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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Like many others who have posted, I stumbled into being self-employed (consulting). In a way, a recession or downturn or being laid off can help you catalyze your career. In early 80's, I was laid off from ad agency (real-estate & banking downturn) & realized it would be harder for me to find a new agency position than it would be for me to try to get my own clients.
At three different points, I went out on my own (consulting is a low-cost, low overhead venture & I recommend it to everyone). So much that seems insurmountable, becomes clearer just by doing - setting rates, figuring out your best prospects & getting them to pay you. Then, at three different points, I went "in-house" & started working for a consulting client. In all three situations, I'm sure I would not have been hired if I had applied or responded to an ad & sent in my resume. Often, small businesses don't know what they want from marketing role & then once they start working w/ someone who generates results, they realize what can be accomplished. If anyone is interested in this topic, I highly recommend "Escape from Cubicle Nation" - Pam Slim's blog & Twitter & her book. She totally gets that whole transition & getting started mindset ("being fed up with your job is not a business plan" - one of her gems).

There's nothing wrong with benefits & working at a fulltime job. I've just found that being self-employed at different points is a marvelously freeing feeling. If you've ever regrouped after being laid off or choosing to leave a bad work situation to consult for yourself, you know the path to building that "brand you."
Good luck to all who try this path!

I'd always wanted to work for myself but had become a bit of a wage slave. I'd always been a successful consultant but it did start to grate when I made my former company 162500 and took home around 35K (pounds not dollar!) but, I carried on bills bills bills!

Then after 6 or so years in recruitment I had 2 kids in close succession; I was on maternity leave with my 2nd child and suddenly I had time (well as much as you do with a 22 month old and 8 month old) but most importantly no money was coming in from me and we were managing - so suddenly i'm not a wage slave (oh the liberation).

So I set up - working from home - making a basic website, setting up terms and conditions, a business number, headed paper, business bank account etc - that was pretty much it. I found a candidate - interviewed them and began to make contact with business. I still LOVE the simplicity of recruitment.

So I feel very lucky to be working for myself on my own terms; for me it was a case of waiting patiently for the right time and recognising when was an opportune moment. I heard a great phrase - luck happens when preperation meets opportunity. I totally believe that.
My decision to start my own firm was prompted by a desire to pursue a new career path. The television news business was in decline, audiences were fragmenting, advertising revenues were shrinking along with funding to do serious journalism. The writing was on the wall . . . A friend suggested recruiting and I haven't looked back. My investigative background gave me a distinct advantage. After working at a retained firm, I honestly believed that "there must to be a better way!" I set out to find out what that was, and by George, I think we've found it. I don't think I would ever work for another company again. Quite simply, working for another firm, you can get fired or laid off. So essentially, you're always just one step away from financial ruin. Running a business, you spread that risk across multiple clients. You're not dependent on a single one. Moreover, company ownership may be a lot of work, but it offers a direct path to wealth creation.

Truer words were never spoken. Agencies churn and burn everyone. If you're successful in that environment, it's even harder to move to another firm because suddenly your book of business becomes theirs or another tenured recruiters "owns" that account.

Robin Eads said:
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:
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. :)

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