Self Employed

Discussion in 'Et Cetera, Et Cetera' started by Rikter8, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. Rikter8

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    For those who are self Employed...

    Did you start your own entrepreneurship?
    Do you do the work at home contract thing?
    What's your specialty?


    I've thought about doing this, but the thought of not paying the bills and mortgage scare the daylights out of me.

    Let's hear your success story.
     
  2. shr1125

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    Excellent thread idea. Recently, I've considered beginning my own environmental consulting firm.
     
  3. Drifterwood

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    Yep. For me it's about a driving desire to do things better. Of course, you can do this in any walk of life, teaching, medicine etc etc. I just ended up in commerce and having had this attitude working for someone else, and it not being appreciated, I went my own way at 26 with $7500 to my name.

    Doing things better can mean many things and it doesn't have to be about making money, it never has been for me, it's about personal fulfillment through succeeding at what you want to do.

    I don't like to talk too much about myself, but I'll happily give advice to any budding entrepreneurs either in the thread or via PM.
     
  4. Jason

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    I'm presently working half employed, half self-employed. The employed bit gives a regular salary and also gives access to employee professional development and a range of contacts. Self-employed has been all over the place in terms of income. Notwithstanding the self-employed strand is probably where the future lies for me.

    If you can get a mix of employed/self-employed there's a lot to be said for the element of security. It certainly helps with the transition. My initial self-employed ideas were not a winner in terms of income.
     
  5. Kotchanski

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    I'm finally officially self-employed and no longer "looking to go self-employed"

    It can be a long drawn out process :frown1:

    My husband is like above, half employed, half self-employed.

    I work exclusively from home as a web developer, my husband is a web programmer.
     
  6. helgaleena

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    Like me, you may wish to start out doing what you love as a 'paying hobby'. As I have a disability, I have learned to live at a low but sustainable level on that tiny income, barring major disasters. Someday I could conceivably earn enough to no longer qualify for disability, but it is far in the future. And it is wonderful to work the spotty hours my illness vouchsafes without fear of being 'fired'.
     
  7. Riven650

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    I went back to college at 22 to train as a photographer, but when I graduated I didn't feel like being an assistant photographer so I became a bus driver instead, and did freelance photography on the side. 5 years later I had enough courage, and (I though) just enough contacts to quit busses and go self employed. I rented a space for a studio and kicked the busses. I was very poor for a few years, but I was on a mission to make my mark and somehow found a direction, and eventually found a way to make it pay.

    You know when you feel motivated enough to quit your day job and go freelance.

    If I had my time over I would have kept my bus job when I got my studio and refused overtime on the busses. That would have allowed me an income as I tried to build up my business. However, hindsight being the shit useless thing that it is, I realise that I probably had to cut free from the busses in order to properly get into the 'I'm a photographer now' head space. It's very much a mental thing.

    I left the photography behind years ago because I'd done what I wanted to do with it. Many many years on, having been a househusband/dad/carer, I'm trying to reinvent myself once more. I've given myself the chance to be the singer/guitarist I always felt I could be and I'm trying to create the right head space in order to make the leap into a new career. I'm more daunted this time because I'm 55 and you're not supposed to do this kind of thing at my age. But WTF: Someone out there might like the way I sound, and that's all that matters, isn't it?

    So I say to anyone who feels the urge to go it alone: Work on your craft. Work on your self image, and work on the financial planning in order to convince your bank manager. Once you pull the plug on your day job you'll work harder than you can believe possible but you probably won't regret it.
     
  8. D_Tim McGnaw

    D_Tim McGnaw Account Disabled

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    1.Yes, I've been self employed since I finished my Goldsmithing apprenticeship which I did after art college. I was a typical penniless Artist/Artisan for several years but partly buy luck (meeting an influential and well connected Art Agent who is simply brilliant at putting me in contact with potential clients) and then subsequently through some clever self promotion and a growing awareness of how to develop a loyal client base from which to expand my business, I've done well by most standards.

    2. I don't work from home much, I have my own studio and premises, but I do work to commission/contract, exclusively in fact since I don't exhibit.

    3. My main business is paintings, I sell roughly between 10 and 15 large commissions a year, I used to take a lot more jewellery commissions, but they are extremely time consuming and not cost effective overall so I rarely take those any more.


    I pay my bills and mortgage and have a very comfortable life style, I travel and enjoy plenty of free time and the good things in life. I now employ a part time assistant too. I can only recommend self employment.

    I work hard, and I have to crack the whip over myself to finish commissions to the standard I expect, and being creative demands a fairly structured way of working (for me anyway) but I could not work for someone else and find collaborative creativity equally inspiring and frustrating.
     
    #8 D_Tim McGnaw, Jan 9, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  9. JustAsking

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    I was downsized about 5 years ago after working for different companies for 40 years. I decided to become self-employed as a software developer/consultant.

    My first project turned into a business of its own of which I am a co-founder. The challenges of being involved in a startup far exceed anything I have ever been faced with. But the kind of stress it produces is far easier to deal with than the kind that comes from the helplessness that one usually feels in a company full of morons in senior management.

    For the first few years, I did my work from my own home in a nice upstairs corner bedroom that had been vacated by my son who had gone off to college. Later on I opened a small office where I have a few other employees doing software development. Even then, most of us work from home about 3 out of 5 days per week.

    Naturally, your success depends on the field you are involved in, your personal skills as an entrepreneur, your talents in your field, and some dumb luck. But if you have a good resume full of valuable experience, I recommend giving it a try for a while.
     
  10. midlifebear

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    When I was 17 I was working in San Francisco gay bars with authentic fake ID that had my real name and social security number. In those days, tips were great and the IRS only expected anyone working as a waiter or bartender to report 15%. They were much nicer back then. I got my GED, made it into San Francisco City College my first year, and while continuing to tend bar I took all of the business classes required by the State of California to acquire a Real Estate license. My original plan was to learn all there was about real estate before I bought my first home. Best idea I ever had. I finessed that knowledge into buying a fixer upper four-plex below Coit Tower. The rents paid off the mortgage. But the money from tending bar was too good to pass up, and I continued to work as a bartender until I was about 27. At the same time I transferred to Berkeley and a broker friend let me hang my Realtor License in his office so I could sell the occasional home.

    By 1973 US citizens were allowed to own gold bullion once again, and all the dealers I knew selling weed started buying gold futures and making surprising loads of coin. I was right there to walk them through all of the tax-saving advantages of buying a home and thanks to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) there were loads of homes my dope smoking friends could get into for as little as $500 down. The only time I didn't sell real estate was during five years of graduate school at the University of Texas, Austin. The academic load and competition didn't leave me any time for it.

    I got out of grad school, found a job with everyone's favorite software company and spent five to six years in Redmond, WA managing a bunch of tech writers and making a relatively good salary. But I secured a Washington State Realtor's license and got back into selling homes to mostly the LGBT community part time. Even though Brokers hate people who work part time, I always did better than those who supposedly worked full-time.

    Regardless where I ended up, I always kept my foot in the door as a licensed Realtor. However, although Realtors are considered self-employed, there's always some Broker you need to answer to who holds escrow monies, maintains various separate accounts, searches for listings, and who expects you to show up and listen to the "weekly" business plan as they take half of your commissions.

    I worked for other software companies as well. But the day I was "downsized" from a mormon-run outfit, I cashed in all of my chips. Cashed in my IRAs, KEOGH, and 401Ks, taking the 10% hit. And rather than stick around in the USA I decided to travel, thinking that in the worst case scenario I could always become a full-time Realtor.

    I eventually ended up in Spain where I bought a condo in Sitges. Met some folks. And the beautiful person who became my best friend in the world one day twisted my arm and forced me to buy the 5th floor apartment above his in Barcelona's l'exiample neighborhood where most of the gay bars are. This was long before Spain adopted the Euro. We formed an S.A. renovated our apartments and began to rent high end, fully furnished 400 square meter apartments to members of the European LGTB community with too much money to burn for a "minimum" of 30 days. The business grew rather quickly as we both acquired more apartments.

    There's some other businesses I own in the USA collectively under Limited Liability Corporations, what are commonly and derisively known as a "Nevada Corporations." But that really just means less government interference from both the State and the IRS.

    In part, I've been successful thanks to being in the right place at the right time. I've been fortunate to be completely self-employed for the last 25 years and do things I've always wanted to do. I took an associate professor position at la Universitat de Barcelona and taught EFL for 10 years. Found the time to do serious folklore research. The Squeeze an I have set up two non profit micro loan businesses; one in Oaxaca, MX and another in the Argentine Province of Jujuy. And sort of by accident, rather than design, I've become a travel writer (hint: there is no money in travel writing) and by extension have become a videographer putting together travel videos for AmExPubs, videos of sunrises for the HD group of channels, and short roadside distraction pieces for anyone who is interested in licensing them.

    The Squeeze and I did put together our own porn site, and that's the one venture that has not prospered. One day the company whose servers were the points from which folks would access our porn site sort of disappeared. Still haven't been able to track them down.

    Anyway, if you have something that you love to do you might as well do it rather than speculate the bazillion ways your entrepreneurship might fail. And whenever possible, DO NOT TAKE OUT A LOAN FOR SEED MONEY to start your enterprise. And knowing what I know now, it's worth learning about how and why you should have a business plan. You're going to need some measurement by which to compare where you are in the game. As for mission statements? Fuck those. :biggrin1:

    However, when I add it all up, I've had to work harder for myself than I ever had to work for any software company/corporation or anyone else. But I love it.
     
    #10 midlifebear, Jan 10, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2011
  11. crmonkey

    crmonkey New Member

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    I own my own business, I do a type of construction. Self started and moving into new areas aside from construction.
     
  12. Rikter8

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    Top notch responses here. Awesome. Thank you for the inspiration.
     
  13. breeze

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    If i needed to i could make a living buying and selling comics on ebay. There are comics listed every hour that you can buy and sell for a profit if you knew comics. It wasn't that long ago amazing spiderman 1 was sellling for $1,000. Its now over a million in cgc 9.8.
    But there are stories of people who bought items at flea markets , sales etc and sold them on ebay for a living. That's probably is much more difficult now. You have to know what you're doing and be lucky at the same time.
     
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