I too thought that self-employment or a business would be the way to go. Rationally, it makes sense because we can manage our energy levels without interference from the boss!
However, these are a few of the things I found out and hopefully it will help others. I crashed anyway for two months from the amount of energy it takes to start a business and run it. It's difficult to put it mildly.
I've tried both. Whether self-employed or starting a business, there are things you have to know before getting started.
To conserve your energy and make sure you're not just chasing a dream, do your homework first.
You have to know who your competitors are, what services they offer, what they charge and how you will be different. A competitive analysis is the way to answer these questions. Many websites offer instruction in how to conduct one.
A business plan - even for self-employment - is essential. You have to know your business environment in order to make this work and also to know where your energy is best spent. There are many sites on the internet with sample business plans that you can tailor to your circumstances through appropriate research.
There will be record keeping, marketing, and planning on the back end of this venture and on top of that, you have to actually run the day to day operations. Sounds easy enough, doesn't it? In actuality, there are regulations to follow in record keeping, markets to target for advertising, and planning for the future requires knowledge and all that requires research.
I'm on the other side of the pond but I'm sure you also have taxes to pay, licenses to get - all the legal necessities.
Working for ourselves is the logical choice but keep in mind that the sheer amount of work and time that is required is more than if you were working for someone else, especially in the beginning. From what I've found, the first few years can be exhausting to an already exhausted person.
It can be done with careful planning but success involves more than just running forward with an idea. You could be chasing the wind unless you are prepared and do your homework first.