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Managing your own schedule....Priceless?

Managing your own schedule....Priceless?

Managing your own schedule....Priceless?

I saw a previous thread about whether or not people found it worth the money, as in $/hour, running their own business. My question goes out to those who are freelancing or consulting, and I wonder if there is a dollar value you place on being able to manage your own time.  I have family friends, one a teacher, the other a freelance architect. Last summer, my family and I were able to use their vacation home because they took a MONTH to go on a family camping/rafting trip on the Colorado river. My wife and I look at them with envy, contemplating having careers that allow us to manage our time this way.  Does anyone out there find great value in the freedom of being your own boss, and would you trade it for a 9-5 (or 7-7, like many of us), working under supervision?

Aaron A. Spearin
Engineering Six-S'$

"The only constant in life is change." -Bruce Lee

RE: Managing your own schedule....Priceless?


I envy them too.  I am an independent consultant who does reasonably well (my wife does not work outside the home, we have 3 children in private schools), however, I have no vacation time or sick time, medical benefits, long term disability (I have those things, but I pay heavy for them).  When I don't work, I don't get paid.  I'm reminded of my duaghter a few years ago when she wanted me to do something and I told her "I'm sorry I can't sweetheart, I have to work", to which she innocently replied, incredulous, "but you work for your self".  

Unless you own a business that does quite well or have a 2 person consulting gig, being a consultant is long hours and constatntly (generally) looking for the next assignment.

In the case of your friends, she has a decent full time job with BENEFITS!!  Makes a huge difference.  It would be much easier then to match up to your wife's vacation time and go do something really fun.  But again, unless you have one of the spouses working full time or both doing quite well consulting, it's allot of hard work - well worth it, but not all it's cracked up to be.

Greg Lamberson, BS, MBA
Consultant - Upstream Energy
Website: www.oil-gas-consulting.com

RE: Managing your own schedule....Priceless?

When you "work for yourself" you quickly discover that you work for your clients.  

There is always a boss.  

RE: Managing your own schedule....Priceless?

When the clients are calling me at all times of the day and night because I have work from coast to coast, and there are five jobs in the ground, don't tell me I work for myself.  I found out what a message machine is for, AND BELIEVE ME, I USE IT!  I have to, not only to have quality table time, but, mostly for family time.  That's more important than anything.  You literally have to buy out the time.

Bottom line is, it's all what's important to you.  And JAE and Greg are right on target too.

Mike McCann
McCann Engineering

RE: Managing your own schedule....Priceless?

I came from working for a consulting firm and recently came to work at PartnerUp.com, which is a startup.

I've found that working for a startup gives me a lot more flexibility in terms of being able to manage my own schedule, and I also get a lot more upside potential than a normal corporate gig. The only downside is that the current pay is a little less than a corporate gig and there is obviously more downside potential in a startup than working at a big corporation.

However, I wish that I had found the startup world years ago since it is something that I really enjoy and that gives me some of the flexibility that you mention.


RE: Managing your own schedule....Priceless?

For those of you out there, freelancing, doing your own consulting, do you find allow yourselves the professional discipline to put your personal and family needs over those of the customers?  I imagine most business owners are workaholics anyway, those same people who come to the end of the year and have 4 weeks vacation saved up that they can't use, and they lose.  I'm one of those, but now that I'm in a new gig which is closer to freelance consulting than ever before, I feel less obligated to answer every beckon call.  Anyone out there ever have the guts to simply tell your customer NO, if their requests are unreasonable?

Aaron A. Spearin
Engineering Six-S'$

"The only constant in life is change." -Bruce Lee

RE: Managing your own schedule....Priceless?


I do quite often especially as the oil & gas industry is so busy at the moment.  And it is 99% of the time driven by family.  But one must be very careful, there are always cycles in your industry, especially mine and the client you tell no today, you may need work from in the future.

When I do say no, I generally try and find a solution to their problem, either in terms of finding another consultant (a colleague) for them or offering to do the work on my schedule.  I often use current clients as excuses citing that "I have a committment to Client X at the moment and I cannot let them down from a professional standpoint, but will be more than happy to help as time permits".

It's always tough to tell a potential client (or worse a former client coming back to you) no, I used to not be able to do that, but have gotten better at it over the years.

Greg Lamberson, BS, MBA
Consultant - Upstream Energy
Website: www.oil-gas-consulting.com

RE: Managing your own schedule....Priceless?

Yup, just did.  I was contacted by a former associate to do some robot programming for a customer of his in need.  I've been living out of a suitcase for 4 weeks and am exhausted.  I turned down an easy chance to make a few thousand dollars on a weekend because I want to see my family and sleep in my own bed.

It ain't all about the money, and good managers know when and how to say "No, thanks."

Blue Technik LLC
Advanced Robotics & Automation Engineering

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