I've been playing the self employed game for a few months now, and so I think I am getting a pretty good vibe of the highs and lows. Now of course, I am a freelance writer, and so my take is going to be more along the lines of the self employed that works at home and provides specific services to clients (of the non paint my face up and say 'Hey big boy, want to have fun' variety). So, if your self employed dreams consist of a different type of work, then your take on self employment could vary. But based off my freelance writing career, here are the advantages and disadvantages of being self employed and working at home.
Advantage: The commute is a breeze, so you can almost always sleep in.
Disadvantage: There is no Tim Horton's on the way to work.
Advantage: You can just wear boxers to work and not worry about being laughed at.
Disadvantage: No one is laughing at you, because the only living things around are your pet dog and cat.
Advantage: You get to work for the most handsome, witty, intelligent and fun boss ever!
Disadvantage: Your favourite game of 'throw the dart at the picture of your boss' now seems self defeating and depressing.
Advantage: There is no limit to the amount of money you can make, and it is just a matter of how many clients you land and how much you're willing to work.
Disadvantage: There is also no limit to how little you can make, and you've got potential of making less than the guys asking if you want fries with that.
Advantage: Your hours and days are flexible, and so you can skip off to a movie in the afternoon without worrying that you'll get fired or disciplined.
Disadvantage: Bills and mortgage due dates aren't flexible. They're still there even when you hide in the closet.
Advantage: Working at home means you can see your spouse and children more.
Disadvantage: Of course, you only see them when you briefly look over your shoulder and yell, "I just need 10 more minutes to finish this project" every hour or so.
Advantage: You don't need to ask anyone in order to take a vacation.
Disadvantage: You get to spend the entire vacation pondering how much potential revenue you're currently losing out on.
Advantage: Nobody is deducting chunks of money from your paycheque for benefits you never use.
Disadvantage: Because you don't have any benefits.
Advantage: You don't have to wait every two weeks to get paid.
Disadvantage: Sometimes it can be a whole month or two!
Advantage: Once you mention you're self employed, you gain respect and even jealousy from others.
Disadvantage: Until your credit card is declined and you're asking them to cover your coffee.
Advantage: You get to work in the comfort of your own home and get to set your own hours.
Disadvantage: Some mistake 'work at home' for 'free to babysit my raging hell beast or always available to move ridiculously heavy furniture.'
Advantage: You can work as much or as little as you want.
Disadvantage: Also known as, "damn I hope I can get enough work to pay off the electric bill this month."
Advantage: Who am I kidding, you work at home and you're the boss. That is all you need to know.
Disadvantage: Some people also call it 'unemployed.'