Monday, August 22, 2011

Working on the side: Pt.6

Over the last week or so, I've been talking about my side business. Yesterday I wrote about how I learned to leave emotions out of the equation, and simply get a full-time job, and work my business on the side. Today, I'll talk about someone in an opposite position.

I have a friend whom is a plumber. Likely the most friendly guy I have ever met in my life. He is an entrepreneur, and fixes pipes and fixtures for a living, driving around in his company van, logo emblazoned on the sides. He is very good at his job, and has new, clean tools that perform any task he needs to do excellently.

At this point, he has little to no work.

Is it his fault? It he going about his business wrong?

I don't believe so. He's run ads in the newspaper for years, always kept his clients happy, and even hands out business cards at the parties he holds for his friends (and friends of friends.) He's been a mentor of mine for years, always giving me words of advice when I needed them.

But none of this has allowed him to stay successful.

He is suffering, much like I was when I tried to grow my 'little business' into a full-time endeavor. And he has watched his 'large business' shrink as time went on, and profit margins dwindled.

I know that it eats away at him inside, the losses, the lack of work. But he knows that it's not him. It's not his sparkling personality, or fine workspersonship.

He is in a reactive industry, where work is reliant on people's willingness to call for him.

They know he does a good job, and he is well priced for his service. But if a toilet isn't exploding, he doesn't get a call.

And this means he can't afford his mortgage payments, or put any money aside for his children's education. Christmas is a struggle.

This is really the point of this post:

Don't put all your eggs in one basket with a self-employing business.
  • Work a full-time job that you can comfortably deal with.
  • Work a side business that doesn't have a conflict of interest with your full-time job.
  • Learn as much as you can about finances, frugal-living, investments, stock, shares, bonds, etc.
  • Read financial blogs, and learn as much as you can.
  • Learn a variety of skills (How to change oil, fix a toilet, paint a wall, etc) so you don't have to pay someone else.
These tips help me stay in a strong, independent financial position where I am able to live comfortably, but also save considerably for my future.

Do you know someone that has watched their business disappear before their eyes?
Have you had the duty of telling someone that they can't do their dream full-time?
Let me know! :)

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