Anyone else struggling with self-employment?

Discussion in 'Hip Business Network' started by Hoppípolla, Nov 5, 2013.

  1. *MAMA*

    *MAMA* Perfectly Imperfect

    Around here, that's only about $100 less than your average daycare center. Cost of living in general is way way lower in Wyoming than it is in Cali. I'm CPR certified, state certified, and I know first aid. I honestly don't remember if they did a background screening, but I would assume so.
    3 people like this.
  2. Hoppípolla

    Hoppípolla Senior Member

    Hm, sounds cool :)

    You go to the schools and teach them yourselves? or?

    Always a million rules and regulations. I don't mind them all as such as I know why they're there, but they usually make you and your wallet/purse jump through hoops to get them and that's just wrong :(
  3. usedtobehoney

    usedtobehoney Senior Member

    It's just about learning those things you HAVE to know and prioritizing. You have to pay attention to what others in your field are doing, but only to a certain extent. You have to know when to invest, when to study/learn and when to execute. It takes a while to get to a place of balance with most businesses. Like years.

    Promotion is a big one, I think to have a business there has to be extreme need or you or someone you hire HAS to be good at marketing. Since you and I are in the same field/niche, I'm willing to support your fair-trade stuff. (hoppipolla)
  4. Wizardofodd

    Wizardofodd Senior Member

    I started my own business over 15 years ago and have been at it full time ever since. It sounds to me like you need to do two things to start with....narrow your focus a bit and find what really sells well and for the best profit. A long time ago, I was starting this business and I had all sorts of other products and ideas I wanted to get into. A very experienced businessman told me "You can make money selling hot dogs from a vending stand. It doesn't mean it's a good idea to waste your time doing it though. You know what you're good at. Focus on that one thing for now." It was great advice.

    The other thing is this....most successful business people only look at what is stopping them in the sense of how they will overcome it. You can't just say this is stopping me here and that is stopping me there and expect to be successful. You have to be innovative and think outside the box. Find your niche. Find a way to be the best at one thing and exploit that. When I started my business, I gave up a very good job and gambled everything I owned. Many people said "What if it doesn't work?" I would just respond with "What if it does?" That doesn't mean that you act foolishly. It means that you act boldly...with ambition, proper planning and follow-through, belief in yourself and your business model and the ability to take emotion away from business. You have to be honest with yourself if you want to make it. Lying to yourself or making excuses only pollutes the equation that you need to solve in order to succeed.

    I hope this has been helpful. I succeeded by making sure we were/are the best at what we do for any price and positioning us so the big companies can't compete with us on price and the small companies don't have the training and expertise to do what we do. They want nothing to do with what we do. So I found us a successful niche and used it. Good luck. I'm happy to talk business with you or anyone else anytime.
  5. trip105

    trip105 Member

    Not easy at all. I am in the field of compressed air. Yep, there is an air compressor involved with just about everything. Auto body, auto repair, scuba, breathing air systems for fire departments, plastic industry, printing, manufacturing, and the list goes on. The problem is that I am a small business and there are too many big businesses out there that are steamrolling over me. I am too cripples up to work for anyone else, and disability turned me down quite a few times, so I have no other choice but to work for myself. Life's a bitch.
  6. Sallysmart

    Sallysmart Raynstorm Serenade

    Best thing to do is look at ideas where what you do can't later be replaced by a micro chip. Then look for what people want.
    I had a highway store and camp grounds with three mobiles and two apartments on the land and a pool. Was lots of work but I did it all by my self and it wasn't that hard to start up. Had to register with the government, (GST) and set the name to my store and stuff like that and buy out the previous owner of his stock, what I wanted anyway.
    With my business now I just happened to have all I needed as far as tickets and experience and started contracting. I used to be horny for education. Took anything that popped up on weekends and evenings so I could work and learn same time.
    What you need to do is look into yourself and find what interests you and if it's a seller then go for it. Might be a hobby of making home made jewelry, so let's say peeps like it and you sell it online or get serious and buy a space to sell it in.
    There is a place here that sells awesome bracelets, dunno their story but they sell sterling silver charms as singles and allow a person to build their own bracelet after eventually a ton of money is spent. Thing is peeps will buy one charm, go back later and buy another and it's kind of a repeat thing till they have spent a lot of money on this bracelet, maybe a few hundred or more.
    I didn't know charm bracelets were that much in demand but the company does well. They are like beads and they look cool, I might go in and start one some day but one bead can be 45 to 95 bucks or more if you get away from the sterling silver and get into their gold ones.
    The food industry is getting to be a tough one, they have too many laws and inspection agencies and paper work because of the risks we run now of food illnesses. I always wanted a real old style tea shop but to make stuff like scones and soups that would be served in there it would be ten fold the paper work it was several years ago. Dumped that idea.
  7. Poneelovesyou

    Poneelovesyou Member

    Oh the joys of entrepeneuership! Yeah, shit sucks. Don't count on a new business for immediate income. I started my company, realized real fast that I wasnt going to make any money for a loooong time. Now I have a sugar daddy/biz mentor that supports me until my business takes off. It's a good deal really. Sometimes the difference between the survivors and the ones chewed up by the sharks, is your willingness to do crazy shit to get by...I didnt want a real job to get in the way of me focusing on my company. Keep on trucking. It takes ridiculous ammounts of perserverance...
  8. sandybrooke

    sandybrooke Member

    I've been self employed for 4 years now. I was in the construction industry for 35 yrs. Started as a laborer, then heavy equipment operator, then foreman to estimator. The office environment made me nuts. I landed a job as a consultant (inspector) for an engineering company. $50,000.00 for 6 months work gross. Net about $38,000
    Wife & I own a nice house in a affluent area & I may do this till I retire. My costs are my pickup truck & laptop.
  9. scratcho

    scratcho Lifetime Supporter Lifetime Supporter

    I heard a statement on a news show (maybe 60 minutes?)that 45% of jobs presently done by humans would be done by robots in the future.
    I don't remember the time frame mentioned, but it wasn't THAT far down the line. Before I learned my trade, I worked in the Ford plant in Milpitas, California installing dashboards in Mustangs. I'm sure a monkey could have been trained to do the job--wasn't difficult. But--it paid well. Now anyone that even casually watches the boob tube has seen that all those welding jobs that I and others did--are now done by robots.

    I would say--pick something that is not subject to robotic takeover. Although what CAN be done by them in the future will probably surprise us.

    Jobs in the medical field, construction, landscaping and many others will always need human hands to do. Self employment is the way to go for the freedom, if nothing else.

    And checking out the ultimate need for what one does is good to know. In my case, I noticed that EVERY BUILDING IN THE WORLD has some type of roofing to protect what is the biggest investment most will ever make. And they will ALL wear out--over and over again! Too hard for most, but it's an option if one can actually work hard and love it.
  10. bourne1978

    bourne1978 Member

    I plan on doing door to door terra card readings for $5 just to see how much I can generate doing it.
  11. drumminmama

    drumminmama Super Moderator Super Moderator

    There's a limit to how mechanized the humans are willing to go.
    While factory welding can be robotic, the average homeowner wants a human to explain, and maybe negotiate with.

    In theory, my job can be done by a mechanical table (massage therapy), but no robot/ balls in a mat can adjust pressure, find new issues to address, calm down an upset client, switch suddenly from deep tissue to craniosacral, etc.
    a machine can't be taught ethics.
    (Alternately, be the machines' overlord.)
    For example, I could get a Roomba vacuum. It would, in theory, negate or at least reduce my desire to hire a weekly cleaner. Because floors are what I sacrifice when cleaning in limited time. (I'm hoping my business will be healthy enough this year to afford either a cleaning service quarterly or a Roomba. If I go back a couple models, it's about the same cost, first year. It is a business expense as I have clients in my home.)
    But in reality, I want a human in my space, someone with a discerning eye. I hire annually right now, and they know that. I'll be involved, doing a part of the cleaning. Having people pushes me to do a better job!
    I've had mechanical massage. It's weird. Not bad, just odd.
    It'll do in a pinch, and I'd have an electric shiatsu mat in a minute, budget allowing. Because I'd like some daily work without having to get daily appointments. Even if I could afford.

    Because self employment is often a close existence, financially. My work goes in waves. I'm trying to figure out the best month to close for a sabbatical, knowing the week either end would be packed.
    I need the time for continuing education, rejuvenation and down time. And some deductible travel. Because that education can be anywhere.

    17 slammed doors, two cop calls and the weird child molester guy's reading.
    And it's Tarot.
    3 people like this.
  12. Ever see the show " The Profit"? I don't invest any money but I go in and fix what's broken. I work for a base plus a percentage of growth normally. This makes it very interesting to a lot of businesses because they have nothing to lose if I can't fix it .
    1 person likes this.
  13. GeorgeJetStoned

    GeorgeJetStoned Odd Member

    I've been self-employed for about 20 years now. I usually work through agencies, but every so often I land my own gigs. A few things suck about it. One is how much money I'm usually in arrears with a company when it's not an agency gig. Sometimes they take 30 days to eve look at an invoice. After a trip to the middle east it took me 3 months to get paid for my time in the desert. But they resumed my regular pay the moment I returned. Some agencies are slow to return travel expenses. Few ever pay on time and some want you to take your per diem as part of an inflated salary figure or some such bullshit. There are so many scams out there.

    I've only been taken by a few people abroad and never usually for very much. It's when I get back to the US that the real robbery takes place. Because I am self employed I have to pay both sides of my old age pittance and meager medical. Uncle Obama gets a slice of any money that crosses borders into my checking account. So does the state. I also have to keep my shots up to date and I somehow have to keep looking for work when I'm working. But I need the flexibility, I'm a terrible employee. And my bad habits infect the whole crew fast. I can hold out for maybe 4 months of good behavior, acting like a real team player and swallowing all that lean 6-sigma tripe.

    Then the real me comes out. The one with a bottle of scotch in my cubicle. The 3 hour lunch guy. The snoring on conference calls legend. None of them know that I'm also the guy who bugged the conference room and the break room. I LOVE 21st century wireless technology! There's nothing like knowing 3 months ahead how many people are going to be fired. You can ramp up a smear campaign on the competition while honing your brown nose skills.

    Part of my poison pen is that before I became self employed I was a good little corporate cog from the time I left the Navy till I burned out in 1994. I burned out because I kept getting laid off. I didn't have more than 4 years with any company. And I was doing everything I was told. And it wasn't just me. I started doing contract work after a 30 day rehab that kept me out of jail. I was clean so I easily passed the whiz test. I ended up on a factory floor making machine parts for excellent freakin money. Almost new car money but Jane, my wife, was not about to allow such foolishness. That job lasted just over a year and I landed another in a copier repair depot. It was like an assembly line shop for fast refurbs. One thing led to another.

    I have tried to go back to being a normal cog twice now. The first time lasted a year. The second lasted 2 weeks. I have to be true to my self and working in a lame dead end job drives me down way too quickly after 20 years of freedom. Even though I get raked over the coals for taxes, I think the freedom is the only reason I have been able to rise as much as I have. Being able to take 3 months off here and there for sanity, works for me.
    1 person likes this.
  14. Turtle76

    Turtle76 Member

    I've had my own business as a general contractor for11 yrs now and seem to be doing well it's not that bad once you learn all the technicalities of it
  15. GeorgeJetStoned

    GeorgeJetStoned Odd Member

    Then I woke up. And I remembered how much I like a regular paycheck. Nice to have better health insurance as well. I remembered how easy it is to bullshit your way into a corporate gig. The down side was having to give up my aromatic appetite stimulants for well over a month to finally test clean. But a small price to pay for the opportunity to latch on to corporate America with my wits and a a pack of lies on my resume. It was like old times again.

    Now I've been at it for a year and a week. I just got something I never got as a freelancer, a raise. A whopping 4% (sounds pitiful because it IS pitiful). At this rate, I'll be able to retire comfortably at about 76 years of age. So I guess it's time to kick off a side gig. I just don't know what though, I'm chained to a desk 5 days a week with a wealthy red neck's thumb on my neck, counting the minutes that count off the sheer erosion of my life. It's OK though, I already know who needs to quit or get fired to move me up two full steps next year!

    I start, by taking over their menial tasks. Making their lives easier. Which gives them a short efficiency gain. But incompetence takes over, I call in sick ahead of a major report being due (my stuff makes the deadline of course) and they go spinning down in embarrassing flames. I should write a book.........................

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