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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 10:07 PM   #21
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
R40,

You have been beating the 'start your own business' drum for a while now. But, I'm sure you end up doing 'what somebody else wants you to do' even in your own business.

Not everyone is cut out for their own business. I've done both and see pluses and minuses of both.

I have no desire to start my own business or work for someone else at this point. Both give me the heebie-jeebies 8)
When you have your own business you do things the way you want to do them to achieve your goals.* I've never had to ask a "boss" for permission to do things the way I want to do them.* I couldn't imagine trying to do something the way I want to do it and having a "boss" tell me not to do it that way.

I think everyone IS cut out to do something on their own.* The biggest problems most people have is that they are afraid, lazy, complacent, and/or feel stuck.

I can understand how either being self-employed or being an employee can give one the heebie-jeebies, but being self-employed is the lesser of the two evils.
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 10:15 PM   #22
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Originally Posted by retire@40
I can understand how either being self-employed or being an employee can give one the heebie-jeebies, but being self-employed is the lesser of the two evils.
Truth is, self-employment may result in fewer heebies, but it requires bigger jeebies.....

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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-15-2005, 11:23 PM   #23
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Originally Posted by REWahoo!
Truth is, self-employment may result in fewer heebies, but it requires bigger jeebies.....

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I'm going to add those terms to my vocabulary right now...
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 06:55 AM   #24
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Originally Posted by Jay_Gatsby
No question.* But as my post pointed out, Brewer (and anyone else reading this thread) needs to figure out how to make money doing what he wants to do.* What often helps with the thought process is getting away from familiar surroundings.* You can't do much critical thinking after a 10 hour day at work, the commute, an infant at home, daily chores and the honey-do list, bad news on the tube, etc...

Perhaps Brewer could take a weekend for himself.* He's probably earned it.* His wife and child could go visit the in-laws, while Brewer takes off for a remote location with a laptop (and no cell phone, or at least one that's off).
Heheheheh! Actually, DW and the kiddo are going to vsit the in-laws later this month for a week. While they are gone, I will be working and have a painting job to do in the house. Nice idea, but...
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 07:12 AM   #25
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Originally Posted by Nords
I can hardly wait to get past the child-rearing phase of my life. *From what I've seen, if you think life is restrictive now then wait until more kids come. *It's not a factor of two, it's more like two cubed or to the fourth. *But maybe they'll play with each other and entertain themselves? *Yeah, sure, maybe. *

Some kids will travel all over the world in a backpack with a spare diaper, others can barely make it to the end of the block before you're ready to turn around and slink home. *You'll know pretty quickly which type you have (we have the latter). *An RV might work out since it's a rolling kitchen with familiar beds?

Your observations remind me of Po Bronson & Scott Berkun. *Maybe reading their books will ease the sting...
Hmmm, that's part of the reason I am comitted to the current setup. Having a child has been a wonderful experience thus far. I don't feel confined by my family; it is the J-O-B. Kiddo is a very good traveler, and has already been on several jaunts. I think it is more DW and I that are reluctant to do the roughing it thing with her. Plus, future kids will make it that much more complicated. I'm not willing to surrender to the Disney vacation thing, though.

As for starting a business as a panacea: I sincerely doubt it. My dad has been an entrepreneur all his life, so I have a pretty good idea of the plusses and minuses. For now, it really is not an option. Other than selling crack, I cannot think of a business that would be more financially rewarding than my current career path.,
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 08:37 AM   #26
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Brewer,

If it makes you feel any better, I have had very similar thoughts for about the last 7 or 8 years.

One day you wake up and say: "Is this my life? Is this what I signed up for?" You get to a point where you feel like someone else is driving the bus. Be prepared that your "thoughts of late" are probably not a passing thing, they could very well be an indication that you need to consider making some changes.

Not to get too personal, but before you take on any additional responsibility, you really want to sit down and have some serious thoughts about what you want to do over the next 20 years with your life.

Some things that have helped me:

Keeping the amount of time I spend at work to a minimum. (You mentioned the 60 hour work week. Somehow, you have to find a way to cut back on that even if it means doing an OK job instead of an excellent one. If you have any qualms about that, consider that your employer is requiring 60 hours from you to keep from having to hire additional staff. The person who is paying for that is you, with your life...)

Looking at the job as just a paycheck, a means to an end.

Developing interests outside of work.

Keep the Home Maintenance stuff to the bare minimum. (Be prepared that this could very well cause friction with your spouse. It has definitely been a sore spot with mine. At one point I actually said to her: "I refuse to be a slave to my possessions" As you can guess, that went over real well...)

Do what you can to take back some portions of your life for yourself. If it feels selfish, remember this: If you keep going like you are, you could potentially reach a breaking point. You have responsibilities, but if you don't do what you need to do to take care of yourself, how can you take care of the people who depend on you?


Good Luck

John
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 08:55 AM   #27
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Good post, johnlw.

That kind of post reminds me of a book called "Advice from a Failure."

Why would you want advice from a failure? Because you might learn how not to make the same mistakes.
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 09:03 AM   #28
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Originally Posted by johnlw

Keeping the amount of time I spend at work to a* minimum.* (You mentioned the 60 hour work week. Somehow, you have to find a way to cut back on that even if it means doing an OK job instead of an excellent one. If you have any qualms about that, consider that your employer is requiring 60 hours from you to keep from having to hire additional staff. The person who is paying for that is you, with your life...)

Looking at the job as just a paycheck, a means to an end.*

Developing interests outside of work.
I appreciate the advice, but its not really applicable. I am locked into the job/schedule for a few years, and if I choose to go elsewhere, it will be a real challenge to find anything in my field that is closer to 40 hours a week. That's just the way it seems to be in my field. Call it an occupational hazard, I guess.

In the meantime, I will keep cashing those paychecks. DW and I have agreed that every year after bonus time, we will be sitting down and deciding if we are willing to do this for another year, or if we have had enough. My suspicion is that it will make sense for at least a couple of years, but eventually I will likely either feel the need to find something with fewer dizzying highs and terrifying lows. It is also at least conceivable that I could take a sabbatical between jobs, say 6 or 12 months.
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 09:15 AM   #29
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Re: Thoughts of Late

I would love to be self employed but I also want to get as far away from what I have doing for the past 30+ years as I can. Burned out and sick of it all. That does not leave many options that will pay what the job does right now. Sure I could buy a business and work 80 hours a week to keep it going but that is not what I want to do. I want a part time business that pays in six figures and does not require a ton of cash to get into. Fat chance of finding that. So off to work I go for another 47 months....give or take.
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 09:24 AM   #30
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Originally Posted by SteveR
I want a part time business that pays in six figures and does not require a ton of cash to get into.* Fat chance of finding that.* So off to work I go for another 47 months....give or take.
You failed before you even tried.*

Now that you are starting to define what you want, why not try to figure out how to get there.* Remember, a self-employed business should be an outgrowth of something you enjoy doing anyway.* For example, if you love flyfishing, why not become a flyfishing instructor?* I know a few golf nuts that did exactly that and are making a great living teaching golf.* They all say, "I can't believe I get paid to be on a golf course!"
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 09:31 AM   #31
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Hmmm

I once hired an engineer - with a degree in architecture - who really wanted to design golf courses(1980's) - his dad was a golf pro/instructor for some course on the East Coast.

Trained him in composites.

In the 70's - our small group of engineer's(12 or so) had 7 Elk hunters - one older guy quit - got paid expenses plus commision to travel the world and hunt with a certain company's rifle scopes - and offer suggestions and write performance reviews.
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 10:05 AM   #32
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Don't forget that even when you own your own business you won't survive for long if you find yourself firing ALL of your customers! You may get to structure the internal business activities to suit yourself, but you are still going to tend to be a slave to what the customer wants and when they want it, presuming you want the customer's money.

cheers,
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 10:46 AM   #33
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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You failed before you even tried
Failure is a relative term.*

I choose to not start a business that will consume all my time for the "chance" that I might make some money at it in 10+ years.* The chances of me making six figures at anything I enjoy doing are so remote they are in the realm of impossible.* I could do so in my current line of work if I wanted to stay in it and travel 80% of the time but I don't.* *I choose to stay near my new family and to put less stress and strain on the already beat up body.* I choose to do what I am doing even though I would like to do something different and will when I feel like it.* I have not given up on having some type of business someday, just not now since I know what it would take to do so and I am not willing to pay that price right now.* It comes down to choice.*

I don't consider that failure; I consider it good planning on my part as I know the risks, the potential rewards and the cost of getting there.* I choose to not pay that price right now.*
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 10:59 AM   #34
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveR
Failure is a relative term.
Obviuosly you've met some of my family....

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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 11:22 AM   #35
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
I have watched these folks over the last 20 years. I have watched their 'friends' become customers and some customers become 'friends' - later when these business relationships 'sour' as a lot do. I have seen some 'friends' become enemies, because of the business aspect. I have seen them enjoy their hobby less as the 'work' and the politics creep into their hobby. I vowed about 15 years ago never to do this.
This is along the reasons why I was never particularly tempted to become a pro brewer or start up a brewpub/microbrewery. Its my hobby and I enjoy doing it on my own terms. Nobody tells me how or when to do it (except for my wife, when we are out of beer), and I can please myself with what and how I do it.
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 11:30 AM   #36
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Re: Thoughts of Late

I've had the experience of a 20+ year friendship go sour because my friend just can't seem to get around to doing the (business) work I've sent him (cylinder head work for some of my race bikes). He's often tended towards an "out of sight, out of mind" work scheduling and as he's a 3 hour drive away I can't be there being in sight.

Especially annoying is hearing about all the cool stuff he's done for other people while the dust gets thicker on my cylinder heads. It isn't even a question of money as he knows that all he has to do is finish it and money gets sent the next day.

So the hobby->business transition can be problematic for some people. But everyone needs to evaluate their own situation.

cheers,
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 11:52 AM   #37
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Knowing me, if I started doing what I enjoyed for a business, I'd quickly become jaded, resent the time I was obligated to spend doing it, and lose a hobby in the process.

If I could keep it as a hobby where making money was incidental and not needed, that might be one thing. But trying to make money by starting a business out of a hobby wouldn't work for me.
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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 12:21 PM   #38
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Originally Posted by retire@40
You failed before you even tried.*

Now that you are starting to define what you want, why not try to figure out how to get there.* Remember, a self-employed business should be an outgrowth of something you enjoy doing anyway.* For example, if you love flyfishing, why not become a flyfishing instructor?* I know a few golf nuts that did exactly that and are making a great living teaching golf.* They all say, "I can't believe I get paid to be on a golf course!"
Retire@40:
I usually don't reply to anything that has to do with work related issues. *(Screws up the cadence for a fly-fishing and golf bum).

You certainly have the zest of an evangilist on opening night after the tents up regarding self-employement possibilities.

I had a couple of side business while I was working to suppliment my cash flow. *(Wife was homemaker and two small children). *Basically, pain in the -ss and time consuming, but what the hell, needed the money at the time.

My guess is that you are an accountant. *If so, a good business. *No inventory, and no employees, two items that can kill an idea.

Cutthroat already took care of half of the idea of making a living out of the two "twin evils" you alluded to.

Most of the young folks I have come in contact with at the pro-shops eventually go back to earning a living in their previous fields when they discover that not only are they making less than half what they were before, are too busy to
play golf.

I realize it is hard to contain yourself when you are in your 30's, and you have the knowledge that you do, but please try.

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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 12:36 PM   #39
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Re: Thoughts of Late

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kronk
If I could keep it as a hobby where making money was incidental and not needed, that might be one thing.*
That's going to be my stance in FIRE. If something comes along that: #1 sounds like fun (this is #1 because it is the deal breaker) and #2 that I can do in a trivial amount of time (this might be a day or three, but nothing that starts seeming like work) then I'll certainly consider it. After all, if it is FUN and brings in some walk around money, where's the downside?

cheers,
Michael

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Re: Thoughts of Late
Old 08-16-2005, 03:22 PM   #40
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Re: Thoughts of Late

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Originally Posted by ex-Jarhead
Retire@40:
I usually don't reply to anything that has to do with work related issues. *(Screws up the cadence for a fly-fishing and golf bum).

You certainly have the zest of an evangilist on opening night after the tents up regarding self-employement possibilities.

I had a couple of side business while I was working to suppliment my cash flow. *(Wife was homemaker and two small children). *Basically, pain in the -ss and time consuming, but what the hell, needed the money at the time.

My guess is that you are an accountant. *If so, a good business. *No inventory, and no employees, two items that can kill an idea.

Cutthroat already took care of half of the idea of making a living out of the two "twin evils" you alluded to.

Most of the young folks I have come in contact with at the pro-shops eventually go back to earning a living in their previous fields when they discover that not only are they making less than half what they were before, are too busy to play golf.

I realize it is hard to contain yourself when you are in your 30's, and you have the knowledge that you do, but please try.
Jarhead, you took entire paragraphs out of my mouth. Thanks for responding more elegantly (and certainly more tactfully) than I ever would on a subject that's showing every sign of becoming a jihad in certain quarters.

The biggest problem with "doing what you love" is that the money doesn't always follow. And if it does, it too frequently becomes hard work instead of fun. The people that avoid those circumstances, like retire@40, don't need our advice on how to avoid them. And the people who WANT to learn how to avoid those circumstances probably won't find any credible teachers on an ER board.

If you're unhappy at work, it's not always the boss' fault. But if the boss is the problem, then Scott Berkun's first point of advice for bad bosses is to go somewhere else. (Scott should know, having endured a couple of the world's worst bosses.) There are too many businesses in the world with good bosses to make us have to put up with bad bosses-- or no bosses.

Retire@40, I think it's worth tolerating the fact that for quite a few people the only thing worse than a bad boss is being their own boss. A bad boss makes you examine your life situation and decide what's important. If it's not important enough to merit quitting the job then your boss can't be that bad. (I made that surprising discovery several times in two decades.) And instead of kicking over the chessboard and stomping off in a huff, for many people the "bad-boss experience" is the first time they've been motivated to develop their team-building and cooperative skills. Because if there's one thing that bad bosses excel at, it's uniting their diverse employees by inspiring them with a common goal (bossicide). Your strident campaigning against bosses and customers makes me wonder just how good you are at getting along with the other boys & girls. I hope this doesn't affect your ER lifestyle as well.

Jarhead, I don't know WHY people persist in making fun of Marines. They must not have enough opportunities to read posts like yours.

Meanwhile I'll keep doing what I love with no thought to profiting from it. That's certainly been my testosterone-fueled investment experience...
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