More Than 1 in 5 U.S. Adults Have Considered Leaving Their Job In the Last Year to be Self-Employed, New Data From HoneyBook Reveals

The research, conducted by The Harris Poll, uncovers insights on attitudes towards independent work as well as benefits and challenges of being an independent business owner.

SAN FRANCISCO--()--HoneyBook, the leading clientflow management platform for independent businesses, today announced new data on the state of independent work. The study, conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of HoneyBook earlier this year, found that current economic uncertainty is encouraging more adults to consider self-employment in 2023 and that independent business owners have greater pride in their work and satisfaction with their job since becoming their own boss compared to when they were employed by an organization.

“It takes courage and passion to start an independent business but the rewards are significant both financially and personally,” says HoneyBook co-founder and CEO Oz Alon. “Anecdotal evidence has told us for a long time that autonomy over one's career, flexibility with one's time, and financial gains are among the chief benefits of being an independent business owner and now we have the data to prove it.”

The majority of U.S. adults understand the appeal of being an independent business owner with 51% of employed Americans who are not already working for themselves stating they have considered leaving their current job to work for themselves—44% of those have considered it in the last year. In fact, 68% think working for themselves would enable them to make more money than they do in their current job and 66% think their overall quality of life would improve. The data shows this to be the reality for the majority of independent business owners. On average they work fewer hours than they did working for an organization and 60% say the ability to make more money is a key benefit. Other leading benefits include:

  • Being their own boss (72%)
  • Flexibility around where, when, and how they work (64%)
  • Pursuing their passion and talent (57%)

But independent work is not without its challenges. This is understood by those who have considered working for themselves, with many saying they worry they wouldn’t make enough money (62%) and/or are afraid they will fail (74%). More than three quarters (78%) of independent business owners themselves say running an independent business comes with more challenges than they anticipated—the most common one being staying on top of all of their business management tasks (41%).

Despite the pain points, nearly all (94%) independent business owners say they are able to do more of the work they enjoy and/or that they have a greater sense of pride in the work they do (93%). Overall, the report findings underscore the cultural shift towards self-employment, and suggest that being an independent business owner may no longer be considered more risky than working for an organization. Additional notable findings include:

  • Current economic uncertainty makes 59% of working U.S. adults who are not already independent business owners more interested to work for themselves.
  • Of individuals who were employed by another organization prior to becoming an independent, nearly all (89%) are more satisfied with their job since becoming their own boss.
  • Independent business owners are optimistic about their future success, with nearly two-thirds (65%) saying they anticipate their business net revenue to increase in the next year. Eight in 10 (82%) plan to actively grow their business. This includes 39% who have or plan to invest in social media marketing or advertising.
  • Yet, 65% of independent business owners are worried about satisfying customer demand as their business grows. This may be because two in five (40%) say their current processes are inefficient but they don’t know how to improve them. Though nearly all (93%) agree having smooth communication and responding quickly to clients is key to business success.

Technology can be a powerful tool to enable independent business success and many know it. Three-quarters (76%) say they could be using software to run their business more efficiently and seven in 10 (70%) wish they had a tool to help them manage all their business processes in one place. Nearly the same percentage (69%) say that having an all-in-one platform to keep them organized would help them “turn off” from work.

“The momentum towards independent work isn’t slowing down and, with technology as their ally, independent business owners can confidently overcome many of the challenges they face,” says HoneyBook chief evangelist Natalie Franke. “With HoneyBook, independents have the tools to create an efficient clientflow, which is key to sustained growth and long-term success.”

For more data insights and information on how independent businesses can create a frictionless clientflow with HoneyBook, visit


This report contains data from two online surveys conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of HoneyBook: a custom survey of U.S. independent business owners and an omnibus survey among U.S. employed adults conducted via the Harris On Demand platform. The custom research was conducted between January 24 - February 9, 2023 among 509 U.S. adults aged 18 and older, who are employed and are independent business owners. The Harris on Demand survey was conducted between January 24 - 26, 2023, among 2,052 adults, of which 932 were employed but not currently independent business owners. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables and subgroup sample sizes, please contact the media contact.

About HoneyBook

HoneyBook is the leading clientflow management platform that makes it easy for independent business owners to sell and deliver their services to clients. With powerful tools for seamless communication, custom file creation for an invoice or online contract, integrated online payment software, and more, the platform puts independent professionals in control of their process and client experience. HoneyBook is trusted by over 100,000 service-based businesses in the United States and Canada that have booked more than $9 billion in business on the platform. The company has offices in San Francisco and Tel Aviv, with remote staff worldwide.

About The Harris Poll

The Harris Poll is a global consulting and market research firm that strives to reveal the authentic values of modern society to inspire leaders to create a better tomorrow. It works with clients in three primary areas: building twenty-first-century corporate reputation, crafting brand strategy and performance tracking, and earning organic media through public relations research. One of the longest-running surveys in the U.S., The Harris Poll has tracked public opinion, motivations and social sentiment since 1963, and is now part of Stagwell, the challenger holding company built to transform marketing.


Morgan Braitberg


Morgan Braitberg