Not that I'm keeping track, but these are some actual things people have said to me in the two years I've been self-employed.
Many of these comments have come from close family members (not just my mum!).
Anyone who isn't self-employed, and never has been, generally has no idea what it means to run your own business.
Even people who have been self-employed don't really understand what you do because you don't have a shop front, employ other people or rent an office somewhere - therefore it's not a real business...
There's some absolute classics here...
- "What do you do at home all day?" (Mum said this last week on a Tuesday afternoon phone call!)
- "I don't know what you do, but I'm sure you're very good at it."
- "Oh, I assumed you had kids and you were doing this to stay busy while they're at school?"
- "You just drink coffee with your friends all day."
- "But you don't work many hours, you're not employed full time, are you?"
- Because I do consultancy work to help businesses improve their writing... "Have you given up writing books now then?"
- "But you don't sell enough books, do you? No one makes money from selling books."
- "You mean, people have actually bought your books?"
- "Why don't you get yourself a nice little part time job?"
- "So, you're unemployed then?"
- A caller comes to the door... "Day off today, then?"
- "It's nice that your husband supports you while you pursue your hobbies."
My answer to all these is usually an incredulous look, quickly corrected into a polite smile and an, "Erm, well I run a business!"