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  • #986534
    steph90
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    • Total posts: 22
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    Hi everyone!

    I’m facing a dilemma and would like to hear what you think I should do and perhaps advice from those who have been in the same situation.

    The first thing you need to know is that I live in a regional town where there’s not a lot of opportunity.

    I’m been in my graphic & web design business for just over a year. It’s just myself and I employ some contractors when needed. My partner also helps out after hours. I’m making money every month, but it’s just enough to pay the business bills and I pay myself enough to pay all of my personal bills with not a lot to spare. Occasionally I’ll have a really bad month where things are slow and I make practically nothing. When this happens I usually have to borrow from family or my partner, but am able to get back on my feet pretty quickly and pay the money back.

    The issue is simply not having enough work and the work being inconsistent. Growth is very slow and the only thing that I think might change the current situation is some advertising I have lined up on a digital signboard in the center of town (I’ve done practically no advertising so far).

    I found out last week that there is a job going at the local Tafe as an in house designer. It’s 3 days per week. To give you some background. This is extremely rare in my area. I have only ever seen one other graphic design job advertised around here int he past 5 years and I have NEVER seen a part time one.

    If I applied for the job I’m confident that I would have a 90% chance of getting it. My skills and experience outweigh everything they’ve asked and without sounding cocky I am a good designer, especially compared with some of the competition around here. I also interview well.

    I think having very little money is starting to get to my partner. He’s always been supportive of my business before. He wants to leave his day job to run his own business too (he’s owned various eCommerce etc. that I’ve helped run). But since yesterday he’s mention that it’s been so hard for us to save to build our first house (which we’ve been doing for far too long) and how we can’t go on a big holiday we both want to take and that he pays whenever we go out. I found this pretty upsetting, I think because I didn’t think he felt that way, but I do understand. I’m feeling a bit of pressure from him (and my friends and family) to take this job, but feeling like that makes me what to not do it even more. I feel like I’m being backed into a corner and no one is seeing the bigger picture here.

    Applications close in the first week of Feb, so I need to make some decisions now very shortly. I won’t have time to see if the advertising I have lined up makes a difference as it hasn’t started yet.

    The reason I want to take the job:

    • Steady income. Would mean we could build our house, save and go on our holiday.
    • Keep everyone else happy.
    • Would still have at least some freedom to work for myself.
    • I have some other, more broad business ideas that I would run online and be able to do easily in the 2 days a week I have off. I was planning on doing these this year anyway.
    • Rare opportunity.

    The reasons I don’t:

    • Pay is crap (minimum wage – yes, minimum).
    • Work will be really boring as I will be working only for Tafe in their set style, rather than an array of clients.
    • I feel it will impact my current business greatly, as I won’t be available during business hours for 3 days a week. Being a ‘legitimate’ B2B business I think this is so important. I would probably have to change to just freelancing and make clients aware of this (which is not in any way my dream).
    • I feel like I would be going backwards, not forwards.

    I really wish I never knew that this job existed, but I’m afraid that it will be the only part time graphic design opportunity I’ll ever see (unless we move), which at least will give me some freedom. I don’t want to be kicking myself for being inflexible and not taking the opportunity.

    What do you guys think?

    #1158298
    Halyna67
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    I say go for it!!

    I was in a similar position a little while back and the opportunity for a p/t job came up which I took. I was there for nearly two years and really felt like I could breathe again without the financial and other pressures. I also enjoyed the super, holiday pay, sick pay, etc.

    Yes there were times when I felt undervalued at a low hourly rate and yes at times I did get bored but every situation comes with pros and cons.

    Now that I am flying solo (and trying to buy a house) how I wish I had a part time job.

    I say give it a go because it sounds like the pressure is getting to you and your family. If it continues you may get into a state where you lose the enjoyment of working for yourself altogether. Just take some time out to re-group, and you do not have to stay in the p/t job forever.

    All the best with it all.

    Now if only I had a crystal ball….

    #1158299
    steph90
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    Thanks for the reply Halyna and thanks for taking the time to read my huge post!

    I applied for the job last Friday. I thought I’d at least give it a shot.

    By some miracle a second part time graphic design job came up, which I still can’t believe considering how rare it is to find any graphic design job around here. I have to take that as a sign I think. I applied for this one too. This one is a maternity leave position until August which sort of eases my fear of getting stuck there forever, but I’d be happy with either position.

    I totally agree with you about coming to hate working for myself. I think there’s a huge risk of that happening if things continue the way they are.

    I just need to be a bit flexible (and not so stubborn) and accept that sometimes we have to do what we have to do at the time.

    Wish me luck! Now I just hope that I get one of them. I’ll be surprised if I don’t, but I’m trying not to get my hopes up. You never know who you’re going up against.

    #1158300
    MissSassy
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    Sometimes you have got to do what you have got to do. It’s not forever and if it gets you over a hump and feeling more comfortable with the regular money coming in.

    Looking forward to hearing if you get the job – Good luck

    I would also take the time to set some goals for your business as to how it can be more profitable in the future.

    #1158301
    steph90
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    Thanks Miss Sassy.

    I agree with everything you’ve said.

    I think sometimes I get overwhelmed with just trying to run the business and don’t put enough time into actually planning for the future of the business and trying to improve it (and make sure it doesn’t go under!).

    Being less stress about the finances might give me a better picture of where I want to take the business in future.

    I’ll keep you posted about the jobs!

    #1158302
    bb1
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    I think your decision is do you want a full time job or run your own business, by what I see by just one sentence in you post, you dont take the business seriously and therefore should be looking for another job.

    You state you do practically no advertising, well sorry to say but thats not taking the business seriously. After 7 years and a permanent full book of clients, I still advertise (not as much), because even in that situation you loose clients for various reasons and need to replace them. Also the oportunities to pickup a really good new client and drop off a not so good client come into play.

    Until you take your business seriously and advertise you will remain in your current situation.

    #1158303
    steph90
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    I appreciate the advice bb1, although I find that a little harsh. I certainly can’t judge your business, personality or seriousness from just one line in your post.

    I never said I don’t advertise because I’m not serious. In fact I stated clearly that I had advertising planned. I’ve got one month’s advertising on a digital billboard in the center of town starting in two weeks. I had planned it in Dec, but delayed it until this month as the Digital Enterprise Scheme is starting. It’s been paid for since December.

    I spent my first year of the business simply getting used to running a business and setting up pricing, procedures and an office etc. I didn’t put enough into advertising during this time because I was still getting my head around everything, not to mention the budget was extremely stretched. Yes, I could have done a better job at being more organised and proactive with this, I agree, but I did the best that I could at the time. In hindsight I should have started with more money saved so I could afford to do more advertising etc.

    The only reason I mentioned about the advertising is because it’s possible when I do start advertising seriously it will make a difference in the growth of the business.

    For me right now becoming more financially stable is important and will also allow me to do further advertising etc. for my business in future.

    If the option was to leave the business entirely and work full time I wouldn’t do it. This is simply a temporary solution and I will be using some of the money I earn working elsewhere to put into the business until it can stand on it’s own feet.

    #1158304
    LucasArthur
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    steph90, post: 182878 wrote:
    I appreciate the advice bb1, although I find that a little harsh. I certainly can’t judge your business, personality or seriousness from just one line in your post.

    Hi Steph

    Whilst i will not probably answer all your questions and maybe not even 1, although i would love to say that what a great opportunity you have before you.. its these little impasses (hope that is the right use) that present a little detour along the way to your goals that can actually be quite enriching..

    From your original post, you obviously have some pressure being applied both internal and external re bills/overheads/living costs etc etc and this is clearly weighing on your shoulders.. allow me to say, if you were not experiencing this as a small business operator i would be more concerned. Its these trials and tribulations that will set you up for greater success through resilience.. Whilst your partner may also be playing a part, it is ultimately how YOU feel about it all that matters.. hope that makes sense??

    You are obviously a sincere person who is thoughtful of others, this comes from the questions you are asking and the way you state it… so try not to take all to heart from your immediate surroundings and some feedback that may come your way through forums..

    Not that i have been around long, i personally find FS is a pretty friendly place with some great advice.. i tell you i have learnt a lot, and am just a baby myself.. Most people share with their name, their own business and the likes and some even share knowledge.. Although try and hold merit to those willing to give advice and actually share a little about themselves, as you state in the quote i took from your last post, it is very difficult to take someone on one sentence and know all about them.. and even harder still if they dont share their name or their business.. Not that this doesnt make their opinions valuable, just apply the relevant replies to your current situation..

    On advertising though, something more pertinent.. i tell you what, i know a graphic designer who has been in the game some time now and has NEVER EVER advertised a day in his life.. dont ask me how, although he is good in social environments, but business just flows for him.. He is good at what he does, so people do find him from time to time ;)

    In fact, i have seen many an unsuccessful business advertise more than those that are successful although i must say: just because you throw money at advertising, does not mean you will succeed… There are many factors involved in success, from commitment through to your financial support network… to name a few…

    You have started your journey of a thousand steps, i look forward to hearing about the rest of your journey.

    re the job, how good would that look on your resume for your business?? WOW!

    Anyway, excuse my directness although i wanted to share..

    Cheers
    Jason

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1158305
    steph90
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    Thanks for the encouragement Jason and thank you for your kindness.

    I appreciate hearing about the experiences of people you know with advertising, particularly someone in my industry.

    Like you said it’s really about me and what I think is the best thing to do. I guess it’s my life and my business after all, haha!

    I can be pretty stubborn and the detours aren’t may favourite thing, but life isn’t perfect and it never goes to plan. That’s something I’ve been learning since starting my business! You’ve really encouraged me to look on the bright side of this and make sure I get the most out of where ever I end up.

    I think I just have to do what I feel is best right now. After lots of reflection I decided that I should apply for both jobs and I did (even before I had any replies). I’m not giving up on my business, but I feel like right now it’s the right thing to do and although it’s a detour it will lead to the way forward. I think if I continue with things the way they I might be heading to a dead end where I’m at risk of going bust and/or me losing my passion for the business.

    PS You have a very nice site and gorgeous furniture!

    #1158306
    LucasArthur
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    Steph

    No drama AT ALL..

    Personally, i know how one battles being pulled at by different elements of life and business.. and when trying to combine both, oh boy everyone here could attest to these problems – i am pretty sure :rolleyes:

    Whatever course or path you take, job or no job, business or no business, my advice is to not forget what you have learnt.. to apply it as you can and build upon that knowledge so when you are ready to fully jump into this and draw from your experiences, you will be able to do so with a clear path and understanding..

    I strongly believe, and you said this in a dif way, that everything you learn on the path or the journey is attributing to the skill set you will finally use.. Myself, my journey has been going since i was 18 and i believe every job and small business i have run has brought me to the destination i am at.. and had i not tried, deviated or learnt from others that knew more than me i would most definitely not be where i am today.. and for having the ability to truly know this, i am better for it..

    oh that was deeper than anticipated.. LOL.. honestly though, wish you all the best.. good luck with the apps and the business.. let us know how you go…

    Cheers
    Jason ;)

    Jason Ramage | Lucas Arthur Pty Ltd | E: [email protected]   P: 61 3 8324 0344    M: 61 412 244 888
    #1158307
    steph90
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    Thanks again Jason & everyone who took the time to share their experiences and advice!

    I’ll keep you all posted!

    #1158308
    Nicola D
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    • Total posts: 9
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    Hi Steph,

    Keen to hear how it all works out!

    I totally understand your dilemma and confusion and have been there many times over the past 3 and half years since ‘flying solo’. I guess if I could advise myself 3 and a half years ago, I would say:

    “Take the pressure off. Think about it less as OR and more as AND. It doesn’t need to be a job OR your business, and even if it is for a while, that can change again in the future. It doesn’t have to be forever. AND who knows where it might lead?”

    A quick share of how this went for me:

    Working from home as Coach and Interior Designer (one job is never enough for me).
    Not making steady income from either, as both severely affected by downturn.
    Nearly went mad working from home alone.
    Decided I needed to be around people so put my Barista training to good use and got a PT job in a coffee shop.
    Coffee shop located in former church hall, great big, beautiful heritage building with unused space.
    Got to know owners well and eventually negotiated leasing of enough space to create my own co-working space, where I am writing to you today.

    Who knew?

    I wish you all the best :D

    #1158309
    steph90
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    That’s a really great story Nicola. You never know what will come of these things. And great to hear everything ended up working out for you!

    Update: I got two calls yesterday offering me an interview for both jobs.

    I went to the first interview today (for the temporary maternity leave position) and all went really well. I mentioned doing some work for myself still and they didn’t think it was a problem at all and thought that it would be a good fit because I’m flexible and the hours may vary for this position. They asked me to come in for an hour to two next Tuesday to meet everyone and have a little ‘trial-run’ for an hour or two, which I think is a good sign.

    I have the interview for the other job on Monday. They seem to want a more formal interview, but that’s fine. I’m looking forward to it.

    Excited to see what happens and feeling really good about it now! We’ve saved enough for a deposit on our home now so will be starting to build in about 3 months :) Makes me more motivated to earn some more money!

    #1158310
    TransScooters
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    Heya Steph,

    I am also in a similar position. Last year I had a part time job (which luckily paid well) which gave me the financial freedom I needed to focus on the business. Now after a world trip, (which resulted in a lot of good experiences + advancement of the business) I am fairly broke but with a lot of time and am busily applying for another part time job!

    It is also nice just to ‘switch off’ a couple of days a week and work for someone else, just chipping away at set tasks and thinking about what you can do with your business when you get home. Good luck with the jobs and the business!!

    Jeremy.

    #1158311
    steph90
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    Thanks Jeremy, good to hear your experience.

    Sorry for the late update guys, but luckily I got offered the maternity leave position. Yay!

    We also just booked tickets for a trip to Japan in December, where we’ve been wanting to go for years. Had a cheap Jetstar sale so we just booked it! It’ll be great to be able to afford to make it an amazing holiday. I’m going to try and save nearly all the money I earn in the P/T job for the holiday and for our first house.

    I don’t start until April officially (and finish up in August), but I worked a day this week and will be filling in for someone next week for a day. They’re wanting to have me there for at least half a day per week from now just to get used to it, although I find it pretty simple compared to what I do in my business.

    I’m feeling pretty good about things. I know there will be times where the P/T job will get in the way of my business, but there’s always lunch breaks I guess! And if I get really sick of the job for some reason (seems pretty good so far) I know I’ll only have to wait until August to leave.

    Thanks to everyone for the encouragement and support. It really helped me through and I think I made a good choice thanks to everyone’s advice :)

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