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    5 Replies Latest reply on May 25, 2008 1:03 PM by Lighthouse24

    How Scary Was It For YOU?

    mconkl61 Newbie
      I started a recruitment business out of my home in January. I am working with a partner who is selling me his franchise.

      So far, he has made two placements and I made one. Then, on the one I made, the candidate backed out at the last minute. So, I'm officially down to none, placement wise.

      The terms of our agreement stipulate that I am "the office manager" and I get the majority of the money made from placements, so there is money coming in from the two placements he made. But, that doesn't help the fact that I am still, technically, unsuccessful 5 months later. I'm scared to death ALL the time.

      I guess I'm looking for some "kindness of strangers" type support. I know that all small business people go through rough times starting out. I know that I'm more fortunate than some by having this type of arrangement with my partner. It's just, you know, I was used to a fat salary, benefits, etc., blah, blah, blah. My wife and I live in a rural community with three kids. Our cost of living is low compared to most of the country. I have a lot to be thankful for.

      I am hoping to hear some of the horror-turned-success stories out there from you folks who have been there, done that. Or, perhaps some coping devices or tricks that you use to keep yourself breathing (as opposed to hyperventilating).

      I haven't slept past 4:00 a.m. for months. How about you?
        • Re: How Scary Was It For YOU?
          LUCKIEST Guide
          How Scary Was It For YOU. Interesting BUT not that different.
          I did it 30 years ago. Hard work, a little luck and success comes your way

          Thanks for sharing. Tell us more. Where do you and your wife live??
          My wife and I live in a rural community??

          How long is your partner staying with you?? What fields are you specializing in??
          One advantage of working from home is not paying RENT.

          You have heard the expression, The early bird catches what ever.
          I love early. Call me any morning at 4AM you want to talk.

          • Re: How Scary Was It For YOU?
            mconkl61 Newbie
            We live in Oakesdale, WA about 15 miles from the Idaho border. It' s nice country.

            I specialize in agriculture & food industry positions. I spent 20 years as a grain trader and a CEO for a grain marketing firm so the field is comfortable for me. We are not located in the ag hub of the nation however (midwest). Even though those traditional geographic delineations are breaking down due to the advent of the internet, it is still a challenge out here.

            My partner and I have an agreement that will expire in just over a year from now.
            • Re: How Scary Was It For YOU?

              The scary thing about being in business for your self can be the "uncertainty"; especially if you left a reasonably comfortable career to step out on your own. I did that too and it was tough at times. I've gone through the sleepless nights and worries that want to consume you too.


              Getting paid on a success-based business like recruit placement can be lucrative but also has a lot of variables that are outside your control that affect your ability to generate income. My business originally centered on a success-based fee model and it was tough to watch deals fall apart at the last minute; the people I'd put together walk away from the deal and my fee walk away with them. That was very frustrating.


              One thing that I decided to do, that helped me, was to broaden my business efforts and create additional ways to generate revenue. Not necessarily start a brand new business that would take away focus on my primary business but branch out so that all of my "irons" weren't in one "fire".


              Your partner may be a fine and reliable person (some partners are) but it is a good idea to develop other aspects of your business and personal efforts that don't necessarily depend on or pertain to him. Take your experience as a grain trader and CEO of the grain marketing firm and see if there is some opportunity for you to provide other services to that business segment; perhaps a niche consulting or service business, or perhaps start an email newsletter specific to the agriculture & food industry in your region that you offer for free (to create leads for your recruitment business or offer other services or advertising you get paid for) or maybe charge $1 per month or some nominal fee ... if you can build up 500 or more subscribers that adds to your income ... then that is something to help take some pressure off you. Anything that plays to your skills and experience that can be a revenue stream that may use your recruitment business as a follow on service or logical adjunct business could create additional opportunities for you. And when you've diversified your sources of income you may feel like you have some breathing room.

              Dennis Lowery,
              Adducent, Inc.
              • Re: How Scary Was It For YOU?
                rroche Newbie
                Good Morning Mconkl,

                It was very scary in the beginning and I suspect that many who have read your posting can clearly relate. In 2001 I left a corporate VP position leaving behind a 6 figure income, biweekly paychecks, the German car, bla bal bla. It has been very tough at times and if I had the opportunity to do it over again, even knowing what I know now, I would do it again!!

                I agree with one of the responses you received, look for multiple ways to generate income, at least in the beginning. Learn as fast as you can how to generate income from multiple sources and don't rely on your investments or partner to get you going in your "ideal" business. Once you have several income streams you can begin to narrow your focus to those areas you most enjoy. This was one of the hardest lessons that I had to learn. It was hard because I depleted a significant portion of my personal investments before panic set in and I began to get more creative. One way I starting to make money was to approach my original employer and I ended up getting a consulting assignment for about 6 months which covered approximately 50% of my needs. This filled a large income gap, allowing me conserve my investment $$ to pursue my "ideal" business interests.

                Regarding your question on sleep, yes I would frequently wake in a panic worrying about some pending disaster. I slowly discovered that most of the time everything looked much better in the morning so I've learned to talk myself out of the panic knowing that in the morning it will be fine. After being in business for going on 7 years now, most nights I sleep very well:)

                Best wishes my friend and I encourage you to stay with it, you will be glad you did.
                • Re: How Scary Was It For YOU?
                  Lighthouse24 Ranger
                  From a practical perspective, I agree with the suggestions that you look for additional revenue streams.

                  From a psychological perspective, self-employment can be a lot like an "Indiana Jones" adventure -- one narrow escape after another, all while pursuing something that most people only talk or dream about!

                  One "coping device" in this situation is to remember that you made the choice to pursue the prize (you weren't forced into business against your will) -- so teach yourself to respond to fear like an adventurer would, not like a "victim" or "hostage." You'll make much better business decisions (and have more fun).

                  There are "horror stories" and then there are real horror stories -- and if the news tells us anything, it's that no matter who or where we are, our situations can get a lot worse in the blink of an eye. It's hard to succeed when you're obliged to operate in "survival mode" -- but if you're reasonably healthy, and have food, water, shelter, and a safe place to sleep for you and your family, then you are not there yet -- you are still much closer to success than you are to failure. Count your blessings, and use those assets to help you solve problems (and keep in mind that the solution you find to get out of this fix will probably set you up for the next "trap" -- so things do get easier as you learn to think and plan farther ahead).

                  Best wishes!