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need job advice: self employed vs just employed. Kinda long though.

Ok girls, I need some advice. I'm posting this on 9-5 too, but since I interact with you girls more I value your opinion :)

My brother and I are toying with the idea of selling our dad's business. Our dad died a couple years ago, the 2 employees quit and left us stranded a couple weeks ago right at the start of sales season. So, I am trying to evaluating my job options to decide whether to: sell the company and require that we can have a job if we want to be in crop insurance still or sell it and walk away from the industry and do something else.

Job 1: Crop Insurance - it makes really good money for now, it would be a very very flexible schedule during the down times, and I would be my own boss. On the flipside, the government has their hands around crop insurance and it could be yanked at any time, something my dad always worried about. Even though the schedule is flexible, its down right terrible in Feb and March when you are getting all your business signed up for the year, then in June, July and Aug when you are getting all of your customers acres that they planted. You basically work your life away for 5 months out of the year, stay somewhat busy for 4, then twiddle your thumbs for 3. This would also determine when the hubs and I have a baby. We would have to TTC in the months that would would allow me to give birth during the twiddling thumbs part of the year.

Job 2: something to do with my marketing degree - One of my dads friends owns a very, very successful company here in town and I am about 90% sure if I called him and told him I needed a job, he would find something for me. I have never heard anyone complain about working there, they have great benefits and are very family oriented. Their turnover rate is very low. The drawback would be probably less money and I would have a boss. There would be advancement opportunities I'm sure. What I would like is I would have a steady schedule and workload and the little headaches of owning a business would be someone elses problem. And I could have a baby whenever my body decides to get pregnant. I could also sell other lines of insurance on the side, like auto, home and business to help make up some of the potentially lost income.

So, do I give up the flexibility of being self employed and being my own boss for a job the typical 23 year old college graduate has that might make me happier with my personal life even if it is less money? Or do I keep the family business alive even though it means being stressed to the max a 1/2 the year and barely seeing my hubby(and babies eventually) while honoring my dad?

My dad wouldn't want me to be miserable, which is what I am right now. My being miserable has a lot to do with the 2 employees quitting and its sales season. Being self employed is usually the American dream, but its been an absolute nightmare for me and has left a bad taste in my mouth. I'm sure under normal circumstances being self employed would be great, but I dont know ifI want to give it a second chance.

What would you do?

Re: need job advice: self employed vs just employed. Kinda long though.

  • I would start applying for marketing jobs, and if you get offered one with good pay an hours, I would take it and sell the business. I don't think the stress is worth it and I don't think your dad would mind. Honestly, I think he really would prefer you do something else where you can enjoy it and have time for your family.

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  • Grown up decisions suck.  And, this is a big one.  

    Think about what is more important to you.  Family? or Career?  It seems like the first job will have more control over your lifestyle.  And, though you would make more money, you would have to plan your life around your job.  You also mentioned Job 1 is stressful.  Remember that stress can impact a lot of things in your life, such as your marriage, and possibly your future children.  Would it be worth it? 

    Any job that makes a person miserable is not worth it, not matter how much it pays.  And, I'm sure your father would just want you to be happy.  

    So, I vote for Job 2.  

  • I vote be your own boss and have those 3 months of down time. Hire 2 new or 1 new employee to replace the ones that left. Train them to do most if not all of what your business is. 

    Having a boss, working and having kids comes with different issues. Being your own boss means that if your kid gets sick you can go get them from day care or school and bring them back to work with you. In option #2 you won't be able to do that. Also, you could while your baby is still little take it to work with you.  

  • Please take my advise with a grain of salt, as I work in the insurance industry, and our biggest department in our agency is Crop Insurance.  Please keep in mind our agency only has 7 employees and is very small and rural.  But I personally would continue your dads' business.  He already has the clientele built up, and farmers would rather see someone continue the family business and support them.  To me, this has more opportunity than working for someone else.

    Crop Insurance is a government program, so yes, it is greatly influenced by the government and economy.  But it pays some GREAT money, and if you do not like the months of downtime but also would like to sell auto, home, etc, then do it.  Your dads' agency is likely an Independent Insurance agency, which means you can get contracts with just about any insurance company and sell their insurance.  You could also sell Farm property insurance to those clients he already has. 

    Please keep in mind that your hours during the busy season do not have to be nuts. My boss meets with every one of our crop insurance clients in February and March, and he is strict with how he manages his time and when he meets them.  But he also does meet every single one of them at their home instead of them coming into the office. Also depending on how many clients your dad has, you can hire 1-2 part time people to help you with the paperwork and workload during that busy time.

    If you have any questions, please feel free to PM me.  I know taking over his business can be intimidating, but it's an awesome opportunity.   

    TTC since 1/13  DX:PCOS 5/13 (long, anovulatory cycles)
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    TTC 2.0   6/15 
    Chemical Pregnancy 9/15 
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  • I think I am leaning more towards keeping it. Even though my brother and I own it 50/50, my brother said the decision is pretty much mine because I'm out of school and I have the insurance license.

    Honestly, I'm just kind of scared. I went from having a hand full of auto and home customers to having a hand full of auto and home customers then seeing my name slapped across about 200 different policies. Its a lot to take in at 23 lol.

    One of the employees that quit was our MAIN agent. Like he took care of 80% of the customers, even my dads.  But, I am finding that the customers didn't like this agent as much as I thought. Yeah, some of them are probably going to go with him, but you lose some every year regardless. Its just the nature of the beast.

    Plus, I can sound really cute and sweet on the phone, and that helps ;)

    Thank you everyone for the input.

  • You can definitely do it, if that is what you want.  Don't let your age stop you.

    Last year I got handed a $1.4mil book of personal lines (auto, home, umbrella, etc) for our office and our sister office.  I was 23 when this happened, and had been with the company for 3 years. Now I commute between 2 offices and am the only one who handles and has my name on these accounts. It is definitely overwhelming, but if it is what you want then go for it!  Just manage your time accordingly, and create strict office hours.

    Do it before you have kids, and build what your dad already started. You never know what can come from it, and the opportunities are endless in this industry.

    TTC since 1/13  DX:PCOS 5/13 (long, anovulatory cycles)
    Clomid 50mg 9/13 = BFP! EDD 6/7/14 M/C 5w6d Found 11/4/13
    1/14 PCOS / Gluten Free Diet to hopefully regulate my system. 
    Chemical Pregnancy 03/14
    Surprise BFP 6/14, Beta #1: 126 Beta #2: 340  Stick baby, stick! EDD 2/17/15
    Riley Elaine born 2/16/15

    TTC 2.0   6/15 
    Chemical Pregnancy 9/15 
    Chemical Pregnancy 6/16
    BFP 9/16  EDD 6/3/17
    Beta #1: 145 Beta #2: 376 Beta #3: 2,225 Beta #4: 4,548
    www.5yearstonever.blogspot.com 
                        Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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