Being self-employed is like being Charlie Brown on Valentine's Day

This has turned out to be a super busy year for me. Besides my main job, where I'm putting in 36 hours a week, I have three other companies that I do a lot of contract work for. Unlike my main job, the contracted work doesn't yield paychecks on any kind of regular schedule. As I drove to the bank today to cash my 'real job' paycheck, I realized that being an independent contractor is a lot like being Charlie Brown around Valentine's Day.

If you've seen the movie 'Be my Valentine, Charlie Brown', you'll remember that one of the huge gags in the movie was that Charlie Brown was constantly checking his mailbox hoping that someone sent him a Valentine's Day card. Every day he'd truck his pathetic self out to the mailbox, peak inside, and be completely disappointed to find it empty.

This is exactly how it feels to be an independent contractor. I've already sent out my invoices and I know that there just has to be checks in the mail waiting for me. But everyday when I get home from my 'real job' I walk up the street to my mailbox (which, for the record, I just typed as 'inbox'), open it up in anticipation, and then have my world shattered as there is still no check waiting for me.

It is so frustrating sometimes. On paper it seems like I'm making twice as much money as I was making in december of last year, but when I look at my bank account, there seems to be almost no change at all. Maybe I should just buy a yellow shirt with a black squiggly line on it and call it a day.

posted by Christopher Schnese