There are several fundamental reasons why people make a real effort to chuck their old jobs forever and set out as one of the many millions of self employed individuals in the US and Europe. They are now utilizing the ubiquitous nature of communications to make a leap into a multitude of self employment opportunities that represent the fastest growing segment of the economy after health care. Before getting into any of the many self employment opportunities that are available, you need to decide if you are, in fact, the sort of person who can really make this work.
Nearly a third of people in the Western World are now at least nominally self-employed since an upturn in self employment opportunities tat started in most countries during the 1980s. You will need to decide if you have the correct sort of motivation to keep you going as well as the right type of ambition and organization to conduct yourself in a business-like manner that others will take seriously.
First, it is helpful to examine just why you're in the job you have now. If you feel as if you absolutely have to (and desperately don't want to) work in such an environment, you may very well derive enough benefit from the unique benefits that self employment opportunities offer to keep you going through the difficult, though often exciting, phase of starting up.
If you can think of several good, solid reasons you don't want to have a regular job and really feel as if you can make yourself actually work in the context of self employment opportunities; it might be time to start investigating whether or not you can find gigs or sell your product. It is important to have your reasons all lined up when you tell your family and friends about your decision as well as any potential bank managers.
Consultancy is a trade that lends itself to the sort of person that likes to get in, solve a problem and, get out. Many people find themselves well-suited to such a style of self employment. There are no time clocks to punch and no one telling you what to do. Of course, there are clients who expect a certain level of professionalism and performance; so in essence, you wind up making the rules for yourself.
Working for yourself and other self employment opportunities differ primarily in how you relate to the boss. Outlining why you want to set out upon this path is a great first step in becoming truly free of the bonds of employment for a company that can do you and anyone else wrong. You're ultimately responsible for everything that happens from one end to the other.