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Old 06-12-2008, 02:35 PM   #1
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Question Career Change---Advice Needed

The past 1 1/2 years have been a rollercoaster ride for me healthwise & it's really made me reflect w/what I want to do with my life. I'm 36, single, no kids, so I'm not responsible for anyone other than myself.

I work as an accountant at a med school. While I like my job, it's not what I'm passionate about. I want to be my own boss & have my own business---probably a bakery. My stress relieve is cooking & baking and it's my true passion. I know having my own business can definitely be a struggle. I don't expect to be a millionaire. My father was self-employed so I know the ups and downs of it all. This is something I could do on the side & see if it takes off & if it does, GREAT! If it doesn't, at least I tried. I don't want to look back on my life & regret not trying.

So my question to ya'll is: Has anyone done a complete 180 in jobs, especially starting your own business? Have you quit your job to follow your passion? Any advice or tips to offer up? Thanks!


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Old 06-12-2008, 02:48 PM   #2
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I think you should follow your passion as long as you put some thought into it (it looks like you have).

After working for others for many years, I now work for myself exclusively and LOVE it!

I'll send you a PM.
"I do feel that spiritual progress does demand at some stage that we should cease to kill our fellow creatures for the satisfaction of our bodily wants." -Gandhi
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Old 06-12-2008, 03:03 PM   #3
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I agree.....do what you are passionate about and you will be rewarded...but it will be hard work.
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Old 06-12-2008, 03:15 PM   #4
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I'm kinda in the same boat. I want away from my job. It is in a field I love, but, the co. I work for is dangerous. I'm in mining. It doesn't have to be a dangerous job, if you practice good safety policy. It is that the co. I work for doesn't do that. But......they just so happen to be in a fairly stable area(heavy metals) and where I want to go is in coal mining, which is better at making sure you go home alive. (PS. I will not take any crap for being in a non-eviro friendly industry by anyone using the copper I'm mining to achieve their internet connection or the elec. produced by coal to power the damned thing, so save your snarky comments for someone who cares!!! I care about the future too, but I live in reality!!!!! Let's all work together to prepare a better future.)

Anyhow, I want to go back home, but I'm scared. Mines are a boom-bust business. Do I give up the security of a steady job for the next 20-50 years, but risk the hazards and crappy wages and conditions where I am? Or do I take a chance on better wages and safety only to be laid off 5-10 years from now when I'm 45-50 years old(try getting a new job then). I have decided to look for other work, but this decision is one I'm making after over a year of soul searching.

YOU will have to decide. 2008 is a lousy time to have to make that decision. I can tell you, if your job sucks now, it won't get any better. Can you live w/ that for the security a regular paycheck brings? It's OK, and you are not a Puss if that is your choice. It is just your choice. I, myself, like a regular paycheck over betting on the future, for now. So, I guess I'm a puss who happens to be feeding myself and my DDs and providing a roof. You don't have kids, so atleast that's not something you have to worry about. If I were on my own, the decision would have happened a long time ago. In fact, 4 yrs. from now when my youngest DD is 18 it will greatly influence my decision making process.

If you feel you can handle it, try it as a business owner. Most new business start-ups fail within the 1st 5 years. But the ones that make it can last a lifetime. It's up to you.

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Old 06-12-2008, 04:04 PM   #5
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You read my mind! I hate my job. I feel useless here and I'm completely unhappy with what I do. The past few days I have been looking through the Small Business Administration websites looking at the possible grants I could get to start my own business. I feel like it's time to start over.
Inside some of us is a thin person struggling to get out, but they can usually be sedated with a few pieces of chocolate cake.

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Old 06-12-2008, 04:57 PM   #6
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I could write a book.

I own my own business. My family owns it's own business, and I used to work for them (first my father, now my brother).

It's not easy. It's not cheap. And right now with the economy the way it is, owning a *luxury* business (and I used luxury in the sense of "not necessary" as opposed to "expensive") is a really tough thing.

The thing about owning a business doing something you're passionate about is that you soon realize that you only get to do that thing maybe 15% to 20% of the time. The rest of the time is about owning and running the business. For example as a photographer, I shoot maybe 15 hours a week. The other 40+ hours are accounting, marketing, planning, filing, cleaning, making phone calls, dealing with clients, etc. IN fact to be honest, I haven't lifted my camera since last Saturday when I had a wedding.

And yeah, if you notice above the hours don't add up to 40. In fact I'd say I probably put in 60-80 hours every week.

When I do pick up the camera anymore, it's not for fun, it's to make money to pay the bills - which is kind of sad. Don't get me wrong, I still enjoy it, but it's a job now. For you, I'd say that it's stress relieving to bake a cake or whip up cookies or experiment and have fun with a recipe. But when you're in business and you HAVE to have those 3 cakes delivered by 5 p.m. or when you have a birthday order for 150 cupcakes or you HAVE to have 270 cookies to the Junior League by noon for their luncheon ... it's not stress relief that you're feeling!

It's hard. It's scary each month wondering if the money will come in or not. It's stressfull.

OTOH, I wouldn't trade what I do for anything in the world. The freedom I have, the creativity I can channel, the wide variety of tasks I do each day ... I wouldn't ever give that up again.

If you have any specific questions, I'd be happy to answer them (as best I can) or to share my experiences with you!


Last edited by PhotoChick; 06-12-2008 at 05:00 PM.
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Old 06-12-2008, 09:01 PM   #7
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Thanks everyone, for your responses. Trust me, I'm not going to walk into work tomorrow & quit my job! I've never been that type of person. The thing is, I've always taken the safe way out. I knew I wanted to do something with cooking in high school but didn't pursue it.

SoulBliss, StillTryin, & OnceUponADrive, Thanks for your support.

I don't hate my job. I just get tired of all of the politics, laziness, & down-right stupidity. I feel like I'm having somewhat of a "midlife crisis." The pay is good & I have excellent benefits, which is a huge reason to plan this out. I just feel like there is more to life than working for someone else.

Photochick--I'm lucky if I work less than 50 hours a week as it is, but I know where you're coming from. And your probably right about "luxury" businesses, but when I see all the $$ people spend on cakes, cookies, etc. I'm always amazed. I think a lot of it is the freedom & being my own boss. I haven't "romantisized" about what it is to have to be self-reliant. I know it's a ton of work. I watched my father. He's now retired but he was a veterinarian. When times were tough, they were tough. There were plenty of holidays, family events, etc. when he was called away for an emergency. I was 5 when we took our last family vacation. But, at the same time, he LOVED what he did and we all worked in his office at one time or another.

Operator, WOW! I'm so impressed. You have guts and I really admire what you do. You're not a puss for doing what you have to for your family. If I had people dependent on me, it would be a much different story. I wouldn't throw all my eggs into one basket. Sorry--bad cooking pun!

I watch Donnie Deutcch & The Big Idea a lot on CNBC & I see these people who have chased their dream & made it. I'd like for that to be me one of these days--or at least try.

Live the life you've imagined! - Thoreau

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Old 06-13-2008, 09:43 AM   #8
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I say do what you want to do. I know owning your own business is hard work but it can be rewarding. I personally don't ever plan to have my own business. I like working for other people. I want other people to pay the light bill, pay me when I go on vacation, pay for my equipment I use, pay for my training and I want them to worry about various financial aspects of the business, retirement planning, health care and dental care. Although it is closed to new employees, we do have pension plans that will be part of our retirement.

My motto is work to make a living and then spend your free time doing other things you want to do. If you hate your job, that is one thing and I think looking for a new job is a viable option.

Other options if you aren't sure about owning your own business full time is to do it part time. Although that can be draining with a full time job. You could also think about going part time and doing your side business part time.

Photochick did bring up a good point about luxury businesses as well. I recently went to a vegan bakery, which is very much a luxury business. Prices were crazy and people were paying them because it is a niche market (and the stuff was good). The bakery had a sign up talking about increases in prices, specifically wheat, causing them to raise their prices. As the economy gets rougher, I can imagine a lot of luxury businesses are going to suffer. By making a good product though I can imagine you can stay in business although it may be a bit tougher than in times when the economy is good.
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Old 06-13-2008, 10:14 PM   #9
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Join up with a caterer as an apprentice and work part time at your usual job (if that's an option). That way you can get your foot in the door without too much risk.

You get the experience and if you truly love it, start investing in starting your own catering out of your home and work up from there

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Old 06-13-2008, 11:01 PM   #10
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**** no - I've never done it - but you would be a hero if you did!
you go girl!
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Old 06-13-2008, 11:30 PM   #11
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I own my own business and wouldn't trade it for the world My circumstances were a bit different....I lost my job when Hurricane Katrina came and it still hasn't reopened. It will in the future though! I just couldn't wait for it but I wasn't happy at any other job either.........I was an Animal Care Curator for a Nature Center in New Orleans.

I say try it out on the side first before you up and quit. Having a business is very hard work but it can be rewarding too!

Good luck!

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