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ReverendTexGinsberg
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14 Jan 2013, 3:58 pm

I own my own business. Obviously it's challenging, but I've always had entrepreneurial tendencies and not being stuck in a cubicle or at the mercy of others to whether I have a job or not is freeing for me.

Anybody else? I would love to get advise on coping and getting better at it.



adb
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14 Jan 2013, 4:15 pm

I do, but I'm not sure what the quality of my advice would be. I rely a lot on other people to help cover up my issues.



ReverendTexGinsberg
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14 Jan 2013, 4:26 pm

That would actually be very helpful to me. As I am in the "investigative" phase of discovering I may have AS. Asking for help and knowing the right people to ask in the first place to help my deficiencies is a major problem for me. Been burned many times because I didn't know better. Asked and trusted the wrong people, ya know?



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14 Jan 2013, 5:05 pm

I definitely relate to that. I've started several companies and at least two of them failed due to me placing trust in the wrong people.

My rule for trusting people now is that I don't trust anyone unless they have a vested interest in my success. Basically, this includes my immediate family (dependants) and people I have an equity (ownership) relationship with. I don't tell other people that I'm on the spectrum.

One word of caution I would give you about your current investigative phase... keep an attitude that you're different, not broken. You need help because you don't speak the language, not because you're handicapped in some way. If you think you're broken or damaged, people will treat you that way.



ReverendTexGinsberg
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14 Jan 2013, 5:14 pm

Yep. Honestly, I've watched so many "normal" people live their small lives in fear while I'm "Evel Knievel"ing it. I love my life. Just that, well you know, when you Evel Knievel through life you crash spectacularly for all to see and justify themselves to you. Ya know? :-)

I'm still gonna make jumps, I just need to have better safety crews and equipment. LOL



cathylynn
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14 Jan 2013, 6:07 pm

what i learned from my business that crashed and burned: always check references and hire as few employees as you can get by with. a good question to ask of references is, "would you hire this person again?"



Last edited by cathylynn on 14 Jan 2013, 6:13 pm, edited 1 time in total.

ReverendTexGinsberg
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14 Jan 2013, 6:13 pm

Good advice. Thanks. I don't have any employees and probably won't anyway. The government just sticks you harder for providing work for folks... sad but true.



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15 Jan 2013, 8:03 pm

I own a small business. It's tough. I've survived on referrals but those are drying up. I need to drum up business, which is incredibly hard for me. The thought of it is terrifying.

On the upside, I work alone, and other than on-site consultations can completely control my working environment (very important for me) without compromising the quality of my work. I've done some of my best work since striking out on my own. I had help from an accountant (relative) setting things up so I can keep it simple. I spend about two hours per month on business admin, so you might do that straight away.

...and I could do with some advice myself!



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16 Jan 2013, 7:34 am

When the company I worked for when I first left school closed down, I obtained some second-hand office equipment and started a small office services agency. My experiences are probably the reason I have resisted starting another business, although I have come around to the conclusion that having my own business is probably the only way I am going to be able to make use of my self-taught knowledge in a very specialist area of personal development and education.

Customers would always try to beat down my already competitive hourly fee for document and spreadsheet production, or try to get printing and copying done for less per sheet than my standard rate. For example, customers would expect their printing done for a cut-down price because they had brought their own paper, even though the cost of a sheet of paper was negligible and it was the cost of the ink and operation of the machine that was what my standard rate was based on.

This wasn't helped by the fact that because I couldn't afford premises I operated out of a room at the back of my dad's shop, and he always had this attitude that I should take what I was offered. So when someone came in wanting a manuscript typed up, and they said they were willing to pay £5 per hour instead of my usual £8, my dad was furious because I wouldn't take it, even though the business startup course I had attended taught that you should NEVER accept offers to pay less than the going rate as it will (a) be impossible to charge that customer your going rate later on, and (b) word gets around that you will accept that fee. So I would not only have the customer trying to bully me by getting all angry and worked up over fees, but I would have Dad getting angry because I wouldn't give in.

Also, people would take advantage in other ways. There used to be this guy who wanted cassette labels typed up for his band. It was a fiddly job as the cassette case inlays and cassette labels themselves wouldn't go through a printer and so each one had to be done by hand on a typewriter. There wasn't enough space to type all the songs using normal line spacing so the labels and inlays had to be painstakingly lined up in the typewriter for each new line so that all the text would fit. This guy not only complained about the fee, but he had a habit of bringing things round to the house on a Sunday night needing them urgently to go see some music publisher or gig venue or whoever the next day. This guy owed me a small amount of money which I never chased - it was worth it just to get rid of him.

I eventually got another job instead of continuing the business because I was rubbish at generating business leads. At least I don't think that will be so much of a problem in my new field as I have since learned the value of networking and I have been steadily building contacts.

My concern is how to notice when I'm being bullied or taken advantage of early enough on in the game that I can either nip it in the bud or don't take that person on as a client.



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16 Jan 2013, 10:39 am

@Miss Moneypenny - Oh can I relate to that one. People think buying me a cup of coffee or lunch buys them my services. Then there are the people who expect me to do the work and THEN decide if they want to pay for it.

I grew up in a "professional" household, so I was used to every family excursion being interrupted for free advice. I've learned what to do and what not to do to keep from being picked clean by people who don't value your time.



AgentPalpatine
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16 Jan 2013, 10:50 am

MissMoneypenny wrote:
This wasn't helped by the fact that because I couldn't afford premises I operated out of a room at the back of my dad's shop, and he always had this attitude that I should take what I was offered. So when someone came in wanting a manuscript typed up, and they said they were willing to pay £5 per hour instead of my usual £8, my dad was furious because I wouldn't take it, even though the business startup course I had attended taught that you should NEVER accept offers to pay less than the going rate as it will (a) be impossible to charge that customer your going rate later on, and (b) word gets around that you will accept that fee. So I would not only have the customer trying to bully me by getting all angry and worked up over fees, but I would have Dad getting angry because I wouldn't give in.

Quote:
My concern is how to notice when I'm being bullied or taken advantage of early enough on in the game that I can either nip it in the bud or don't take that person on as a client.


If you have to cut a deal on price, be sure you have a plan why you're giving in on price. People who fight over little amounts of money are usually not worth having as clients. Occasionally, there are reasons to cut a deal.


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ReverendTexGinsberg
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16 Jan 2013, 2:05 pm

One thing I learned from a guy I used to work for is that I actually raise my rates on people I know are going to try to use my services just to sue somebody or generally be a pain in the ass. I try to make sure the price is high enough they don't want to hire me in the first place. I don't like sue-happy people and I hate wasting time in court on the witness stand. Though I charge $450/hr for expert witness testimony I usually lose money because of time spent away from doing other jobs.