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View Poll Results: Which would you rather be?
Small business owner/entrepreneur 16 59.26%
Worker for a major corporation (private sector) 4 14.81%
Worker for government 7 25.93%
Voters: 27. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 09-01-2004, 01:20 PM
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Would you rather be entrepreneur or a worker for major company?

This question relates to school, lifestyle, and philosophy. So would you rather be a entrepreneur and make your own hours, the possibility of making it rich, not have to deal with the corporate ladder, and "be in control"

OR

would you rather work for the corporate world and be a "paycheck casher"? I know some people who do NOT want to put up with the extra work and long hours of owning your own business and would rather work a Monday through Friday 9 to 5 job.

So what are most Mercedes owners like?
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  #2  
Old 09-01-2004, 01:28 PM
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For me, it came down to maturity and responsibility. In my youth, entertainment was priority one -- no time for the serious effort involved in owning and operating a business. As I got older, that changed as a matter of course. Besides, I also lacked the experience to be successful on my own. There are valuable lessons to be learned from the 9 - 5 grind which can be applied as old age sets in.
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  #3  
Old 09-01-2004, 02:52 PM
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Johnson, you left out a VERY important factor of owning your business----risks There are lots of risks involved in owning your business similar to the large corporations, except on a much smaller scale. Large companies have Risk Management Dept. and small business also have some very similar risks. As a matter of fact, the smaller you are, the harder it is for you to take a hit. Most small business don't last that long is part of the reason. I have seen business owners who work very hard but hardly make ends meet. Working hard is no guaranty to success!
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  #4  
Old 09-01-2004, 03:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnson Chan
This question relates to school, lifestyle, and philosophy. So would you rather be a entrepreneur and make your own hours, the possibility of making it rich, not have to deal with the corporate ladder, and "be in control"

OR

would you rather work for the corporate world and be a "paycheck casher"? I know some people who do NOT want to put up with the extra work and long hours of owning your own business and would rather work a Monday through Friday 9 to 5 job.

So what are most Mercedes owners like?
I did the Fortune 500 IT thing for years. I hated the politics and was amazed by the incredible truth in of the Peter Principle - incompetance always seems to find a job in management. If you can tolerate petty politics and gross incompetence, and you want a stress-free life, go for the paycheck.

If you don't want the coporate life, and want to trade your disgust with petty politics for great freedom and the possibility of great reward, and more stress than you have ever had to handle in your life, then go into to business for yourself. Get in the habit of putting as much as possible away for a rainy day, because when you work for yourself, its gonna rain.

If you like hard work, work yourself to death in a corporation and you might get some appreciation and your boss will get a promotion and a raise. Work yourself to the bone working for yourself and you will get back the greatest feeling of satisfaction you ever had when you see that hard work build something that is yours and only yours to be proud of. Personally, I have never seen more people whose talents were wasted than the really hardworking people who work in corporations.
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  #5  
Old 09-01-2004, 03:19 PM
webwench
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I would much rather be an entrepreneur. However, I'm pretty risk-averse (it's just me and a six-year-old child, and I really like being able to pay my mortgage), so I don't foresee making that jump unless circumstances change. I am currently a 'paycheck-casher' working for a major company, and have realized a couple of things: One, it's very stressful and (I have to roll my eyes as I say this, although I mean it) disempowering to not have much control over your professional fate, your daily direction, the success or failure of your company. Two, I no longer have any clear picture of what I want to do or where I want to be in five or ten years. That's an easy pattern to fall into when you're a practicing machine cog for a few years... you just toe the line and stay the course until you no longer know what the course was in the first place. I'm afraid I'd fallen into the trap without even realizing it. I feel rather trapped now, to be honest.

I think fear is what keeps most people where they are, professionally. I haven't met a happy cube-monkey in a really long time, and I know and work with a lot of cube-monkeys.
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  #6  
Old 09-01-2004, 03:45 PM
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Tried both and found happiness in being a wage slave with both a pension and a 401(k) in my future. The ownership piece is very seductive, very empowering, but not for the weak of heart, especially when you're carrying debt and have employees, not just you. Growth in a small company is easy at the beginning, but the real hard part is when you've continued to grow and have to maintain growth in order to compete. Well regulated growth and coming to grips with your own limitations in managing growth can kill you and your business.

However, I am the owner/operator of a small Mercedes repair shop, specializing in the 1985 W201. My customer base is extremely small, but seemed to be satisfied. Now if I can just get myself to pay myself every now and then, it could be a success.
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  #7  
Old 09-01-2004, 03:53 PM
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Have owned our own business for over twenty years, so I guess that classifies us as successful. Learning curve is pretty steep but our main philosophy has been to treat people as you would like to be treated and business has taken care of itself. The customer is the "boss" now, and you have to really tow the line until you run into a complete jerk. The best part of the whole deal is having the opportunity to work with my son and wife and see them each grow their skills and confidence. Haven't taken that many vacations as the business does require a lot of hands on and keeping track of how the jobs are being handled. When I'm ready to hang it up, hopefully our son and his family will continue the business.
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  #8  
Old 09-01-2004, 04:44 PM
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I have to select "None of the above".
I have tried a few ventures of my own many years ago, and finally decided I don't have the right personality for it. I don't like contacting customers, worrying about finances, ect.
Tried the "big coorporation" thing. Didn't like it either. You're just a number.
Don't care to try the gov't job.

I've spent the majority of my working career in small "mom-n-pop" type companies. You know everybody, it's personal, I can have more varied responsabilities, ect, ect. Down side is lower pay and bennies. But we've survived. (raised 3 kids on a single income household)

But now I'm looking to move & change jobs, so I may look for a big company to work for. I'm looking at the near side of retiremenmt age, with really nothing much set aside for it. Would be nice to build up a retirement nest egg, something more than my 401K.
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  #9  
Old 09-01-2004, 05:58 PM
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I like working for myself. I pick the cases, pick the clients, come to work in flip flops and shorts, play my stereo and screw around on the internet when I want. Downside is in addition to actually practicing law I have to run a buisness and I don't like running a buisness.

The contrast between a solo and a big firm always strikes me. If I go to a small firm it always seems that something is going on, there are client's and kids and maybe a dog under a desk. Phones are ringing people are shouting back and forth. At the big firm it's so quiet, all you can hear is the sound of keyboards ticking and hushed conversations. Kinda creeps me out. I don't think I could do it.
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  #10  
Old 09-01-2004, 06:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by webwench
I think fear is what keeps most people where they are, professionally. I haven't met a happy cube-monkey in a really long time, and I know and work with a lot of cube-monkeys.
I couldn't agree more -- fear can be a great motivator, but it can also have exactly the opposite effect. I've often said that you can't really know what your capable of until your back's against the wall. Fine if it's just you, but it's a different story with a young child in the mix. Do you enjoy your job? Do you look forward to waking up in the morning and running off to work? You should --- you owe that to yourself!
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  #11  
Old 09-01-2004, 08:10 PM
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I worked for a smaller company (television network) that screwed me for eight years before folding. They even stopped payment on everyone's last paycheck!

I've been on my own as a freelance director or technical director ever since and am making about twice as much a year. (Knock on wood!!)

Either way, it beats having to deal with all that inter-office politics and a$$ kissing to get a raise. That still exists to some degree (gotta be nice to the clients), but I like the freedom and variety of working at several different studios around DC.
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  #12  
Old 09-02-2004, 10:15 AM
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I don't have the patience, the guts, or the will to see a venture through to ultimate success (or failure).

I'd like to be a Jesse James or a Tuttle and build something creative that can actually be parlayed into a successful business! The best job of all is doing something you really love and making money hand-over-fist while you're at it!

That said, I've been a corporate drudge for most of my adult life, and despite the politics, inept management direction, and stifling of real creative juices, it allows me to build a home life that I never would have the time to enjoy if I had my own deal.

For that matter, many of those I'm close to who do have a successful business have a less-than-happy family life...truly sad.
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  #13  
Old 09-02-2004, 11:10 AM
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Our business celebrated our 12th Anniversary back in June. I didn't have much time in the "corporate world" as I was 26 when my business partner and I started the company, back in '92.

There have been lean times over the past dozen years, but we ALWAYS paid employees on time and offered excellent benefits:


(A new hire gets)
16 PDOs
Full medical (100% paid by the company)
Full disability
Life insurance - $50K to start
Very competitive salary

But, we have very high standards and expect high productivity. Can't hack it? Let's just say we don't *drift* for long...
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  #14  
Old 09-02-2004, 03:20 PM
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I do both. I work for the state 40 hrs/week; our organization has about 1,500 employees. I have full benefits etc.

Then I work about 40 hours/week in a business of 3 people (including me).

The benefits are good from the government, and I could get well rewarded if our small company "blasts-off"!
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  #15  
Old 09-03-2004, 12:53 AM
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Thumbs up

I've been self employed for a long time, and even though today was another 13 hour work day, the only way life could be better is if I had that most coveted of all disabilities: too much $$ to work.....
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