Author Topic: The urge to start a business, blue collar worries.  (Read 2488 times)

Neverstop

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The urge to start a business, blue collar worries.
« on: December 21, 2016, 06:03:39 PM »
At the moment I have a decent paying blue collar job ($40-60k depending on OT), but for the past year, since I got the job really, I have had this idea and urge in my gut to start a business. In order to make good money at my job, or any blue collar job, you have to work a lot of OT and even though at the moment I really don't have a problem with it I fear that complacency will keep me there. I look at the guys who have been doing it for 15+ years and even though they are raking in close to $90k I feel like if I have to work 6-7 days a week year round for that it's not worth it. It's not that I'm afraid to work I just don't wan't my life to revolve around it, must be the millennial in me.

I have some college education, but no degree at the moment, although I have been thinking about returning this coming year. I was thinking about returning and getting an A.S. to go along with my work experience as a decent safety net just in case I decide to go down the business path and fail miserably.

It's all just an idea and I don't even know what kind of business to plan on starting, in a way i feel like I have almost no marketable skills.

Has anyone else here been blue collar and started their own business? What were you doing and what did you get in to?

Retire-Canada

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Re: The urge to start a business, blue collar worries.
« Reply #1 on: December 21, 2016, 07:28:50 PM »
Slightly tangential, but the alternatives are not work at this job 7 days a week until you die or start a business. Check out this link:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

If you can rock a high savings rate with some OT you can be done working forever in under 10yrs. If that's too long you could rock 5yrs of full-time work with as much OT as you can handle then maybe do 10yrs of chill part-time work while your 'stash reaches your FIRE target.

Nothing wrong with starting your own business if you have a passion for something specific, but I wouldn't do it instead of a job unless you truly are passionate. Everyone I know who has their own business works a ton. If it's something you love that can be good.

Mtngrl

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Re: The urge to start a business, blue collar worries.
« Reply #2 on: December 21, 2016, 07:29:19 PM »
My husband was an HVAC tech and started his own HVAC business. At the time, he had been in the business long enough to have made a lot of contacts and several of his customers followed him when he set out on his own. (He did commercial work only and specialized in maintenance contracts. He also had a good background in computer controls.)

One of his best friends was an electrician and started his own business as an electrician. So it's very possible to start your own business in a blue collar trade. However, I think it's a mistake to think it's less work -- the self-employed folks I know work just as hard or even harder, since you never really leave the job behind and you are responsible for everything.

mousebandit

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Re: The urge to start a business, blue collar worries.
« Reply #3 on: December 21, 2016, 08:20:50 PM »
From what I've seen, the entrepreneur spirit either lives in you or it doesn't.  If it does, you'll feel the pull to strike out on your own regardless of your background, skill set, or anything else.  Sounds like you've got it. 

I would suggest you start reading some books about starting and owning a small business.  Just let the idea begin to ferment in your mind that you are going to start a business.  It will grow and mature over time.  Don't feel like you need to know all the details yet!  Be open to the idea and you will start seeing opportunities all around you.  Just observe them for a while, take your time before you jump in.  You may end up doing something related to your current job, or you may end up doing something totally different! 

Strongly consider starting small, as a side gig, while you're still working your day job. 

I would encourage you to visit your local Small Business Development Center.  They're in most every city, and have classes and resources that will provide you with incredible value for the dollar investment. 

Don't be worried over whether your first business idea or even your first business venture will be the "right" one.  Most entrepreneurs start a few small businesses before they end up settled.  Consider it part of the learning curve.  You won't necessarily lose money on these test ventures, although you might lose some.  Mostly you'll just be feeling the waters, learning your strengths and weaknesses, and discovering your passions.  It will be an exciting journey!


Uturn

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Re: The urge to start a business, blue collar worries.
« Reply #4 on: December 21, 2016, 09:02:31 PM »
It doesn't matter what your business is, there are three aspects to it. 

1.  Finding clients and selling
2.  Doing the work
3.  Billing the customer and chasing down invoices from the ones who don't pay

If you are doing one, the other two are not getting done.  If you are good at and really enjoy one of the three, you are probably better off working for someone else.  If you can see yourself and are good at managing the people who are doing the three aspects of a business, you are well suited to start your business. 

Although you will probably need to start small, meaning doing all three yourself, make sure you have a plan to start hiring out the aspects that you don't like.  Even if you enjoy the doing the work part, hire someone to manage the business.  I've seen so many people put themselves in financial trouble because they are awesome at doing the work, have great customer skills, but lack aspects 1 and 3.  I say this while looking in a mirror. 

I came back to address the 4th aspect that we all love to ignore.  HR, legal, and compliance.  Let's just assume that these will be farmed out. 
« Last Edit: December 21, 2016, 09:06:22 PM by Uturn »

Hey It's Me

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Re: The urge to start a business, blue collar worries.
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2016, 09:30:58 PM »
In addition to the above, you can also take a stab at your business part-time. This way you'll work more hours on the outset, but you leave yourself with some leeway in case the business doesn't work out. It's a nice middle ground.

Neverstop

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Re: The urge to start a business, blue collar worries.
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2016, 10:36:51 PM »
Slightly tangential, but the alternatives are not work at this job 7 days a week until you die or start a business. Check out this link:

http://www.mrmoneymustache.com/2012/01/13/the-shockingly-simple-math-behind-early-retirement/

If you can rock a high savings rate with some OT you can be done working forever in under 10yrs. If that's too long you could rock 5yrs of full-time work with as much OT as you can handle then maybe do 10yrs of chill part-time work while your 'stash reaches your FIRE target.

Nothing wrong with starting your own business if you have a passion for something specific, but I wouldn't do it instead of a job unless you truly are passionate. Everyone I know who has their own business works a ton. If it's something you love that can be good.

Like I said I don't mind working, it's the menial grind day in day out that makes me feel like I'm wasting my life.  My trade isn't even hard it's just boring for the most part.  It's a maintenance trade.

From what I've seen, the entrepreneur spirit either lives in you or it doesn't.  If it does, you'll feel the pull to strike out on your own regardless of your background, skill set, or anything else.  Sounds like you've got it. 

I would suggest you start reading some books about starting and owning a small business.  Just let the idea begin to ferment in your mind that you are going to start a business.  It will grow and mature over time.  Don't feel like you need to know all the details yet!  Be open to the idea and you will start seeing opportunities all around you.  Just observe them for a while, take your time before you jump in.  You may end up doing something related to your current job, or you may end up doing something totally different! 

Strongly consider starting small, as a side gig, while you're still working your day job. 

I would encourage you to visit your local Small Business Development Center.  They're in most every city, and have classes and resources that will provide you with incredible value for the dollar investment. 

Don't be worried over whether your first business idea or even your first business venture will be the "right" one.  Most entrepreneurs start a few small businesses before they end up settled.  Consider it part of the learning curve.  You won't necessarily lose money on these test ventures, although you might lose some.  Mostly you'll just be feeling the waters, learning your strengths and weaknesses, and discovering your passions.  It will be an exciting journey!



I'm reading Think and Grow Rich at the moment.

The hardest aspect of it will be people part.  I am not a good people person.


obstinate

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Re: The urge to start a business, blue collar worries.
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2016, 11:59:09 PM »
Starting a business is by no means a guaranteed way to get ahead. In fact, I'd guess most small businesses do worse for their owners than just working would. My cousin lost his shirt in his business. Ended up having to go back to blue collar work with significantly less savings.