self employed

Discussion in 'The Fire Hydrant' started by LostAndConfused, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. LostAndConfused

    LostAndConfused Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Hudson Valley
    Home Page:
    how many of you guys are self employed? Do you like it? Pro & cons? If you don't mind sharing, what do you do?

    My job is making me crazy & I'm not sure how long I'll be able to stay with them. Plus, a little side income is always welcome.


    Thanks
     
  2. RD

    RD Are you dead yet?

    Joined:
    Aug 1, 2004
    Messages:
    15,572
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Occupation:
    2 dogs
    Location:
    Ohio
    I'm currently self employed, living in Mexico and doing dog training/boarding. I do pet sitting for a few of my clients.

    I don't like it, not going to lie. I love the dogs, but the part where I have to be ambitious and professional enough to promote myself and 'sell' myself to potential clients is where I fall short. It's just not me and I'm at the point where I'd rather flip burgers as long as I was guaranteed a certain amount of hours every week.

    I'm one of those anti-social people that doesn't like calling the shots, though. I hated being a retail drone, but in comparison to wondering if I'll be able to pay the bills each month, a steady job definitely has its perks.

    So yeah. More con than pro for me, because building and maintaining clientele is a huge part of self employment.
     
  3. AllieMackie

    AllieMackie Wookie Collie

    Joined:
    Apr 22, 2008
    Messages:
    6,601
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    Professional Illustrator
    Location:
    Ottawa, ON
    Home Page:
    I was entirely self-employed for two years. It's a TON of work. A ton.

    First there's figuring out the actual goods and/or service(s) you provide, and deciding what to charge. Then you have to keep taxes in mind. For most legit home-based businesses, you should have a tax number (in Canada, at least) and a registered business number. Those cost money.

    Then you have to promote yourself like CRAZY. Get out on all social media, pay for adspace here and there, get out in the local community and promote, whatever works best for your chosen work. Promotion took up at least a quarter of my working hours every week.

    Building up a starter budget for supplies, promotional materials and other startup costs is tricky, too. Keep receipts for everything. Taxes.

    Oh god, taxes. Ugh. I always owed money, always. Even with claiming everything I could. Taxes were the bane of my existence, and because I sucked at them I nearly got audited last year. Instead they just assessed me, twice, and I wound up owing double. >__<

    It's a lot of work. And depending on your biz, it can be really difficult to get the momentum going to make the money you need. Now that AlliePets has become a side job, I'm finally getting the level of business I wanted two years ago, because I've been working hard, advertising and promoting like crazy, and getting portraits done. (Having a pet-related day job has helped immensely too, my boss lets me cross-promote a lot).

    There are pros, of course, but they're pretty obvious: Working in my pyjamas. Finnegan at my feet. Having my kitchen within a staircase reach. Lunchtime naps. Setting my own hours and my own to-do lists.

    Cons: Budgeting. Taxes. Willpower. Balance. Professionalism.

    I found my day job now because I really, really needed the security of a paycheck twice a month. Plus my hours allow me to continue to be self-employed on the side, and between the two I'm more financially comfortable than I've been in years.

    My 2c.
     
  4. Zoom

    Zoom Twin 2.0

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2005
    Messages:
    40,739
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    It can be amazing. It can also be the biggest headache on the planet. If you are 100% SE, as in you acquire/make the product/service you are going to be selling, then be prepared for a lot of coffee and phone time. Most people actually don't want to be fully self-employed. "In Business For Yourself, By Yourself."

    Direct sales is a nice bridge, because while you are still 100% responsible for getting out there and promoting yourself, you've got a huge backing of a company (who acquires the products, sets the prices and the commission rates) and other consultants to rely on to help you with ideas and most provide marketing tools for use, you just have to get out there and use them. If all you're wanting is some nice extra income, it's definitely the way to go. "In Business For Yourself, But Not By Yourself."
     
  5. Doberluv

    Doberluv Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
    22,034
    Likes Received:
    2
    Trophy Points:
    38
    Occupation:
    2 dogs
    Location:
    western Wa
    I've been self employed off and on for most of my adult life. My ex and I had a business which he still has...a machine shop. He did the tool and die/machining and I did the books, ordering, invoices etc and some of the small, busy work, such as deburing, washing materials before being shipped to Boeing or other companies he made parts for. He had to be checked out by the FBI one time before doing some work for the government which was "top secret." That was weird.

    I had a home daycare when I was younger. I worked in real estate. I have had a dog training/consulting business up until recently when I moved. I did some Scentsy on the side as well.

    It's just a different kind of work than working for someone else. You're your own boss. You have to drum up your own business, stay motivated, and there's a lot of extra stuff you don't do when you're working for someone else...that they do as far as taxes, payroll, all the other paper work etc. It can be very rewarding and profitable. There are tax advantages and some extra responsibilities. It's hardly ever 9 to 5 and that's it. Week ends are often worked, late hours, odd hours too sometimes. Over all, I've always preferred to be self employed rather than work for someone else.
     
  6. LostAndConfused

    LostAndConfused Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    36
    Occupation:
    2
    Location:
    Hudson Valley
    Home Page:
    thanks guys. You have given me some things to think about. I can see where self promotion would be a problem for me since I'm just not good at that sort of thing. But, I do have a degree in management with an almost minor in marketing, I could try to lean on those skills. lol.

    My husband will probably always be the primary money maker in the house, so not having a dependable paycheck from me won't be as big of a deal in a few years once we get student loans and the cars paid off.

    As for taxes....well, there is a reason the best man at our wedding is an accountant. :rofl1: but I did take two years of accounting in school and all I learned was that I should hire someone to do that.
     

Share This Page