding just what benefits matter to you and making sure that you include them. As your business grows and prospers, you’ll want to review your personal set of benefits and make appropriate changes and additions.
It’s also emotionally healthy to remind yourself often of the benefits that are accruing because you’ve chosen to put yourself in charge.
Here are some favorites of other self-bossers:
° Napping. According to a reports on the national news, a few companies are instituting nap time and providing places for employees to snooze during the day. They defend this radical notion by citing increased productivity.
The Joyfully Jobless have known about this perk for years.
° Automobile savings. Unless you drive extensively for your business, you’ll probably enjoy much lower car expenses—including lower insurance premiums—than if you were spending hours in traffic everyday.
And, of course, cutting out a long commute also has stress reduction benefits.
° Improved health. While a growing number of studies now verify the health hazards of a stressful job, less publicity has been given to studies showing the link between satisfying self-employment and healthy longevity.
One long-term university study found that the single consistent longevity factor in those they studied was a lifetime of rewarding work.
And as anyone knows who has to rely on restaurant and fast food for nourishment, it’s much easier to eat wisely when you’re the cook.
° You don’t have to ask for permission—ever. You can schedule your work around your own particular rhythms and burn the midnight oil if that’s your style.
Or spend six months working intently followed by six months devoted to leisure.
° Tax deductions. There are numerous deductions available only to the self-employed—including ordinary expenses you’d be making anyway, but not subtracting from your tax bill if you held a job.
“The self-owned and operated business is the freest life in the world,” says Paul Hawken. It’s also loaded with wonderful benefits unknown to those who inhabit the world of 9-5.
What are your favorite perks?