Personality Cafe banner

1 - 19 of 19 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
If you're in business for yourself, I'm curious what type of work you do? I admire that level of independence and freedom. I hope to have that some day.
A bit aside, I watched an interesting guy on YouTube. He bounced around doing odd jobs until he found his niche making premium knives. I'd say there's a good chance he's an ISTP.


YouTube - The Cutting Edge
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
I'm a self-employed wedding and portrait photographer. I started my business in 2002 after getting fired from an administrative job at a custom machine builder.

I was pretty successful in the industry a few years ago, but I've really lost interest in it recently - there's a lot of networking and marketing required, particularly now that everyone and his dog is a wedding photographer, and I'm just not that good at the networking and *social* aspects. Back when you were hired for your talents, I did really well.

I'm also not very good at the business side of things - recordkeeping and all that. It's really just laziness and procrastination; I can DO the work with my hands tied behind my back, but I don't like doing it, so that side of things has suffered since I opened my "doors" eight years ago.

Honestly, I miss working for someone else, as crazy as that sounds. For the last eight years, I've lived in my office, essentially - I don't take my work home with me, home IS my work. I can't escape my responsibilities, ever. If I had it to do over, I'd start up with more capital, get a small building/studio, incorporate, pay myself a salary, and treat it like a JOB rather than a LIFESTYLE. I think I'm burned out because I'm always at work.

Yep, that's my story :cool:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
743 Posts
This young ISTP is currently unemployed, but has worked at a few shittastic jobs.

Chia has put into words why I'm not so keen on being self-employed.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
I like working for someone else because
A. not so much responsibility
B. hours are pretty set and i don't live at work
C. not so much responsibility

It turns out that working for someone else gives me more freedom. When i walk out the door I don't give a crap what happens there, and my time is my own.
When I was remodeling on my own and thinking about doing it full time for a living, I quickly saw that I was going to get swamped with so many tasks and details unrelated to the "fun" parts -- that it would burn me out really fast.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
889 Posts
I'm an independent drummer (not as carefree as people think) and an independent contractor for the local paper (ie: paper boy). I've been self employed for most of my adult life and started selling things door-to-door when I was six.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
120 Posts
Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Chiagirl, have you ever had a business partner? Maybe someone that has different strengths that would make your business run better. When I was a teenager, I had a landscaping business with a friend. He didn't mind the knocking on doors to drum up business, creating flyers, running classified ads etc. Basically we balanced each other out and we each shouldered the load. Plus its nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Just a thought.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
889 Posts
Chiagirl, have you ever had a business partner? Maybe someone that has different strengths that would make your business run better. When I was a teenager, I had a landscaping business with a friend. He didn't mind the knocking on doors to drum up business, creating flyers, running classified ads etc. Basically we balanced each other out and we each shouldered the load. Plus its nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Just a thought.
I've been thinking about exactly this, lately.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
891 Posts
Chiagirl, have you ever had a business partner? Maybe someone that has different strengths that would make your business run better. When I was a teenager, I had a landscaping business with a friend. He didn't mind the knocking on doors to drum up business, creating flyers, running classified ads etc. Basically we balanced each other out and we each shouldered the load. Plus its nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Just a thought.
it's funny you say that. my boyfriend is a safety flooring contractor. when the recession hit he was hit badly. he actually would have been homeless only for me things got so bad so i went online and posted adds and even went on a local forum with a load of knobheads exchanging advice on interior decorating and i recomended the guy who had done an exellent job on my kitchen and fuckin makin sure he got work out of my shit talk. and it worked. he got a lot of work out of it. he was amazed. he never would have thought of that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Chiagirl, have you ever had a business partner? Maybe someone that has different strengths that would make your business run better. When I was a teenager, I had a landscaping business with a friend. He didn't mind the knocking on doors to drum up business, creating flyers, running classified ads etc. Basically we balanced each other out and we each shouldered the load. Plus its nice to have someone to bounce ideas off of. Just a thought.
Interesting thing about wedding and portrait photography - unless you're banging your business partner, they're gonna hang their own shingle within a few months. Everyone sees dollar signs in this industry when they get into it - "you mean I can make THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS for shooting a wedding?!?! HOT DAMN!" and it takes them a few years to realize that 20 weddings x $3,000 less overhead, direct costs, and taxes = a REALLY SHITTY SALARY. But by then, you're stuck. Stuck with the referrals, next year's contracts, all the gear you've invested that isn't worth shit anymore.

Everyone I know in the industry who has acquired a non-sexual business partner has regretted it - their business went to shit even faster.

NOT that your idea isn't great - just that this is a bizarre, backstabbing, extremely competitive industry with no barrier to entry (there is no licensing requirement, few city/state mandates, insurance, etc - it's a free for all).

I think it's just that photography is a romantic career - once people realize they can take a good photo (with digital, any monkey can machine gun a scene, get a decent shot, and fix it in photoshop), they think THEY should be the ones making the big bucks. My only hope would be to find someone who had *no* interest whatsoever in photography/art/creativity and was only interested in the marketing/business management side of things...

But, really, the industry is dying anyway. I may stick it out for the next revival, if that comes - but I'm actually excited about jumping into a new career. If I could just figure out what career to jump into...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
Interesting thing about wedding and portrait photography - unless you're banging your business partner, they're gonna hang their own shingle within a few months. Everyone sees dollar signs in this industry when they get into it - "you mean I can make THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS for shooting a wedding?!?! HOT DAMN!" and it takes them a few years to realize that 20 weddings x $3,000 less overhead, direct costs, and taxes = a REALLY SHITTY SALARY. But by then, you're stuck. Stuck with the referrals, next year's contracts, all the gear you've invested that isn't worth shit anymore.

Everyone I know in the industry who has acquired a non-sexual business partner has regretted it - their business went to shit even faster.

NOT that your idea isn't great - just that this is a bizarre, backstabbing, extremely competitive industry with no barrier to entry (there is no licensing requirement, few city/state mandates, insurance, etc - it's a free for all).

I think it's just that photography is a romantic career - once people realize they can take a good photo (with digital, any monkey can machine gun a scene, get a decent shot, and fix it in photoshop), they think THEY should be the ones making the big bucks. My only hope would be to find someone who had *no* interest whatsoever in photography/art/creativity and was only interested in the marketing/business management side of things...

But, really, the industry is dying anyway. I may stick it out for the next revival, if that comes - but I'm actually excited about jumping into a new career. If I could just figure out what career to jump into...
God I was just thinking the same thing about wedding photography, since I know someone who got into it and is trying to make the business fly. It is exactly how you describe, and so damn competitive that it doesn't seem worth it. It's almost like joining one of those scams like Amway or Mary Kay -- way too much competition for not enough dollars. Fewer people are getting married, and in this economy most people can't shell out 5k for wedding photography anyway. Is it true that it's "dying out"? (And it's not just my own pessimism?)

Not to be negative or anything. :crazy: ha ha But there are just so many issues in that business. Anything in the arts really...it's hard to make a living at something that people don't seriously need.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
^^ It's true - it's not worth it. I would advise anyone thinking of making a career out of wedding photography to find something else to do with their time. Clients are getting worse, demanding more for less (because there's someone else out there that will give them the kitchen sink for nothing, after all), and the competition is ridiculous. This started going to shit within the last five years, really. When I first got into it, we were still mostly film, digital equipment was very expensive and scary, and there were few people entering the industry. In my eight years of doing this fulltime, I've seen the local competition increase by no less than 2,500%. And that's not an exaggeration. In order to be competitive one must spend upwards of $1,500/month in advertising and kickbacks - and when you're only booking 1.5 weddings a month at $3,000 each max... good luck finding that kind of advertising money.

Yeah, I think the industry is dead. There will always be a need for wedding photography - but the bar is getting lower and lower, and concentrated more on value and this vague girl-centric "styling" that has taken over. Anyone serious about their work either has to shell out incredible amounts of money for high end advertising, networking, and kickbacks... or has to see it for what it is and get the fuck out. :sad:

I honestly think the biggest problem is that there is no barrier to entry whatsoever - anyone with a camera can throw up a blog and call themselves a wedding photographer. I don't know of many industries where that kind of situation exists, really - most start-ups require a lot more capital and at least SOME certification or licensure or *something* to start selling to the general public. It's almost embarrassing now to admit what I do for a living. "I"m a photographer." "Oh yeah? What do you take pictures of?" "Well... um.... <mumble>" "I'm sorry, what's that?" "Mmmmmweddings" "OH WEDDINGS? My cousin is a wedding photographer! So is my other cousin! And my best friend just opened her business, and my husband's co-worker's wife just started taking baby pictures and is thinking about doing weddings! What a great job, you're sooooo lucky!"
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
There will always be a need for wedding photography - but the bar is getting lower and lower, and concentrated more on value and this vague girl-centric "styling" that has taken over. [/I]
Oh, I have a terrible feeling I know EXACTLY what you're talking about....where the pictures scream "this concept was thought up by a woman and no man would ever do this" ?

sort of like this mess?

or more like the groom carrying the boquet?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
Oh, I have a terrible feeling I know EXACTLY what you're talking about....where the pictures scream "this concept was thought up by a woman and no man would ever do this" ?

sort of like this mess?

or more like the groom carrying the boquet?
Hahaha - yeah, exactly. The Style Me Pretty blog is the bane of my existence. I actually shot a wedding last weekend that I'm going to submit to SMP, only to see if I can't get it 'published' - it's the perfect girly, detail-rich wedding, and as soon as I saw how *perfect* it was I started shooting it for that purpose. I kind of wanted to kill myself for selling out, but in this economy we can use all the help we can get.

But you see how it's all moved from the cool unobtrusive photojournalistic coverage into this quasi-fashion, ultra-feminine, ultra-stylized crap? It's just... bleah. Hate. It's nothing I can't do.. but I feel like clients deserve an honest representation of their wedding day, rather than over-styled coverage that's only meant for further marketing and portfolio building. But I'm a dinosaur in this industry.

If you ever want to pick my brain for your friend, send me a PM. I'm happy to throw words of advice and caution around; been doing this for a long time now. But as much as I love chatting about this shit, I don't want to turn this into a Wedding Photography thread :happy:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
^^ well let's get back on track then.

There's no reason to leave your resume empty all the years you were doing this business -- it's better to put what you were doing rather than leaving it blank and saying you were just "unemployed" for 8 years.

I was "unemployed" for 8 years because of the kids, but I was doing a lot of remodeling and contracting-type work during that time, so I put it on my resume. I can install kitchen cabinets and plumb a shower, so I wasn't going to let that go to waste. It doesn't mean you're looking for more photography work, but it shows that you have initiative to run a business like that.

Well like i said in that other thread, the other ISTP woman i know is now driving an ambulance at night and she loves it. She's got two young kids but thankfully she's married and her husband can work opposite her. I don't think the schooling took too terribly long...better than nursing school....and you get to race ambulances on a driving track LOL

I was one week away from entering a teaching program, but I would HIGHLY advise against teaching. After going through one education class I could see the freaking hell that it would be for an ISTP in general, and me specifically. Do not trap yourself in a classroom permanently. *shudder*
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
247 Posts
you get to race ambulances on a driving track LOL
SHUT. UP.

Okay, that sounds awesome. :crazy: I looked it up, and the nearest paramedic training school is about two hours from me. Peh. But I'm actually in a position where I can move (ex husband moved two hours away, custody schedule is now really nuts because of it).

Thanks for the reminder that the 8 years working for myself aren't a huge resume waste. I have been told by HR people that the former self-employed are the "worst" potential new hires because, rumor has it, they don't take direction well, they don't want to be stuck back in a 9-5, they basically have a bad attitude coming in. So I'm guessing you and I both are at a disadvantage, were we to try to get a traditional job after our 8 years of being self employed. Not impossible, but a steeper hill to climb perhaps.

I can not even IMAGINE teaching. I love my kid. But the few times I've been at classroom functions with her classmates, I thought I was gonna have to be carried away in a straightjacket. Holy CRAP those kids can talk. And TOUCH. What's with all the touching?!?!

Sad as it is, teaching seems to be another dying industry - did you see, some 58,000 teachers were laid off last month.

OK, wait. Trying to get back on track... :tongue:

If I could continue working for myself, but not in photography... honestly, I'd want to do something in the trades. I really enjoy demolition :cool:. I could handle most home renovations, but I'd need some more work in it, apprenticing under real craftsmen. I really would like to work in a more physical job, I seem to be happiest when my job is very physically (and not mentally) demanding, which gives me home time for relaxing and fucking off.

I worked in an administrative capacity for environmental hazmat teams in the past, and ended up getting my OSHA 40, Asbestos Worker 8, LBP (something or other), and other certs in that job. Did some asbestos and LBP removal and containment, along with working a Superfund site. MOST of what I did was admin, but I found every excuse to go out on site and suit up to be around the sweat and real work. I wouldn't mind getting back into that, but we're past the era of worrying about home based environmental hazards - you don't hear about lead based paint and asbestos hazards anymore like you did in the 90s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
547 Posts
I have been told by HR people that the former self-employed are the "worst" potential new hires because, rumor has it, they don't take direction well, they don't want to be stuck back in a 9-5, they basically have a bad attitude coming in.
Ok I don't know if this is true. Maybe it depends on what type of job you are applying for. The interview will tell an employer if you're able to take orders or not -- someone's personality really comes through in an interview. I know in my recent ones, the people asking the questions did want to know if I could adjust to a "routine" etc, and I just had to be as believable as possible. :/ I put on my super-extroverted ESTP act, and they seemed impressed enough. lol


Sad as it is, teaching seems to be another dying industry - did you see, some 58,000 teachers were laid off last month.
Yeah, but every industry is terrible now. Construction has been completely destroyed, finance was ruined for a while, I know a lot of people that have useful degrees and can't get a job still. Plus all the older people who got laid off and aren't old enough to retire but are too old to compete much longer...it's a nightmare out there.
That's why I would stick with industries that are still necessary even in depression economy. Food production, utilities, military, medicine, and *some* manufacturing usually hang in there...selling cupcakes or studying psychology ain't worth a damn.

I know our factory is hiring, but then again I'm in the southeast so that's probably not helpful. :frustrating:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,014 Posts
Damn it I wanted to go for a degree that they had at my college for OSHA qual but they stopped the program due to lack of students applying arg!...It sucks though for the ppl that can't get jobs...for some reason in ND every place is hiring......I started investing in stocks when I was in the military..and I get a income from that..and my disability.....but i kinda feel bad...while im living comfortably(cheaply)....people cant even feed their kids :sad:
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,507 Posts
I had a web-based bookshop some years earlier, when I was a student. It never brought any real money, but it was pretty interesting. I liked the catalogizing, programming and whatnot, but the economic side was a catastrophe. I had picked a very bad target group, in a sense that they always needed to bicker about the prices. Whatever prices. In the end I just raised everything 10-20 % because it let me "give up" the price fight earlier. Of course then the libraries and stuff did suffer.

I am very good in procrastinating, so having a boss to keep an eye on me (or, at least me imagining them doing that) is actually a good thing.

I have since then decided that the only scenario of me having a business is if I find a competent secretary or somesuch, one that'd take care of the billing and other nuisance that customers create, and why not run a bookkeeping thingy on the side or something for the income boost.
 
1 - 19 of 19 Posts
Top