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Learning, Sharing, and Teaching => Ask a Mustachian => Topic started by: dizzy on December 22, 2020, 09:00:05 AM

Title: Balancing current gigs with developing barista FIRE gigs
Post by: dizzy on December 22, 2020, 09:00:05 AM
I balance a bunch of gigs as an acupuncturist and a musician.  Last year the split was 70/30 in % of income.
This year music tanked but I said yes to new acupuncture opportunities.  I guess I took some risks that others wouldn't have (I know a lot of people working minimally or not at all; I get it)

Right now I have 3 acupuncture jobs and have been offered a fourth which would take up 2 days a week, leaving me probably with only one day off:

Job 1: 2 6-hr days a week.  Guarantee/hr, plus more if I see more people, plus most people tip.  1099
Job 2: 3 4-hr days every other week.  Eventually they mentioned expanding but it's not looking anytime soon now.  W2 guaranteed income
Job 3: 1 5-hr day a week.  100% commission. 1099
potential job 4: 2 8-hr days a week (if it's possible for me to schedule).  Unsure on payments, probably % of take (40% of practice is insurance 60% cash).  Cash rate is $90 I believe. 1099 most likely

In around 5 years I'm hoping to meet my FIRE goals at which point I would leave job 3, probably job 2, and potentially job 1, if it's not flexible (most possibility for flexibility there).  I would also want to have my own business where I see patients, mostly on medicaid that pays out pretty decent here.  My vision is also to do more "wellness" events (meditation events, retreats) and related, non medical services (energy work, astrology, life coaching).  In my free time I want to do more long distance hiking, travel with partner when he FIREs (no idea when it will be), do more music gigs including tours.  In the past had to turn down music work due to acupuncture jobs.

I am wondering if I should take job 4 which will really limit my time and I'll have to hustle a lot more, or if I should start trying to build my own business now even if financially less lucrative. 

I'm in a situation where I don't know if I should take job 4- which is nebulous about pay as of now- they are finalizing their offer over the holidays.  Job 4 is all profit, but then doing my own biz sets me up for the long term even if a small loss now.  Job 4 would be much more restrictive with my time and freedom which is a really high value for me.  COVID has curtailed all that though and made me realize I can handle A LITTLE bit of more normal person schedule.  Job 4 does have a good possibility of learning a lot tho from the practitioner.  Financially potentially could pay really well- in most upscale neighborhood in my city.  They want me to specialize in fertility which means high patient compliance which is cool.  I'm more of a GP but it's fine for me to focus on that at this point, job 1 made me learn a lot for this.  But it's really unclear how many patients, and then money, it would translate to.  In the long term I would definitely leave bc they want me to be a more normie US experience- only taking off like 1-2 weeks a year.

Really having a hard time deciding what to do.
Title: Re: Balancing current gigs with developing barista FIRE gigs
Post by: mozar on December 25, 2020, 10:04:54 AM
I think it's time for you to decide between music tours and acupuncture. You have already discovered you can't do both at the same time. What do you want more? Going on tour, or working regularly with patients?
Title: Re: Balancing current gigs with developing barista FIRE gigs
Post by: dizzy on January 02, 2021, 04:17:07 PM
I can (and have in the past) do both at the same time, but I need to be flexible- my current jobs don't accomodate that.  So either working for a flexible place, or doing my own thing.  Could also try to get to a financial point more quickly where I'd have to rely less on acu, but unsure if I should just put the eggs towards doin my own thing with acu which then I'd have control over the schedule more.  But it's a pretty crazy time to throw money into a biz that wouldn't be making any money (I can't even see my target people for that until my credentialling goes through- 6 months maybe?)

My tours by the way have been pretty short- 1 to 2 weeks at a time generally.

I refuse to just accept the status quo, I've always been good at coming up with unconventional solutions.
Title: Re: Balancing current gigs with developing barista FIRE gigs
Post by: dizzy on January 21, 2021, 10:32:18 AM
Still having a hard time to decide what to do but some interesting options at least.

Job 3 unexpectedly threw some new options at me.  First they want to move my day from Tues to Weds.  This is great, because every other week now I will have Sun-Tues off, and Sat pm/Weds am.  I can definitely do some good backpacking in there.

Also they said if I do a second day of community clinic (what I currently do there) it would be Friday. 
The biggest thing though is that they hope to get their landlord (who historically has been v cool) to refit the space and add some treatment rooms.  If that happens I have the go ahead to schedule insurance private patients at my discretion.  Flexibility and more $$, word.  They think there's a good chance they will get this since normal lease terms involve a refit anyway- this way the landlord doesn't need to have a new renter during COVID, they like the biz anyway.

Potential job 4 wants me, also for Friday tho.  Which works for now.  IDK if I should hedge my bets and just start there, since if the landlord at other place doesn't work out the deal, they will be looking for a different space, and not potentially include me.  I'm supposed to go observe tomorrow.  I don't feel stoked about it, but before this new thing with job 3 I was very meh about job 3 and more interested in job 4.  Uggggh IDK.

It's quite likely job 3 will grow like bonkers once restrictions calm/people start getting unemployment again here (come on!  It's been a month of no communication/no money).  They do a lot of groupon to get people in and I get a set amount no matter how much they are paying.  Also they may be positioning more towards a wellness center if the refit gets approved and yoga starts up again.  Another thing is I had a good talk with the yoga teacher who during pandemic (where she shifted to online only and closed the studio) and while yoga has been slow, she started up a podcast that's a big deal.  She hopes to market me for both acupuncture and astrology which would be great, especially for astrology (something I haven't marketed much, but I love doing//can do remotely too).  Also can use the space for soundbath meditations when that becomes safe.  She is motivated, as she's the wife of the practice owner.

Job 3, no guarantees tho, there's a good chance it can fold completely.  Job 4, doesn't sound like that will happen.