My minds a buzz at the moment. I am a long term inhouse/corporate Recruiter. I've taken the safe, conservative path. That said, this life is definitely not without its challenges, but let's face it, as long as I'm in a job, I'm getting paid next week.

I've been observing the market for a long time, watching entrepreneurs being successful, people with the courage to put their skills and ideas to the test, going out on a limb.

I'd love to hear/read from those, who have taken the step, hung up their own shingle, going into life as their own boss.

What was the driver that made your decision to do it? Was there one set event that crystalised the idea for you? How did you cope with the pressure of not being guaranteed an income?

This intrigues me. I'd love to read your stories.

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I don't know if this counts but a long time ago when I set out in my career I worked for my mother in the real estate business. One day, in frustration over how stubborn and obtuse I can be, she blurted out:

"Nobody would ever hire you!"

I was in my early twenties and it stung. I never did work for anyone else after that. These days I recognize what she said was a great gift but it took many years to understand that.
Love it Maureen,

I can see my current boss in that statement, he'd make a terrible employee. So yes, definitely counts, however, I struggle to see you as a person who can get that kind of reaction... surely not.. thanks for the post though

Maureen Sharib said:

I don't know if this counts but a long time ago when I set out in my career I worked for my mother in the real estate business. One day, in frustration over how stubborn and obtuse I can be, she blurted out:

"Nobody would ever hire you!"

I was in my early twenties and it stung. I never did work for anyone else after that. These days I recognize what she said was a great gift but it took many years to understand that.
I'm self-employed simply because I cannot stand politics. Any kind of politics. Customer politics, client politics, corporate politics...I prefer de-lousing mooses to anything involving, well, politics.

Being independent certainly helps that. Plus, I was in the right place at the right time with the right product back in 1997...that helped too.
I made the decision to become self-employed when the recession of 1974 was in full swing and my boss was closing the doors of the agency. Being a recruiter was my first taste of a job where I got to use my brain and other abilities I didn’t know I had. I couldn’t go back to working at a “real” job. I had more guts than money and decided to just go for it. It was a lot different then. $4000 could get you an office, furniture and telephones…..all I needed to take the plunge.

So here I am 34 years later. It’s been a roller coaster ride of high rolling years of plenty and frantic "will I ever make another placement" periods of despair. I cried at my desk in 1981 when I thought it was all over because I just lost 2 deals and had no new job orders. In 1988 I bought myself a beautiful chunky gold & diamond bracelet to celebrate all the successful placements I made and the $$$ that were rolling in. Through some of those years I was a single mom with two kids depending on me to bring home the pizza and pay the rent. I had two states of mind at work, euphoria and despondency.

Through it all I just kept rowing the boat. There wasn't much choice because I was too stubborn and proud to not make it. Of course, there was that year that I worked part-time as a bartender to help pay the bills....but that ended up being a lot of fun and gave me a whole other story to tell someday. It got me through 1981 and kept my name on the door of the business.

Being self-employed is not for the faint of heart. Maybe you just have to be a little crazy and a lot courageous, or the other way around. Or then again, in my case and apparently Maureen's, you just have to make a terrible employee and not have much choice except to be self-employed.

If you need security and a stable income (and you’re sane) being self-employed is not the way to go. If you are a risk-taker and have enough confidence in your ability and your determination to make it work, then go for it. There have been plenty of times over the years I wished with all my heart that I was getting a paycheck every week instead of being the chief cook. But now, looking back and ahead, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
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I got tired of riding the agency roller coaster and making every else rich.

I'm still not sure how I cope with the pressure of not being guaranteed an income, but I can tell you this - you find ways to make money. Even if it's not always in the niche you want it to be. ;)
Robin:
One more thing abt my mom.
She told me if someone is willing to give you a paycheck you're not only creating that paycheck for yourself you're also creating wealth for them. Why give it away?

Interesting that all the respondents so far in this string are women.
I need to comment; I've never had a problem creating wealth for anyone so long as it was ALSO creating wealth for me!

'course, if the second part wasn't true...then yes, big problems would emerge.

Maureen Sharib said:
Robin:
One more thing abt my mom.
She told me if someone is willing to give you a paycheck you're not only creating that paycheck for yourself you're also creating wealth for them. Why give it away?

Interesting that all the respondents so far in this string are women.
I guess for me I have always been into business development. I would work for some companies that would appall me with their methodologies, the lack of efficiency in their system, lack of ethics, etc. Quite a few years ago I managed an office that I revamped to work more efficiently, spent many off hours changing certain things, but according to my co-workers what I was doing was unnecessary. They didn't seem to understand why I spent all this time doing this, when it doesn't immediately benefit me- it only benefited the organization I was working for. I realized that I really liked helping other businesses out, and that the best way I could do so was through the employees that are hired.
Barbara Ling said:
I need to comment; I've never had a problem creating wealth for anyone so long as it was ALSO creating wealth for me!

'course, if the second part wasn't true...then yes, big problems would emerge.

Maureen Sharib said:
Robin:
One more thing abt my mom.
She told me if someone is willing to give you a paycheck you're not only creating that paycheck for yourself you're also creating wealth for them. Why give it away?

Interesting that all the respondents so far in this string are women.

Barbara: My efforts were well rewarded for short periods. In my experience, agencies typically want you until you're a top producer then cut you loose and keep what you've brought to the table without having to share. The longest this "cycle" ever lasted was 5 years and I thought I'd found the promised land of recruiting. Until one day, out of the blue, I was laid off. Over the phone, no less. Klassy.

Maybe that's just the way the agency world works here in Tampa but I don't trust a single one of them so who do you work for when that happens? Right. Yourself. :) Maureen, your mom sounds wise. :)
Ooooh Robin, That hurts!
I know there are plenty of use em up and throw them away agencies out there but don't do the same thing the outsiders do and paint us all with the same brush!

Over the years I've employed up to 4 people at a time...that was the largest I ever grew. I can proudly say that I am still friends with most of them. One moved to Buenos Aries over 20 years ago and we still visit each other across that distance. One became a lawyer and we are still good friends after 15 years, and I could go on.
The best producers became my best friends and usually left when there was a divorce, pregnancies or a relocation. The more they made the more I made and we were all happy. I also tried to provide all the tools, seminars, conferences and expenses they needed to make money without worrying about cost. If it helped them to make placements we all won.

These days I work alone with just part time help to research and do administrative work. A lot less expensive and I'm only responsible for myself.

The agency world is a big one and some of us are "good guys/women" :-)
OK I suppose I need to put a little testoserone to the discussion Maureen, although I'm probably not best qualified. I set up on my "own" for a little while, out of necessity I suppose. I got laid off from an agency at the height of the tech wreck, and essentially I didn't want to work for another one with antiquated metrics and some dumb rules, micro-managing my day to day movements. So I thought I'd do it myself.

Worked well to start off with, as I took time to figure out what I really wanted to do, made some placements and some good cash, amazing how much money comes in when the whole fee comes to you isn't it.

However I wussed out I suppose, was thinking of starting a family, needed to be able to guarantee an income, so I found a corporate role, and have been here ever since... Probably not making anywhere near the money I would have, but kept a guaranteed cheque coming in every week... I think I'd bought into the Agency = evil, blood suckers ideal that gets peddled around a bit.

Whilst no regrets always the thought of what could have been.
what a great conversation! incredible stories, everyone. i haven't taken flight yet, but who knows..maybe the wings are stronger and the air better than i lead myself to believe.

@Jacqueline - i relate to most of what you've shared. creating a smarter, more efficient work place is a pretty thankless job, unless you're working with a great manager and a far sighted principal/business owner.

@KarenM - your comments were equal parts hilarious and smart. enjoyed reading them. thanks!

Happy Monday!

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