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Stoek
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30 Dec 2012, 7:16 pm

It might be one of those strange ironies but it seems like being a wage laborer is a huge issue for aspies.

Aspies perform best without exception when they are doing something they find interesting. This is pretty much a universal truth.


However in order for one to end up doing something they enjoy typically one has to have a great deal of luck. Due to high cost of training, insurance, high degree of regularity among company branches, office space, and the rate at which companies undergo rapid change it's near impossible for an aspie to get into what they like doing.

Obviously part of the problem is that companies cannot succed if all their employee's only ever did the jobs they enjoy. Secondly however most people prefer jobs that are general and not specialized.

Since it's impractical for a company due to their very own nature, it would only make sense if we were able to get into some form of self employment?



BTDT
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30 Dec 2012, 7:23 pm

Aspies have done well in farming, factory, and engineering jobs. My engineering job initially required very little in people skills--I was able to acquire them in my many years of employment.



AgentPalpatine
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30 Dec 2012, 9:26 pm

BTDT wrote:
Aspies have done well in farming, factory, and engineering jobs. My engineering job initially required very little in people skills--I was able to acquire them in my many years of employment.


BTDT, do you believe the engineering field is as open as it was then to those with "less" people skills?


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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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30 Dec 2012, 11:37 pm

I did pretty well in furniture sales. The attitude was "Just Sell Baby" (shades of Al Davis) and you were in fact allowed to be an individual.

One downside was that low ebbs were sometimes over analyzed. And a remedy is just to use an analogy from baseball.



BTDT
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31 Dec 2012, 10:11 am

I think it depends where you work as an engineer.

Some companies are good at sequestering their engineers--so social interaction is quite minimal.

And, if you get a reputation for being really good, it doesn't matter--they need you no matter how bad you social skills are.

But, like anywhere else, it certainly helps to have good people skills as an engineer.



RazorEddie
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31 Dec 2012, 10:44 am

Stoek wrote:
Aspies perform best without exception when they are doing something they find interesting. This is pretty much a universal truth.

This is true for most people, autistic or NT. The problem with the autistic mind is that we tend to have narrow interests and are less likely to put up with things we don't like.
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Since it's impractical for a company due to their very own nature, it would only make sense if we were able to get into some form of self employment?

Self employment isn't as easy as it first appears. If anything you have to be more flexible than if you are employed. The interesting bits are great and to a fair extent you can aim your business towards your interests. However there is a lot of other stuff such as dealing with customers and endless paperwork. This has to be done and there is only one person to do it. If you neglect this side of your work your business won't last long.

Having said that, self employment works for me and I hope I never have to go back to being employed.

You may find it easier to work for a small business. On the down side you will be expected to be more flexible. On the up side they are far more likely to accomodate any quirks. You are more likely to be a person to them rather than an oddly shaped cog in a corporate machine.


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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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31 Dec 2012, 1:59 pm

RazorEddie wrote:
. . . Self employment isn't as easy as it first appears. If anything you have to be more flexible than if you are employed. The interesting bits are great and to a fair extent you can aim your business towards your interests. However there is a lot of other stuff such as dealing with customers and endless paperwork. This has to be done and there is only one person to do it. If you neglect this side of your work your business won't last long.

Having said that, self employment works for me and I hope I never have to go back to being employed. . .

I compliment you on your own business. It's something I've been very interested in at different times of my life. I love the idea of dealing with the general public, say as an artist or writer or journalist, directly without gatekeepers.

As a cautionary note, I have read that 80% of new businesses fail (yes, 8 out of 10). And the biggest reason is undercapitalization.

One lesson from this is, don't have a storefront with the fixed costs of rent, utilities, insurance, etc. Instead, pick a business I can run out of my home or car.

With the paperwork, do you think it's worthwhile having a CPA help set up systems and engage this professional either quarterly or yearly?



RazorEddie
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31 Dec 2012, 2:30 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
I compliment you on your own business. It's something I've been very interested in at different times of my life. I love the idea of dealing with the general public, say as an artist or writer or journalist, directly without gatekeepers.

Thank you. I don't like dealing with the public which is why most of my business is Internet based.
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As a cautionary note, I have read that 80% of new businesses fail (yes, 8 out of 10). And the biggest reason is undercapitalization.
One lesson from this is, don't have a storefront with the fixed costs of rent, utilities, insurance, etc. Instead, pick a business I can run out of my home or car.

Definitely. Try to avoid borrowing money if at all possible. If you have to get a temporary job to save up some money, do it. The interest on loans very often ends up bleeding you dry. I have seen a number of businesses die this way and it can get pretty horrible.
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With the paperwork, do you think it's worthwhile having a CPA help set up systems and engage this professional either quarterly or yearly?

Yes, especially in the beginning. Don't just hand over the paperwork and let them get on with it though. Sort everything out and ask exactly what they want to see. The more work you can do the less it will cost you. You may also learn enough to eventually take over the work yourself.

I did it all myself and looking back at some of my earlier efforts, all I can say is that I am glad I wasn't audited in the first few years :oops:


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AgentPalpatine
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31 Dec 2012, 2:52 pm

AardvarkGoodSwimmer wrote:
I compliment you on your own business. It's something I've been very interested in at different times of my life. I love the idea of dealing with the general public, say as an artist or writer or journalist, directly without gatekeepers.

As a cautionary note, I have read that 80% of new businesses fail (yes, 8 out of 10). And the biggest reason is undercapitalization.

One lesson from this is, don't have a storefront with the fixed costs of rent, utilities, insurance, etc. Instead, pick a business I can run out of my home or car.

With the paperwork, do you think it's worthwhile having a CPA help set up systems and engage this professional either quarterly or yearly?


That 80 percent number is'nt entirely correct. At least in the United States, no one organization maintains a true registry of businesses' life and death. There are some deep statistical models used by (I think) BLS to calculate the impact of small business growth/decline on employement reports, but the 80 percent failure rate in 5 years is not entirely accurate. I believe that the Small Business Administration thinks the number is 50 percent in 5 years, which sounds about right. That treats merger, acquisition, and retirement as "failure" however, which I would not.

Short version, You don't have to hit a 6 (or is it 7) outer on the river for a business to work.

Any fixed cost that does'nt pay back within a year should be avoided. It's preferable to have customers first and then grow into a fixed location (within reason).


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AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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01 Jan 2013, 12:26 pm

AgentPalpatine wrote:
. . . It's preferable to have customers first and then grow into a fixed location (within reason).

I think this is a very good approach. And if a business doesn't lend itself to this approach, maybe it's worth considering a business which does.

And I welcome a figure less than 80%. Another way in the U.S. might be to look at the numbers for people who attach Schedule C to their 1040s and then stop doing so. In particular, I hope people understand there's nothing guaranteed about a timeline.



Stoek
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01 Jan 2013, 6:52 pm

I think a far more accurate measure of failure, is a bankruptcy rate of those that enter into small business, and I don't count people buying sports cars as business expenses in that figure.

I think a large part of the problem, is people aren't able to find ways to bridge costs, and avoid taking excessive risks. To start a good business you need a support network of people and you need to have people that know what their doing.

People in this day and age I think are overwhelmed by the potential risks, and aren't able to plan accordingly. I think a solid argument can be made, that it is just as risky to be a wage laborer in a niche industry, as it is to be self employed.



AardvarkGoodSwimmer
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01 Jan 2013, 11:59 pm

On the topic of Internet businesses . . . I remember thinking in 2003 and '04, with the documentaries of Michael Moore, and also Supersize Me and What The Bleep Do We Know!?, that this was a golden age for documentaries.

And as a writer and someone who loves story, this is very appealing to me. But, anything artistic does have risk and unknowns (esp. distribution), and with the exception of music, microtransactions for content have yet to really catch on.



quietgirl
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02 Jan 2013, 12:28 am

Stoek wrote:
It might be one of those strange ironies but it seems like being a wage laborer is a huge issue for aspies.

Aspies perform best without exception when they are doing something they find interesting. This is pretty much a universal truth.


Brilliant discussion topic! I used to wonder why it was that I was fired from every job I'd ever had. Now it all makes sense. My breakthrough came when I was goofing around and got involved with something I was interested in, created a good marketing technique (baskets of fragrant fried chicken personally delivered when everyone but the alpha-male decision makers were gone for the day. Alone at their desks and hungry, resistance was futile). Seriously, once my foot was in the door, it all went on from there.

I swear, our specialized interests and creativity coupled with a bit of misery and desperation are the keys to success. Being unusual does get attention, and this can work to our advantage.



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02 Jan 2013, 8:41 pm

Stoek wrote:
I think a far more accurate measure of failure, is a bankruptcy rate of those that enter into small business, and I don't count people buying sports cars as business expenses in that figure.

I think a large part of the problem, is people aren't able to find ways to bridge costs, and avoid taking excessive risks. To start a good business you need a support network of people and you need to have people that know what their doing.

People in this day and age I think are overwhelmed by the potential risks, and aren't able to plan accordingly. I think a solid argument can be made, that it is just as risky to be a wage laborer in a niche industry, as it is to be self employed.


Hmmmm, how would we encourage the creation of a support network, and/or a way to bridge costs?


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TLPG
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03 Jan 2013, 6:03 am

On the OP, I'm not a fan of self employment because of the lack of routine. Any good small business is reliant on customer service, and if you limit yourself to a routine you lose customers who want their product/service NOW. I've seen it in my family - and this was with something that they were interested in as well. 20 hour days, 6 and a half day weeks....that's asking for a sensory overload and meltdown. In my humble opinion.

I personally couldn't work from home. Too many distractions. I agree with the overheads argument however.

Palpatine, I may be a bit biased due to bad experience in the work place, but support structures cost time and money and nowadays business wouldn't do it. Far easier to not hire the person who needs it to begin with, no matter what ideas one comes up with to cut said costs.



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03 Jan 2013, 11:22 am

TLPG wrote:
On the OP, I'm not a fan of self employment because of the lack of routine. Any good small business is reliant on customer service, and if you limit yourself to a routine you lose customers who want their product/service NOW. I've seen it in my family - and this was with something that they were interested in as well. 20 hour days, 6 and a half day weeks....that's asking for a sensory overload and meltdown. In my humble opinion.

I personally couldn't work from home. Too many distractions. I agree with the overheads argument however.

Palpatine, I may be a bit biased due to bad experience in the work place, but support structures cost time and money and nowadays business wouldn't do it. Far easier to not hire the person who needs it to begin with, no matter what ideas one comes up with to cut said costs.


I was refering to the support network for businesses refered to by Stoek in a previous post. Support structures at work I leave to someone with more experence in the field.

As to your routine issue, well, it's an issue. It's one of those calculations, how much deviation from our routines can we stomach in exchange for more independence from one large customer (an employer)? One also has to start asking hard questions of if the individual business model is really configured to work in a particular case. I've also seen what happens when small businesses turn bad, not as personally as you have.

Working from home is not what it's cracked up to be. The advent of <insert buzzword>, where you can rent an office or meeting room by the hour, grows out of that dilemma. It only took 10-15 years after working from home really got going.


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Our first challenge is to create an entire economic infrastructure, from top to bottom, out of whole cloth.
-CEO Nwabudike Morgan, "The Centauri Monopoly"
Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri (Firaxis Games)