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Life Change


Freebird
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About 3 weeks ago, I spent a week in Minnesota at our semi-annual sales meeting. I didn't want to go because I had to leave the day after the funeral services for my brother in law and I really felt that I needed to stay home with Eileen. It was not really an option though. I got to Minnesota on Monday and then on Tuesday night, I finally made the decision that I had been struggling with for a while. I tendered my resignation on Tuesday night and told them that I would work until the first of March. I have been with the company for 14 years and they truly are a great company to work for. After 25 years of constant travel though, I had just lost my excitement for the job. As most of you know, I had been running my brother in laws stairlift business for a little over a year so have a good idea about the potential of the business.

 

So, I am now self-employed. It was a big and scary step but I feel that I made the right decision. I have never been a person that wanted to own my own business but I think I am going to enjoy it. Though I am technically still working for my old company until March 2nd, I have a little over 3 weeks vacation coming so am starting it next Friday so I'm pretty much done with it. Eileen was encouraging me to resign and her first question was "why are you staying until March?"

 

The last year has been brutal trying to juggle two full-time jobs and to be honest, I'm so business right now with the stairlift business that I don't know how I managed to do anything else. So I would like to say that I have semi-retired but I don't think that is going to be the case. I guess I've just changed jobs. The only thing that is a bit scary is that I am giving up the company's contribution to my medical insurance. I will stay on it for the next 18 months through the Cobra plan but it's expensive and I can only keep it for 18 months. Then I will have to find something else. Except for that, I feel pretty comfortable with my decision.

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Congrats Freebird, it's guy like you that will genuinely make America great again. I've been an independent business owner in the past and spent 11 years as a professional business advisor. I'm now semi-retired and really enjoying life working with a small company a few hours a week. If I can be of any assistance don't hesitate to call. Business problems trend to shrink when you share them with someone. Give me a call and we can talk about by business views. Good Luck and God's Speed!

Fitz

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Congratulations Freebird, enjoy being your own boss. I did my own real-estate business while the kids grew up (wife is exec lady), now in my early 50s, a blessed man, consider myself retired (or stay at home husband, lol). I could never go back to the corporate world. Enjoy life while you have good health, and don't become a small business workaholic.

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Congrats. I know what it's like juggling 2 jobs when you're running one of them. I've got 2 more years of that before I can take early retirement from the fire service. I can only imagine the stress level you've dealt with doing what you've done for your brother in law. Kudos to you. Now enjoy the benefits of being self employed while dealing with the

headaches of self employment. Once that balance is reached there's nothing Better.

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Wow, 14 years will have set a lifestyle for you two. All that travel is now gone and you'll be home 'constantly'. No more moteling\hoteling, you'll have to set time aside for this venue, more at home suppers, weekends will repeat on a consistent basis, there will be '2' cars in the drive normally, you'll wake up beside your wife more often, your neigbours will get to know you a bit better,,,, lots of changes. Maybe to hardest one will be to get used to the fact that you won't have to catch a plane on time anymore. It's going to take some time to get used to, but in the end I think you made a real good decision. Blesssings!!

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I was self-employed for 20 years. Fell into it by accident. IMO, having a solid client base is key to somewhat of a steady income. Positive cash flow will keep you out of the red.

 

Find a good accountant that understands the "grey" areas of the tax laws and works them in your favour.

 

Don't let the work take over your life. Take time out for yourself on a regular basis. When you find yourself overloaded and seem to be up against a brick wall ... take that leap over it and hire a helper (or two).

 

I absolutely loved self-employment but it does have it's own pitfalls of which some are self-imposed.

 

All the best in your new adVenture!

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You're gonna like working for yourself. It'll take some getting used to, but the rewards are your's not someone else's. You're a pretty smart guy and I have no doubt like all things you put your mind to that you'll be successful again... Health insurance is one of the problem's I've dealt with for over 30 years, but I've always found a way to take care of the family. I'm sure you will too... Good luck and God speed... :thumbsup2:

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Good luck with your new adVenture.

 

As SilvrT mentioned hiring that first employee is scary if you get to that point. I have a friend that is a great entrepreneur, he has started several very successful businesses that grew until they just got to be way to much work for one person. He could never make that leap to hire help, and the service of his business would drop due to being late with stuff and finally get its rep from great to bad and close down.

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Good Luck with your new endeavors! One thing to be aware of is that now you will be home every day and Eileen has been used to having a lot of space or time by herself. It will take some adjusting for both of you. This happens when someone retires too and is always underfoot. I'm sure you will be able to work it out. Just something to think about.

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Congrats Don, I remember talking with you about being home more 2 yrs ago at MD you were struggling then with the idea. I know its alittle scary having never been self employed but I absolutely believe you are the perfect guy for it, and I know you are going to do very well. Believe me your whole life can change in a heartbeat, do what you enjoy, try something new. This is the perfect oppurtunity for you, you had a year to learn the ins/outs and now you can take it to the next level. You are a smart guy, you are going to kick yourself for not doing it sooner. I was self employed for 35yrs, you have already recvd alot of good advice here.

All the best, Craig

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Congratulations on your decision! :happy65:I worked self employed (contract) all my working life. I had a very varied career working for some of the largest contracting companies in the world. British, European & US & retired at 53.

Sure working for yourself can be a bit scary, especially when work is thin on the ground, but if you're good at what you do & willing to work you'll be OK. I could yammer on but I won't... just know you've made the right decision & get on with it! btw it's not "Acorn" Stair lift is it?

Now as was said earlier... Get Back to work & stop slacking off! Have Fun!

One thing... make sure you calculate & put away your taxes & such, I saw so many guys' lives ruined by trying to dodge the tax man!

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Congratulations on the "job change". I use to say I retired 12 years ago but realized I'm working much harder now than ever.

If you're in reasonably good health you could get CIGNA health insurance. I'm paying $530 a mouth which is almost half as much as what I was paying BC/BC.

You will find it is much more rewarding working for yourself. Just make sure you leave time for the important things in life.

Good luck!

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WOW Boss,, isn't life just AMAZING = so much truth in that saying of "to live is the greatest adventure of all"!! I hope you know that Tip and I will be supporting you folks in both thought and prayer as you set out on this great move!! WHAT A RIOT!!

When I was just a little varmint I remember the sites, smells (seriously, I LOVED the smells) and sounds of bike shops.. I always LOVED the joints and always knew deep in my heart of hearts that someday,, somehow I was gonna end up owning and operating a full blown shop of my own = as President Trump mentioned in his recent awesome SOTU address = American's are dreamers too and owning a bike shop of my own was my dream..

Throughout the years of working in shops and in The Trades as a Welder the rush of the smell's and sounds of bike shops never left me,, the passion grew.. Tip and I would talk for hours about The Dream and, even though she chose to stay home and home school our children and knew I would never ever relax in my responsibilities of providing financially for my family - she always encouraged me in someday seeing the fulfillment of The Dream..

As time went on and we, as a family became more secure,, I felt the calling even stronger.. I had friends who attempted self employment and failed due to not understanding business and,, as @FlyingFool pointed out - they had no idea of management = COMMON MISTAKE..

I had a very successful business mentor during those days who strongly suggested my return to College to gain business knowledge - with 4 kids, a wife and a home to support - I took advantage of night classes at our local 2 year Community college - finished my Associates Degree and went on to a University to complete my Bachelors Degree (2 of them,, one in Management and the other in Marketing) = finished at 44 years old!! Got scarfed up by a big company shortly there after, took my Plant Superintendent sign on bonus and opened my shop.. Few years later as business grew = stepped out completely into The Dream - never looked back = BEST years of our lifes!! Besides being blessed with a few very good employees (no one will run your business like you do though), I got to have my kids work for me too cause child labor laws dont apply to family businesss LOL .. One of them who is a Medical Doctor out in California now will openly say that she got her start in the Medical field by doing carbs for her Dad at "the shop" = true.. Now,, because of some continual medical stuff,, those day are behind us.. I did learn some things though that may or may not be of use for you..

1. If what your doing is a passion and you either have good management skills or are willing to listen to the counsel of those that do = it is fairly hard to not succeed.. Unlike working for someone else = self employment is 24/7 though,,, no time clock mentality allowed though..

2. Customers are amazing people!! My customers were always an extension of my passion for bike shops and motorcycling... Helping people can be wayyy more rewarding than $$ for time..

3. Just because tax write off's are there and they increase your short term profitability does not mean that its prudent to take them.. Paying the taxes on a large income for a couple years can greatly increase your Monthly Social Security amount when that day/time arrives.. Setting up your business as an LLC and working with your spouse as staff members can be a great way to protect and also be very lucrative for your estate.. Given,, working for your wife after she becomes "President of Operations" can be an exciting adventure in itself = it truly is not that bad!!!

4. The freedom that comes with the fulfillment of The American Dream can be endlessly rewarding (and it should be).. Little things like just the opportunity to now be the one to choose whether or not you and your wife will both be attending trade shows or out chasing prospects while CTFW is AMAZING!! I LOVE what being my own boss did in my/our lives and the quality therein.. I found that the only only limit to accessing and realizing that Freedom was that of my own personal motivation.. I guess what I am saying by that is that, at least from my perspective, unlike in socialist countries or other environments where we are cared for, fulfillment of "The Dream" I am talking about depends totally on you - no one else,, it's an independence thing.. Lack of accepting personal responsibility or lack of motivation to succeed is the cause of failure - nobody is gonna do it for you and you only get out what you put in = the buck truly stops with you.. Bottom line brother,, I am VERY happy for you and excited for you because I know how from observation just how motivated you are and how much fun you and Eileen are headed for!!

WOW, this is AWESOME Don = congrats my friend!!! JUST AWESOME!!

Edited by cowpuc
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Wow!

 

After 'watching' this amazing site of yours for years and years, then finally signing up (Guilt a primary motivator), we seem to have suddenly caught the posting spirit in a hurry.

 

Cowpuc (and others) covered off pretty much the gist of it all, but we'd like to add some thoughts that haven't really been mentioned yet. There usually is a sudden realization - FEAR!! - as in: OMIGAWD, who's gonna cover our regular salary needs, benefits, AND expenses!!! That will take care of itself once you settle in, and confidence grows. Best way to handle it is to simply ignore the sucker.

 

Then as things become more comfortable for you, another realization surfaces: "Hey, nobody's telling us where to be, what to do, how many hours to spend on silly obligations, tasks that you felt were misdirected, or simply stupid.

 

Bottom line: you have become your own BOSS. And... you will NEVER go back to working for someone else. That, knowing a bit about your personal work ethic (which is amazing), is guaranteed. You'll LOVE this, and also have the personal satisfaction of performing an extremely noble effort on behalf of your BIL's Family.

 

Good for you, Don. We've never met, but we have nothing but the highest regard for a fellow who is an outstanding human being, and one helluva great Guy.

 

Go get 'er done Son, (said the 76 yr old) we look forward to observing your future success.

 

Rgds, WRIDR.

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Show up on time, everytime with a smile!

Do everything you say you are going to do in the quote, then do alittle extra!

Leave the work area cleaner then when you arrived.

Drop cloths and vacuum cleaners.

Bill for exactly what you quoted.

When I look back over 35yrs I think this list would be a great start, goes without saying you need to do a quality job. Your smarts, excellent bussiness savy. Great natural personality and even tempermant, will make this alot easier then you think. You're a natural and will do well. In 2 yrs you will have 3 trucks, 3 guys doing installs, you'll be selling, ordering and checking completed work, with alot of free time in between. Enjoy!

 

Craig

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All the best in your adventure. I can say your moving up in the company and down too. Sounds like a great product that will or is very much in demand. Now you were in Minnesota ? and didn't let anyone know! Sure would have like to have shaken hands. Maybe I'll have to come to your Maintenance Day event to do that. Again Congratulations. Bill & Crew

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