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OT: Control Your Destiny


GregC
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Adversity is part of our existence on our fragile planet.

 

I worked for corporations plus +25 year, finance, projects, management , etc etc.

 

I was never satisfied working for corporations, various bosses, because I was never fully in charge.

 

Someone else controlled my employment destiny.

 

Finally , at 54, I said F^%$ that.

 

I started my own business and never looked back.

 

Long story short , due to this independent decision, I did well,

and retired at 62.

 

There is a short list of ' must haves ' if you start a business.

 

Mostly stuff you heard before. If you find this interesting, I can

offer that short list, from my perspective.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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Interested. Been there, done that (although I still haven't retired, but I take care of a limited number of clients. The money coming (legally) defrays part of my utility costs, and leaves a bit over for personal projects. Makes a nice supplement to the SS money.

My saying: "The worst day of working for myself is about equal to the best day of working for someone else!"

Largest "must have": Ability to be your own boss, and have your boss push you on the days you feel lazy.

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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I've always looked at it this way: you are always working for somebody. Unless you are already wealthy, then you are working just so you are not bored (like, I might want to open a store, but not if I need to make money from it! LOL)

 

My wife owns her own company and dealing with clients and customers can really, really suck sometimes. I, on the other hand, work in corporate IT and don't have those problems. I have different problems :) I can leave my work "at the office" without a minute's thought until tomorrow. Unless the company does very poorly, I just float along doing my job and don't have to sweat like a small company does (I worked in a dot-com of six people, one bad month or one client that dumped us and it was "Uh-oh"...) Flip side, I currently have a micromanager asshole boss who is making my life hell and is trying to fire me. When I was at the office, it's this horrendous open floor plan environment that has no privacy. I honestly believe after 25+ years in the corporate world that the absolute worst people tend to get promoted. Not all the time...but an awful lot of the time.

 

Pros and cons!

I worked as an independent contractor both as a recording engineer and as a web developer. I think my nature is not well-suited to it honestly. I am very good at exploring what-ifs and thinking of what might go wrong so that it can be planned for; a great complement to that optimistic risk-taker, but left by myself I'd probably talk myself out of absolutely everything. My wife and I have our differences but when it comes to investing (in real estate) this combination has worked out so far. She just says "go for it!" and figures everything is fine, always. I probably would have found a reason to avoid buying every property she wanted to buy. I think the result is a good combination of her spirit of adventure and my abject fear of the unknown! :D

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Interested. Been there, done that (although I still haven't retired, but I take care of a limited number of clients. The money coming (legally) defrays part of my utility costs, and leaves a bit over for personal projects. Makes a nice supplement to the SS money.

My saying: "The worst day of working for myself is about equal to the best day of working for someone else!"

Largest "must have": Ability to be your own boss, and have your boss push you on the days you feel lazy.

 

Thanks for keeping the topic alive.

 

one of the strengths I had, thats a necessity, is flawless customer service.

 

One of the weaknesses of my competition, back then, was that most were sloppy with customer support.

 

So I had a good chance to separate myself, in that I was willing to provide 24/7 service.

 

The extra responsiveness and speed paid off. This was back in 2008, when I made my move.

The economy went south in 2008, as there was the mortgage/bank next down in the US.

 

Some parallel today with our Covid 19 economy thats challenged.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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Yes, all of those. My business is a service business. I well remember even back in the early years just how big a percentage of new clients were vocally surprised when I actually showed up when I said I was going to (this is a time window, because the only service call that you have a really good idea on is the first of the day).

I've been in broadcasting and computers. Figured out decades ago what to do with the 24/7 clients. Regular time, evenings 150%, late night 200% with a three hour minimum, weekend added charge, and Christmas Day (the only one that REALLY mattered to me of the holidays) $1k per hour with a 4 hour minimum. All clearly stated in my published information. Travel charges based on mileage and half rate for time, shared travel when feasible.

 

Always be honest with the client. Sometimes tell them that what they wanted me to do was not feasible or economically worth it.

Seek referral business from existing clients.

Learn to do things that are in some demand, but not so much that you are competing with giant companies that can afford to starve you out of business. Niche business, and expect one niche to go away so always be sensitive to finding the next.

 

Never became "rich" No problem. Also never ran totally our of money, never had to be homeless or hungry. Consider myself as blessed.

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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I've always looked at it this way: you are always working for somebody. Unless you are already wealthy, then you are working just so you are not bored (like, I might want to open a store, but not if I need to make money from it! LOL)

 

My wife owns her own company and dealing with clients and customers can really, really suck sometimes. I, on the other hand, work in corporate IT and don't have those problems. I have different problems :) I can leave my work "at the office" without a minute's thought until tomorrow. Unless the company does very poorly, I just float along doing my job and don't have to sweat like a small company does (I worked in a dot-com of six people, one bad month or one client that dumped us and it was "Uh-oh"...) Flip side, I currently have a micromanager asshole boss who is making my life hell and is trying to fire me. When I was at the office, it's this horrendous open floor plan environment that has no privacy. I honestly believe after 25+ years in the corporate world that the absolute worst people tend to get promoted. Not all the time...but an awful lot of the time.

 

Pros and cons!

I worked as an independent contractor both as a recording engineer and as a web developer. I think my nature is not well-suited to it honestly. I am very good at exploring what-ifs and thinking of what might go wrong so that it can be planned for; a great complement to that optimistic risk-taker, but left by myself I'd probably talk myself out of absolutely everything. My wife and I have our differences but when it comes to investing (in real estate) this combination has worked out so far. She just says "go for it!" and figures everything is fine, always. I probably would have found a reason to avoid buying every property she wanted to buy. I think the result is a good combination of her spirit of adventure and my abject fear of the unknown! :D

 

 

good post, lots of strong points.

 

One of the reasons having your own business, is to match your strengths with the market opportunity, lets call it a niche.

 

I love customers. I expected to have shifty customers that would con me out of $20.

I never battled with them, never let them steal my energy.

 

I observed that 99% of customers are honest. Thats the bigger picture.

 

Most of my bosses in my corporate career were nasty ladder climbers.

everyone knew they sucked. But folks decide to look the way.

 

Thus the topic - Control Your Destiny.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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I've always looked at it this way: you are always working for somebody. Unless you are already wealthy, then you are working just so you are not bored (like, I might want to open a store, but not if I need to make money from it! LOL)

 

My wife owns her own company and dealing with clients and customers can really, really suck sometimes. I, on the other hand, work in corporate IT and don't have those problems. I have different problems :) I can leave my work "at the office" without a minute's thought until tomorrow. Unless the company does very poorly, I just float along doing my job and don't have to sweat like a small company does (I worked in a dot-com of six people, one bad month or one client that dumped us and it was "Uh-oh"...) Flip side, I currently have a micromanager asshole boss who is making my life hell and is trying to fire me. When I was at the office, it's this horrendous open floor plan environment that has no privacy. I honestly believe after 25+ years in the corporate world that the absolute worst people tend to get promoted. Not all the time...but an awful lot of the time.

 

Pros and cons!

I worked as an independent contractor both as a recording engineer and as a web developer. I think my nature is not well-suited to it honestly. I am very good at exploring what-ifs and thinking of what might go wrong so that it can be planned for; a great complement to that optimistic risk-taker, but left by myself I'd probably talk myself out of absolutely everything. My wife and I have our differences but when it comes to investing (in real estate) this combination has worked out so far. She just says "go for it!" and figures everything is fine, always. I probably would have found a reason to avoid buying every property she wanted to buy. I think the result is a good combination of her spirit of adventure and my abject fear of the unknown! :D

 

I agree the worst people always seem to get ahead and promoted.

"Danny, ci manchi a tutti. La E-Street Band non e' la stessa senza di te. Riposa in pace, fratello"

 

 

noblevibes.com

 

 

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Flip side, I currently have a micromanager asshole boss who is making my life hell and is trying to fire me. I agree the worst people always seem to get ahead and promoted.

 

I hear you about as I put it my nanomanage/owner of company I last worked for and he wondered why between him firing people and others quitting all he had left was the ass kissers. Of the ass kisser only one had good skills the rest were average at best. He was a contributing factor in my decision to retired when I did. It made me so happy when he begged me to stay a few more months and I refused.

 

The worst people or the people in general that get promoted the most usually know how to play the social game with management. Sometime the qualified people will play the game too but because they want to move up the org' chart. That leave the qualified people who just did their jobs staying where they are and some of the last ones to get moved up or some know the BS world of moving up to management and don't want to have anything to do with it.

 

I hire great guitarist Ray Parker Jr to do a couple seminar at the music school I worked at and never forget some of the career advice he gave. The super short version of one was.... The hardest thing to do in music is find that balance of practicing enough and going out to hang and make contacts. He said there are guys that spend most their time out socializing and make contacts and know everyone. They will get the call for a good gig, but once on the gig they can't cut because they haven't been practicing enough so they earn a bad reputation. Then there is the guy who sit and practices constantly and can play his ass off, but his phone never rings with a gig because no one knows he even exists. So have to find that balance of practice and socializing to people know you exist. I think that applies to all types of work, I know it did in my career in computer world, especially when I was a recording engineer.

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I had my own consulting business for 35 years. I posted about it in another thread. Being your own boss is the best. The worst is when you wake up in the morning -- you're at work. You have to learn to compartmentalize and put limits on when you are going to be working on projects. One of the things I enjoyed most is turning down work -- explaining to potential clients that what they want either can't be done or isn't worth what they have to pay me or will be a waste of their time. Often, they didn't want to hear that and wanted me to go ahead anyway. Most of those times I didn't go ahead; sometimes I did and proved to them that my expertise was correct. The best was when I was my own client -- the project was mine and all the money made from it was mine. But it's not for everybody. If you need the security of regular hours, guaranteed work and pay, vacation and sick time and paid health insurance and other benefits, then your own business is not for you.
These are only my opinions, not supported by any actual knowledge, experience, or expertise.
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I've alway

 

I agree the worst people always seem to get ahead and promoted.

 

the promotions I witnessed were counter intuitive.

 

I figures these jokers had pictures. Nothing else made sense.

 

seeing how talent or skill had little to do with it, motivated me to be my own boss.

 

Then I can harass myself , fire myself, have loud arguments with myself, etc etc

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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I had my own consulting business for 35 years. I posted about it in another thread. Being your own boss is the best. The worst is when you wake up in the morning -- you're at work. You have to learn to compartmentalize and put limits on when you are going to be working on projects. One of the things I enjoyed most is turning down work -- explaining to potential clients that what they want either can't be done or isn't worth what they have to pay me or will be a waste of their time. Often, they didn't want to hear that and wanted me to go ahead anyway. Most of those times I didn't go ahead; sometimes I did and proved to them that my expertise was correct. The best was when I was my own client -- the project was mine and all the money made from it was mine. But it's not for everybody. If you need the security of regular hours, guaranteed work and pay, vacation and sick time and paid health insurance and other benefits, then your own business is not for you.

 

prior to starting my own business, I did contract consulting.

 

Usually 3 month to 1 year assignments, usually trouble shooting all sorts internal dept problems.

 

I recall a few assignments, where I did a study , documented the issues , made recommendations etc.

The employer would say,,"Oh ok, thats what we all thought what was going on ".

 

Half the time they

made zero changes other half they asked me to implement changes [ which was awkward since mgmt wasn't up to speed ].

 

after a few years of this, being a trouble shooter wasn't satisfying.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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  • 2 weeks later...

I left a 23-year job working for other people a year ago and became my own boss for the first time ever. I am struggling every day and worried about money, but by God I could never go back to working for a boss again. Ever.

 

Suggestions for success? I'll take them. At the rate I'm going, I will literally never be able to retire.

Dr. Mike Metlay (PhD in nuclear physics, golly gosh) :D

Musician, Author, Editor, Educator, Impresario, Online Radio Guy, Polymath-in-Training, and Kindly Pedant

Editor-in-Chief, Bjooks ~ Author of SYNTH GEMS 1

 

clicky!:  more about me ~ my radio station (and my fam) ~ my local tribe ~ my day job ~ my bookmy music

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Always exceed client expectations. Do not despise the "days of small things," the big things only come from persevering through the little ones. Been self-employed most of my adult life. Best day as an employee not as good as worst day as an owner.

Prepare to morph from one thing to another, some particular aspect of business will be the big thing, but over time, something else becomes big, and that one dies away.

Financial management. Buy only needs, not wants. Pay the bills first, then you have what is left (yes, there are emergencies).

What is that word "retire?" I'm only 78 and still able to work (at least some, not 40-60 hours a week). Admittedly now, my wife and I have Social Security coming in that is enough (carefully managed) to pay our necessary bills. Working means a bunch of totally legal percentages of expenses that are already there can be paid out of the business, reducing the tax liability (do NOT try to go beyond what IRS and state rules allow). My office is 95' behind my home, as a separate building. (since I do computers and networking, I can service some things remotely. Under the new home office rules, I will even perform remote service for customers by first remoting to a computer in the office from inside the more comfortable home. That way, I am "in the office."

If your business involves needing a motor vehicle, try to use a separate vehicle ONLY for business and other vehicle for personal. This eliminates a bunch of aggravating every day recording mileage, where it was, what it was for. If you only occasionally need a motor vehicle for business, you may not be able to cost justify it.

Good customer referrals are priceless. Get a lot more out of them than spending $$ for advertising.

Setup a Social Media page separately for the business, post reasonably often, and post things that are informative (so someone wants to read them) rather than just being an ad for your business. FaceBook of course (I use Twitter only as a news aggregator). LinkedIn may help a bit (but you will find out just how many recruiters do not ever read the large print where you say that you do NOT want another job working for others)

Be willing sometimes to do some free work just because someone really NEEDS it and they don't have the $$ to pay for it (this can be abused).

In a small business, try to find NICHES where there is some demand but no so much that you are going up against mega-companies.

Howard Grand|Hamm SK1-73|Kurz PC2|PC2X|PC3|PC3X|PC361; QSC K10's

HP DAW|Epi Les Paul & LP 5-str bass|iPad mini2

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

Jim

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I left a 23-year job working for other people a year ago and became my own boss for the first time ever. I am struggling every day and worried about money, but by God I could never go back to working for a boss again. Ever.

 

Suggestions for success? I'll take them. At the rate I'm going, I will literally never be able to retire.

 

Cool ! You had the courage to make the change.

 

I struggled, battled every day. Every business owners is like this.

 

I have several suggestions, generic stuff, about pushing your strengths, and understand where your competition is weak.

 

Feel free to Pm me. Don't think retirement until it makes sense, and is part of a calculated plan.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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At the rate I'm going, I will literally never be able to retire.

 

Not me. I'm going to retire when I'm 95. :)

 

Looks like a typo ;)

 

59 ?

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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