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#174147 - 07/19/05 08:45 PM OT-Go in to business myself?
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 4512
Loc: Michigan
As an outside salesman, I am tired of the low pay for the long hours. Not that I am not appreciative of the perks associated with being an employee, but I have the A personality to tackle it myself. Recently, I was shafted again by greedy owners, enough to make me think seriously of going on my own. Question: Who has been in the same position as me and made the plunge? What were the results? Was the grass too green, is there really a chance to make it with hard and diligent work? Any responses appreciated.
zuki
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#174148 - 07/19/05 08:55 PM Re: OT-Go in to business myself?
SemiLiveMusic Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 2189
Loc: Louisiana, USA
I've never had a salaried job. Always have been self-employed since college. If you are a self-starter and otherwise competent at what you do, successful in your line of work, heck yeah, go for it. You'll never look back.

One thing for sure, you will get screwed in sales for the rest of your life. The corporate sales industry is notorious for screwing you over. It's the way they operate. Get used to it or leave.

No, just go ahead and leave. Assuming you have a plan, haha. Good luck!


------------------
Me Bill
Yamaha PSR2000
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#174149 - 07/20/05 04:09 AM Re: OT-Go in to business myself?
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 4512
Loc: Michigan
Bill,
Thanks for the reply. One thing that concerns me is your occupation: "broke". I hope you are kidding
zuki
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#174150 - 07/20/05 05:49 AM Re: OT-Go in to business myself?
SemiLiveMusic Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 2189
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Haha, that's just a funny I put in there because I have spent my life's savings NOT working much for the past four years while writing songs. Going for it in the fall. Literally. I've been kinda this way all my life. I make a killing, save up a fortune, then live off my savings and work a little bit while I master something useful like golf. Now, it's songwriting. Real smart, ain't it. Oh well, I don't have any kids, maybe I'll leave a decent song or two to the karma king.

Point is, life really is too short to let the bastards get you down. You can do anything you want to do with a dedication to passion.
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#174151 - 07/20/05 06:08 AM Re: OT-Go in to business myself?
travlin'easy Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 12/08/02
Posts: 15041
Loc: Forest Hill, MD USA
Bill is right on the money when it comes to getting screwed in sales--everyone that has ever been in that business, including myself, will tell you the same thing--you're gonna' get screwed continuously.

I've been self employed since 1975, and at this stage in life, I wouldn't change many of the things I've done.

First and foremost, you must have a lot of self discipline. Without this, you will not make it in the world of self employment.

Additionally, you must be very organized. You must be able to take control of all of your finances, balance your own checkbook, take care of billing, answer the phone, do the secretarial work, everything associated with the business. If you cannot do one of these things, you're essentially out of business.

You must hava a specific plan, one that allows you to put together a daily, weekly, monthly and yearly program of doing business. You must set goals for those time frames, and keep in mind that there is no such thing as an 8-hour day for those of us who are self employed. Every minute that you are relaxing, daydreaming, and watching thw world go by, you are loosing money.

I pay my own insurance bills, utility bills, and every expense associated with the business out of a special checking account that is for the business only. It's important to keep track of every, single expense, no matter how trivial you think it may be--they all add up, and they all subtract from your income. A basic rule of thumb is if you have to use a pay toilet while working, write that amount down on your calendar--it's a business expense. At the end of the year, all of those insignificant expenditures will amount to a lot of money, money that is subtracted from your gross income, many that if you don't keep records of, will be taxed.

In my case, as a freelance writer and musician, my commuting distance to the office each morning is just 45 feet. No traffic jam other than getting past the cat who wants to be fed before she goes outside to kill mice and chipmunks. There are lots of days when I don't have to leave the office in order to bring in a paycheck. Those days the dress code is shorts, tee shirt and sandals. On the days when music is the job, the dress code is obviously much more formal.

Finally, set up a retirement program. You may not be thinking about retirement at this stage of life--no one does. But, there will come a time when you physically will not be able to handle the rigors of self employment, Then that time comes, and believe me it will come, you must be ready financially. In order to do this each week's operating budget must have a segment set aside for this purpose. It may not seem possible early on, but it must be done. This is your nest egg, a fund that will keep you going when the body or mind, or both, give out.

Good Luck, and I sincerely hope everything comes your way.

Gary
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#174152 - 07/20/05 07:43 AM Re: OT-Go in to business myself?
Bill in Dayton Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/23/04
Posts: 2168
Loc: Dayton, OH USA
Zuki-

Gary nailed it for you...dead on, solid info.

Since that base has already been covered, I'll try and approach it differently.

Assess your lifestyle right now and how much of it you might be prepared to drop if you pursued your own business.

I have worked for General Mills (managing Red Lobsters for 20 years) when I decided to step away. My wife and I had three daughters...all under the age of 10 when this happened. I was making in the high $50's but also working 90+ hours a week, an hour away from home. When I resigned...we had enough money saved up to live comfortably for about six months...so I took a low pressure job helping disabled people with employment issues for about a year to help with the money. This job was key to my successful start up of my music business. I travelled over a 5 county area in midwest Ohio, which took me close to many retirement communites. I was able to visit these facilities while doing my other duties. I started my music business as a part time affair hoping that it would grow to a full time within the first year.

As time went by, the business kept growing, but eventually it got to the point where I had to leave my other job. Now it was all music...all the time.

My wife had also decided to reinvent herself at the same time and had gone back to school to pursue a career in nursing. She already had a degree in music education from Duquesne in Pittsburgh but chose not to stay on that path. She was working 3rd shift at a nursing home while doing school during the day.

The impact of our decisions were significant. It took special effort to make sure the kids needs were being met...and I don't mean food and clothing. It came down to time. The girls would look us in the eye and say they understood that we were busy but we knew they wanted to spend more "fun" time with us. I would take one of them with me to many of my shows, which really helped. (Our middle daughter Brittany could sing several Irvin Berlin and Gershwin songs plus wire my complete PA before she was 9, lol...)We basically "MADE" time...for the most part, it worked out just fine.

In the beginning, we stopped almost all recreational spending like going to movies, going out to dinner, ordering pizza, etc. If it wasn't planned and understood and signed off by both of us...it didn't happen. We knew we were in a high risk period and didn't want to take any unneccessary chances with our finances.

Over time, within 2-3 years, my business grew to the point that things were much different. Pat had graduated with her RN...she's now halfway through her Masters in Nursing at Wright State University here in Dayton. When she finishes she'll either be a Nurse Practitioner or a Nurse Specialist. Either direction will take her salary to the high 70's in this area. For me, I've exceeded my old Red Lobster salary in 3 of the last 4 years. Remember, I was working 90+ hours a hour away. Now, I make my own schedule...take time off when I want it...and usually work about 30-35 hours a week on average.

...It was scary as hell at times. There were some tough times for sure when we both doubted our plan. But thankfully, if one of us was frustrated-the other was up enough to provide encouragement. Patty and I talk often about it. I took gigs that other musicians made fun of me for taking. In the beginning, I wasn't always sure if I was doing the right things for the business. Over time, I kept most of those accounts, dropped a few, added many, many more. My goals in the first 18 months were different than they are now. As a couple, we don't have the number of friends or socialize as much as other couples do but that's ok. We had a plan and so far...so good. We're very proud of what we've done...how we've done it...and that our kids have watched us do it on a dialy basis while manufacturing enough tim for all the important relationships within our family. Some day down the road, each of our kids will realize they ALWAYS have a choice and they they aren't trapped in a unsatisfying job. (We hope, LOL!)


...Think any big change through as much as you can, assess the support level of those around you, look at your finances...etc...

...With proper planning, a very hard work ethic, patience and some good fortune, it should work out pretty well.

Bill in Dayton
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#174153 - 07/20/05 07:55 AM Re: OT-Go in to business myself?
BEBOP Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 01/02/00
Posts: 3781
Loc: San Jose, California
I replied to your same post in the Bar.
BEBOP
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#174154 - 07/20/05 11:21 AM Re: OT-Go in to business myself?
zuki Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 09/20/02
Posts: 4512
Loc: Michigan
Thanks guys for the articulated advice and encouragemnet. My boss just called and wants to meet but said "don't worry or get nervous, we just need to talk". My point in case is that I don't want this type stress any longer. I can deal with my OWN stress if it comes. But my livelihood being based on someone else is the scariest scenario for me. I am doing great in my job, but they are raising the quota bar and I voiced my displeasure. Now all of a sudden I am getting 'talked' to. I'll let you know how all turns out as I am exploring the independent status/lines at this time.
zuki
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Korg PA3X / QSC 8.2s / Zedi-6FX / Tascam DP24CD / Baby Blue and Encore 300 mics / Zoom Q8

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#174155 - 07/20/05 06:53 PM Re: OT-Go in to business myself?
brickboo Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 02/04/01
Posts: 2068
Loc: Fruita, Colorado, USA
Don't let these guy's scare you. I'm not General Motors, but in New Orleans, Hattiesburg Miss and in Western Colorado I've been "General Masonry."

I have had maybe for short spurts 7 to 10 people working off and on in different years. I never could have handled the books.

If it's just you (a one-person business) that probably is much easier. We had Workers Compensation and all that employee stuff for many years. The wife figured it all out.

I can balance a checkbook if I have to but I don't. My wife has always done the bookwork. She works harder than I do. She keeps house great and cooks every day too.

On second thought if your wife can't do it maybe you'd better stay where you are. You must have what I've lost for sure in the Masonry business, ambition. If you don't, it won't work. Some people need someone to tell them when to go to work.

You need to figure this out for yourself. Hope you make the right decision.
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#174156 - 07/20/05 11:19 PM Re: OT-Go in to business myself?
SemiLiveMusic Offline
Senior Member

Registered: 08/28/04
Posts: 2189
Loc: Louisiana, USA
Quote:
Originally posted by zuki:
I am doing great in my job, but they are raising the quota bar and I voiced my displeasure. Now all of a sudden I am getting 'talked' to.


Zuki, this is b.s. This is a CLASSIC sales move. Absolutely classic. The oldest trick in the book, bar none. You excel, they up your territory. Or your quota. Get used to it or leave. I don't mean to be hard-nosed but I know what I'm talking about. You will think one thing about them but it will be the other. Beware, my friend. They don't really care about YOU, they care about the bottom line. Beware. What is sad is when you are about age 50 and they let you go to hire some young, innocent buck so they can do the same thing to him.


[This message has been edited by SemiLiveMusic (edited 07-21-2005).]
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