A Libertarian Becomes (More) Free

I did something truly libertarian yesterday. I fired my old boss and became my new boss. It was strange timing to say the least. I started at XYZco, as a temp, in February, 2001. They apparently had high turnover in the past and it was almost a requirement, at the time of my hire anyway, to have a person stay through a few lunches before s/he could become an employee. For me, the lunch shift ended on June 18th, 2001. I started, quite accidentally, a home business in March ’06 and I gave notice on June 19, 2006. I was walked out the door on the 20th, my five year anniversary gift in a box packed for me, but, it does seem la mode du jour to walk an employee out rather than risk negativity in the workplace.

I would be an ass if I did not admit that the work climate had changed recently. Or that my attitude toward the politics had not changed as well. Office politics are often worse than government politics and I hear that XYZco management is under a microscope lately. But, I thought that I owned my $4.2m monthly. I was told that it was my piece of the biz, and that people were treated according to production. That idea resonated well with me. I took the vacations that I wanted, but I worked evenings, Saturdays and Sundays to pick up the slack. The report numbers would indicate that I worked efficiently. The problem with working weekends, or after hours, is that there is nobody beside the Facilities Director to see it. The problem with working efficiently is that it throws a monkey-wrench into the game.

I really thought that XYZco was a good match for me. I was seduced by employer-sponsored healthcare. Vacation. Owning my piece of the company. I am no Thoreau, but I know now that the only thing I can own is that which I produce-for me and my family. Companies change pace and direction. I may do the same and, if and when I do it, much like the company, I will have the most important people in mind. The people on my mind are those with the most stock.

I am terrified. I am exhilarated. I am blown away by how ready I am to take care of myself/ family on my terms. But, I am floored that I am a libertarian thinking person, a person regularly taking to task people afraid to stand up for themselves, but also a person who failed to realize that I was dependent too.

13 Comments
  1. Welcome to the club. I haven’t worked for anyone but myself since last July, and while it’s been nothing but uphill, and there have been times I wasn’t even sure if I could pay the bills, I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

    I swore, the morning I walked into $TELCO and turned in my badge, that I would never work for anyone else but myself again. And I intend to keep it that way.

  2. True Independence! That’s what I’m trying to achieve. I have been making someone else rich since I was 16. This is the main reason why I went back to college. I want to get my project LibertyConsulting to become a reality. Electing Libertarians nationwide is my goal and becoming a force in LP politics. I am sick of being treated like a slave for the government and these corporations. The cycle for me has to stop soon! Good luck Michelle!

  3. Welcome to the self-employment club. I was self-employed most of my adult life. One day you may look around and realize how many employees and their families depend on your business if you hire others. Businesses are demonized and criticized yet they are the engines of the economy.

    Big Brother understands that and will spend every waking moment trying to put you out of business with laws, ordinances and bureaucratic rules and regulations. I was in the construction trades and, OSHA, EPA, IRS, INS, and another 100 acronyms became very familiar to me.

    You will find that it is impossible to be in full compliance with every law and regulation all the time. You will break at least one of them every day if you are to survive.

  4. Michelle,

    Congratulations on your emancipation.

    Workers of the world unite in self-employment, you have nothing to lose but a crutch….

    Julian,

    So you’ve had to deal with the INS interfering in your business? But you still support them?

  5. Well said, Julian. A lot of those laws contradict each other and thus, it is impossible to be in total compliance. Learn to grease the inspectors. Good luck!

  6. Y’know, I tried my hand at the self-employed “entrepeneur” schtick. Failed miserably; if it weren’t for a very loving woman I would have wound up destitute and homeless.

    Some people aren’t cut out to be busines owners. It took me a year and a half to figure that out for myself.

    Congratulations, and best fortune, however, Michelle!

  7. “The problem with working weekends, or after hours, is that there is nobody beside the Facilities Director to see it.”

    Yup. You skew the calculations two ways. First, a supervisor cannot correctly estimate the load in a project if he has incorrect info about what it took to accomplish it last time. And, people who never do a particular thing also never realize that other people are doing that thing. 9-5ers think everyone else goes home too. So when you’re not there, they think you’re not getting your 40 in like they are. And they’ll kill you for it later.

    There’s a self-employment formula for production-based people like architects, carpenters and such. You’ll only work 1/3 of the time in production; the rest is sales and admin. So your hourly rate must be three times what you got while employed, or you have to make up the difference in overtime. Some activities simply can’t support this: carpenters get $23.90 plus gov’t mandates, totalling toward $50 per hour. So…

  8. …So they have to get $150/hour as contractors to stay even self-employed. Or, do more production and less admin and sales.

    Sales time can be cut back if you’ve got good word of mouth (referrals), and admin can be reduced by delegating bookeeping to people who make less than you do, so you keep the difference. To be successful, you get the higher rate plus economize effort and get 50% production or better.

    Of course, it’s all different if you’re selling or re-selling a product you don’t make yourself. Then you spend 2/3rds or more of your time selling, and with a good profit margin you’re making money.

    That applies just as well as to fronting for professionals, but you run into personnel entanglements on that path.

    To become wealthy, however, the secret is always replication. Invent it once, sell it millions of times with negligible production costs. Like software; the pop-top soda can; bumps between the lanes on highways.

    Or sell Lear jets.

    Good luck!

    -0

  9. $4.2 million a month ???

    Oh, that’s right, those silly financials keep using m for
    thousands, when everyone knows K=kilo(thousand), M=mega(million), G=Giga(billion, or million million for UK)

    Engineers R Us :-)

  10. Paulie

    Refresh my memory. When did I ever say I supported the INS?

    The problem I had with them was keeping their I-9 records which were meaningless and useless. They enforced nothing and did nothing. I wanted to employ only legals but my competition insisted on employing illegals which meant I was at a competitive disadvantage. That hurt the wages and bonuses of my employees.

    Oh, by the way, what have you contributed to society? Are you self-employed, work under the table or or welfare? I suspect you being an anarchist give the middle finger to all fair play no matter who gets hurt.

  11. Allen, the boss knew when I was in. And, she acknowledged that I can work vacay time like nobody else. Perception is a bitch sometimes.

    FTR, I am selling a product and I have a safety net. I put away tons of cash. My paycheck looked like shit because I maxed out 401k, participated in the stock program, and saved more on my own. Hubby is a doc and is the top earner in our house. The product? Don’t laugh- though I would have if somebody suggested it 6 months ago- is Arbonne skin and wellness care products. So, if any of you wish to fire your boss or simply use some quality stuff, email me. Sorry VanDyke- I really never intended to plug my biz.

  12. Congratulations for making your choice to become self-employed. I too am a small business person, as many of the commenters have been. Truth is, I just started my business, and man, I cant even pay my bills, it’s killing me! But we gotta do it, because, think about the incompetent assholes you used to ahve working with you, are they gonna do it? Of course not! We have to create the wealth, we ahve to create the jobs, we have to innovae within the amrket place, and we ahve to go hungry while we do it, because, well, who else is going to do it of not us? if it helps, i believe in you, and i hope you become so sucessful you ahve to subcontract out to your old bosses, wouldnt that be too sweet?

  13. Julian,

    I’m self-employed.

    you have stated you support border controls many times.

    I have no idea why you extrapolate so much false non-sequitur about my personality and such simply from the fact that I am an anarchist.

    You may wish to acquaint yourself with the writers at LewRockwell.com