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Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 11:44 AM   #1
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Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

I don't like can't work for soemone my whole life. I have so many things going on that I feel I can live without my 9-5.

A little background: I started at this finance company 2 years ago for a menial wage. I took the job because just a few weeks later I had to go to court for some issues that would negatively 'mark' me for life. I have since climbed the so-called ladder, and am currently in a position of management, although my salary would'nt tell you that (35k). My job is in fact easy, and only somewhat stressful. I don't, however, see the possibillity in the near future for the 80k/yr salary the owner says is possible for me by year 5.
I am an entrepreneur. I started washing cars at age 7, cutting lawns at 9, helping with spring cleanouts at 10, selling pot at 14, started a painting business at 17, and now own a successful air duct cleaning business. I HATE working for the man. I was very successful in my illegal proffession for 3 years, and want to get back to my 18 year-old version of ER (minus the drugs and stolen merchandise). I CANT work for the man any more!!!!

I don't, however, want to cut the proverbial cord! I like seeing my sh!tty 700 bucks deposited into my account bi-weekly along with my sh !tty 600 dollar bonus each month.

There are 2 people who work for us that work from home. The way they both began is similar. Person number one moved to south carolina after 3 years of service. She was so good that they set her up on her home computer and she makes collection calls from home. Person #2 quit, and was begged to come back. In the process, she negotiated 3/5 days week to work from home...same deal.

I cant particularly work from home as I need to be a hands on supervisor for some of my collectors. But, I'd be willing to work from home, part time, AS a collector/underwriter. I could go back to my pay before supervisory status, which is 'only' a 60% decrease in bonus...which translates to about 300/month ($2/hr??). I'd liek to work about 20 hrs/week...maybe from 8-11 daily, then a few hours on the weekend.

I just don't know how to approach this situation. I am ready to expand my duct cleaning business but dont have the time to meet with HVAC techs, Realtors, Doctors, mold guys etc. I dont have the time to DO the work that comes with running a $5k ad. I don't have the time to rehab my investment properties quickly because I work 40-50 hrs/week.

I need only $2k/month to scrape by. This includes mortgage,ccards,utilities,insurance,car,food etc. I have $700/month cashflow coming in from 2 rentals. SO, I only need to make $1300 month to 'survive'. For the first 30 weeks of air duct cleaning, I am averaging $1300/month gross. I havent advertised in 3 months though! Imagine what a targeted ad campaign will do! I also make about $150/month on Ebay. I also PLAN to keep making money off of real estate rehabs. One small job/year will net me $10k to work with (I dont think that will be too hard to accomplish...I've done it on my first 2 rehabs). Last, but not least, I can work with my father for some extra $$ along the way. As of right now, I estimate I could grab at least 50 hrs/month under the table at $12-13/hr GUARANTEED.He owns a painting business which COULD thrive with the right marketing and some reliable help. I have some $ for the ads, and I also have a few guys who would follow me down that path as labor. I've always dreamt of expanding his business. Lastly, I want to start a landscaping company next spring. About 20 residentail properties would suit me perfectly as a stand alone operator. I need about $2500 for supplies and $1k for advertising and I'd be off and running.


HOW though, could I approach my boss (owner) to see if working from home in a non-supervisory position would work? I dont want to 'tip him off' then get fired in a month for whatveer reason (although unemployment would smooth the transition for me!!).

My concerns: my criminal record/high school education might prohibit me from obtaining a position in the w*rking world easily in the future. It could be done, but not with some sweet talking. I also have somewhat limited savings right now. I have $8k cash. $8k in roth/401k which would be about $7k after penalties. I have $1k in stocks I can liquidate. I should be at the closing table getting a check for about $15k in 60-90 days. I have access to maybe $10k of a HELOC if I get in a bind.

My positives: I've never had a problem finding/making money ...whether its buying a car and selling it for a quick profit, selling stuff on Ebay, starting a business, rehabbing a house, or working a 9-5. I'm very determined and clever when it comes to making something work...I WILL make it happen. My duct cleaning business is projected to make 28k gross this year, which translates to $20k gross now that my equipmetn/vehicle is paid off. This was with a WEAK advertising campaign. My rehabs are going well, and making 10-15k isnt too hard in the niche I've found.

Worst case scenario: I deplete my savings and have to get a j*b. This is a result of my air duct cleaning business falling flat on its face by having 6 consecutive months WORSE than the worst one I've had so far. I lose money on/cant find a home to rehab and sell for a profit. My father's business,established 30 yrs, is SO slow that he cant even employ me. That's happened in the past...30 days with one or 2 small jobs....but right now it's booming and can BOOM if I get to market it. I may have a hard time with my spotty record obtaining a 'good' job, but can easily goto the local factory who hires anything that breathes fro $10/hr.

And of course, this could delay my ER by a while. BUT, it could also bring it closer. Once one of my businesses takes off...you'd better watch out...because I won't stop there. In the mean time though, I'd consider my self semi-ER...working a few hours from home making calls. Work a few (20)hours/month cleaning ducts (which is FUN). Work a few hours/month working with my dad...which is also fun (20). and spending a LOT of time with my 1 year old son...the main reason I want to do this. I've learned that FAMILY is what life is about, sharing/living/loving with the peole who will always love you



Any input will be appreciated
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 01:17 PM   #2
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

Looks like you have roughly a year's worth of liquid assets assuming your business ventures generate no cash (unlikely IMO). You also have lots of alternatives to generate cash by working, plus it looks a lot like your businesses will generate cash over time. I'd probably go for it if I were in your shoes. I also would probably not bother with part time work with your current employer. It sounds an awful lot like the returns your time would generate if invested in your businesses would be significantly higher than any hourly wage. Worse comes to worse, you go find a job in a year. But I sincerely doubt it will come to that.

Before you quit, I would lay out a detailed marketing/business plan for each venture so that you can verify that you have viable prospects that will work out in short order.
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 01:25 PM   #3
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

Just to add on a bit to Brewers post, which I agree with 100%.

Your criminal history can often be an issue when trying to get a new job; even a low paying one. Many companies require backround checks of all employees even temporary employees or part timers. This would include a check for prior arrests, drug convictions, credit problems and character issues.

Your current job sounds like you are being taken advantage of and your boss knows he has you over a barrel. Your energy and drive sure seem to be in a different direction and that is where I would go if I were in you situation.

Working for yourself and knowing that your next meal depends on how well you do can be one heck of a motivator for success. Like Brewer said, plan first, then go for it and don't look back. You can do it if you have a plan and you stick with it.

Good luck.
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 01:42 PM   #4
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

wow guys, not the response i was expecting...better though! even my fiance seems to be supporting me right now,which is a first.

ive never had the most important people in my life (fmily) support me 100% in one of my ventures. It feels great to have my fiance support me...its a wonderful, unique, unexplainable feeling.

thanks for the inspiration
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 02:12 PM   #5
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

thefed - I can understand the lure of a steady paycheck, but 35k a year is not worth putting your ambitions on hold for, as other posters have said, you are being taken advantage of. You sound like a smart guy with some natural business sense, and if you have no problem "getting your hands dirty" with some manual labor enterprises, then you are set. Get a crew you can supervise and go for it.

2 questions - what exactly is your criminal charge for? and where in the country are you located?
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 02:20 PM   #6
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

Quote:
Originally Posted by macdaddy
thefed - I can understand the lure of a steady paycheck, but 35k a year is not worth putting your ambitions on hold for, as other posters have said, you are being taken advantage of. You sound like a smart guy with some natural business sense, and if you have no problem "getting your hands dirty" with some manual labor enterprises, then you are set. Get a crew you can supervise and go for it.

2 questions - what exactly is your criminal charge for? and where in the country are you located?
All that's left on my record are 3 or 4 felonies stemming from growing pot in my basment. I'm in ohio.
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 02:31 PM   #7
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

Quote:
You sound like a smart guy with some natural business sense, and if you have no problem "getting your hands dirty" with some manual labor enterprises, then you are set.
that is my impression of what I have read of your posts, also....sounds like you have several irons in the fire and can easily come up with more ideas....sounds like several of your businesses can be ramped up with more time investment...
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 03:20 PM   #8
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

I agree that you should go for it. One thing in life that you should never have is regrets. I left a 75k a year job with guaranteed retirement benefits if I stayed 9 more years but that entreprenuerial bug just kept calling me. Six months later no regrets and priceless moments with my 3 year old son.
One important thing that I went through when we pulled the plug. Banks don't like it when you don't have a "regular" job so if you are going to be seeking loans from a bank start building a relationship with a small one. Preferably with one of the branch managers. Usually they can approve loans up to 100k without going to committee for approval. This has been priceless when buying rehabs and reselling them. Although our business is less than a year old we were able to borrow over 300k in mortgages becasue the branch manager believed in us and what we were doing. So get that relationship started if you haven't done so.
We also took out seconds on our rentals for our just in case money. With interest rates rising I would prefer them over HELOC unless you were sure you were only going to use them in an emergency and for short durations.
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 03:35 PM   #9
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

I would say go for it also...

But, to some of the others... $35 K for a 'more than' 4 time felon that only has a high school education is probably a good salary... yes, he seems to have a skill, but not the 'formal' education... it does matter.
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 03:35 PM   #10
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arif
I agree that you should go for it. One thing in life that you should never have is regrets. I left a 75k a year job with guaranteed retirement benefits if I stayed 9 more years but that entreprenuerial bug just kept calling me. Six months later no regrets and priceless moments with my 3 year old son.
One important thing that I went through when we pulled the plug. Banks don't like it when you don't have a "regular" job so if you are going to be seeking loans from a bank start building a relationship with a small one. Preferably with one of the branch managers. Usually they can approve loans up to 100k without going to committee for approval. This has been priceless when buying rehabs and reselling them. Although our business is less than a year old we were able to borrow over 300k in mortgages becasue the branch manager believed in us and what we were doing. So get that relationship started if you haven't done so.
We also took out seconds on our rentals for our just in case money. With interest rates rising I would prefer them over HELOC unless you were sure you were only going to use them in an emergency and for short durations.
I do plan on taking out a second on one property if it doesnt sell very soon. Actually, I was planning on the HELOC. Why would you take out a second unless you needed ALL the $ right then and there? A HELOC give me the ability to buy what I need, when I need it, and I have the option to pay interest only which helps with the cashflow.

Thanks!
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 04:09 PM   #11
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

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But, to some of the others... $35 K for a 'more than' 4 time felon that only has a high school education is probably a good salary... yes, he seems to have a skill, but not the 'formal' education... it does matter.
I'll second that comment. Objectively speaking, $35k/yr for what you are doing and given your history and education level isn't that bad. Heck, me and DW ain't making a whole lot more than that, and we have graduate/professional degrees! Her base salary is close to what you get and she works in the financial industry for a mega corp.
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 04:26 PM   #12
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

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I'll second that comment. Objectively speaking, $35k/yr for what you are doing and given your history and education level isn't that bad. Heck, me and DW ain't making a whole lot more than that, and we have graduate/professional degrees! Her base salary is close to what you get and she works in the financial industry for a mega corp.
yet another cse for my point that a 4 yr degree doesnt mean squat. but that's another post....

I agree that I'm totally lucky/fortunate to have a decent paying job for my education level. The criminal background hasnt come into play yet, as I wasnt convicted until 2 days after I began work here. BUT, I'm not your average high school graduate. I know, with certainty, that I could get a 4+ year degree from any college and graduate with a 3.5 or higher. But my desire to be free, to be THE MAN, stopped me after my 1st semester in college. I dont like authority. I dont like the artificial structure of college to get a piece of paper which 'automatically' makes me educated. Blah on that.

I'll live what I perceive to be the American dream and make a name/life for myself.

Now the real question you should ask yourself (or she should ask herself), is "Was it worht it"? Is going into debt 20,30,40k to get ajob paying 40k/yr worth it? For some it is, for some it isn't. Doesnt seem liek a deal to me though.
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 04:39 PM   #13
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

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Originally Posted by thefed
yet another cse for my point that a 4 yr degree doesnt mean squat.* but that's another post....

<snip>

Now the real question you should ask yourself (or she should ask herself), is "Was it worht it"? Is going into debt 20,30,40k to get* ajob paying 40k/yr worth it? For some it is, for some it isn't.* Doesnt seem liek a deal to me though.
I won't take the bait but I will offer that my 4 year degree has provided far more than $40k per year to my bank account. Not all degrees are worth the same and once you are out in the work place it is far less important what you degree is in since what you can do plays a much larger role. The important part is that you would not have gotten you foot in the door without the sheepskin. The rest is then up to the individual as to how much money they can make.

In some professions a degree is where you start; without it you are not even in the game. Sure you can build your own business and I have high regard for anyone who is successful in doing so. It is just not the route for everyone; just as higher education is not for everyone. It all boils down to what you want to do and what it takes to get there.
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 04:52 PM   #14
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

Quote:
I do plan on taking out a second on one property if it doesnt sell very soon. Actually, I was planning on the HELOC. Why would you take out a second unless you needed ALL the $ right then and there? A HELOC give me the ability to buy what I need, when I need it, and I have the option to pay interest only which helps with the cashflow.

Thanks!
We were presented with the same option of going with a HELOC and a second mortgage. At the time we knew we were going to use it for the 20% downpmt on the rehabs and the repair money. So knowing that the money was part of funding the business we wanted to lock in a low interest rate. Interest rates were 6.25% for the HELOC and 7.5% on the second. We knew interest rates were going to rise so we opted to lock in at 7.5% with the second. Not sure what the rates are on HELOCs are now but I'm sure it's over 7.5%. Don't forget you have the money in hand with the second so push come to shove you could use the second to make the pmts. Since we were rehabing with the money, once we sold each property we "replace" the pmts that we made with the proceeds.
The second allowed us to do more projects at a time rather than one or two if we didn't use the seconds.
The rates we were quoted were for investment properties at 90 LTV and not primary residences.
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 05:00 PM   #15
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

Well, DW and I both are in the $50k+ range, not bad for 1-2 yrs out of school. Add in the 401k match, health bennies for family for almost nothing, profit sharing, ESOP, bonuses, francois benefits, 1 month/yr paid time off, 3 months maternity leave (for DW), etc. etc. etc. Pretty soon, it's a significant compensation package. Total comp packages are probably $125-$150k for the two of us.

I work 40-41 hrs/wk and get to leave the job at work. DW works closer to 50, but it is entry level grunt work w/ no supervisory responsibilities.

I'd be hard pressed to start my own business and have a combination of the low stress and the high level of compensation I currently receive.

With the degrees DW and I have, we could go out tomorrow, get a high-stress job in the field we obtained our professional degrees, and double our incomes pretty easily.

Were the degrees worth it? Yep. I made more money in school every year than I spent. The proceeds from racking up "high debt levels" went primarily into investments, and now I have to repay the loans at 1% (tax-deductible) interest. I think I picked up a trick or two in school that I can use in real life.
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 05:06 PM   #16
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

The fed...

Well, you being convicted of a number of felonies kind of shows you do not like 'taking orders' or dealing with authority...

But, as some have said... there are a lot of jobs that the ticket to even be considered is a degree... and some are even a high degree (doctor/lawyer)... *but, there are also a lot of jobs that do not require any degree (salesperson)... and they can make a lot of money if they are good at what they do... *also, there are trades that make a lot without a degree (HVAC, plumbing).. but, you do need a skill!!! *It sounds like you are going to be doing something that requires a skill... maybe not a high skill, but one that most people do not have nor want to learn... so you can make money at it..

AND, to answer your question... YES, it was worth it to get my two degrees and CPA.. I am very well compensated and I do not have to work in the heat nor work like a dog all day like most blue collar workers..
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 05:25 PM   #17
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

"I'd be hard pressed to start my own business and have a combination of the low stress and the high level of compensation I currently receive."

This is a personality trait to a large degree. I am happier working 50 hours a week, making 50k a year, working for myself, than working 40 hours a week, making 60k, working for somebody else.
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 06:28 PM   #18
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

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I'd be hard pressed to start my own business and have a combination of the low stress and the high level of compensation I currently receive.*
Justin, please accept this in the positive spirit with which I intend it.* I fully believe your current job is low stress.* That's really a good thing!!* But you do not receive a high level of compensation.* Don't let your employer or anyone else tell you differently.* You probably understand this, but I just want to be sure "the man" isn't pulling the wool over your eyes.

As long as you're happy with your job content, compensation and growth potential, excellent!* But don't be fooled into thinking you're highly compensated at your current salary.
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 06:52 PM   #19
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

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yet another cse for my point that a 4 yr degree doesnt mean squat.* but that's another post....
One thing a four-year degree suggests is that the recipient at least stayed out of jail for four years. From Ben Stein's book on retirement: "One of the most celebrated archetypes in our culture is that of the rebel: the guy or gal who refuses to fit in, breaks all the rules, and only does things his or her way. A smart-ass attitude and a contempt for ordinary working stiffs completes the picture. The problem is, even though these sorts of heroes do well in movies, in real life they tend to be losers -- especially when they've passed their 15th birthday."
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)
Old 07-21-2006, 08:49 PM   #20
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Re: Trying to decide when/how to leave my company...(LONG)

Quote:
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Justin, please accept this in the positive spirit with which I intend it. I fully believe your current job is low stress. That's really a good thing!! But you do not receive a high level of compensation. Don't let your employer or anyone else tell you differently. You probably understand this, but I just want to be sure "the man" isn't pulling the wool over your eyes.
Ouch?! The only thing I mean by "high level of compensation" is that each of us earn over 2x the median income in the city where I live. Of course it isn't a high level of compensation relative to the 50-something New York Wall Street types that come on here and talk of earning "upper six figures". It's a comfortable salary we get for just showing up to a job. I'm sure I could go out and make much more if I wanted by starting my own business. However I could also find another full time job, work 80 hrs week (40 at each job) and make a lot more money too.

I'm not deluded by my employer into thinking I'm getting rich by working for them. I'm getting rich by saving over half our incomes. I know every hour I work for my employer, they make what I'm making per hour as profit. I don't get overtime, and as a result, I always manage to barely squeak out 40 hours per week of billed time. No sense in unjustly enriching management.

I used to own my own business during college and made a lot (at the time) of money for a relatively low level of work most of the time. Problem is, I had to be there to make money. And at the most profitable point, I was working close to 100 hrs/wk. Course I made $30,000 in one month. Then there were most of the months where I made $500 or $1000. Sure I may have been able to grow the business, but who knows? I may still go back and start this business up again since it is in a related field to what I'm doing now at the 9-5. I'm getting plenty of contacts while I'm working too. I also have to work under another professional to accrue experience towards a professional license, something I can't get working on my own. Having the professional license would benefit me immensely if I went out on my own.
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