Have you ever had to Start Over?

in life •  last month

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At the end of this month, I'm going to be closing down my business of over 5 years. My business partner and I started this business back in 2012 with less than $300 at a time we were both working day jobs. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I would wind up working for myself and growing it to the point we grew it to. Last year the business did over 2.2 Million in total sales.

One thing I want to mention really quick. In the Entrepreneur space people love to throw around big numbers, and oftentimes people are like oh shit dude your rich. For anyone who's ever run a business you know sales numbers are much different than what you bring home. If your making a 10% margin, ie what your paying for the product that's $220,000 before expenses. Then you take out expenses ie office rent, internet, computers, printing and packing materials, merchant fees, lawyer fees,, the list goes on and on, then you split that between myself and my partner and I keep 50% of that. The point I'm trying to make is while I was making a comfortable living, it's not never have to work again money.

We started our business as a small eBay hustle making $50 a week. It wasn't huge money, but I was living check to check at the time and sometimes that $50 meant not having to scrounge change out of the couch cushions or being able to buy lunch the day before payday, or not having to be embaressed hitting a Coinstar machine to get me the next couple days to pay day.

I wound up leaving my day job in 2015 and have been self employed ever since. It's been a wild ride, a lot of hard work, a lot of ups and downs. I knew in my gut our business wouldn't last forever, and quite frankly I'm kind of surprised it lasted as long as it did, but the day has come to move on.

Without getting into specifics, it's not something we really had any control over or could change and the end has come upon us quite abruptly which leaves me thinking about what to do next and what my next move will be.

This time right now is kind of a mix of stress, fear, and excitement. Despite being an Entrepreneur, honestl I'm somewhat risk averse. My business was making multiple six figures when I quit my job and I was still quite fearful to leave my $28,000 a year job and health insurance to pursue this business which was doing substantially better than that.

You know I tend not to do great with change, change makes me sad and anxious. This change comming upon rapidly is rattling my nerves a bit. I'm excited about what the future holds, excited that in a sense I have a blank slate and can do whatever I like, but at the same time scared to be in uncertain territory and not knowing what the future holds.

As far as my plan, well I really don't have one quite yet, I'm still figuring things out. It looks like the end of the month will be the last day of business, there may be a couple weeks of tying up loose ends, paying all the bills, shutting down the LLC and then it will pretty much all be done.

Fortunately I live pretty frugally. I've always known as an Entrepreneur and being self employed that the good days don't last forever, there's no unemployment and my paycheck is 100% dependent on myself and my efforts. I have some money in the bank, I don't have a car payment, my mortgage is reasonable and I don't really have any debt or crazy bills.

I plan on taking a couple weeks as kind of a mental health break. Do some fall cleaning around the house, get into a routine of excercise, meditation, spend some time with my dogs, do some projects around the house. I have a couple fairly passive side hustles that I plan to invest more time with and see if I can leverage into something bigger, things like Youtube, selling tee shirts, and affiliate marketing. One thing I'd thought about doing is maybe doing some traveling. I do have a girlfriend and two dogs so I couldnt move to southeast asia or anything crazy like that, but I had considered maybe doing a solo trip around the country and maybe visiting some fellow Entrepreneurs and maybe Steemians along the way and creating some content surrounding that, @brianphobos , lemme know if I can stop by for a swim.

That will keep me going for a while and should keep me from dipping into savings very much if at all. Ultimately however I'm going to have to figure out what to do with myself next. I'd thought about getting my real estate license. Dabbled with the idea of starting a business selling merchant processing services, and have also thought about going through a program they have in Chicago to become a teacher, I already have a degree, just need to get a teaching certificate.

To be honest though I'm not really sure which direction to go in.

It's kind of sad having all that hard work come to an end, as well as just kind of having the end of an era. My business that's closing was one I started with a longtime friend of mine. Over the years we've kind of grown apart as friends a bit but have maintained a good relationship and made good business partners. It almost feels like a real life version of the end of your favorite sitcom whether it be Seinfeld, Friends or whatever else. I feel like I'm waiting for GreenDay's "I Hope you Had the Time of Your Life" to start playing and the screen to cut to black.

So at this point I've decided to post this post. I kind of started off just writing myself to get some thoughts in order and wasn't sure I was going to post it. I suppose at this point, I'd love some advice from any of you guys out there who have been at a point in life where your having a change in direction or having to start over. Any tips, or advice that you have about how to find your direction or really anything at all would be welcomed.

That's all I got guys. I'll probably share a bit more about this in the comming weeks along with what I'm up to but these next couple weeks are gonna be pretty busy

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Best of luck to you!!

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Hey I really enjoyed this. This article was referred to me from the DeepLearning account @interesteem. I think I could learn a ton from you because I’m just about to start up an actual business. There are things I’m terrible at but it sounds like you’re already skilled at those things.... I’m curious what your past business was...

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Sure feel free to reach out to me anytime, I love chatting business and if there's any experiences I've had that can be of value to helping you get started I'd be happy to share

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Thanks and likewise if you need any information about Steem let me know.

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Hey @stellabelle! I can help with some aspects of business if you need, also!

dam that is a shame I reckon it would be very hard to find the motivation to start over in business because you know what it takes. Will be cool to see your travels around the country

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Hey buddy, yeah it's kind of funny, for a long time I've always thought about the day I'd eventually do something else and in some ways I've actually been looking forward to it, but I tend to get comfortable in things and also the money was too good to just walk away from.

My busines partner said he could never go back to working a real job. I'm kind of torn, part of me would almost welcome the lack of responsibility, but at the same time there's definitely are things about having a job that suck, although honestly I've had less time off and less vacations since I left my fulltime job than since I've been working for myself. I know everyone thinks Entrepreneurship means freedom and it is nice in that I have more flexibility in my time, but overall I put in more time than working.

At my old job I'd get 3 weeks of vacation a year and I'd take every last day. Ever since I left I maybe take 7 days off a year if that and for the past couple years I havn't even done that, I've done a couple long weekends maybe taking a Monday off.

That's one shortfall or lesson from my business and actually a topic I'm going to be making a video about which is that if you don't have systems and processes in place you have a job not a business. Nothing wrong with having a job and I'd take working for myself any day but my business was never to the point I could take 2 weeks off and it would run without me.

I'll be curious to see how much I travel, we'll see if my girlfriend goes for it but I have been wanting to maybe take some time off and clear my head, would like to drive across the country and do a road trip and see a few places and figured maybe I could try to connect with some fellow Youtubers and Steemians and maybe grab a beer, talk business, do some in person filming if any people are up for it.

Next couple weeks will be pretty hectic but after that I should be spending a lot more time on here and Youtube I'd imagine.

Wow dude. Take some time for yourself to figure out what you wanna do. You should be financially OK for a while with the money that you do have. If you need my help with anything in China, let me know.

Good luck!

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Hey what's up buddy. Yeah it's quite a change. I knew I wouldn't be doing what I'm doing forever, but I guess I thought it would be more of a slower wind down.

I both anxious, nervous, scared and also excited all at the same time. Even more so than just a change in jobs, kind of trying to figure out what kind of life I want to carve out for myself. So many people do the traditional get a job thing. I really admire people like you or @brianphobos or others who do their own thing.

Even though I've been running a business for a number of years and working for myself, I still somewhat feel in the employee mindset in the sense that my business didn't have a lot of great systems and processes in place which would allow me to take more time off, and/or spend more time on the growth of the business as opposed to working on day to day things.

I did have a partner so if I wanted to go on vacation for a couple days he could run things and vice versa but it was never the type of thing where I could take a couple weeks off and things would run on autopilot or I could have employees run things so I've actually wound up taking less time off the past few years working for myself than I did when I was working a day job and had 3 weeks of vacation. One thing I will say is I do enjoy the flexiblity of being able to do things last minute and when I wanted and not having to request time off and things like that.

I think I'm gonna give myself a few weeks just to kind of chill out and fall inot a routine, get some projects done around the house, etc. Then maybe give myself til the new year to try to get some things going on myself, maybe try to scale up youtube and some other small little hustles I got going see where that takes me.

After the new year maybe evaluate whether I want to get a job, I wouldn't be opposed to getting a job even if only for 6 months or a year to maybe develope some new skills, maybe a marketing or design agency or something like that, there's a lot of options here in Chicago.

I've also dabbled with the idea of either starting to sell merchant processing or maybe getting a real estate license.

I may try to roll out a product, if so I'll definitely reach out to you for some assistance on the China front, appreciate the offer.

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Sounds good man. This could be an opportunity for you to develop something that gives you more financial freedom. At the same time, I think a lot of people are quick to bash all 9-5 jobs or jobs where you work for someone. These jobs are not all the same. For example, I am employed as a teacher in China, so technically I work for someone, but at the same time I have a lot of free time to travel and do what I want because when I'm not teaching, I can stay in my apartment or go out. I usually only have 2-4 class per day (45 minutes each). That essentially means that teaching is my only responsibility while some entrepreneurs work harder than me in order to live a lifestyle that I already have, yet might bash me because I "work a 9-5".

In many cases, being an entrepreneur takes way more time and effort to sustain, while some 9-5 jobs actually provide even more freedom. For that reason, it is important to simply find out what provides a lifestyle that is in line with your values. Being an entrepreneur doesn't always mean more freedom. And working for someone doesn't always mean you'll be miserable and live a life of enslavement.

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Hey buddy, thanks for the insights. I'm in total agreement with you about 9 to 5's. I don't have anything against working a job if I can find something that I enjoy and that works with my schedule and the life I'm trying to live.

In a lot of senses while Entrepreneurship and doing your own thing is great, at the same time it can be incredibly stressful and in some senses whie you may have a bit more flexibility with how you use your time ultimately I think you spend more time working than working a job, at least that has been my experience. I used to get 3 weeks vacation a year where I 100% tuned out from work. I bet you in the past 3 years I havn't had more than 10 days of vacation outside of holidays or something like that and even then I'm normally taking some calls or communicating with my business partner in some fashion, not 100% tuning out to work.

I had chatted with brian in another comment about being a teacher. I used to teach some after school programs and enjoyed it and found it rewarding. I have a couple cousins who are teachers and really seem to enjoy it, they got summers off and stuff too and just really seem happy. Unfortunately unlike some states where anyone with a bachelors can start teaching in my state it would require me going back to college, taking education classes, then doing student teaching for 6 months where your technically not allowed to work a second job and on top of it have to pay a university to oversee it and then doing all the testing and stuff. With all those hurdles just doesn't seem worth it unfortunately.

If I was single I'd be all over doing something like what your doing but I have my house and dogs and girlfriend so am tied down a bit. I'd love to maybe do the nomad thing for a while or something and rent my house but my girlfriend isn't really into online hustles or anything like that so I'd likely have to support her and at least at this time with the change in income not something I'd be comfortable doing, plus she's kind of finally worked her way up from the bottom at her job so I think she'd kind of like to see where that takes her.

I think your life sounds ideal though, doing something you enjoy, in an interesting place, flexible schedule and sounds like not overworked or overstressed.

I'm excited to get these next couple weeks ahead behind me so I can kind of start finding my new path. I'll keep you updated and again appreciate the offer about haivng a contact in China, I'll probably take you up on that. Talk to you soon.

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Good stuff man. All the best!

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Dude yes so true. Being an entrepreneur takes ALL THE TIME!!!

Being an entrepreneur doesn't always mean more freedom. And working for someone doesn't always mean you'll be miserable and live a life of enslavement. << that's so well put

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Thank you @nomadicsoul. Nice channel you've got there.

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Regarding China, do you have manufacturing experience?

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@stellabelle Yes I do. I currently live in China.

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Just kind of catching up here after being out of the loop for a couple of days. Man that is big news that you guys are shutting down the business. Where you are mentally at right now probably sums up how I have felt on and off for several years always asking "What is the next step?....etc."

Just the struggle of wondering if you should try to get a job working for someone else at this point is a heavy enough burden in itself.

That is cool you want to do some traveling and thanks for the shout out man. I'll send you an e-mail.

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Hey buddy what's up. Yeah so this has all come upon me pretty quickly over the past couple weeks here.

Mentally it's kind of funny, there's so many different issues at play. Of course you have the obvious what am I gonna do for money next, but even more so than that it's kind of a wake up call to what do I really want to do with my life, what kind of life do I want to live, etc, really bigger picture questions.

It's so easy in life to kind of fall into a routine, you wake up go to work, workout, eat, hangout with friends, back to work do it all over again, etc and its just so easy to fall into that and not really think what am I really doing, what kind of life do I want to carve out so part of me is a little bit anxious and excited that I essentially have a fresh start here, and at the same time that's overwhelming.

I really have zero desire to go get a job. If it was easier to become a teacher in my state I may consider that, I've taught after school programs and stuff, its rewarding work and the summers and holidays off is attractive, I have two cousins who are teachers and their overall lifestyle is appealing, teachers in my area are paid very well too, granted they've been doing it for years but they're making 100k each as gym teachers.

Outside of that I've considered if I wanted to just try to scale and grow some hustles I have merch, smaller shopify stores, youtube, affiliate marketing, a forum, etc. While I think I could earn a decent income doing that with anything thats not a full fledged business it sometimes feels like everything is temporary and your having to juggle several projects while keeping an eye on what hte next thing is because when I'm just hustling I feel like things have like a 6 month to year and a half lifespan so its always onto the next thing.

I've thought about getting a real estate license. I've thought about becomming and ISO and selling merchant processing, I have a lot of experience in the space as a user and especially in the high risk realm.

If I were single I feel like I'd be weighing different options maybe getting out of the country and doing the nomad thing or doing something a little crazier. I do have a girlfriend, two dogs and a house so to some extent that ties me down a little bit.

I guess that's the what's next part.

Aside from that there's also other little things at play in my head. Despite my girlfriend who refers to me as a robot who has no feelings lol, I actually have a hard time with change. I think every job I've left, every house I've moved out of I've secretely cried after doing so lol, dont tell her. I know there's all the cliches about a door closes another opens and be happy it happenned not that its over and all that halmark shit lol, but to me it's always kind of difficult leaving something behind, knowing that a chapter or era is over, things will never be like that again, etc.

I'm also grateful for what I have though. I've managed to put away some money over these past few years, the business has some money in the bank my partner and I will split up, and while this part is still in the works, there isnt a buyer but I'm finalizing a deal where basically I'm going to sell my brand and customer lists and for a fairly substantial period of time were doing a revenue split. That's a real wild card in terms of what that winds up equating to ie how well will it be tracked, will my customers move to this new company or were they loyal to me, all that type of stuff but at least its something.

I tend to not be able to relax when things are unsettled so these past few weeks have been stressful and the next couple probably will as well sweating things until deals are finalized and then the headache of paying all the bills, closing all our accounts and service and kind of tying up lose ends. After that plan on taking a little time off to relax and recharge, after that probably give myself at least until beginning of 2019 to mess around with some different stuff and see what I can get going and at that point kind of try to seriously figure out what I'm gonna do.

Question for you becaues I know you do your own thing. What do you do for health insurance if anything? My business partner handled getting ours setup and our business pays it so nothing out of my pocket so not really something I've had to deal with. Curious if I should do Obamacare or individual plan or whatever the heck they are calling it these days or if I sould try to get a 10 hour a week job at Jewel Osco just for insurance, thats one thing I need to figure out.

Anyhow, sorry for the novel man, that's kind of my rant and thinking out loud a bit.

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Yeah man it is a lot to think about and can be stressful for sure to just figure things out. At least this will give you some time to sort of figure a few things out. I'm pretty blown away with how much you are saying your friends are making being a teacher. My parents used to be teachers and then they switched careers and then ended up going back to teaching for a little bit and the pay wasn't that great at all. Even though they had a little bit of teaching years racked up. Also here in Arizona it isn't very good and last school years the teachers went on strike for a week or two.

When it comes down to the insurance stuff it can get ridiculous. Most of the Obamacare approved plans will cost you a ridiculous amount. One year I paid $2,000 in premiums just to have some shit ball plan that had a $5,500 deductible so good luck with that one. Probably if you worked 10 hours a week you probably wouldn't be offered health insurance. You would probably have to work at least 35 hours per week at least per week.

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Yeah the teacher pay thing is so crazy from place to place and I'm sure in my area it's well above average. My cousins teach in the western suburbs which is a more affluent area and pays teachers really well. A few years ago they both got their masters paid for by the school, I believe their school even had the professors come to the school so they didn't even have to leave just stayed an extra hour or two after school each day and for doing that got a huge pay bump. That's a whole different issue to discuss, I believe I've heard that there's almost no increase in effectiveness of teachers or performance of students because of that so in a sense seems like a waste of money to spend god knows how much money to pay for a gym teacher to get their masters degree and then give them a pay bump after you've paid for them to do it, seems kinda dumb to me but that's the system here. The district they teach in is in a city that was voted #1 place to live a couple years back so definitely not typical.

I remember my mom was subbing down in Charleston SC when she was living there and she was making $7.50, minimum wage is $7.25, thats crazy. I realize its just a sub but here in my area I think they make minimum $100 a day I think $150 in some districts, my dad was doing it a little bit this past year, but yeah definitely goes to show the difference between teaching in some states. Chicago public schools offer a program where anyone with a bachelors degree can go through a bootcamp type program for a month during summer, then be mentored by a teacher for a year or two and have a teacher oversee the work your doing and a bunch of tests and you can become a teacher without going through the whole traditional student teaching thing. They start you off at something like 48k which isn't terrible and good benefits but seems like a lot of hoops to jump through. I know some other states however that have teacher shortages, florida and some others come to mind will literally take anyone with a bachelors adegree and many will even pay a downpayment on your house or a year of rent if your your having to relacate, not sure if those programs are still in place but something I was looking into years ago.

As far as insurance yeah seems like not a lot of options. I'll have to look into the plans. In some senses even if its a ripoff, if at some point it covers major issues it may be worth the piecec of mind knowing if I get hit by a car I'm not fucked for life financially but if the plans are that bad it may be worth it just to bank that money and pay out of pocket if necessary. I thought the 10 hours a week was pretty optimistic but I do know a guy who owns a bagel shop and works at jewel I think about 15 hours per week just for the insurance although he has been there forever, not sure how keen they are to hire people these days who just want to work the minimum to collect insurance.

Anyhow, hopefully I should have an agreement about this deal tomororw and then just finalizing the paperwork and having lawyers handle the rest and then a few weeks of winding down and then off to the races. I'll definitely make some content about everything here when my schedule clears up a bit.

I've been a bit distracted and not as engaged in steemit lately but hopefully in the comming weeks as my schedule clears up a bit I can kinda reconnect with you and everyone on here

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Yeah that is crazy. One thing I was going to do a long time ago was go through the paperwork to be a substitute teacher here in Arizona but I never actually did it and at various times I wished I would have.

Oh I did have to start anew, but from a point of complete failure rather than a successful new venture. Twice. ugh

Luck can be as big of an element in success as competence, and using your luck is about grabbing an opportunity wherever one turns up.

So good luck and keep it together!

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Hey @eccles . I love the comment about luck, I think that's so true. I like what les brown says about luck. I'm probably going to butcher this quote or story but it was something to the effect of if god or the universe or whatever were sitting around watching you down below fail and fail and fail and fail and refuse to give up, after laughing at you for a while they'd say lets just let him have it, he's not gonna give up.

I hate when people say so and so got lucky and that's why they found success, but ultimately it is true in a different way. Most people have had way more failures than successes but if you show up everyday and keep trying and keep trying your going to improve and/or eventually one of your ideas will come to fruition in the right place at the right time and you will have some success. In that sense we make our own luck

To the question in your title, my Magic 8-Ball says:

Signs point to yes

Hi! I'm a bot, and this answer was posted automatically. Check this post out for more information.

Many successes friend in the way you take, it is not easy to start again. God guide your steps. My regards, @rulesforrebels.