Life is absolutely grand when you’re the boss. And what’s the only thing better than being the boss? Being your own boss.

Being an entrepreneur is never easy, of course. And running the whole show when you are only truly accountable to yourself can bring a lot of stress. But the financial independence and freedom to set your own schedule outside of the traditional employment path more than makes up for a little bit of uncertainty. 

While these universal desires are naturally the benefits that will always get the most attention, there are several other perks as well. And the following three hidden advantages of being your own boss should not be overlooked as you work to become the next CEO of You, Incorporated.

1. Living Healthy

Setting your own schedule allows more time to prioritize one of the things too many workers neglect: health. By not being locked into corporate hours that strictly mandate a one-hour lunch, you can get to the gym regularly or just take a long walk to stay active and unwind in the afternoon. Shopping for nutritious food, cooking a good breakfast, weekly meal planning, and just eating properly in general should also be easier, not to mention the lower stress levels of not having a manager you hate constantly badgering you about trivial workplace concerns. 

Perhaps best of all, you won’t have to receive permission when you want to take some time off. Burn-out is a very real phenomenon, and it can’t always be anticipated weeks in advance when you have to formally request a day off. If you are the one making decisions, you can take that long weekend to the lake whenever you want or simply forget everything for an entire afternoon to get a much-needed massage.

2. Networking and Development

While companies often tout their upward mobility potential and professional development opportunities, these are relatively rare in most roles. You may get a promotion here and there, but before long, most employees are close to being tapped out for advancement. Worse than the lack of new titles and raises are the resulting boredom and career stagnation. In time, you will stop learning and progressing, leaving you unfulfilled and, potentially, dangerously behind your industry peers when you go looking for a new job in a fast-moving field. 

As your own boss, however, you are much more free to pursue any and all educational and network-building activities. In fact, you will have to. Entrepreneurs always wear many hats and that requires learning a little bit of everything. It’s the only way to succeed and keeping up with everything becomes critical to your future — not just an unmet talking point from HR.

3. Doing What You Love

People have many passions that lead them to live their dream. Some start their own business from scratch, many pursue freelance creative endeavors full time, and others become independent business owners and make money with Amway. But no matter how passionate someone is for entrepreneurship, there must be other pursuits. 

Sure, that first year or two may require laser focus and some sleepless nights. But, eventually, to avoid exhaustion, leisure and relaxation time is necessary. Fortunately, being your own boss allows time to go skiing, take dance lessons, practice arts and crafts, or whatever else you truly love. Without inflexible supervisors breathing down your neck, you will be capable of carving out time for what you want, when you want.

Like a Boss

Financial independence is everyone’s dream. There is nothing better than knowing that you — and only you — are in control of your own destiny.

But, in many ways, the reality is even better than the fantasy. Being your own boss means you can live healthier, pursue real development opportunities, and make time for your favorite activities.

On top of all the other oft-discussed benefits, these hidden advantages should be all you need to take action. Now is the time. Stop day-dreaming about how to get out of that desk job and start coming up with a practical plan to enter the world of self-employment.