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Summer 2014
Vol. 58, Number 2
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Self-employment: What to know to be your own boss


What's the best thing about being self-employed? Angella Luyk, owner of two businesses in Rochester, New York, doesn't hesitate to answer. "No one can tell me what to do, because I'm the boss," she says. "I'm in charge of my own future."

Luyk is one of nearly 15 million workers identified as self-employed in April 2014, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). These workers accounted for about 10 percent of the overall workforce.

But Luyk cautions that working for yourself isn't for everyone. "It can get tough and scary," she says, "because everything relies on you." Success takes preparation, determination, and time—and it's not guaranteed.

This article can help you decide whether self-employment is for you. The first section describes some of the rewards and challenges of self-employment. The second section presents data to highlight occupations that have many self-employed workers. The third section discusses how to become self-employed. Resources for more information are listed at the end of the article.


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Last Updated: June 16, 2014