Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Not the Entrepreneurial Type

OK--that header says it all.

Can I just come out and say that Grace is NOT ever going to be an entrepreneur?

It's been 59 years, and with the exception of one 8-year period in the '80s, I have never run my own business. Those eight years were not a marked financial success. I loved the work itself. But. . . I hated estimated taxes. I hated quarterly healthcare payments for myself, my partners and our staff. I hated billing clients. I hated NOT being able to do everything for clients that needed to be done because they couldn't pay what I needed to charge.

Eighteen years ago, I thankfully jumped ship and moved into the non-profit sector where I could do the same work I'd always been doing, but this time, for a regular paycheck, great medical coverage, a 401K, and the ability to go home at 5:00 p.m. without obsessing over the money I wasn't making.

When I listen to Dave Ramsey or read many of the personal finance blogs, it seems as though everyone believes the road to riches lies only in the direction of being a private entrepreneur. Whether it is advocating the buying of real estate, or owning one's own business, there doesn't seem to be room at the top for folks who work 9 to 5, save part of their money and invest wisely.

So where does that leave folks like me? I'm not management. Except for the higher pay, I have no desire to be in management. I tried running my own business and disliked the experience intensely. I actually do own rental real estate, but that came about by accident, and I've been extraordinarily lucky in my choice of tenants--if I had to do any of my own repairs or I had tenants who didn't pay, I'd unload that house immediately.

Is running one's own business the only way to seriously acquire wealth? At this stage in my life, I'm looking only to acquire a comfortable retirement, but I can't help thinking that with better saving and investing habits, I could have had more than that, WITHOUT being an entrepreneur.


Sharon said...

I believe "steady plodding" is the way to are going in the right direction for a "comfortable retirement". Perhaps not extreme wealth, but comfortable for sure! We're on the same track as you...paid employment...and steady plodding...

Anonymous said...

Hi Grace

Maybe there's another way, a happy medium that's not running one's own business, but just working independently on the side, pursuing a passion of some kind, while bringing in some extra income.

For example, I love sports in general, and softball in particular. When money was especially tight (i.e. when my daughters were in college!), I gave up playing and umpired for several years. It kept me around something I love and brought in anywhere from $25-35 an hour of extra income as an independent contrator, with none of the hassles of running a business.

I'm working on a blog article on various types of side income my wife and family have earned in our lifetimes. Stay tuned, there may be some ideas for Gracie in there!

Bob McD

Anonymous said...

I've dabbled in my own business twice.The first time I was young and naive, had a lot of fun but lost money running a dress/gift shop. It taught me a lot of lessons!

My next business (consulting) was successful and I am re-starting it again soon.
I think the freedom of being my own boss appeals to me, but it is certainly no gaurantee of wealth and most people who start a business will be closed within 5 years so the odds are against them.

Bouncing Back said...

I agree with Bob, maybe some sort of a part time side business? That is one reason I have my real estate license, I can do it part time, now for the market to just turn around.....