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Running Part-Time Business(es) On The Side For Extra Money
Old 01-09-2012, 10:46 AM   #1
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Running Part-Time Business(es) On The Side For Extra Money

How many of you had part-time businesses that you ran in addition to your full-time job that helped get you to your FIRE goals?

What kind of businesses were these?

Any advice for those looking to do so?
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:07 AM   #2
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Not a business idea but are you putting your best efforts into:
1) Investment management and getting your expense ratios down?
2) Tax planning? Maybe even learn how to run something like TurboTax if you do not already do so. You don't have to fire your tax guy to do this either.
3) Starting to develop outside work interests so that when you do FIRE it is not cold turkey.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:45 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by cscott711
How many of you had part-time businesses that you ran in addition to your full-time job that helped get you to your FIRE goals?

What kind of businesses were these?

Any advice for those looking to do so?
I started a drop ship business about 5 years prior, intending to keep that part time when we retired. I was downsized about 3 years before I intended to FIRE. Took the business FT, and we postponed retirement 2 years, but pulled the trigger last April. Changed businesses but still do something PT as I like owning my own business and it really is PT

Find something you love, and that has a demand not readily available.
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Old 01-09-2012, 02:51 PM   #4
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I didn't. I was too busy as a full time employee to have a business on the side.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:00 PM   #5
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I didn't. I was too busy as a full time employee to have a business on the side.
+1

Megacorp stole way too much time away from my family and caused me to miss way too many once-in-a-lifetime growing up events with my kids without the added guilt of a side business.
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Old 01-09-2012, 05:37 PM   #6
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I started selling on ebay before I retired . I first did it as a way to sell unwanted household items but after retirement I branched out .I sell Women's dresses to mainly 30-40 years old plus some office wear . I enjoy doing it .To me it is more a hobby than a job. It has really helped me hone my picture taking ability and I enjoy writing the adds . I do make a decent profit . The profit goes in the fun pile along with keeping my grandson in the newest toys and he's the best dressed toddler in his nursery school .
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Old 01-09-2012, 06:37 PM   #7
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How many of you had part-time businesses that you ran in addition to your full-time job that helped get you to your FIRE goals?
What kind of businesses were these?
I worked 40 hours a week as a naval officer, and then I had a part-time job working 10-20 hours a week as a naval officer. When I was on sea duty, though, I'd usually drop the part-time job and pick up a second full-time job-- usually as a naval officer.

On shore duty I also ran part-time businesses as a spouse, parent, landlord, handyman, and groundskeeper. They were very rewarding and the co-workers were great, but the overtime pay sucked at all of them.

In general, I'd say that the driving force behind ER is savings, not income. It's almost always easier to reduce your expenses than it is to raise your income. However our college daughter continues to test that concept daily...

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Any advice for those looking to do so?
1. Blog.
2. Write a $3.99 e-book based on the blog topic.
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Old 01-09-2012, 07:11 PM   #8
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1. Blog.
2. Write a $3.99 e-book based on the blog topic.
is this what your daughter did? If so, what is her blog?
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:06 PM   #9
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is this what your daughter did? If so, what is her blog?
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Old 01-09-2012, 09:06 PM   #10
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We had an online business selling a product. Used all the $$ to pay down debt. I also taught on line. Again used all $$ to pay down debt. Both could have turned into a FT job however these with FT job was 60+ hrs a week at times. Oh yeah did I mention the 3 rental properties? I think the sum of these really took away from the family. Not willing to do this anymore at this time.

No doubt all of these improved our financial position. Now my free time is focused on the family not these endeavors.

JDARNELL
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:18 AM   #11
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Haha, yeah I missed that one completely. One too many pops last night for me.
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Old 01-10-2012, 11:48 AM   #12
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is this what your daughter did? If so, what is her blog?
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Eh, give the poster a break, I didn't phrase that very well.

I mean that our daughter is at an age where she'd rather work longer hours at more jobs than to cut back on her expenses. She seems to feel that she has unlimited time & energy to earn more easy money, so why get all frugal on herself?

I figure that attitude will last about a year into her first sea tour.

I'm the one with the blog:
Military Retirement & Financial Independence | Financial independence & early retirement for veterans every Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday

and here's the book:
Military Guide to Financial Independence and Retirement

For now, the $3.99 version is a used paperback.
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Old 01-10-2012, 03:54 PM   #13
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I own two rentals, and hope to get 3-4 more over the next few years. There is a TON of up-front work to getting a rental business set up the right way, but after you get the properties in place...it's manageable.

Up-front work includes things like setting up an LLC, attorney's fees, hiring a CPA, learning the lingo, reading the landlord statutes, reading about legal disclosures such as discrimination laws, lead-based paint disclosures, etc, getting set up to check applicants' credit reports, buying filing cabinets and developing a filing system, getting a PO box, getting a 2nd phone line or "distinctive ring", joining landlord associations, lining up a good set of contractors for repairs, learning about radon, and the list goes on and on.

I have a "high quality subsystems" approach to my properties...so I spend the money on things that it would be difficult (although not impossible) for the tenant to break...such as going from 1950s era cloth wiring that's ungrounded with fuses to a breaker box and modern grounded romex wiring and fixtures. Smoke alarm systems (yes, they can remove the batteries, but by code our area requires that they be house powered with battery backup). Changing plumbing from leaky cast iron drain pipes to modern PVC. Solid roofs that don't leak, with shingles that have UV-limiting coatings on the shingles. Guttering/draining systems that move water away from the foundation so you don't get foundation settling and cracking porches/driveways....and so on.

Don't spend lots of money on flooring, countertops, cabinets, trim carpentry, etc...that's the stuff they can tear up.

So basically, I buy a house, spend an enormous amount of money on the systems, a little on the appearance, and rent it. The upside is that I've only had one maintenance call in 2 years between the two properties...and that was a 30 minute fix.

Most landlords tell me I spend too much...they leave the old leaky pipes, charred wires, and leaky roofs...and deal with the repairs as they occur....every week according to their own accounts. I prefer to do it differently.
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Old 01-10-2012, 07:20 PM   #14
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Don't spend lots of money on flooring, countertops, cabinets, trim carpentry, etc...that's the stuff they can tear up.
I prefer to do it differently.
Yikes.

How 'bout renting to tenants who won't tear stuff up? Is there a possibility that the quality of the infrastructure is correlated to the quality of the tenant?

We've rented out our home for 14 of the last 17 years. Our worst tenants were my parents-in-law. Everyone else has been active-duty or retired military, and the damage has been minimal.
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Old 01-11-2012, 05:47 AM   #15
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Same for me.
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I didn't. I was too busy as a full time employee to have a business on the side.
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:59 AM   #16
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If I can bestir myself after I leave regular work, I have in mind doing some training and/or running a small testing lab (which I have been building piece by piece).
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:21 AM   #17
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my experience, as DW has a photography business (and I only wish it was her's alone). with the cross country move and a baby, I haven't had a lot to do with the business (and I like it). Sure, we could hunker down and make $20k to $30k after taxes.

Small business in America is a tough deal. Permits, licenses, increased accounting work etc. We net about 1/3 of the gross after taxes, advertising etc. I'm sure other businesses are "easier" to run, but I found the time not to be worth the effort. so, I drive the same car I did in college instead of getting the 4wd truck I've always wanted and enjoy my time. ymmv.
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Old 01-11-2012, 08:23 PM   #18
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Well I think I found my part time biz. I'm really starting to research micro farming and backyard nurseries. I really enjoy doing this recreationally, so why not turn it into a business venture? There are many directions I could take it and I'm just starting to sort all of that out. However, I am very excited!
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Old 01-11-2012, 09:12 PM   #19
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When one becomes financially independent, the world becomes a wonderful place. "What would you do, if...?"
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Old 01-11-2012, 10:42 PM   #20
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Eh, give the poster a break, I didn't phrase that very well.
Will do. It just hit my funnybone.
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