Security is an illusion too

Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
43
Likes
96
Degree
0
#1
Hello, I need life advice. <3

5 and 6 years ago I used to run my own show. Lead gen and local SEO for small brick and mortar businesses. It was a one stop shop kind of a gig and I built a team and did pretty well. I had lots of clients, I was good at what I did but I sucked at the business side of things though, particularly pricing and administrative stuff. I didn't charge enough, paid my employees too much considering what I was charging and basically worked 80 hours a week and ran off adrenaline and pots of coffee for 2 years until I walked away.

I took the corporate job. It was "safe" right? Worked up from IT project manager to president in 4 years. I made the company a bunch of money. Recently they took that money and invested it into something that didn't pan out, against my strenuous opposition to the idea. Based on their current financial trajectory, I think they are going under and I need to decide where to go next.

Do I try to find another salaried project manager job? Do I freelance as a project manager or some other skills I have? Is that really viable these days? I've been out of the freelance game for a while. OR do I set up my own shop again, this time taking on software clients and get me some devs? I learned so much about the business side of things in these past few years. I feel like I could make a real go of it, have been looking forward to that as my end game but I expected I'd be able to do it on my terms and my timing.

Considerations: I'm a moron and don't have really any money saved for start-up capital. That is hard to type. I'm good at making money, not good at saving and I realize that is pretty crap for a businesswoman in her early 30s to not be a good manager of money. I'm also a widow, with kids. It was one of the reasons I hopped on to the "stable paycheck" train to begin with.

So... what would you do? What did you do if you found yourself at a similar crossroads? Did you get another J-O-B or take the leap into entrepreneurship? How did it work out for you?
 
Last edited:
Joined
Mar 27, 2015
Messages
198
Likes
92
Degree
0
#2
Get the J-O-B to build a small bank roll while building your side hustle at the same time.

Once you have enough money saved you will (hopefully) have the groundwork done on the foundations of your new project.

Use your bankroll to hire people who can scale your project in ways that only one person cannot. For example - more articles via a freelance writer, etc.

DO NOT stop working on either your job or your project at this point. In my experience the temptation to ease off is strongest at this point.

4 Years ago I went completely and absolutely fucking bust. Family problems, financial problems and a world of shit landed on me and wiped out a business I had taken 3 years to build.

I followed the steps I outlined above and BUST my ass at an agency job and on my own projects for the last 4 years since.

Today my income is 3 times that of my agency job and my old business.

Combined.
 

Ryuzaki

女性以上のお金
Staff member
BuSo Pro
Digital Strategist
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
3,159
Likes
5,772
Degree
7
#3
I agree with MrMedia. You have children and need some kind of predictable income. I'd find a steady paycheck first and foremost, then budget in order to push a bit of cashflow through your own project.

Then I wouldn't quit my job until I saw that the new project was at least matching the job steadily for about a year. That time period will help you save up a huge buffer in your finances so if this happens again you'll be fine. Anything beyond a 6 month buffer and normal life expenses I'd spend on growing my own business.

You asked how it worked out for me. The first time I went totally bust I spent my last $600 starting a service business that went fine until it didn't. Like you, it was halfway the fault of other people and 100% the nature of the service. It was doomed from the start, as they all are, as all owners and customers understand. (PBN service). The second time I lost all cashflow, I had a few thousand bucks to my name and started doing whatever I could to turn a buck. I would write high quality articles at premium prices when the opportunity arose, and I would design websites for people, all word of mouth.

At that same time, I did two things. I started my next authority site and resurrected a couple that got penalized, stabilized their earnings, and flipped them for $30,000. That kept me running while I bootstrapped the next authority site with no money, just hard work. Now I'm here doing just fine, several years later.

You know what would have been smarter? Getting a day job so I could scale this authority site faster. I'd be further along down the road right now for sure, but my pride in not having a day job stopped me from doing that, which is pretty stupid. I lived and I learned.
 

eliquid

SERPWoo
Digital Strategist
Joined
Nov 26, 2014
Messages
600
Likes
1,407
Degree
3
#4
We should talk.

I know this problem very well.

I would tell you the same as the others above, which BTW is VERY GOOD advice.

However, if you are bad with money and administrative tasks... no option is actually a good option for you. Business owner or "cog in the wheel", you will have security and career issues if you can't handle money and admin task as a business owner or employee.

I don't want to be the debbie-downer, I just got to be honest with you because I have been there 1,000 times no joke before.

I don't know you, so don't take the above personal. I'm actually slightly jealous bc don't you live the "nomad"-ish lifestyle in the middle of Mexico? I'd like to have done that.

There is no stable paycheck and I'm 100% against being an employee. But you gotta do you, until you can be you.

I'd fight the struggle for independence.... and I have 3 kids and a stay at home spouse so I know the unnerving stress of making a dollar out of 15 cents and having to earn that dollar every hour of the day.... But that's that fucking shit I strive and feed off of. Do you? I'm an INTJ, I need a challenge greater than most.. its the only way I wake up in the morning.

If you don't, take another day job.

If you perform better under the crushing stress and deadline that a 24 hour day brings.. then by all means spread your wings and fly independant. Some people love it, some hate it. To me it's natural though and I feed off it. How do you like your coffee?

Either choice, get your financial house and administrative tasks in order though.

.
 
Joined
Aug 21, 2017
Messages
43
Likes
96
Degree
0
#5
Thank you, fellas, for the sound advice. I'm going to start looking for another J-O-B to pay the bills while I set up my own shop again.

It's funny I feel like we all grew up so much. If I would have asked 6 or 7 years ago in that other place I feel like it would have been all of us saying (myself included) QUIT YOUR JOB AND MAN UP, GET GRINDING, SELL EVERYTHING YOU OWN TO FOLLOW THE DREAM. But then it's like life happens, doesn't it? Kids happen and house payments happen. A job can be a means to an end. As long as it isn't THE END.

@eliquid I like my coffee cheap, instant and black. Even when I can afford better coffee I prefer it that way, maybe nostalgia? lol

You're right about the need for me to get my sh*t together in any case, regardless of what I choose. That doesn't offend me, I posted because I needed a good kick in the pants. :smile:

At the end of the day, I want to run my own show again. I have gotten much better at the administrative stuff at least. I learned a lot in the past few years about running a business. I am just still terrible at managing my own money. It's like that kid that doesn't have to study to get a good grade on the test so they get into bad habits. When I need more money I figure out how to make more money and unfortunately, I have always been able to pull that off so I never got disciplined about saving.

But I know I need to fix that because that is just an accident waiting to happen. I'm generally very responsible in all other areas of my life. I pay my bills on time, I have life insurance, I get regular medical and dental checkups, I take vitamins every day lol. I'm an adult about everything except this but this is super important. :(

And yes I'm settled in central Mexico so almost entirely work from home. The exchange rate is fantastic. Highly recommend!!
 
Last edited:

Ryuzaki

女性以上のお金
Staff member
BuSo Pro
Digital Strategist
Joined
Sep 3, 2014
Messages
3,159
Likes
5,772
Degree
7
#6
@backinblack, I'm in my mid 30's and I've had a lot of the same realizations, whether through encountering problems in life or through mental extrapolations. Another one of the illusions I realize we all live by because they're helpful in driving us towards our goals is how there will be no other constant worries or problems once we 'make it.'

For instance, if everyone on this forum were to suddenly be sitting on half a billion dollars each, our worries wouldn't disappear. They'd transform. I'm not talking about "how do I invest half a billion" or "do people really like me for who I am or for my money." I'm talking about "well now that money is out of the way I better freak out about my health." There's no security from health issues any more than there from having income streams from a day job or as an entrepreneur. It's all very impermanent and whispy in the wind.

The only security any of us on this forum have is the knowledge that most of us have the skills and ability to constantly pivot and scrape up the money we need if we ever find ourselves in a pickle. But when the money problem is solved, there are far worse problems that are inescapable. As you've said, there's no security (in anything). I suppose that's the spice of life. The quantum dice are being rolled constantly.