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To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-26-2005, 09:05 PM   #1
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To be an entreprenuer or not to be

It doesn't seem like we have too many entrepreneurs that post. Am I wrong? Do most people feel they can get what they want in terms of wealth without the risk of being an entrepreneur? Or do most people here dabble on the side (partners in an investment) without taking on all of the risk? I know JG is a serial dabble man.
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-27-2005, 02:35 AM   #2
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

Guess it depends by entrepreneur? Someone who made their money w/their own company they started? Thats me(3 of them actually)...seems to be starting/running a company is still the best way to really ER...in my own case they were always IT-related, and the first two times were more exploratory and never amounted to much other the a side-line, whereupon I returned to corporate life...not until '92 did I finally leave a 8-5 job permanately and go solo again.

Never made it really big in size, I recognized early on that I am a micro-manager and can't delegate stuff easily, especially if my name is going on it...so my growth was limited to how many hours I could work, and how many other peoples work I could "check" before it went out the door.

I got lucky w/outsouring before people really even knew what it was...mostly out of desperation...I couldn't hire people locally at any price to during the dot-com boom to program for me...so I hire 12 people in pakistan and another 8 in china...billed them out at $100+ an hour and paid them $8...that didn't last long, but at those multiples, it didn't need to.



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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-27-2005, 02:44 AM   #3
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

I think of myself as a "reformed" or maybe
"converted" workaholic/entrepreneur/real estate
investor/"dabble man". Entrepreneurism would have to be the Number One reason that I was able to ER
I guess, with real estate a close second. Anyway, once I discovered that was my
natural state, I had no choice. If I went on, it could only
be working for myself. I love ER, but I have thoughts
of backsliding (read doing deals) akmost every day.
It does get easier to resist the urge. In my case
it's mostly age and various infirmities.

JG
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-27-2005, 07:26 AM   #4
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

I would not have been able to semi-ER and eventually fully ER without having been an entrepreneur. Having my own business allowed me to work as much as I could to make as much money as I could. When I wanted to cut down to my hours I did. If I ever need to increase my hours I will.

The way I look at it, I’ll work hard to make myself rich, but I have no motivation to work hard for a “boss” to make him rich. Plus, it would irk me to no end even to say someone is my “boss.” I don’t know how people can go through life with a “boss” telling them what to do.
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-27-2005, 02:59 PM   #5
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

I would not have been able to retire at 36 without a small business (CPA practice) and real estate investments. Without them, it would have taken me much longer. I was willing to take the 'risks' to be able to cash out earlier.

Beachbumz 8)
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-27-2005, 04:29 PM   #6
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

I have always had a boss and I have never had a bad one. My current boss is retiring in 09/05 and I will miss him alot. Here's to hoping I get another good one!

Dreamer
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-27-2005, 06:00 PM   #7
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

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I have always had a boss and I have never had a bad one.
But you still had a "boss" giving you orders. Maybe some people need a "boss" because they can't figure out how to bring home the bacon on their own. Once you have your own business, it's hard if not impossible ever to work under somebody else's control whether he's good or bad. To me having a "boss" is infinitely worse than working.
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-28-2005, 04:15 AM   #8
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

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It doesn't seem like we have too many entrepreneurs that post. *Am I wrong?
You can add me to the entrepreneur crowd.

I tried 6 different things before finally finding the right one. But when I did, it did well. I had enough experience by that point to do it right. The short story is that until a bit over 4 years ago I had barely any net worth, and today I have enough to ER.

Being an entrepreneur isn't easy, and it isn't for everyone. But it does work well for a lot of people who are patient and persistent.
-Scott
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-28-2005, 04:43 AM   #9
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

I think its naive to think working for yourself means you have no boss...everyone in business has a boss, if you own your own company and have customers, then your customers become your boss(es)...you just swap one boss for a 100 (or more). Different relationship, but same idea...you still are in the role of keeping someone, who may or may not be reasonable, happy.

Maybe some people need a "boss" because they can't figure out how to bring home the bacon on their own.

...plenty of people make plenty of money having a boss; some fantastic amounts of money...look at all the Microsoft miilionaires and billionaires, for example, worth far more than most people on this board can ever dream of...and they all had bosses, or at the very least one boss.

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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-28-2005, 06:09 AM   #10
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

Well. . . I am sort of an entrepreneur in that I am a partner in a law firm and on my and my partners' shoulders rests the responsibility for its success. But its not like I started the business from ground up.

I posted in another thread before I saw this one that I know a lot of entrepreneurs who are big risk takers and ended up very successful. None of them are interested in retiring early. Why? They are having too much fun.

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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-28-2005, 06:39 AM   #11
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

Wow!! *I am surprised at some of the answers or the lack of support for the "I can do just fine without my own business" crowd. *I am not saying they are not out there but just haven't seem them on the thread yet. *I don't like the idea of selling my soul to the corporate devil and would much rather be on my own but I have no idea what I type of business I could start. *I have the ideas but I have no knowledge of how to start most of them. *Afraid I might just be an idea person *:-/ like most people that dream of starting their own business.
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-28-2005, 07:03 AM   #12
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

Wildcat, I think a lot of what you are hearing here is simply a function of the population that posts here. Either you are an entrepreneur who cashed in like beachbumz, or you are a salaryman. The entrepreneurs who like their work aren't posting here. The salarymen who post here generally have high opportunity costs to go out on their own. For example, I am in six figure land working for the man. If I were to go out on my own, how likely do you think it would be that I could recreate or surpass that kind of earnings power? It would have to be a pretty big home-run.
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-28-2005, 08:00 AM   #13
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

I have mentioned this before, but I bought a
laundromat as a side business about 20 years
before retiring at age 55. It provided about
1/4 of my income needs at the time.

But the best thing it provided was the almost
absolute certainty in my mind that I could
expand the business if necessary.

At age 70, I still own the business and it still
provides about 1/4 of my income requirement.

Cheers,

Charlie
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-28-2005, 11:53 AM   #14
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

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I think its naive to think working for yourself means you have no boss...everyone in business has a boss, if you own your own company and have customers, then your customers become your boss(es)...you just swap one boss for a 100 (or more). Different relationship, but same idea...you still are in the role of keeping someone, who may or may not be reasonable, happy.
There is a BIG difference between a customer and a "boss." Who has control is key.

A customer doesn't tell you what to do and when to do it. When you have to do a job for a customer, you can do it the way YOU want to do it, not the way your "boss" tells you to do it. When you don't like one of your 100 customers, you can give him the boot and you're still in business. When you don't like your "boss" you're not going to give him the boot. If anything, he's going to give you the boot and you're out of a job.

Sinatra had plenty of customers. I doubt he would have said any one of them was his "boss."
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-28-2005, 12:29 PM   #15
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

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There is a BIG difference between a customer and a "boss." Who has control is key.

A customer doesn't tell you what to do and when to do it. When you have to do a job for a customer, you can do it the way YOU want to do it, not the way your "boss" tells you to do it. When you don't like one of your 100 customers, you can give him the boot and you're still in business. When you don't like your "boss" you're not going to give him the boot. If anything, he's going to give you the boot and you're out of a job.

Sinatra had plenty of customers. I doubt he would have said any one of them was his "boss."

Tell my clients this! My clients often try to tell me what to do and when to do it. If they need something, they might need it now. I have to do it or lose the client. My associates sometimes have problems with this concept. I assign a research project and tell them when I need an answer. At the last minute they might come and say they aren't done, they need more time. This is even after I explain to them that the deadline is client driven. Or, I ask for something on Friday (because a client asked) and they say they have plans for the weekend and can't get it done. So I do it myself or have the associate grumble because I made him miss his weekend.

Of course, I could tell my clients to wait. But I think I would lose my biggest and best clients if I did so. Lose my clients, lose my business.

I think many entrepreneurs work harder and longer hours than the average salaryman to keep their customers and grow their businesses.

Martha
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-28-2005, 07:14 PM   #16
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

I 100% agree Martha! I had a few friends go the entrepreneur route and they all put in loooong hours and were really dedicated to the job, not like those of us who were salarymen! That's why when other people at work gripe about rich business owners I'm the first to defend them. I bet their average hourly rate didn't pass mine until they were millionairs!
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-28-2005, 07:45 PM   #17
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

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Tell my clients this! *My clients often try to tell me what to do and when to do it. *If they need something, they might need it now. *I have to do it or lose the client. *My associates sometimes have problems with this concept. *I assign a research project and tell them when I need an answer. *At the last minute they might come and say they aren't done, they need more time. * This is even after I explain to them that the deadline is client driven. * Or, I ask for something on Friday (because a client asked) and they say they have plans for the weekend and can't get it done. *So I do it myself or have the associate grumble because I made him miss his weekend. *

Of course, I could tell my clients to wait. *But I think I would lose my *biggest and best clients if I did so. *Lose my clients, lose my business.

I think many entrepreneurs work harder and longer hours than the average salaryman to keep their customers and grow their businesses. *

Martha
I think the key here is as the business owner, you CAN tell the customer/client that you don't want to do business with them! I only did this a couple of times in 13 years, but it sure made me feel good and I didn't have to worry about being fired.

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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-28-2005, 07:45 PM   #18
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

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Tell my clients this! *My clients often try to tell me what to do and when to do it. *If they need something, they might need it now. *I have to do it or lose the client. *My associates sometimes have problems with this concept. *I assign a research project and tell them when I need an answer. *At the last minute they might come and say they aren't done, they need more time. * This is even after I explain to them that the deadline is client driven. * Or, I ask for something on Friday (because a client asked) and they say they have plans for the weekend and can't get it done. *So I do it myself or have the associate grumble because I made him miss his weekend. *

Of course, I could tell my clients to wait. *But I think I would lose my *biggest and best clients if I did so. *Lose my clients, lose my business.

I think many entrepreneurs work harder and longer hours than the average salaryman to keep their customers and grow their businesses. *

Martha
I think the key here is as the business owner, you CAN tell the customer/client that you don't want to do business with them! I only did this a couple of times in 13 years, but it sure made me feel good and I didn't have to worry about being fired.

Beachbumz
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-29-2005, 05:08 AM   #19
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

Quote:

I think the key here is as the business owner, you CAN tell the customer/client that you don't want to do business with them! I only did this a couple of times in 13 years, but it sure made me feel good and I didn't have to worry about being fired.

Beachbumz

I'll give you that Beachbumz. I have told people I don't want to represent them and no one is going to make me do so. When I first was a lawyer employee I got the job of collecting unpaid funeral home bills. Unpleasant and sad task. But I didn't quit. I never would do that work now. On the other hand, my clients are not handed to me, I have to get them and keep them happy.

One thing I do like about being my own boss is that here I am at work, reading a message board and posting a message. Since I am not paid a wage and only earn if I bring in money, I can waste some time if I want. One billable hour-$300. One hour on this board-priceless.

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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be
Old 03-29-2005, 07:02 AM   #20
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Re: To be an entreprenuer or not to be

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I think the key here is as the business owner, you CAN tell the customer/client that you don't want to do business with them! I only did this a couple of times in 13 years, but it sure made me feel good and I didn't have to worry about being fired. *

Beachbumz
Bumz, I would have to disagree with you. At least for aspiring FIREees with substantial assets, it is definately possible to tell one's boss to go sh!t in their hat. One can do so in the short term by quitting, or over a longer period by finding another job. I have mostly done the latter, but it is nice to know that if I really had to pull the ripcord I could.
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