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Self-Employment: Why Going it Alone can Make us Happier


“When you wake up in the morning, Pooh,” said Piglet at last, “what’s the first thing you say to yourself?” “What’s for breakfast?” said Pooh. “What do you say, Piglet?” “I say, I wonder what’s going to happen exciting today?” said Piglet. Pooh nodded thoughtfully. “It’s the same thing,” he said.”

Not if you are self-employed, Pooh!

Statistics show that people who work for themselves are generally happier at what they do than those who work for ‘the man’ – even if they take home a little less in their pay packet each month during the early stages of their business.

According to figures published by REC and Companies House, more than 9,000 new recruitment businesses were registered over the last two years. Of course, not all of these will have gone on to formally open their doors, however, it is safe to assume that a great number did.

All of which point to a strengthening sector that is seeing an increasing number of recruiters spot the opportunity to jump ship and swim the seas to what many perceive to be their own career nirvana as a recruitment start-up. So we did a little research and here is what we found.

Recent research undertaken by the think-tank Bright Blue found that more than three-quarters (80%) of self-employed people in the UK are ‘overwhelmingly satisfied’ with their work, compared to 74% of their ‘employed’ counterparts. Self-employed people are more ambitious too.

According to the same report, 3 out of 4 new business owners are focused on sustaining a good standard of living, while 13% intend to grow their business as large as possible.



Never switches off. Dubbed as Mr Innovation by colleagues and industry, in 1987 David Thornhill first started out in the recruitment industry as a payroll clerk for a local firm in Gloucestershire, Staff UK. David went onto write the first ever software model of its kind for the temp recruitment market, integrating payroll, invoicing, sales ledger, funding and comprehensive management reporting; in essence creating a completely new funding supplier sector.

Prior to the Cash Simply venture he also worked as a board director for another recruitment company, where David used his extensive operational, accountancy and IT skills, to streamline processes and grow the business through increased cash flow and cost savings.

In April 2004, David aka “Mr Innovation” and Tom Atkinson joined forces to launch and begin trading under the brand name Cash Simply, which marked the start of a company based on a similar model to those they had previously developed to great success. They have progressed from a standing start to an annual turnover of more than £45 million, and have built an operational base that could double or treble that volume.

When he’s not dreaming up his next business venture, David enjoys running, attending music festivals and doing the occasional charity skydive. His next challenge is to complete a marathon.


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