Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Why I'm Not Self-Employed Full Time


As many of you know I opened an eyeglass boutique awhile back.  Two years ago, in the spring of 2012, I began to put plans in motion to fulfill a long held dream of mine to open my very own business.  I started making lists and accumulating supplies and inventory while searching for a space to open said business.  That summer I found a building and in the fall I opened my doors.

It didn't take me long to figure out something about myself that I didn't really know.  After six months the isolation I felt from spending so much time alone began to take its toll.  I discovered I don't do well alone.  I need to be around other people on a regular basis.  Up until then I had no idea.

I realized that being a sole proprietor was not going to work for me and although I had sunk quite a bit of my savings into this new venture my overall mental health and wellbeing was at stake.  I knew by late spring I wouldn't be renewing my lease and began to put plans in motion so my efforts wouldn't be a complete waste.

I have wanted to move to Arizona for a long time as I prefer the climate and I was honestly ready to try something different.  It seemed like the perfect time to make this move as well.  But as you all know, who've followed this blog for any length of time, that sure didn’t work out the way I'd planned.  So I went to plan D or whatever.

I am fortunate in that I have a lot of marketable skills and experience.  I have an extensive accounting and medical background that allows me to work in various industries.  My optometric experience makes me a good candidate for employment in any eye care practice except that right now my online eyewear venture would be considered a conflict of interest.

What has worked out well for me is to work from home part time and work for others part time.  I signed up with a temp agency in order to help me find the part time outside work I wanted and give me the flexibility to make my own schedule.  At least that was the general idea until I went to work for the current company I'm assigned at and they need me full time right now and they've hinted they want to keep me and make me theirs.  We will see how that all plays out.

I've never been one to keep all my eggs in one basket, so to speak, and have always had a little side business going since I was ten years old and started babysitting.  At twelve I owned my own lawn care business.  My dad fixed up an old mower for me and gave me a gallon gas can of his to use.  I bought a quart of oil and filled up the gas can with my babysitting money and would pedal to my customers homes with that mower tied with a piece of rope to the banana seat of my blue Raleigh bicycle.  It wasn't long before my brother joined me and the two of us spent many summers keeping our neighbors lawns mowed and trimmed.  Gas was cheap at that time and we only charged $2 to $3 to mow and an extra buck or two if we trimmed and raked.  I still babysat in the evenings all year long too.

As an adult I have done many little side businesses.  I've helped plan and set up weddings, made wedding and other celebration cakes, catered several events, baby sat and pet sat, done a lot of sewing and some alterations, graphic design & desktop publishing, lots of things.  More than I can possibly list.

I've acquired stuff that I've cleaned up, then turned around and sold it.  I'll have to write a post about a particular time when the neighbors and I made some extra cash once doing exactly that.  It was something, let me tell you.  There were cops involved.

Anyway, I know you've all been curious as to what keeps me financially afloat so in a nutshell I work a job, I do bookkeeping for a couple of people and I sell eyeglass frames on eBay.  And if anything else pops up that looks like I can make a little extra cash I'll probably do that too. 

Do any of you work from home?  If so, I'd love to hear about it?

10 comments:

  1. I think it is awesome that you are able to support yourself and your girls this way. I love that it does kind of make you your own boss and gives you tons of flexibility.

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    1. There is a lot of security in having multiple income streams so you aren't dependent on your job alone. Sometimes you lose your job, quite often due to no fault of your own, and unemployment doesn't pay much.

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  2. Just today I bought my daughter new glasses as her prescription has changed. I wondered if I could sell her old frames as they were not cheap and are in excellent condition. Do people do that??

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    1. I do see that. Especially name brands. Remove the lenses, clean them up and give it a try. You never know. If they don't sell you can put the lenses back in and donate them to the Lions Club. They provide eyeglasses to underprivileged people in third world countries.

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    2. Donating them was my other thought. I certainly want them to be put to good use. It is insane how much glasses cost.

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    3. Yes, I know first hand how true that is. Even in the business my lenses are incredibly expensive.

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  3. Good for you! You're very resourceful! :) I have my sewing gig, but my husband provides the majority. Whatever income I can bring in is the "icing on the cake"! ;)

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    1. You are tremendously talented and I love the things you make. You have such a way of picking and putting together fabric combinations. Definitely you are a solid contributor to the family budget with all your sales. Isn't it wonderful to get to "work" at something you love to do!

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  4. I used to work full time outside the house & my job was eliminated a little over 3 years ago. I really enjoyed being at home so hubby & I decided that if I could find a way to bring in some income I would be able to stay home. So now I do some stock trading & some ebay selling, for now it is working hopefully I can keep it up. I am not always as disciplined as I should be though & do not put as much time into the stocks & ebay as I should, sometimes I just get lazy! I am trying to be better about that.
    I think it is great that you can support yourself & your family the way you do. I'm sure the girls love having you around home more than if you worked FT outside.
    Rhonda

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    1. The one thing I think my girls have really enjoyed is that I am home when they get home from school or that I pull into the driveway at about the same time. Our evenings are ours and that has been really nice.

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