A little background. I quit my job a couple years ago and started a real estate investment company. Recently, I was able to convince someone who has about 20 years experience working for another investor to quit and come over to work for me. He took a huge pay cut doing this because I can't afford to pay him what the other guy was paying him. But he understands that he can help me build up this company and be a major part of it. It's one of those big fish in small pond versus small fish in big pond kinda thing.

A few days ago, I was talking with my sister. I told her about this guy and the ideas that he brought over have already helped my company quite a bit. And my sister asked this one question: if he knows a lot about this business, why doesn't he start his own?

I have been thinking about this question for the last week or so. And I am reminded of all the times people have told me they got this business idea or that business idea but they never followed through with it. My husband and I spent years flipping houses and saved the profits to jumpstart this business, and all that time we had so many people (neighbors) tell us they always wanted to flip a house but never got around to it.

And then there is this example. A few months ago, a young couple like ourselves (yes, my husband and I are millennials) approached us and asked us to guide them in real estate investing because they know we are financially independent. After learning about their resources and whatnot, we suggested house hacking as the first step for them since they were getting ready to buy their first house anyway. They were excited about it. The idea is simple: buy a duplex, live on one side, and rent out the other side. Make the other side pay your mortgage for you.

So, for several months they looked for a duplex. They finally found one within their budget and move-in ready. I inspected it for them and it was good to go. And then silence. When I checked up on them again, they had decided to abandon the idea on investing and bought a single family house (their dream home). They had decided to be normal, which is perfectly fine. But it does show that straying from the norm isn't for everyone.

To be clear, I am not saying there is anything wrong with being normal. Some people are risk takers and some people are not.

So, if you are business oriented, be proud!
 

djbaxter

Administrator
Excellent post and I agree with the premise: Some people are most happy being an entrepreneur or sole owner professional (with or without one or more partners) and some are not.

Many people don't have any desire to do the marketing, promotion. and longer hours in the uncertain context of their own business: what they want is a "guaranteed paycheque" (is there really such a thing any more?), fixed hours, and someone else making the hard decisions. I don't fault those people at all. When I was younger with small children and the sole income for my young family, I didn't feel that I had the right to take risks for them and so I stuck to the tried and possibly true role of the employee. The reality was, though, that my hours were rarely fixed due to needed overtime (unpaid due to my level in the organizations I worked for) and, because most of my employers were either the public service (i.e., government) or so-called "crown corporations" (fully government funded), I soon realized that there is no such thing as a guaranteed paycheque or guaranteed job for life. That hasn't been true for decades.

So eventually the stresses of working for other people who in my view made many bad and capricious decisions got to the point for me where I felt I was entirely burned out in that income model and I took the plunge, first as a side gig and then after about a year when I had proved to myself that running my own business was viable went for it full time.

Of course there was a lot of stress involved, but it was a different kind of stress, stress that I had more control over, instead of having to deal with other people maming what to me were dumb and poorly thought out decisions that affected me and my work.

I still had to support my young family and there were long hours and in the first 2-3 years a very noticeable drop in income (especially in year one) but I was able to see all the signs of a profitable and promising future.

After a few years, I was able to relax more, set my own hours to sustain an income that was comfortable (my personal goal was not to maximize income but to reach a sustainable comfortable income) and ultimately it freed me to spend more time with my children and much more relaxed and fun time. :)
 
Excellent post and I agree with the premise: Some people are most happy being an entrepreneur or sole owner professional (with or without one or more partners) and some are not.

Many people don't have any desire to do the marketing, promotion. and longer hours in the uncertain context of their own business: what they want is a "guaranteed paycheque" (is there really such a thing any more?), fixed hours, and someone else making the hard decisions. I don't fault those people at all. When I was younger with small children and the sole income for my young family, I didn't feel that I had the right to take risks for them and so I stuck to the tried and possibly true role of the employee. The reality was, though, that my hours were rarely fixed due to needed overtime (unpaid due to my level in the organizations I worked for) and, because most of my employers were either the public service (i.e., government) or so-called "crown corporations" (fully government funded), I soon realized that there is no such thing as a guaranteed paycheque or guaranteed job for life. That hasn't been true for decades.

So eventually the stresses of working for other people who in my view made many bad and capricious decisions got to the point for me where I felt I was entirely burned out in that income model and I took the plunge, first as a side gig and then after about a year when I had proved to myself that running my own business was viable went for it full time.

Of course there was a lot of stress involved, but it was a different kind of stress, stress that I had more control over, instead of having to deal with other people maming what to me were dumb and poorly thought out decisions that affected me and my work.

I still had to support my young family and there were long hours and in the first 2-3 years a very noticeable drop in income (especially in year one) but I was able to see all the signs of a profitable and promising future.

After a few years, I was able to relax more, set my own hours to sustain an income that was comfortable (my personal goal was not to maximize income but to reach a sustainable comfortable income) and ultimately it freed me to spend more time with my children and much more relaxed and fun time. :)
I was an assistant project manager for a billion dollar company. So, especially on accelerated projects I would regularly put in 80 hours a week but got paid exactly the same as 40.

Nowadays I still regularly put in 80-100 hours a week all 7 days but now I am not making someone else rich LOL.

As a business owner, part of the stress comes from being available ALL THE TIME. Some of my employees turn off the phone as soon as they leave for the day. I was out there resolving a problem by myself until 1:30 am. Most people just don't want to be available all the time like that.
 
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