3 elements of a successful self-employed career

Image by Lukas Bieri from Pixabay

By Henry Brown

Being self-employed means that you work for yourself. Well…you still technically do things for other people, but you don’t have a boss breathing down your neck every day! It offers more freedom and more possibilities.

With a successful self-employed career, you may make more money than you did working for someone else. Obviously, this isn’t the case for everyone, and it tends to come down to the career path you’ve chosen. Today, we’ll review the three key elements of a good self-employed career, providing examples to help you understand things in more detail.

Personal expertise

To begin, you need to have a certain level of expertise in a field for self-employment to be possible. As an example, imagine you want to become a digital marketing consultant. It’s a thriving career with lots of money to be made, but how do you think you’ll fare if you’re not a digital marketing expert?

That’s right, you’d probably fail to find many clients. But, if you are an expert and have worked in this industry for years – or have loads of relevant qualifications – it makes your service a lot better. Thus, you can find more clients and deliver better work.

Offer a solution

With this element, we’re talking about the service you provide as a self-employed individual. In essence, you need to offer a solution that tackles a particular problem the client/customer might have. This could be that they have a certain task to do, but they find it too challenging to do. Or, and this is often the case, they don’t have enough time to perform the task, so they hire someone else to handle it for them.

For this example, imagine you offer pressure-washing services. You can clean people’s homes and patios, which is a task that requires a lot of time and preparation. Not only that, but the actual act of using a pressure washer is quite hard as they can be tough to use. Also, factor in the financial difficulty of pressure-washing your home. You’d need a pressure washer, then possibly things like Grundfos CR pumps to increase the water pressure even more – it all adds up. For a normal person, the act of pressure washing will now take up a lot of time, be quite difficult, and potentially require investing in equipment that will rarely be used.

Therefore, it’s more cost-effective to hire you to do this job! Generally, if you offer solutions that save time and money for clients, you won’t have a hard time getting work.


Longevity can have two different meanings, the first of which refers to a job that’s relevant for years. The previous two examples of a digital marketing consultant and pressure washer are perfect. People will require these two services for many years, so you won’t struggle to find work.

Another way to look at longevity is from the perspective of your enjoyment. Can you see yourself doing this job for years on end without getting sick of it? Ultimately, if your self-employed career doesn’t have either type of longevity, it won’t be a success.

To summarize, if you want to make it as a self-employed individual, you need to offer services that you’re an expert at, will last a long time, and can’t easily be done by everyone else.


Henry Brown is an online marketing executive. When he isn’t talking shop, he’s roaming the streets of London, uncovering the extra-ordinary in the ordinary.

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