Author Topic: Don't know what to do about cousin's "business" - further question post #25  (Read 10087 times)

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kareng57

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I think that you're doing the right thing by staying out of it - she's already quit her job, so warning her that she's doing something monumentally unwise is a bit late, and won't have any effect anyways, given that she's already ignored the sensible advice.

But I do agree that she's making a mistake, and she'll have to learn the hard way. She may well gain important personal growth and life experience from the process, but yeah, she's doing it the hard way. But it's their life to live, and if they're willing to take the risk of ending up homeless because they can't pay the rent, then that's a decision she and her boyfriend have to make. They don't have kids, so they aren't harming any innocent people along the way.

Running a business and making a living at it is a really hard, really risky proposition, even for people who have a realistic outlook, good business skills, and the requisite two years of savings to cover them until they can hope to make a profit. Quitting your job to make a living at a home business when you have no savings, already have trouble making the bills, and have no real business plan, in an business that is highly oversaturated, and where even the most successful and talented people can't make a living at it... That's like quitting your job to write a book so you can become a bestselling author like JK Rowling and make loads of money.

As an aside,  I did a quick calculation.  if she can make $5 profit per item, after she pays for materials, packaging, shipping, advertising, and the cost of a booth or an online store, she will need to make and sell 50 pieces per week, every week, to hit the US poverty line for a single person.  She could pad her earnings by casual work, but that will mean she has less time to make jewelry, which puts her back in the position of making her living at another job and doing jewelry on the side, only with a worse salary and less job security.


There's an assertion on the Ask A Manager site that the oft-recommended "do what you love!" can be very bad advice.

Even if the person manages to squeeze a small profit out of the business - what started out as a loved-hobby can quickly become drudgery.  For example, you (generic) might love to make jewellery as a gift for friends - but when it becomes 100 pieces that must be delivered within a week - different scenario altogether.

But overall I agree, there's no point in saying anything.  Either she'll be very successful (might be a pretty small chance, but anything is possible) in which case OP will pretty much have egg on her face.....or the feared scenario will indeed be played out, and she will feel resentful about the people who gave kind warnings.

TeamBhakta

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Quote
There's an assertion on the Ask A Manager site that the oft-recommended "do what you love!" can be very bad advice.

Even if the person manages to squeeze a small profit out of the business - what started out as a loved-hobby can quickly become drudgery.  For example, you (generic) might love to make jewellery as a gift for friends - but when it becomes 100 pieces that must be delivered within a week - different scenario altogether.

This is so true. It's how people turn into those clueless, debt burdened owners on Kitchen Nightmares & Tabatha's Salon Takeover.

Oh Joy

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There's an assertion on the Ask A Manager site that the oft-recommended "do what you love!" can be very bad advice.

Even if the person manages to squeeze a small profit out of the business - what started out as a loved-hobby can quickly become drudgery.  For example, you (generic) might love to make jewellery as a gift for friends - but when it becomes 100 pieces that must be delivered within a week - different scenario altogether.

This is so true. It's how people turn into those clueless, debt burdened owners on Kitchen Nightmares & Tabatha's Salon Takeover.

Or, as we sometimes advise clients considering a similar change, 'Don't marry your mistress,' because she won't be as much fun when she's your wife.   ;) 

amandaelizabeth

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Before  I got to fifty, I was utterly fed up with my job.  It was the small town setting and the organisation I worked for rather than the work I was doing which was getting me down.  So after some discussion my husband and I sold our home, packed up our belongings and moved up the island to a very large city.  Where we started our own company doing the same tasks as before,  everybody thought I was mad,  with no business experience, not a lot of money,  and going where nobody knew me.  The comments from my family were heartfelt compared with colleagues and management.  Everybody predicted doom and gloom and my old boss told me that when I came back with my tail between my legs, she might consider me for my old position.  My dad called me brave and said I would always have a home with them.

Well I will be sixty next birthday and we are still here, marriage intact and heads above the water.  It has been tough.  I know more about accounting and financial management than I ever thought possible.  My husband can now run a network system and went from working in an almost all male setting, to dealing  with small children and women.  BUT WE LOVE IT.  Yes there have been times when we wondered whether we would get to the end of funding period, and we did not have a holiday for 6 years.  I get up in the morning rushing to get to down to work and see what the day will bring.  We have taken our company in a completely different direction from the one we planned for at the beginning and you know what, that is wonderful.  I have been invited to international conferences all over world to talk about my work, and I get invited to the Ministry to give guidance and help to others.  We will never be money rich, but rich in choices and experiences.  I would not swop this life  for my old one

If I had listened to all those who had my best interests in mind when they advised me not to do it I would still working for someone else.  I would have paid regularly and still fed up.  Who knows what lies ahead for your cousin, let her try.

Edited because i should know about plurals at sixty.

« Last Edit: July 02, 2013, 11:08:09 AM by amandaelizabeth »

jellyjar

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Good for you amandaelizabeth!  I might add I have a friend who makes a product.  Like the OP, I thought that it was amateurish and not the best quality of home produced product.  I totally thought it would fizzle in a few months.  Now she is successfully selling at event, has a display inside a local store, and a B&B has comissioned her.  I think her personality and tenacity have a lot to do with her success.  OP, I hope that your cousin shows everyone wrong. Not to spite you at all,  because you are definitely just caring and concerned about her, but because it will be hard for your cousin if it doesn't succeed and I hate to see people's dreams not work out for them.