Who is (or has been) self employed here?


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8 hours ago, UpInSmoak said:

Self paid health insurance for a family of four, no benefits, no retirement plan, and a heap of taxes paid federally and to cash hungry California.

Wow...I am you...you were me.  It's a small small world (like the Disney song says)

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Great thread and you guys sound awesome. I am a graphic designer and illustrator. My studio used to be the garage of this 1928 house. It is also the cigar lounge for us.

Thirty years ago I worked at design firms in Toronto, but self employment, cigar love and travel with Matthew has to be the most fortunate life gift I can dream about.

Matthew is still a full time business guy so one of these days things will change again.

CB

 

 

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I owned my own business was in the business 10 years...built it to be the largest dealer for our product in the country (sales, installation and service for rural wireless internet). Sold my shares when I had enough of the field. I have gone back to work for an employer but have extreme autonomy on how I run the business...autonomy is key coming back to work for someone else. If I were to ever go it again in my own business which people whom have done it often do, I would never have another business partner OR make sure I retained enough ownership to have final on ALL. I previously had 2 partners and getting shit done was more times a nightmare than not.

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I've officially been self employed for 1 year, 1 month and 7 days as a co-owner of a little cigar store here in Chicago called Up Down.  I put in over 15 life changing years here before getting the opportunity to acquire it from the original owner / founder, who was a pioneer and trail blazer in the U.S. cigar industry.

I think I could go back as an employee but I'd need to 1. have control of the scheduling 2. be high up the food chain 3. be able to smoke while I work.  But as I just invested everything into this and got an awesome store and a good pile of debt doing so, I have no intention of ever going back.  If I did, I'd have to stay in this industry or get into booze, cabinetry cars or guns. 

The only real "bad" that I have is the stress / concern for debt service, the constant fight against regulation and taxation against tobacco (had to cut my first trip to Habanos Fest last year for this exact reason), and making sure my staff is earning what I pay them and are happy doing it and able to better their lives.  I've worked with my business partner and some of the staff here for years and we have a great time.  I consider a lot of this store "theirs" and try to instill a sense of ownership in all of them.  Keeping them to task when I'm not here is a never ending challenge, and hiring new help is about the worst possible thing I have to do.  Finding good talent is uber frustrating and I'm thrilled I don't have to do it often.  The good is that I almost never ever feel like I'm going to work when I go the store and absolutely love what I do.  How can one not love sharing a passion and getting people excited about spending hard earned cash on the cigar experience?  There's not a lot of businesses where people walk in excited about spending money for your service and products. 

If it isn't already obvious, cigars are at this point probably the majority of my mental make up..... and I couldn't be happier.

Cheers,

-Phil

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From 1991-1997 I owned and operated a Sportscard and Comic book shop.  The boom years for those hobbies.   It was nice to be able to make a living off of my passion for collecting and in sports.  Unfortunately, it was short lived due to the greedy card and comic manufacturers overprinting and the MLB players strike of 1995.  Those two made it no longer feasible to operate a storefront and support my family.   I closed the doors 20 years ago this April.  Only two of the five card manufacturers around back then are still around, today.  I still have a sizeable personal collection, but no longer add to it.  Now, I collect cigars.

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46 minutes ago, CanIGetAHolla said:

From 1991-1997 I owned and operated a Sportscard and Comic book shop.  The boom years for those hobbies.   It was nice to be able to make a living off of my passion for collecting and in sports.  Unfortunately, it was short lived due to the greedy card and comic manufacturers overprinting and the MLB players strike of 1995.  Those two made it no longer feasible to operate a storefront and support my family.   I closed the doors 20 years ago this April.  Only two of the five card manufacturers around back then are still around, today.  I still have a sizeable personal collection, but no longer add to it.  Now, I collect cigars.

I used to collect comic cards around that time. By the mid 90s, it was pointless collecting. You could buy a box of cards and pretty much complete the set, but also get the majority of the "rare" cards. No more going to swap meets to hunt down the one rare card to complete your set.

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10 minutes ago, Fuzz said:

I used to collect comic cards around that time. By the mid 90s, it was pointless collecting. You could buy a box of cards and pretty much complete the set, but also get the majority of the "rare" cards. No more going to swap meets to hunt down the one rare card to complete your set.

Towards the end, I kept the lights on off of sales of non-sports cards like comic cards, Pokemon, and Magic the Gathering. 

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I am self employed and the boss is a complete A hole. I haven't had a long holiday since 1995 and he still hasn't paid me.

I'm working long hours and also the occasional weekend, things a pretty busy lately. I'm not even a regular up on the deck anymore for cigars with the guys.

It's hard to believe that just 2 years ago I was worried about not enough work and here I am with almost too much.

I look after production machinery in the steel industry. Band saws, Beam lines, guillotines, and profile cutters. It's challenging work and always interesting. You get a good feeling when you figure out a problem that could cost the steel company thousands in down time. I had one of my big customers take me out to lunch the other day just to say thank you, that's rare these days.

I love cigars and would love to say that I smoke one at the end of the day to relax but I'm not much of a solitary smoker. Perhaps I'll make it back up to the deck to share a couple with Rob and the guys here and there but then again perhaps they a happy to have a rest from seeing my face walk through the door each Friday. :D

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37 minutes ago, Warren said:

I look after production machinery in the steel industry. Band saws, Beam lines, guillotines, and profile cutters. It's challenging work and always interesting. You get a good feeling when you figure out a problem...

Is that before or after you lose a digit? :P

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45 minutes ago, Warren said:

but then again perhaps they a happy to have a rest from seeing my face walk through the door each Friday. :D

We miss you :party:

....mind you, not back on the deck until 24th of the month...pen it in!

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3 hours ago, El Presidente said:

We miss you :party:

....mind you, not back on the deck until 24th of the month...pen it in!

Yeah I've missed you guys as well, Fridays used to be a little slow but lately I find myself working late into the afternoons.:rolleyes:

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On ‎02‎/‎02‎/‎2017 at 5:05 PM, El Presidente said:

Who is (or has been) self employed here? 

Solo operator or started a business with employees. 

First let us know what you do and how long you have been doing it for :thumbsup:

Would you , have you or could you go back as an employee? Are you now fundamentally unemployable :D

The good the bad and the ugly of being self employed. Again as a sole operator or as a owner/GM of an enterprise with employees. 

Finally.....do you find a cigar an important part of your mental makeup? Do they play a role?

Fill us in on your experience :cigar:

Hey Rob,

I'm a self-employed IT consultant. Haven been for almost 30 years. Its just me as chef, cook and bottle washer! LOL

The only bad thing that I can really think of is that when you take a vacation - you factor in the money lost from not working.

The best part is, of course, the freedom and the income. Being self employed (and incorporated) affords some great tax advantages in Canada!

I've always enjoyed a good cigar, but got serious about collecting and aging about a year ago. From a tiny desktop, to a large desktop (JFK), a cabinet (Winston), and a wineador (Groucho) - totalling over 1300 sticks, about 50 of which are NCs.

Cheers! 

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Who is (or has been) self employed here? 

Solo operator or started a business with employees. 

First let us know what you do and how long you have been doing it for 

Would you , have you or could you go back as an employee? Are you now fundamentally unemployable 

The good the bad and the ugly of being self employed. Again as a sole operator or as a owner/GM of an enterprise with employees. 

Finally.....do you find a cigar an important part of your mental makeup? Do they play a role?

Fill us in on your experience :cigar:



Very interesting topic Rob. I'm curious as to what prompted this subject? And I'm sure we all would like to know your answers to those same questions as well.

For someone who is contemplating doing entrepreneurship (currently in a dayjob) I'm very interested in all of your answers. It's great to have worldly perspective, and learned experience from others. We can all learn from mistakes, but who says they have to be your own.

Keep em coming guys, great stories so far!
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