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Would you like to have your own business?

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I had my own business. It was profitable “enough “ but I had only one employee (me) and it was low overhead. So much depends on what the business is, how many employees, local taxes,  insurance, overhead etc. 

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My husband and I discussed it once upon a time. We are both greenhouse growers and have a lot of experience in the industry so having a garden center would have been an easy step for us. In the end after some soul searching we decided we just wanted to lock the door at the end of the day and go home with no worries or work and be able to go on vacations, etc.

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There are so many different reasons that businesses may or may not be successful, and probably even more ideas of what "success" means. I have a friend who has just closed down her business because she's moving interstate. She feels successful because she learned new skills and gained confidence, but for a while felt unsuccessful because the next step towards business growth was going to be too big. I have another friend who feels successful because her business taught her she could study and it was safe for her to take a management role in an organisation she's volunteered with forever. I have friends who make a comfortable living off their businesses and friends who don't actually want a living wage out of theirs.

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I wouldn't in today's (U.S.) economy. I think I would enjoy having a small shop of some kind (breads, muffins, etc.) or books, or good-quality toys, if we were still in the days when having a small shop would be feasible financially. Back in the days when most retail stores were open 9-5 (when I was a small child, this really was true), regulations for baked goods were simpler, and taxes were not so complicated, for example. But not in these days, which is rather sad.

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No way, no how. I grew up in a family owned business and it was awful. Nope, not gonna do it.

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I'm part of a two person homeschool business right now. It's not easy to make it work, honestly. We have finally started making some money, but it has taken a lot of work. The business side aspects are not something that I had any experience with and all the little pieces of that end of it - especially the web stuff and the financial stuff - have had a steep learning curve. But it's also low risk - the money we've sunk into it hasn't been huge. If it doesn't take off enough, I can choose to shut most of it down eventually and do something else.

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No way. Dh has a life-threatening, lifelong neurovascular condition and we need him to be an employee with a company that has excellent and reasonably affordable health insurance. Brain surgery for him as a self-employed person would wipe us out. 

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I've had my own business since I was 17. It has been incredibly successful but what success means changes depending on what I want out of the business.  As a senior in high school and all throughout college I could have been completely financially independent with my business.  I wasn't because my parents didn't require it, so instead that money went into savings and into travelling.  So, it was financially successful then.  As a young mother, staying home with the kids during a time where dh's work didn't provide for all our needs it was successful because it helped keep us afloat while still allowing me to be home with the kids.  Now that dh makes better money and I'm devoting more of my time to home schooling and less time to my business it is successful because it allows me to do that while still providing a few thousand a year to sock away into savings.  

It is the right business for me because I can decide how much effort to put into it at any given time to give me the money we need for xyz.  

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We work for ourselves but I wouldn't call it a business.  Cattle ranch.  OTOH we have a wedding/event venue on the ranch that I ran for a while and hated it.  Passed it on to a dil who seems to love running it.

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Nope, no thanks. Ex was a self-employed carpenter  for many years. I hated the inconsistent income, the extra tax work, the no health care because we were doing good to pay the bills and he had no employees, the labor issues when he tried to hire sub-contractors, the phone calls at all hours of the day or night. Many of those issues would transfer over to other types of businesses, so no thanks. 

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I have one (that is to say, DH and I have one) and I like it.  It makes a lot more money than anything we were able/interested in doing as employees, we get to stay home with the kids and with each other all day, and we work when we can and don't when we can't.  When the weather is nice we sit outside and watch the kids play in the yard and bask in the sunshine and work more at night; during the winter we work more during the day.

Taxes are not great, but 2018 and forward are a lot better (like half as much as previous years) b/c of the expanded child tax credit and the pass-through for sole proprietorships.

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Yes. We are self employed. 

I am a massage therapist with my own practice (lease commercial space, online scheduling and such) and have sublet my space as well on off days. I was profitable my first year and have been blessed to be very good at what I do and in demand. I have had opportunities to expand and have chosen not too. 

DH is also self employed as independent insurance broker- umbrellad in under large agency but 100% on his own is for as generating new business. Insurance is a slow slow slow build but DH is showing profit in second full year.

Together we manage 6 full time rental cars thru Turo, 2 RV campers and rent a basement apartment on annual basis (5 years now).  It’s diversified and therefore very different than traditional self employment .

Dh lost his BIG job 5 years ago this month and the aftermath was so terrible and hardI doubt we will ever be 100% dependent as employees again- or rely on one stream of income. But we never set out to start businesses LOL  it was because no other doors opened and nothing else but our own ingenuity was blessed. And God has really blessed our work. 

Make no mistake, it is hard and lonely and you’re flying without a net and I cannot communicate how scary that can be at times.  But it’s also awesome and freeing.  To see that you’ve built from nothing become something is indescribable and we are so proud. It’s been a gut punching journey- so risky and scary and that has brought us closer together- but it could have driven us apart because the stress was so great. 

IMHO, very few people are built to be self employed AND manage successful businesses.  Now that our businesses are flourishing it’s still hard but not the same kind of hard. Because have high demand and we’ve had to develop muscles to maintain this pace.. and i have PTSD from the trauma of job loss so instability is a tough one for me. 

But it’s incredibly rewarding to have a business reflect US from start to finish, good or bad. 

ETA: DH and I go out for breakfast, walks and shopping several times a week. We also work nights and weekends LOL but we spend so much more time together and with our kids because we have flexibility. Example?  We are camping this weekend in new RV for 3 nights to prepare it for rental season. We will be working a bit and I’ve spent 10 hours prepping already to outfit it but we get to be together as a family and outfit it (taking pictures, instructions and such). And that camper will almost pay for itself in rentals this first summer. 😜

Edited by LarlaB
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9 hours ago, TechWife said:

No way, no how. I grew up in a family owned business and it was awful. Nope, not gonna do it.

Same.

That said, I'm at the point in my life where if I started a business it could be for fun or simply to have something to occupy my time. That I wouldn't mind too much.

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Would I like to?  Yes and no.

There’s currently a local business for sale that I REALLY want to buy. Technically, an owner could (relatively) easily duck out to shuttle kids around to college classes, co-ops, field trips, etc. because there’s already a great staff in place. I know because my kids work there, lol. But I have a hard time truly believing that I could balance life and work with *my* specific life and *that* particular business.

Dh owns a tiny sliver of a large company. That’s enough stress for him right now.  If I eventually do something, it will need to be very small and ridiculously flexible.  Which will mean my own business of some sort, because I can’t be constrained by an employer. 😉 

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Been there, done that.

It was fantastic in that season of life, but I have no desire to do it again. 

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My dh started a business 4 1/2 years ago. It is a software company, and he is the only employee. It took him nearly two years to write the program. We lived on my income as a self-employed teacher/tutor and our savings. He has success now! It was worth the risk since he had 20+ years in the industry and had contacts with several companies, and he is super focused and hard-working. Now, we both have to learn how to enjoy life again instead of just working and working and working. 

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I run a science center and teach classes to homeschoolers, with a few options for afterschool and weekends.   I did it subletting space last year, but this year is really my first full year giving it a go.  So far it's going very well.  We are already covering the rent and utilities with what I'm bringing in from fees, and it's growing each session, but so far I'm not drawing any salary and we haven't made back the start-up costs.   We have plans to sublet the space when I'm not using it but haven't taken any real steps towards doing that.  

We wouldn't have even tried it if dh didn't have a well paying job with benefits that he really loves.  He is planning to join me when he retires (which is really not that far away).    I really enjoy it but I am very VERY busy.  This year will actually be the worst because I'm having to develop all the class materials.  Next year will be easier because some classes will be repeats.    I don't have any employees except a cleaning person. 

This has also given my kids a bigger social outlet than we had before, and we are able to have out 4-H club meetings there.

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We have a family business, been in the family several generations. Hard would be an understatement. You can have profits and be flush or you can lose your shirt, BOOM. And we've had all that happen, sigh. You also have the insurance issues.

My dh often says that 90% of small businesses fail. He learned that in college, so you could check to see if it's still true. I think it's great to pursue a small business, sure. This is America, the economy is great for business right now, go for it. But you're definitely wise to get help on the areas you're weak on (tax law, accounting, whatever). I see a lot of small businesses doing really well right now. I think if you are providing a service or good for which there is a strong market and you set yourself up well, you're likely to do well. Just recognize it will be about a lot more than putting out your shingle and being good. Most small businesses I know are dealing with social media marketing, paperwork regulations (if they take insurance, credit cards), the issues beyond the actual service/good they thought they were going to be doing. 

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No way. My entire childhood was dominated by my dad running his own business, which limped along, neither thriving nor dying. That meant he put in incredible hours while our electricity at home sometimes got turned off. 

 

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12 hours ago, TechWife said:

No way, no how. I grew up in a family owned business and it was awful. Nope, not gonna do it.

SAME. I find it strangely reassuring that I’m not the only one. 

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18 minutes ago, sassenach said:

SAME. I find it strangely reassuring that I’m not the only one. 

 

I think the effects of owning a business on families is something no one talks about. When we hear about owning small businesses it is always about the business itself with no mention of the family it supports or fails to support. It’s a much neglected topic. 

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Nope. I can't even count the number of small businesses around here that have opened and then closed within a matter of months. 

I've done a little bit of freelance computer repair on an extremely sporadic basis, and even that is too stressful with two kids and homeschooling. 

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Dh and I started our first business right after we got married 29 years ago. We have three businesses now. It is a ton of work and worry, but we've always made good money and it allowed us to spend loads of time with our kids while they were growing up. Our kids are working in the business now, too, which is pretty cool. I don't think any of us are cut out to work for someone else.

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Starting a business is a possible thing in fact for many people but making it successful isn't such a widespread thing at all.
It's really a hard and long work, you need to be very patient too and always ready for various risks and fails, also achieving great succes and cool profit takes really much time so thinking that after starting your own company you'll become very rich fast is a great myth. You need to have a good motivation, real passion and clear goals too, as also flexibility, knowledge about your certain sphere and business processes in general, good planning/time-management skills and many more.
Also your other important keys will be creating a professional work team, network for your clients and partners, effective management system, having knowledge about different tech innovations like predictive analytics which is used effectively in marketing, accounting etc. and using them, developing business intelligence, finding a sphere with not a too great competition for you and good advertising. Having a nice business plan is a very important thing too.
And it's almost impossible to develop all these things without a start capital https://www.universalclass.com/articles/business/establishing-start-up-capital-in-your-business.htm .

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My husband has a software/consulting business. He has one employee and the same client for 6 years now.  From the business angle it's been fantastic.  The downside in the private medical insurance nightmare that been going on for the last 5  years and tax cut legislation which isn't always favorable to all small businesses. Hiring outside "experts" is hit or miss.  This year the CPA our lawyer recommended to us was so incompetent that it cost us because my husband had to constantly to do research and point out things the accountant should've already known but overlooked. In the end my husband lost hours and hours of income. Moving across country and getting recommendations is very risky when you don't know anyone in the new area.

If our permaculture food forest gets going like we hope it will I might consider selling to local restaurants, but that's way off in the future.  The sheet mulching is in for the trees, but we can't plant in them until fall, so we're still in stage 1.

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I did work as an independent contractor working from home for a time while raising my kids. At one point, I was turning away work. But lots of ups-and-downs with income. My income varied wildly with summer being a low point every year. Of course I paid more taxes being self-employed. I also had spend time tracking expenses, making sure I sent in my tax withholding, getting everything ready every year for the tax lady, etc. A friend who was a single parent at the time did the same type of work, and she really struggled with how uncertain it was. 

I also learned that I am not a completely work-at-home person. I need more human interaction. I'd never make it spending 8-12 hours a day at home working every day.

If you need more complete health insurance (i.e. not high deductible, not a medical sharing plan) because of chronic or complex medical issues, you're going to have a hard time affording that.

I have no intentions of going down that path again. I'd rather work for someone else.

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I'm also an adult that grew up with a family business.  My dad was extremely high-strung about it, and it was extremely unpleasant. 

It doesn't have to be that way!

My husband and I have both been self-employed for all but the last four years of our life together (20+ years).  It was awesome.  It was great having all the freedom and all the responsibilities. 

But after the Affordable (ahem) Health Care Act went into effect, we could no longer afford private medical insurance.  DH now works for a large corporation with great heath insurance.

I don't feel like our income was less secure as business owners.  The money coming in was less consistent, but it always averaged out.  The jobs never stopped coming even during the recession.  Sometimes we had to wait for a check, but the jobs were plentiful.  I actually feel slightly less secure now as an employee, like at any moment an executive can decided to change things up, and I'm out of a job or have to take a pay cut or change my job duties.

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I’m self-employed in a service industry and the income is enough to pay all the bills and then some; it’s regular, as is my schedule; and relatively low-stress.  

I’ve worked for other people and I’m not doing that again. Ever.

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On 4/23/2019 at 10:02 PM, hjffkj said:

I've had my own business since I was 17. It has been incredibly successful but what success means changes depending on what I want out of the business.  As a senior in high school and all throughout college I could have been completely financially independent with my business.  I wasn't because my parents didn't require it, so instead that money went into savings and into travelling.  So, it was financially successful then.  As a young mother, staying home with the kids during a time where dh's work didn't provide for all our needs it was successful because it helped keep us afloat while still allowing me to be home with the kids.  Now that dh makes better money and I'm devoting more of my time to home schooling and less time to my business it is successful because it allows me to do that while still providing a few thousand a year to sock away into savings.  

It is the right business for me because I can decide how much effort to put into it at any given time to give me the money we need for xyz.  

May be others know, but I would love to find out what business do you have

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9 minutes ago, SereneHome said:

May be others know, but I would love to find out what business do you have

 

It is a pet sitting business.  Dog walking, visits while owner is away, staying overnight, I take them to vet or grooming appointments if need be, board in my home, take dogs on runs, and other misc. things.

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Sure, I would love to  have a business, not to  have another "job".  But that kind of thing takes YEARS to build and being able to trust people to handle it (which I can't see myself doing it), so I am 99.99% sure that it will never happen.

Also, to whoever said that many small businesses fail - I think it could be bc people who start them are good at what they do, but not necessarily good at running a business.

If I had more guts and knew how to "sell" myself, I would start a business of being a "start up consultant' or something

 

 

 

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I've thought about it. But ... I don't like paperwork or taxes or dealing with permits, governmental bodies, etc. So, I'd have to farm that out. I've sat and waited for kids to get off work that I see the majority of teens on their first jobs rarely show up on time. I've worked with enough adults that I know some are just flaky and not dependable. So, you have to work to find good employees. And then you have to be there day in/day out working without much time off (I've been a homeschool mom too long - I can just call today off if we feel the need to just play, so I guess I'm spoiled!). And the financial risk? I'm not the type to do all that. But I do like working for people I respect! And I respect people who start and run their own business. That is a special sort of drive. 

Edited by Bambam

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5 hours ago, G5052 said:

If you need more complete health insurance (i.e. not high deductible, not a medical sharing plan) because of chronic or complex medical issues, you're going to have a hard time affording that.

 

Photo is my BCBS PPO bill for one chemo treatment after the out of pocket family deductible is already maxed out. It is a crazy amount 

1 hour ago, SereneHome said:

Also, to whoever said that many small businesses fail - I think it could be bc people who start them are good at what they do, but not necessarily good at running a business.

If I had more guts and knew how to "sell" myself, I would start a business of being a "start up consultant' or something

 

My husband was self employed for two years and just break even. So basically no income for two years. He gave up and went for a PhD scholarship program, gets a monthly stipend and a “free” PhD at a commuter large public university. That PhD also led to a job here.

My friend (ex-classmate) started a few software consulting companies in a row and all failed. Now she is happily employed at a major cashless payment hardware company. Her husband has a high income job so she could make losses every year while self employed.

My BIL’s wife is in MLM and she loves sales jobs and commissions. She has always been in sales jobs even when employed in a telco.

My late paternal and maternal grandparents were self employed. My late paternal parents had nine kids over twenty years and most times didn’t have enough money to buy groceries.  My late maternal parents have five kids (one adopted as they could afford to bring up a fifth kid from newborn) and were comfortable financially. 

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dh has one.  self-employed with no one beneath him.  it works for him, a few months a year he is very busy.  at times gov't regulations have made things worse, and then worse again.  so there's always a question.

but most of the time, he just takes phone calls and meets a few clients a week/talks on the phone.  doesn't advertise - entirely word of mouth.  (his vendors have referred people to him when they weren't able to help them.)

dh likes it.  My opinion on having my own business would be very different if I wasn't dealing with dudeling.

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I've always thought it would be cool to own a restaurant, bakery, or B&B. DH and I often talked about it when we were more carefree. But at the end of the day we're realists and know that the amount of work (and extroversion, in some cases) wouldn't be worth it for us.

DH also talked for a while of being an independent contractor in his industry. But he'd need millions of dollars worth of lab equipment, and we'd make significantly less money for at least several years, not to mention all the tax and health insurance issues. I know my anxiety would go through the roof if anything came up business-wise or health-wise. I also get more done around the house when he's not here. And he's just really well-suited to the job he currently has, and they're a great, family-friendly company.

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I think I might have considered it earlier in life, but probably not now.  I think it would be a fun hobby/challenge to see how far I could take it, but I'd be nervous about having my livelihood depend on it.   I did have my own very small family business for a handful of years which was seasonal, and the kids and I had a lot of fun with it.  But we didn't rely on that income.

My dh began a business that was very successful.  It was our main source of income.  I was listed as the co-owner, but by then, I was homeschooling five kids so never really did much except help him hire other people!  It did have its ups and downs but overall was very good and stable.  I think it left our kids feeling positive about the idea of starting their own business someday.

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My husband has always had a desire to have his own business, but I have been the one who wasn't comfortable with it.  When we first got married would have been the time to start it, right after his grad school, before children, while I was still working full time and had excellent health benefits.  

Once we had kids, and def. once I started homeschooling, was NOT the time.  I liked knowing how much was going into our account each month, having really good health insurance, and being able to budget adequately.

I am back to work full time, but we are in a new state, where insurance isn't as good, is costly to add DH and kids, and I don't get paid nearly as much.

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3 minutes ago, DawnM said:

My husband has always had a desire to have his own business, but I have been the one who wasn't comfortable with it.  When we first got married would have been the time to start it, right after his grad school, before children, while I was still working full time and had excellent health benefits.  

Once we had kids, and def. once I started homeschooling, was NOT the time.  I liked knowing how much was going into our account each month, having really good health insurance, and being able to budget adequately.

I am back to work full time, but we are in a new state, where insurance isn't as good, is costly to add DH and kids, and I don't get paid nearly as much.

This is similar to the plan we followed. We got married in our early 20s and decided we were going to wait to have kids and put all our time and effort into getting our business up and running. We both worked our butts off for eight years, and at that point decided we were financially stable enough to have our first child and for me to primarily devote myself to being a mom.

I still worked when my kids were small (mainly late at night, early in the morning, or during naptime), but our employees took over much of my workload. Now that I only have one teen still at home, I am back to being much more involved in the day-to-day operations. 

It would have been so much harder if we had had kids during those early years.

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I would love to start my own school with my vision of what a school should be. I actually always wanted that. I loved the school I went to as a child and public schools have changed drastically, at least are not like the school I went to when young. Fact is, if I really wanted to do this with everything it entails, all the work and losses and everything, I would. Clearly, I am not willing to put in what needs to be put in to make it happen. So I guess I want it, but don't want it.

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On 4/24/2019 at 9:48 AM, TechWife said:

 

I think the effects of owning a business on families is something no one talks about. When we hear about owning small businesses it is always about the business itself with no mention of the family it supports or fails to support. It’s a much neglected topic. 

I think the same with the current push (in some places) for kids to become tradesmen. I hear people, who very often have a college degree themselves, say they are steering their kids to trades, in part because of the expense of college. But being a trademen is no walk in the park. I know this from being up close and personal with it. Dh owns a plumbing business; I am his secretary. We also own rentals and manage properties. It has it’s perks, but IMO, I would NOT steer a kid to do this.

Trades are physically hard on the body. People who pursue a trade should have disability insurance, but most don’t. It’s common to have ruined knees and/or shoulders, damaged hearing and debilitating back injuries by age fifty are common. 

The social support is poor. Dh doesn’t “work with” many people repeatedly; it is mostly new people. He never forms a bond with people and doesn’t have such thing as a colleague. 

The health insurance situation is 80% of why I plan to go back to FT work this year. I also really, really want to have income that is not dependant on his constant hustle and shaking of the money tree. 

So no, I’m kinda down on having a trade-based business. 

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1 hour ago, Selkie said:

This is similar to the plan we followed. We got married in our early 20s and decided we were going to wait to have kids and put all our time and effort into getting our business up and running. We both worked our butts off for eight years, and at that point decided we were financially stable enough to have our first child and for me to primarily devote myself to being a mom.

I still worked when my kids were small (mainly late at night, early in the morning, or during naptime), but our employees took over much of my workload. Now that I only have one teen still at home, I am back to being much more involved in the day-to-day operations. 

It would have been so much harder if we had had kids during those early years.

'

We got married at 29, no way I was waiting until 37 to have kids or see if a business worked.   

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After I retired from homeschooling when my kids graduated high school, I started an online summer-based business. It's been almost five years now. The first year was very successful, but Amazon has really cut into my business and I am just limping along now. I make a small profit but it all goes back into the business. I will probably shut it down at some point, but honestly, I really enjoy doing this business. It keeps me busy in the summer, and I design and make all my products in the winter. My husband built me a "studio" at home where I work. 

This is work I really love so I enjoy this business, but a family business for sole support? No. My in-laws have had a large business (think 30 employees) that has been going strong for 45 years. They started the business in the early 1970s when the economy was bad and my FIL was laid off. The business has been successful, but it's worry, stress, and long hours. They have always made just a modest income. Everything goes back into the business. Their employees make more money. And, it's destroyed relationships on that side of the family. It's hard to employ family members. Some are great workers and some have had to be fired. And add on to that problem is that you are firing your son, daughter, grandchild, niece, or nephew so your business and family relationships are very intertwined. Half of the family won't even talk to the other half now. 

My (now ex) DIL has her own business, which I hope will be successful since it's her sole support now. It was one of the reasons that the marriage ended. She racked up thousands  of dollars (over $20,000) of debt to start this business, and my son was left paying off this debt in the divorce settlement since he made more money working for a large business as an employee! The mediator considered that my DIL was basically unemployed since the business was not making a profit. It has left my son very bitter and feeling like she only stayed with him long enough to get her inventory and business started and then she demanded a divorce. 

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23 hours ago, Random said:

I'm also an adult that grew up with a family business.  My dad was extremely high-strung about it, and it was extremely unpleasant. 

It doesn't have to be that way!

My husband and I have both been self-employed for all but the last four years of our life together (20+ years).  It was awesome.  It was great having all the freedom and all the responsibilities. 

But after the Affordable (ahem) Health Care Act went into effect, we could no longer afford private medical insurance.  DH now works for a large corporation with great heath insurance.

I don't feel like our income was less secure as business owners.  The money coming in was less consistent, but it always averaged out.  The jobs never stopped coming even during the recession.  Sometimes we had to wait for a check, but the jobs were plentiful.  I actually feel slightly less secure now as an employee, like at any moment an executive can decided to change things up, and I'm out of a job or have to take a pay cut or change my job duties.


I appreciate your positive perspective!! 

As business owners, I don't feel our income is less secure either.  In the building phase, yes but not now that we are more established. As stated upthread,  my DH lost his job due to owners wanting to change it up.  No notice, no unemployment benefits.  The nauseating "it can actually happen to me" feeling will never leave us and will continue to inform our future decisions.   I am not against being an employee but I don't see a full time scenario ever again.  I've seen too many people invest themselves into a company or organization and get chewed up and spit out to ever trust anyone again with my income.

I mentioned this in my previous post, but I am still recovering from the incredible stress and insecurity of the building phase of small business.  And it HAS changed our family.   I had to grieve the loss of a season of 3-4 years of just doing the work and going thru the motions and HUSTLING.  Its one thing to be underemployed, its another to give your business every last ounce of energy you can after caring for your kids and holding them above water.  That exhaustion is unspeakable.  At the same time, its not fair to blame that on self employment, as it was actually the unexpected job loss that was the catalyst in our situation.  We didn't optimistically set off, we had no other choice- and we trusted that God knew what He was doing.

If someone has other viable job options available it would be very hard for me to recommend changing course into small business, unless you have a 5 year business plan, decent savings and good business sense (as well as supplmenetary income). 

It's hard.  Its so incredibly freeing, rewarding and fun to be in business.  But its also hard.  

 

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No, not as a regular job. I too much of a control freak and even if I got to the point of having many employees, I’d probably be a hoverer, which would drive them crazy and make me feel like I couldn’t take days off. I like the idea of being my own boss, but not the reality it translates into.

Now I would like to be a successful artist of some kind who could have the luxury of deciding when and how to work, maintain creative control, and hire outside service professionals to handle my legal and accounting stuff. But I’m pretty sure there’s a steep curve to climb before an artist ever reaches that point. 

 

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On 4/27/2019 at 9:56 AM, Quill said:

I think the same with the current push (in some places) for kids to become tradesmen. I hear people, who very often have a college degree themselves, say they are steering their kids to trades, in part because of the expense of college. But being a trademen is no walk in the park. I know this from being up close and personal with it. Dh owns a plumbing business; I am his secretary. We also own rentals and manage properties. It has it’s perks, but IMO, I would NOT steer a kid to do this.

Trades are physically hard on the body. People who pursue a trade should have disability insurance, but most don’t. It’s common to have ruined knees and/or shoulders, damaged hearing and debilitating back injuries by age fifty are common. 

The social support is poor. Dh doesn’t “work with” many people repeatedly; it is mostly new people. He never forms a bond with people and doesn’t have such thing as a colleague. 

The health insurance situation is 80% of why I plan to go back to FT work this year. I also really, really want to have income that is not dependant on his constant hustle and shaking of the money tree. 

So no, I’m kinda down on having a trade-based business. 

Except for being divorced, this is very similar to my experience with ex-dh - except he did carpentry. My ex is now on disability because he can no longer do physical labor and has no other transferable skills. He's in his mid 50s. Had he been in a white collar field and sustained this type of injury, it would have been a few weeks off of work and then back at it. 

he considered going into computer tech field in the early 90s, he should have, but business was good, he worked long hours and the thought of sitting in a classroom after working all day didn't appeal enough to him enough. I know he hoped that ds would want to join him in business. Even if life hadn't fallen apart, ds is so not a physical labor person. He would help as a kid, but he's much more interested in computer programming (ironically) than the trades. 

Trades are necessary, but I think young people who are considering it need a back up plan that doesn't involve physical labor and a long-term game plan. Even an associate's degree in business would be helpful. 

 

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